Multraship’s game-changer enters service

The Carrousel RAVE tug's winch is mounted on a ring around the wheelhouse (Damen) The Carrousel RAVE tug's winch is mounted on a ring around the wheelhouse (Damen)

The new ‘game-changing’ Carrousel RAVE tug ‘Multratug 32’ has entered service with Dutch towage and salvage company Multraship.

Two notable features with the 77tbp shiphandling tug under lease to Multraship make this first of a pair of similar vessels worthy of mention outside our regular deliveries round-up. Firstly, the propulsion for Multratug 32 is in the form of two in-line Voith thrusters forward and aft but perhaps more interesting is the Novatug developed Carrousel towing system.

The 32m long tug is powered by ABC main engines each delivering 2,650kW at 1,000rpm with Machinefabriek Luyt from Den Oever supplying the specially developed towing winch.

The contract for the Robert Allan Ltd-designed tug was agreed between Novatug and Damen’s propulsion subsidiary Van der Velden Barkemeyer GmbH with the hull assembled by Hamburg’s Theodor Buschmann GmbH and final outfitting by Damen Maaskant at Stellendam.

At the heart of the tug is the Carrousel towing system with the towing winch mounted on a base structure surrounded by a steel ring rotating freely through 360’ in the horizontal plane around the deckhouse, the winch able to tilt vertically 45’ aligning itself with the towing line. As well as allowing operations with large vessels at greater speeds than conventional methods, capsizing is claimed to be ‘virtually impossible’ when carrying out manoeuvres considered high-risk with traditional tugs. Transferring the point of tow ‘outboard’ from the tug’s centreline as the winch moves around the ring contributes to this. Also, thrusters both forward and aft combine to make the tug easier to steer.

A benefit of the above is the claimed reduction in fuel consumption of around 25%. As the tug can in effect rotate through 360’ it allows maximum use of the kinetic energy from the towed vessel (at the same towing force) rather than the tug’s own engine power only. That same towing force can therefore be achieved at much lower levels of fuel consumption than with a conventional tug.

Multratug 32 has been carrying out trials and Pepijn Nuitjen, managing director of Multraship states: “We have been using sustainable Eco2Fuel+ diesel from De Pooter Oil since trials began, resulting in emissions of soot and particulate matter being reduced by a further 16.5%, and a reduction in carbon emissions of 44.7% compared with regular diesel.”

Damen is currently completing the second example of the Carrousel RAVE tug for Novatug carrying the name Multratug 33 which has already been reserved by Multraship with delivery expected in May 2018. Novatug also plans to market smaller versions of the Carrousel RAVE tug.

By Peter Barker

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