Geneva-based Purple Water Ltd has appointed Marcon International Inc as exclusive broker to handle shipyard licencing for construction of the innovative ‘Giano’ tug in the Americas.

'Giano' is now available for inspection by prospective shipyards and owners (Giano Tug)

'Giano' is now available for inspection by prospective shipyards and owners (Giano Tug)

Recent times have seen developments intended to gain further efficiencies and power from what are described as ‘compact’ ship-handling tugs. One such project now coming to fruition is the Giano, a compact double-ended tug with a complex tunnel hull form, three large high displacement keels and two in-line controllable-pitch azimuth thrusters.

The design has been patented in around 40 countries and following four years of research and development and construction at Guangdong Bonny Fair Heavy Industries in China is now available for inspection by potential builders and tug owners.

Before examining the specification in detail, taken from the company’s published documents it is worthy of mention that the tug flies the UK flag and conforms to the MCA Work Boat code allowing manning under the Marine Engine Operators Licence (MEOL) for chief engineers.

The specification indicates a unified design offering one model for 55 tonne and 75 tonne bollard pull versions with principle dimension of 26m length, 12m beam and design draught 5.3m (from underside of the keel). Seventy-five tonne escort winches are fitted forward and aft, the forward one positioned slightly higher than the aft winch on a flush deck with a slight sheer forward.

The vessel is built to Lloyd’s Register rules with the notation: 100 A1 Escort Tug, fifi 1, Unrestricted, MCA WB AREA 1 (up to 150 miles from safe haven). Power is provided by two Caterpillar 3512C-HD main engines developing 4,562bhp driving two Schottel SRP-3000 controllable-pitch azimuth thrusters, the shape of the deep outside keels such that both thrusters have clear water each side. The machinery is housed in two separate engine rooms with ultra-short shaft lines and convenient topside access allowing main engine removal in just a few hours if required. There is also a separate generator room and a double-hull provides full protection.

Full speed is 11 knots and a side-stepping speed of 7 knots is claimed with just ten seconds required transiting from full speed ahead to full speed sideways. The provision of towing winches forward and aft permits working from either end, the skipper having full control in all directions via the in-line thruster arrangement. Course stability and high resistance to drag including zero list when pushing sideways while at full power is also reported, the hull protected by underwater fenders. Escort performance includes a towing force almost twice the bollard pull.

US-based Marcon International has sold or chartered 1,400 vessels and barges worldwide since formation in 1981. Its tug services include listings of charter-free tugs for back-hauls, tows of opportunity and short or long-term time charters.

By Peter Barker