Damen’s new RSD Tug 2513 is put to the test

'Innovation' is put to the test in Felixstowe (Damen) 'Innovation' is put to the test in Felixstowe (Damen)
Industry Database

Following a European tour including Southampton where it was presented to ‘MJ’ and other industry media, Damen’s new Reversed Stern Drive Tug 2513 ‘Innovation’ has been put to the test in a series of trials at Felixstowe.

Viewing Innovation close-hand hinted that this new design was something special but of course it has to prove itself and results of the trials suggest that it achieved this including a powered indirect tow of one of the world’s largest container ships in a port described by Kasper Nilaus, managing director Svitzer Europe as: “… where the demand for powered indirect towage is more prominent than anywhere else in Europe.”

Damen worked in close cooperation with Svitzer as well as the Port of Felixstowe and pilots from Harwich Haven Authority to demonstrate the RSD Tug 2513 in a controlled and safe manner gradually building up over a ten day period until it carried out a powered indirect tow with the 400m long, 14.8m draught ultra-large container vessel OOCL Hong Kong.

An extensive audit and sea trials with senior special category ship pilots Ian Love and Prithvi Singh preceded the trials followed by eight towage operations with tugs from Svitzer’s fleet. One of the tripping pilots said: “She proved very responsive, nimble, manoeuvrable and dry – even going backwards at 13 knots.”

Further endorsement of Innovation’s performance came from Captain Love reporting: “It was unanimously agreed that vibration and noise levels are significantly less throughout the accommodation while towing and pushing, even on full power. The tug’s ability to side step at speed and run ahead of the vessel are without doubt her strongest attributes. Her ability to run astern on one unit at speed – while the stationary unit is creating drag – and yet remain extremely stable – can only be considered an up-lift in safety.”

Damen sales manager Erik van Hattem added: “Following this success, we have been delighted with the way the vessel has performed during these towing trials. I’d like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Svitzer, the Port of Felixstowe and to the pilots for their support and collaboration in this. Now that the RSD Tug 2513 has demonstrated its capabilities, we are very much looking forward to seeing this next generation tug in operation in ports in the near future.”

By Peter Barker

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