Sanmar delivers first VectRA 3000 tractor tug

MARCH 8, 2016 — Designed by Robert Allan Ltd in collaboration with Turkish shipbuilder Sanmar Shipyards and Voith Turbo Propulsion, the VectRA 3000 class tug is a high performance VSP tractor tug

Neptun Werft to build double ender for repeat customer

Neptun Werft delivered the operator’s current flagship, Schleswig- Holstein, in 2011.The newly contracted vessel is due for delivery in February 2018. The contract price has not been disclosed.

“Neptun has provided us with an attractive offer and thus succeeded to compete against a number of other reputable German and European yards,” said WDR Managing Director Axel Meynköhn.

The newbuilding will replace the 1992-built conventional ferry Rungholt, which will be offered for sale.

S 578, as the project is currently designated, will be a near sister to the 2011-built Schleswig-Holstein and the series prototype, Uthlande, which was delivered by Sietas Werft in 2010.

Based on extensive research and external scientific consultation, WDR has again opted for a diesel-mechanic propulsion driving four Voith-Schneider propellers.

With identical main dimensions to Schleswig-Holstein (75.88 m long x 16.40 m wide), S 578 will also have the same maximum passenger capacity of 1,200 in day traffic. The car deck has, however, been modified to increase capacity for trucks. It will be the first WDR ferry to accommodate trucks on up to four lanes. With approximately 350 lane meters for private cars and 280 lane meters for cargo, S 578 will have significantly more capacity than the ship it is replacing, the Rungholt.

The inauguration of the new ship will see WDR operate three double-ended ferries on the Föhr-Amrum-Line from spring 2018. The 1995- built conventional ferry Nordfriesland will be retained as a fourth ship to cover seasonal traffic in summer and replacement operations in the off-season.

Neptun Werft Managing Director Manfred Müller-Fahrenholz, says the committed after-sales service provided to the “Schleswig-Holstein” has – along with a competitive offer – helped to win the new contract to Rostock.”With the delivery of S 578,” he says, “WDR will have an extremely young and eco-friendly fleet. In contrast, other European domestic operators are yet facing the replacement of their current short-distance ferries. We aim to contribute to this process and hope to support also other operators in bringing their fleet up to latest technical and environmental standards.

WDR’s newest ferry has, like the Schleswig-Holstein, been designed according to the strict requirements of the German eco-standards RAL-UZ 141 and RAL-UZ 110, which formulate the standards for the German Blauer Engel (Blue Angel) ecolabel in the categories of Environmentally Friendly Ship Design as well as Environmentally Friendly Ship Operation.


Damen inks deals for Carrousel Rave Tugs and ASD

Additionally, Multraship has also agreed a deal with Damen for a new state-of-the-art ASD 3212 tug as part of its planned fleet expansion

Construction of the CRTs will begin immediately. The hulls of the vessels will be built by German shipbuilder Theodor Buschmann GmbH in Hamburg, with final outfitting carried out by Damen Maaskant Shipyards in Stellendam, the Netherlands. Delivery of the Bureau Veritas-classed vessels is scheduled for first-quarter 2017.

The Carrousel towing system consists of a towing point on a straightforward steel ring, freely rotating around the superstructure of the tug. According to Novatug, a towing load simply cannot capsize a Carrousel tug and the tug’s own hull profile can safely be used for generating braking and/or steering forces, based on the lateral resistance of the hull through the water and given the kinetic energy present in the moving tow and/or the current.

In the CRT, this towing system is combined with the advantages of the RAVE Tug (Robert Allan Ltd. – Voith Escort) jointly developed by naval architectural consultancy Robert Allan Ltd. and Voith Turbo Marine. The unique characteristic of the concept is the longitudinal alignment of two Voith drives, delivering very precise and improved force generation characteristics.

The CRTs have an overall length of 32 m, and a bollard pull of minimum 70 tonnes. Propulsion is via two Voith thruster units and two ABC main engines of 2,650 kW operating at 1,000 rpm. Free running speed is over 14 knots at 5,300 kW.

The CRT’s combination of low operational costs, speed of action and enhanced control over the tow can provide major advantages over conventional tugs, for example by widening or even removing tidal and/or weather windows for certain ports.

Novatug will offer the Carrousel Rave tugs on the basis of long-term bareboat charters, basically a financial or operational lease construction, an arrangement proven in other capital-intensive industries such as aviation. Its customer for the first two units is its parent, Multraship.

Leendert Muller, managing director of Multraship, says, “Safety is always our overriding objective, and that it is why we have opted wholeheartedly to produce the Novatug CRT. This new tug design, for the first time, eliminates what has always been the most significant threat to safety in towing – the risk of capsizing under a tow load. The benefits in terms of efficiency and flexibility, meanwhile, are also enormous.”



Carrousel Rave Tug


The new state-of-the-art ASD 3212 tug acquired by Multraship — the Dutch-flag, LR-registered Multratug 31 — was built at Damen Song Cam, Vietnam. A sister vessel to Multratugs 19, 29 and 30, it will operate mainly in the Western Scheldt area. It has a maximum bollard pull of 83.2 tonnes and a maximum speed of 15 knots.

The 453 gt vessel is powered by two Caterpillar 3516C engines and has two Rolls Royce Azimuth thrusters and a 2,800 mm-diameter controllable pitch propeller.The vessel’s deck layout features a hydraulically driven escort double drum winch forward and single drum aft, and a 25 mt deck crane. There are two one-man cabins, four two-man cabins, a mess room and galley.

Are you ready for a TOWBoT?


Drone technology is also finding applications in the maritime industry for the same reasons.

“We see opportunities to use robotics to reduce the danger to crews posed by riskier tug operations, and to reduce costs in some cases,” says Mike Fitzpatrick, President & CEO of Vancouver-based naval architectural firm Robert Allan Ltd. “Control and digital communication technologies developed for drones used in other sectors have reached the point where its transfer to our industry is completely feasible, and is perhaps overdue. These technologies have been used in smaller autonomous surface vessels (ASVs), autonomous mine trucks, autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and aerial drones for years.”

Robert Allan Ltd. (RAL) has just unveiled an autonomous tug concept called the RAmora. The first in the company’s TOWBoT (Tele-Operated Workboat or Tug) series, the RAmora 2400 is a versatile towing platform designed primarily for ship assist and berthing operations. With a bollard pull of 55 tonnes, the RAmora 2400 features a hybrid propulsion system and ample battery storage capacity to enable extended operation even in potentially hazardous environments such as LNG terminals or fire-fighting situations.

The RAmora is operated remotely by a captain on a command tug using a console equipped with live video and other positioning information.  “It is also possible,” explains Fitzpatrick, “for the RAmora captain to operate RAmora away from the console by a bellypack controller when in close visual range.”

The control system design was developed in partnership with International Submarine Engineering of Port Coquitlam, Canada, and is derived from proven remotely operated vehicle, autonomous underwater vehicle and surface vessel applications.


RAmora is fitted with Voith Schneider Propeller (VSP) drives arranged in a fore/aft configuration and its hull form, designed for high stability and good seakeeping performance in waves, is the product of extensive development work including CFD and towing tank testing. Yet, being a TOWBoT with no need for a conventional wheelhouse, crew accommodations, domestic systems or lifesaving equipment, RAmora is simpler and more compact than any conventional tug of comparable performance.


Other features incorporated into the RAmora include off-ship fire-fighting (fi-fi) capability classed to “Fi-Fi 1”, two 1,200 m³/hr fire monitors supplied by electrically-driven fire-fighting pumps, a crane boom that can be optionally fitted with a smaller 600 m³/hr fire monitor and camera.

RAmora can be used for ship handling operations that can put crew at risk, for operations at terminals where ship handling may be required in emergency  situations in hazardous environments, or as a fire fighting asset that can work in close proximity to a toxic fire, or in a restricted space, for extended periods with no risk to crews.

But don’t expect the RAmora to appear in the market overnight. “While the core control and communication technologies are mature,” cautions Fitzpatrick, “there is a lot of work to be done to get to the point where industry, class and regulatory authorities are completely satisfied that safety and reliability meet or exceed what is presently achieved with conventional tugs for the type of ship handling operations that RAmora is intended for. That process could take several years, and we need to be realistic about that. On the other hand, building a prototype RAmora could be done in as little as one to two years since there are no major technological obstacles. We see it as more of an exercise in integrating existing technologies. In many respects, without the normal outfitting required for a crewed tug, RAmora is simpler to build and has considerably fewer systems.”

Northern Ireland ferry to have Voith Schneider propulsion

JUNE 23, 2015 — A double ended ferry under construction at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, England, will replace an existing ferry on the route between Strangford and Portaferry in County

Mexican shipyard lays keel for first Voith Water Tractor

FEBRUARY 11, 2015  — Construction of the first four of nine Voith Water Tractor (VWT) tugs has started at Mexico’s Astimar 20 shipyard with a keel laying ceremony that was attended by

Zamakona Yards to build Voith Schneider tug for Haifa

APRIL 15, 2014 — Spanish shipbuilder Zamakona Yards has won an international tender to build a 70 ton bollard pull Voith Schneider tug for the Port of Haifa, Israel. The tug is

Schumer urges funding of three new ferries for New York

MARCH 24, 2014—Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) is urging the federal government to provide $267 million in funding for a New York City Department of Transportation plan to build three new 4,500-passenger

Cassens Werft books ROpax order

FEBRUARY 4, 2014 — Shipbuilder Cassens Werft, Emden, Germany, has been awarded a contract by AG Reederei Norden – Frisia for a double ended ROpax ferry that will serve between Nordeich on