Tug operator Alfons Hakans has been promised another 15 years work out of a 1988-built tug thanks to a retrofit by Steerprop.

Buoy and lighthouse vessel Dunker flies under the Finnish flag and was built in 1988. 



A full health check by Alfons Hakans revealed that while her hull and old propulsion units were in mechanically good condition, the electrical parts of the vessel, especially the propulsion control system from control levers to the internal system, ‘had seen better days’.

“The main reason for the purchase was the 1A ice class, said technical manager Tuomas Raumanen. “Alfons Hakans decided that even though the tug is pretty old it is still a valuable addition to our fleet because of its high ice class.

“During dry docking in 2022 we noticed that the general condition of the hull and thruster units was very good. Simultaneously we noticed that remote control of the thruster units was not reliable any more due to the age of the system - for instance difficulty in finding spare parts.

“We were looking for a different solution for a new remote control but soon it was clear that Steerprop was the best solution for us. In the summer of 2023 we will install a new control system for thruster units including control levers, software, cables, etc. The rest of the vessel will be original.

“With this uppgrade we can achieve at least 15 years addition to service life of the vessel. Vessel will be used as an harbour tug in Finland also in the future.”

After discussing the situation with crew and technical personnel, Steerprop designed a retrofit installation ‘based on a customised scope of Lifecycle Extension Services’, which will ease future operations.

“The delivery will include a state-of-the-art control system for the existing propulsion units, the main propulsion bridge equipment and a renewed service relationship,” says Steerprop, which intends to carry out the works this autumn.

It is the second tug for Alfons Hakans on which Steerprop has updated the propulsion control system technology, Steerprop says, with an upgrade to the propulsion control system on the Azimuth Stern Drive (ASD) tug Artemis carried out in 2019.

“We noticed pretty quickly that it made sense to renew all parts related to the control of the propulsion units,” said technical manager Tuomas Raumanen. “Basically, everything between the master’s hands and propulsion units had to be replaced, including things like control levers, cables, computer units, and feedback sensors.”