Four new coasters are set to be completed in double quick time thanks to the modular installation of plug-and-play steering gear, dropped directly into place as part of the build process. 

COMMANDER™ Piston-type steering gear

COMMANDER™ Piston-type steering gear

Damen Marine Components (DMC) has been awarded the contract for Optima nozzles, plug & play Piston-type steering gear and TIMON flap rudders for the four identical 118 x 14.3 x 6.2m vessels being built by Thecla Bodewes Shipyards (TB Shipyards). The Van der Velden® piston-type steering systems will be built by DMC in its own workshop in Hardinxveld-Giessendam.

The completed steering gear, including starters, cylinders and all other necessary parts, is fitted to a dedicated platform which will be lifted directly into the steering gear room and then connected to the rudder. Installation, therefore, takes only a fraction of the time that would have been required if everything had to be installed separately.

“TB Shipyards opted for a plug-and-play version in order to have the steering gear delivered and installed very quickly and efficiently,” says Leo van Zon, Area Sales Manager at DMC. “Building components as efficiently as possible on one frame and testing them in your own workshop creates a complete product of high quality and functionality. This saves time during the outfitting and installation, which is usually carried out by the yard. With the installation of plug-and-play steering gear, very little can go wrong, which minimises risks during outfitting, but also during the life of the ship.”

A specialist supplier in the field of steering and rudder technology, DMC has been working with TB Shipyards, which has locations in Harlingen, Kampen and Meppel, for many years having supplied complete steering systems in the past for new construction projects.

“We know what to expect from each other,” says Emiel Mocking, Head of Newbuilding at Thecla Bodewes Shipyards, about the partnership with Damen Marine Components. “DMC comes up with ideas and provides the customisation we need. On this occasion too, by supplying equipment in the most efficient form as plug-and-play. This allows us to save a lot of time in this project, without compromising quality.”

The new coasters are scheduled to be delivered and commissioned by the end of 2023.