Robert Allan Ltd helps ITB Marine build ATB tugs at own yard

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Inboard profile cutaway view of tug

OCTOBER 19, 2016 — Canada’s ITB Marine Group Ltd., Richmond, BC, (ITB) is currently well into construction of the first of two Robert Allan Ltd. designed twin Z-drive, ATB pusher tugs for service on the West Coast of North America.

The tugs are being built at ITB’s Annacis Island Shipyard near Vancouver. They will be connected by an Articouple articulating pin system to the existing double-hulled oil barges ITB Reliant and ITB Resolution which will receive retrofitted pin ladders and stern extensions for connecting to the new tugs.

ITB had a well-defined statement of requirements for the tugs and a relatively clear vision of the desired layout and the general arrangement was developed in close collaboration with ITB Marine Group’s Chairman of the Board Captain Bob Shields.

Allan’s engineering team, led by Todd Barber, P.Eng. then supported ITB with the development of a very detailed and comprehensive design, engineering, and support package, which included:

  • Hull form optimization study using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
  • Extensive group of design drawings
  • Detailed resistance, propulsion, propeller design, and pin loading studies, again using CFD
  • Complete production design package as well as assistance with jigs for ITB’s yard
  • CFD maneuvering studies to assist in developing the simulator model for training the operators
  • In construction support

The efficiency of various hull form options was investigated early on in the design process using CFD and resulted in the selection of a relatively low depth to beam ratio hull form. This choice yielded excellent efficiency in a relatively easy to construct hull form.

The extensive design drawing package included the standard structural, machinery, and piping drawings plus many detailed drawings such as stair construction details, ladders and railings drawings, detailed window and door schedules, loose tank structural drawings, anode arrangements, manhole arrangements, etc. CFD analysis was used extensively for many aspects during the design process, including:

  • Tug/Barge notch optimization
  • Resistance and propulsion
  • Verifying pitch of propellers
  • Verifying ATB connecting pin loads

Robert Allan Ltd. provided ITB with the complete production design package including definition of all steel parts and piping spools. Steel part NC cutting files provided all edge prep information and markings so that parts arrived at the shipyard “ready to weld.”

The piping layout was worked out in 3D in close collaboration with ITB to ensure all of their maintenance and operational goals for the tugs were achieved at the “virtual” stage before construction commenced.

CFD was once again used to determine the manoeuvring characteristics such as crash stop distance, acceleration, turning circles, and zig zags. This information is being used to configure the simulator for training ITB’s operators on the new vessels.

The completed tugs will measure 24.90 m by 12.50 m x 3.65 m depth, have a fuel oil capacity of 99.8 cu.m and a fresh water capacity of 14.4 cu.m.

They will be under 24 m registered length and under 400 GRT. Propulsion machinery will comprise Cummins KTA 38 main engines each delivering 634 kW (850 BHP) @ 1800 rpm connected by Centa hollow carbon fiber floating shafts to Rolls Royce US 105 P9 12FP Z-drives with 1.6 m propellers and with integral slipping clutches.

The ATB connection pins are Articouple model FRC 35S designed for 3 m significant wave height. These are rated to permit the tug to stay in the notch during all loading/offloading operations by allowing relative vertical movement of the tug and barge while still connected.

The air-conditioned and MLC compliant accommodations are laid out to a high standard for a crew of up to eight persons, with a spacious and bright mess/ lounge area, large cabins with en-suite facilities, and a good size fitness room.

The tug is designed to Lloyd’s Register Class requirements and for Transport Canada compliance with the following notation: LR ✠ 100 A1 Tug, MCH, IWS, UMS

Robert Allan Ltd. is supporting ITB throughout the construction process with engineering assistance as and when needed by ITB. The first tug is starting to take shape at ITB’s shipyard with delivery expected early in the second quarter of 2017.

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