Selection Guide

Changes from April 2023

Significant changes have been made to the way Maxsurf and Multiframe are licensed. Since April 2023 when Maxsurf 2023 was released, there is now only one license level available (rather than the two levels that were previously available). Beginning with Maxsurf 2023, you will no longer have the option of selecting which license should be used to run the product because there is now only one option available. 

Click here to contact us with any questions or for more details.


Prior to the release of Maxsurf 2023, two levels were available. Some additional functionality was available in the higher-tiered version. However, this has sometimes caused confusion for users and Bentley sales colleagues as well as unexpected overuse charges caused by users inadvertently selecting the wrong license when starting the applications. The multiple tiers also added to the development and other overhead costs needed to develop and deliver Maxsurf. For these reasons, the decision has been made to make all functionality available in a single tier. 

Prior to April 2023

There were two editions (levels) of MAXSURF license available:

  • MAXSURF Advanced
  • MAXSURF Ultimate

Many of the modules were the same across both editions but for some of the modules, increased functionality was available in the Ultimate edition.

Feature comparison per module (Prior to April 2023)


Stability exists in two editions (Advanced and Ultimate). The Advanced edition is available under the MAXSURF Advanced license and the Ultimate edition under the MAXSURF Ultimate license.

The Ultimate editions of Stability adds the Probabilistic Damage analysis mode to the features of Stability Advanced


Motions exists in two editions (entry level and Advanced). The entry level edition is available under the MAXSURF Advanced license and the Advanced editions under the MAXSURF Ultimate license.

The entry level editions of Motions can compute motion RAOs using strip theory for vertical plane motions (heave and pitch) as well as a simple estimate of the roll motion RAO.

The Advanced edition of Motions adds a six-degree-of-freedom, zero-speed radiation-diffraction panel method analysis capability.


Multiframe exists in two editions (entry level and Advanced). The entry level edition is available under the MAXSURF Advanced license and the Advanced edition under the MAXSURF Ultimate license.

The entry level edition of Multiframe can be used to define and perform static, structural analysis of models containing beam members and stiffened plates.

The Advanced edition of Multiframe adds the ability to compute deflection modes and perform dynamic, time history analysis.

Selection Guide to which MAXSURF version meets your requirements

Rel 23.00 onwards, Simplified Product sheet

Module NameMAXSURF
MAXSURF Stability Ultimate X
MAXSURF Motions Ultimate X
MAXSURF Multiframe Ultimate X
MAXSURF Stability AdvancedXx 3
MAXSURF Motions AdvancedXx 3
MAXSURF Multiframe AdvancedXx 3
MAXSURF Modeler 1,2XX
MAXSURF ResistanceXX
1 includes Link and Fitting module functionality 
2 includes Structure module functionality  
3 includes all functionality of Advanced versions  
Capability feature: ModelingMAXSURF
Hull geometry  
NURBS surfaces and curves with dynamic surface trimming. Structured mesh geometry and unstructured point dataXX
Geometry exchange via numerous file formats (including DGN, IGES, DXF, 3DM)XX
Parametric transformation of NURBS model. Fitting tools for NURBS curves and surfaces to structured and unstructured point data.XX
Automated modeling through COMXX
Hull structure  
Hull plates (including shell expansion calculation)XX
Decks; transverse frames and bulkheads; longitudinal stiffeners, girders and bulkheadsXX
Vessel detail for stability analysis  
Key points; Margin line; Load-cases; Damage casesXX
Room layout (tanks, compartments, etc)XX
Capability feature: Hydrostatic analysisMAXSURF
Probabilistic Damage analysis X
Upright hydrostatics; Large Angle Stability (GZ curve); Equilibrium; Specified condition, Cross Curves (KN), Limiting KG, Floodable Length, Longitudinal Strength, Tank Calibration, MARPOL Outflow, Cross-FloodingXX
Specified condition; Cross Curves (KN); Limiting KG; Floodable Length; Longitudinal Strength; Tank Calibration; MARPOL Outflow; Cross-FloodingXX
Stability criteria compliance with user-customizable criteriaXX
Intact stability. Damage stability with partial flooding. Spilling tanks. Fluid simulation in partially filled tanksXX
Multi-core solver. Batch analysis. ReportingXX
Automated analysis through COMXX
Capability feature: Hydrodynamic analysisMAXSURF
Radiation-diffraction panel method (6 DOF, zero speed) X
Strip theory (heave and pitch), simple roll estimateXX
Significant motions, MSI, MII, SMXX
Automated analysis through COMXX
Capability feature: Hull Resistance and Sailing Performance predictionMAXSURF
Hull resistance regression methods for different types of monohull vesselsXX
Slender body resistance algorithm including estimate of far-field wave patternXX
Velocity prediction for sailing monohull yachtsXX
Automated analysis through COMXX
Capability feature: Structural analysisMAXSURF
Dynamic modal response and time history analysis X
Local steel code checks (AS4100, AS4600, NZS3404) X
International steel design code checks (AIJ, ASD, LRFD, AISI BS5950, EC3) X
Linear analysis of 3D structural frame and stiffened plate modelsXX
Non-linear and buckling analysis of frame modelsXX
Section properties calculatorXX
Automated modeling and analysis through COMXX

Selection Guide to which Maxsurf version meets your requirements

In 2012 Bentley Systems consolidated the individual Maxsurf modules into three Suites and another three indiviual modules.

In December 2020 Bentley Systems streamlined the range to just the two suites as described above.

Then in April 2023 Bentley consolidated all Maxsurf proucts into a single suite.

Contact us for details of upgrade offers available to existing users.

Or visit us at Island Computers by appointment.

Formsys was purchased by Bentley Systems in 2011.

Bentley provide a large portfolio of infrastructure products including the ‘offshore’ arm which currently incorporates SACS, Maxsurf, MOSES and OPEN WIND.

Island Computer Systems Ltd is a Bentley Gold Channel Partner authorised to provide Maxsurf, Multiframe, MicroStation, PowerDraft in particular and all of the Bentley portfolio in general including MOSES, STAAD and OPEN WIND for example.