Seabulk Rotortug newbuilds will have Schottel propulsion systems

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The first Rotortug in the United States, Trident (pictured here), was also built by the Master Boat Builders shipyard and propelled by Schottel Rudderpropellers

The two advanced Rotortug harbor tugs on order at Bayou La Batre, Ala., based Master Boat Builders, Inc. for Seabulk Towing Holdings Inc. (see earlier story) will each be propelled by a triangular propulsion system which significantly improves tug maneuverability and enables safe working conditions at all times.

Each will be propelled by three Schottel Rudderpropellers type SRP 430 FP with a propeller diameter of 2.40 meter, each driven by a 1,771 kW diesel engine. With this propulsion system, the vessels will achieve a free running speed of 14.5 knots and will have a bollard pull of approximately 80 tonnes, enabling them to handle ultra-large containerships.

“These tugs represent the latest in technological innovation and showcase our responsiveness to structural and environmental stewardship changes in the shipping sector,” said Daniel Thorogood, President of Seabulk Towing. “With Schottel Rudderpropellers, we are highlighting Seabulk’s ongoing commitment to provide the best available equipment to serve our customers’ developing demands.”

Designed by Robert Allan Ltd., the ART incorporates the patented triple Z-drive Rotortug concept, featuring omni-directional maneuverability and the benefits of a fully redundant and precise propulsion machinery configuration. The triple Z-drive also offers increased redundancy for ship-handling and escort towing, as well as enhanced crew safety.

The new vessels will operate alongside the company’s existing harbor fleet in the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast of the United States. Delivery is scheduled for the second half of 2021 and 2022.

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