This month’s review of new additions and orders to the tug scene reports seven deliveries and one notable order worthy of examination.

Dutch tug owner Smit (part of the Boskalis group) has partnerships globally with other operators in the shiphandling sector, one of which being SAAM Smit Towage. It has an ongoing tug ordering programme in progress and within two days recently the delivery of three new tugs from two different shipyards for its Brazilian and Canadian operations was reported.

The 70tbp SST Arara is a Damen ASD Tug 2411, the third of four similar vessels from Wilson Sons Estaleiros for SAAM Smit. Tug number four is due imminently and will be the 91st Damen-designed vessel built by Wilson Sons in a partnership stretching back over 20 years.

The next two newcomers for SAAM Smit are for its Canadian operation in the southern waters of British Columbia. SST Grizzly and SST Orca are Robert Allan Ltd (RAL)-designed RAstar 3200 escort tugs from Cheoy Lee Shipyards in China and with bollard pulls in excess of 80t will be the most powerful escort-rated tugs in the region. Their Ibercisa escort towing winches include data-logging to aid timing of replacement of the 72mm diameter Amsteel Blue synthetic towline.

A particularly interesting delivery to report from the UK is the 16m harbour tug Acamar, built by Macduff Ship Design for Shoreham Port Authority. The hard-chine hullform has a box skeg and provides 10tbp via 480bhp Doosan V158 engines driving twin 1.7m propellers in Kort nozzles. A Mampaey towing hook is provided and an aftdeck lifting gantry and 7t winch provides plough-dredging capabilities. An external fifi monitor and Cormach 8700 E4 deck crane are also included in Acamar’s specification.

Navigation Maritime Bulgare (Navibulgar) has taken delivery of Alioth from Bulgaria’s MTG-Dolphin shipyard. The second-in-series tug is a RAL RAmparts 2700 design and joins the owner’s other five tugs carrying out shiphandling duties in the ports of Varna and Bourgas. Classed by BV and flying the Bulgarian flag, Alioth has Caterpillar 3512C main engines producing 3,600hp in total driving Veth VZ-1250A Azipod thrusters. It is equipped for both harbour and sea-going operations with a DMT ATW-210 ship-assist winch forward fitted with 150m of 40mm Dyneema line along with a towing winch aft.

Earlier reference to the 16m tug from Macduff provides a suitable example of the niche market for tugs suited to smaller ports and harbours without the requirement for high horsepower but the capability of carrying out various tasks often in restricted spaces. Turkey’s Sanmar Shipyards has such a vessel in its portfolio in the RAL RApport 1600-SX and has reported the completion of Gökçay II the second vessel in the series. Described as ‘simple and economical’ by RAL the relatively modest dimensions of 16m LOA and moulded breadth 7.4m offers an impressive bollard pull of 16.4t and speed 11kn.

The final delivery to report takes us to the slipways of Italy’s Cantiere Navale Vittoria for another interesting delivery, the Rome-Moscow for the Russian Federation. While this €8m, 32m long, 64tbp, ASD tug is designed for standard towing, pushing and escorting duties in harbour and open sea condition including ice it is stated that it will also be deployed in operations to dismantle nuclear submarines in the Barents Sea.

Turning to orders, Sanmar has secured a repeat order from Norwegian tug owner and operator Buksér og Berging for what promises to be a significant delivery in the form of a RAL TRAktor 3000 class escort terminal tug. IMO Tier III engines will provide around 4,500kw and a bollard pull of 75t and the ABS-classed tug will have fifi II and escort notation.

An insight into the choice of a tractor design is provided by Vetle Sverdrup, managing director of Buksér og Berging who says: “We decided to go for a new tractor design due to its improved performance in escort mode and also when working on the bow at high speeds compared to ASD designs. A tractor also offers better manoeuvrability in certain situations. The vessel will operate in Scandinavian waters on one of our contracts for escort and harbour towage.”

By Peter Barker