Gulf Island newbuilds feature Schottel and Vulkan technology

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Ted C. Litton (Image courtesy Suderman & Young)

A series of ten Robert Allan Z-Tech 30-80 design terminal and escort tugs being built by Gulf Island Shipyards each feature two type SRP 510 FP Schottel Rudderpropellers type SRP 510 FP. Additionally, they are fitted with Vulkan’s Safeguard Basic driveline protection system, which issues early warning when intervention in the propulsion drive train is required.

The first three of the tugs — Mark E. Kuebler, Ted C. Litton and Connelly M —have now been delivered.

The Ted C. Litton was delivered to Suderman & Young Towing Company, which has another four tugs on order at Gulf Island, with its second in the series, Apollo, due for delivery mid-July. The other two were delivered to Bay Houston Towing.

Each is powered by a pair of Caterpillar 3516E engines, each driving a Schottel Rudderpropeller type SRP 510 with a fixed pitch propeller of 2.8 m diameter. This combination achieves a free sailing speed of 13 knots and a bollard pull of 81.5 tons. The Z-tech 30-80 is designed to significantly increase escort performance by generating more than 100 mt of steering force at 10 knots – which is particularly important for escorting large vessels. Additionally, the tugs are fitted with a Fire Fighting 1 system including two FFS 6,200 gal/min pumps.


Safeguard Basic, developed by Vulkan Couplings, detects torque loading as a function of the twist angle via torque-transmitting components (such as composite shafts). Dynamic data is thus analyzed and evaluated using preset warning and alarm levels. Through an interface with the Schottel control system, optical warnings and alarm signals also indicate when intervention by the captain is required.

The response time here, depending on the function selected, is 80 ms.

The system is based on a PC embedded in the main control box and a digital signal processor in the connection box. Both of these are connected via an ethernet cable and include two proximity sensors.

Preventive maintenance and systematic spare parts planning also improve the availability of the system and thus avoid downtimes. When used as a monitoring system, Safeguard Basic has specifications for the entire service speed range (including start & stop). In addition, there is alarm triggering for all monitoring thresholds and automatic protocoling of alarms and actual values.

Safeguard Basic is available as a monitoring device while Safeguard Active is integrated into the system of Schottel safety equipment in order to protect the propulsion drive train from overloads and enable planned maintenance. The system has ABS type approval for monitoring as well as ABS approval as safety equipment.

It is available from Schottel in a package consisting of a Schottel Rudderpropeller and a Vulkan shaftline for new building projects. It can also be used to retrofit existing Schottel systems.

Each of the ten Robert Allan-designed tugs is equipped with two Schottel Rudderpropellers type SRP 510 FP and Vulkan’s Safeguard Basic driveline protection system
Categories: News, Technology, Tugs & Barges Tags: ,