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Tug of the Year title goes to three identical vessels
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Co n t e n t s Message from the editor.................................................................................................................................4 “Made in Canada, for Canada”.............................................................................................................5 Tug of the Year 2017............................................................................................................................................8 Northern Sea Wolf howls for upgrades......................................................................................10 Training a new generation of mariners.........................................................................................12
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Cover photo: Seaspan Shipyards
B.C. Tugboat 2018
Message from the Editor
The Magazine of the Coast
There is plenty to celebrate in the tugboat industry as of late.
route. And thanks to the National Shipbuilding Strategy, Canadian vessels will now be made in Canada. Seaspan Shipyards launched its first ship under the strategy.
A DV E R T I S E M E N T P R O O F
In this issue, you can read all about how three of Robert Allan Ltd.’s vessels were named the 2017 Tug of the Year by Tug Technology & Business magazine. The Northern Sea Wolf, a BC Ferries vessel, received a mid-life upgrade, and will be ready sail this summer on a brand new
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B.C. Tugboat 2018
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‘Made in Canada, for Canada’ By Cindy Chan Many Canadian vessels will now be made in Canada, for Canada, thanks to the National Shipbuilding Strategy. According to Seaspan Shipyards vice-president of government relations Tim Page, the National Shipbuilding Strategy is the federal government’s decision to build ships in Canada – by Canadians. “It’s a recognition that, as a maritime nation, Canada should
have the capacity to build its own maritime sovereign capability,” Page adds. In 2010, the Government of Canada ran a competition to select two shipyards – one noncombat, the other combat – to recapitalize the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy. In 2011, Seaspan Shipyards was named the non-combat shipbuilder. Afterwards, Seaspan Shipyards
signed a formal agreement with the Government of Canada on Feb. 14, 2012, and they have been incredibly busy ever since. On Dec. 8, 2017, Seaspan Shipyards celebrated the launch of its first large vessel to be designed and built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy called OFSV1, the first of three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSV). “It’s 63 metres long. Its function is to fish and analyze fish stocks and understand the marine
B.C. Tugboat 2018
habitat,” Page describes the first vessel. When it officially launched in Vancouver last December, the vessel was around 90 per cent complete. “The vast majority of the build was done here in our Vancouver shipyard,” Page says. Since then, it has moved to Seaspan Shipyards’ sister organization in Victoria to complete the outfitting. There, they will manage the test and trials phase of the project before delivery and acceptance by the Canadian Coast Guard. However, Seaspan Shipyards isn’t sitting still. In fact, Page says they’re already thinking about their future projects, including the two remaining Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels.
B.C. Tugboat 2018
“We’re building two joint support ships for the Royal Canadian Navy, then a Polar Icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard,” Page says, adding Seaspan Shipyards will also be building up to 10 additional vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard. Page believes the National Shipbuilding Strategy will be beneficial for Canada – to remind the country of its proud history of building ships in the past and to restart that tradition moving forward.
“The National Shipbuilding Strategy is providing an opportunity for us to rebuild that capability,” Page says. Seaspan Shipyards has been operating on Canada’s West Coast since the late 19th century, providing services such as shipbuilding, ship repair and droptrailer ferry services. Seaspan Marine also runs a tug and barge business up and down the coast of British Columbia. Ü
B.C. Tugboat 2018
Robert Allan Ltd. vessels named
Tug of the Year in 2017 By Cindy Chan
inning an award is one thing – but winning it three times is another.
Three of Robert Allan Ltd.’s vessels, Dux, Pax and Audax, were named the 2017 Tug of the Year by Tug Technology & Business magazine. According to Mike Fitzpatrick, president and CEO of Robert Allan Ltd., based out of Vancouver, B.C. as one of the oldest naval architect firms in North America, the tugs were a new design done for one of the company’s oldest international clients, a tug operator in Norway called Østensjø Rederi. “They asked us to design an escort for an operation in Norway,” Fitzpatrick says, adding that Østensjø asked that the tugs be dual-fuelled, the first of its kind for Europe. “In addition to being the first dual-fuelled escort tugs built for the European market, they are also the highest-performing escort tugs built to date in the world.”
B.C. Tugboat 2018
Built in a shipyard in Spain, the three sister ships are nearly exactly the same. Fitzpatrick says of the 83 Robert Allan Ltd. vessels built in 2017, 82 were built internationally and one was built in Canada. Construction began on the three vessels in early 2015 and was completed about two years later. “[Each vessel] is a 40-metre, azimuthing stern drive tug and have been coined as ‘extreme escort tugs’ due to the exceptionally high escort forces they can generate,” Todd Barber, senior naval architect for Robert Allan Ltd., explains. “They each have 167 tons of steering force at 10 knots escorting speed, as well as 212 tons of braking force at 10 knots.” Each of the three tugs are dualfuelled, using either LNG or diesel fuel. They are also equipped for emergency services, such as oil spill response. They carry spill containment boom skimmers, and have the capacity to store 250 cubic metres of low-flash point recovered oil. The tugs are also equipped for off-ship firefighting.
“If they had to tow a stricken vessel out of harm’s way, then they have 1,000 metres of steel wire rope to tow it,” Barber says. Barber says the company worked closely with Bureau Veritas to get the tugs’ gas systems approved, because natural gas on a small boat can be quite challenging. The tugs also feature high-running speed to connect with incoming tankers that come in at a quick pace. “The tugs need to be able to catch the tanker and connect at a fairly high speed,” Barber says. The company completed some tests to see if they could achieve a 15-knot, free-running speed for the vessels. Using computation fluid dynamics to fine-tune the hull and propulsion system, the tugs achieved 15 knots in their trial runs. “The noise levels were exceptionally low. It surprised even us,” Barber says. For more information, visit ral.ca. Ü
â€œIn addition to being the first dual-fuelled escort tugs built for the European market, they are also the highest-performing escort tugs built to date in the world.â€?
Photo courtesy of the builder, Gondan Shipyard.
B.C. Tugboat 2018
Northern Sea Wolf howls for upgrades By Cindy Chan
The vessel in Esquimalt Drydock.
t’s hardly a mid-life crisis – the Northern Sea Wolf is currently in the midst of a mid-life upgrade.
Mark Wilson, vice-president of strategy and community engagement for BC Ferries in Victoria, B.C., says that two years ago, the Government of British
Columbia asked the company to start up a new route called Route 28, which runs from Port Hardy to Bella Coola. As a result, BC Ferries purchased a used vessel – the Northern Sea Wolf – in Athens, Greece in the summer of 2017. The Northern Sea Wolf was built in 2000, accommodating at least 35
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B.C. Tugboat 2018
vehicles and 150 passengers and crewmembers. Once the upgrades are complete, the Northern Sea Wolf will be ready to set sail in the summer. According to Wilson, BC Ferries typically conducts a mid-life upgrade on all of their ships around the 20-year mark. The average vessel life is about 45 years. Taking place at Esquimalt Drydock from December 2017 to April 2018, the upgrade consists of various elements. According to a news release, the $20-million upgrade is slated to include “dry docking, interior and exterior painting, overhauling the propulsion engines and gearboxes, installing new electrical generators, upgrading the switchboards, installing
The passenger accommodation area under construction. new navigational equipment and upgrading shipboard safety equipment and systems”. BC Ferries is also expected to update “crew and passenger areas and amenities by adding a full galley, a dedicated dining area, a newly configured seating lounge and prime outdoor viewing areas on the upper outer decks.”
“Below in the engine room, there are some major overhauls on the ship’s electrical systems, HVAC systems and propulsion systems,” Wilson says.
They transport more than 22 million passengers a year and close to 10 million vehicles a year. BC Ferries also has 47 terminals across the network.
BC Ferries is one of the largest ferry operators in the province, with 36 ships in their fleet, including the Northern Sea Wolf.
For more information, visit bcferries.com. Ü
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B.C. Tugboat 2018
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B.C. Tugboat 2018
IC marine training instructor Clive Quigley fell in love with working on the water as a young boy growing up in Alert Bay.
“There was a man who’d bring his boat to deliver wood from his sawmill,” Quigley says. “I’d help him unload his lumber and he’d let me steer the boat. Just doing that job made me feel 10 feet tall.” Quigley started his career as a deckhand on the ferry between Port McNeill and Sointula and then transferred to the Powell River – Comox route, working in various
positions from deckhand to chief officer. It was at BC Ferries he got his first taste of teaching. “I got into instructing pretty quickly and really enjoyed it,” Quigley says. “I started with first aid and developed from there. So when I retired, I thought, ‘let’s see if NIC could use my skills’ – and they could. I’m busier now than I thought I would ever be.” Quigley is one of three marine training instructors at North Island College, which offers a range of marine training courses, from basic first aid to operator competency certificates for commercial and fishing vessels. Teaching the safety courses has also been a learning experience for Quigley himself. “The courses that I instruct – I had to go back and delve deeply into the material so I can explain
it to others,” Quigley says. “It’s interesting, exciting material to teach and if I’m excited about a topic, the students get excited too.”
the water,” Quigley says. “I had a student who was working as a watchman, and a humpback breached and capsized the boat. He was thrown, unconscious, into the water and his inflatable lifejacket saved him.”
Quigley also looks for ways to demonstrate the systems student will be using on the water in the classroom. “When we’re learning the buoyage system, we set up a group of buoys in the middle of the floor and drive boats through them so the students can see what we’re talking about,” he says. “One of the things I love the most about teaching is that moment when it clicks for students and they get it.” Through all the material and courses he instructs, Quigley’s top focus is safety. “It’s easy to get complacent, but things can happen fast out on
Those kinds of examples resonate with students and demonstrate the importance of following proper safety procedures, Quigley says. “It’s the most hazardous industry in B.C., in terms of loss of life,” he notes. “We teach students how to follow a passage plan that they’ve looked at and studied, the importance of having a secondary plan in case the weather changes, a plan on how to communicate if you get into distress and a sail plan to leave at home with someone who can call for help if you’re overdue.” There is a lot of interest in the
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training, according to Quigley, with students coming into the training courses with a variety of backgrounds and career interests.
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“Most of the people I run into have already started working on the water and they’re told in order to work safely you’re going to need these certificates,” he says. “There’s some who have purchased their own vessels and want to learn how to operate them safely.” One of the advantages of working in the marine industry is the variety of work you can do, something Quigley encourages students to explore. “Even for me, working on ferries gave me limited experience into the rest of the industry,” he says. “Now that I’m teaching I get to learn about shellfish farming, salmon Marc the himself concluded, “AAL farming, tugboat industry, the has impressive and well-established resources fishing industry and the tourist already serving the North American market industry with whale watching and — a significant fleet of highly flexible MPP guiding. ask me vessels, aStudents multiple will award-winning operwhere theycommercial can go inteam this with industry ations and heavy-lift project credentialsthem second and I encourage to to go none. as farAnd, most importantly, a proven track record and as possible.” Ü
AAL boosts its Canadian operations
n a move that underscores AAL’s long standing presence and commitment to the Canadian market and further boosts its support of a growing project customer-base in the region, the global operator has appointed Marc Schutzbier as Commercial Manager of its Canada operations. Marc is a highly respected shipping professional with over 11 years of international and local market experience working for one of the world’s leading project forwarders, Deugro. Marc will be based in AAL’s Calgary office. Felix Schoeller, General Manager with AAL and responsible for the carrier’s Canadian operations for the last four years commented, “Marc has a great deal of commercial expertise and a deep understanding of the Canadian and wider North American heavy-lift project markets and what it takes to meet the needs of our local customers. He brings with him great passion and will help to drive forward our ambitious business development strategy for the region.”
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BC Tugboat magazine is British Columbia's tugboat industry authority. The 2018 issue features stories on the National Shipbuilding Strategy,...