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3rd Quarter 2017

Harley Marine marks 30 years with investment in powerful tugs

Tug capsizes force towage safety improvements Port developments drive UAE operators to expand tug fleets

Industry gathers for Asian Tug Technology & Salvage Conference

“Our biggest concern and worry is what will we do in a casualty of a cruise ship with thousands of people on board – it is highly scary” John Witte, president, International Salvage Union and executive vice president, Donjon Marine see page 38

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3rd Quarter 2017 volume 4 issue 3

38 13


Operator profile 10 Harley Marine is still powering on after 30 years with investment in more powerful tugs and ATBs in North America

Newbuild profile 13 Serco’s new tug SD Tempest blows in to support aircraft carrier towage, setting new standards for power and operational capabilities in the UK


Towage safety 16 Exclusive: Tug capsize accidents are driving a key industry organisation to produce towage best practice guidance 17 National Workboat Association closes the skills gap through training 18 MAIB investigates the reasons for the sinking of a tugboat and the loss of seafarer lives during towage operations in Madagascar

Area report: Middle East 21 UAE-based operators are expanding their tug fleets with new orders 22 Abu Dhabi expansion and Dubai growth are driving tug investment 23 JAK adds new tugs for tanker escort duties in Iraq


Orderbook analysis 25 There are encouraging signs for future tug orders, but newbuild contracting has slowed since last year 26 Table of tug newbuilding contracts signed to 25 July 2017

Fleet analysis 28 Information covering the value, age profile and future deliveries of the growing global ocean-going towage fleet

Propulsion 31 Tug builders can consider 3D printing as a new method of manufacturing optimised propellers for future towing vessels

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017

contents 32 Permanent magnet motors and batteries reduce the size and emissions from tug propulsion systems 33 New features have been added to propeller modelling software 34 World’s most powerful escort tug with hybrid propulsion ordered; Newbuilds combine thrusters with Cat engines

3rd Quarter 2017 volume 4 issue 3

Automation & control

Brand Manager: Indrit Kruja t: +44 20 8370 7792 e:

37 Svitzer and Rolls-Royce demonstrate remote control tug operations

Salvage 38 Exclusive interview: ISU president John Witte describes the biggest challenges the salvage industry faces 39 40 years in the salvage and tug operating business 40 Salvage technology developments; Donjon Marine focuses on people and diversification into new sectors

Training & simulation

Editor: Martyn Wingrove t: +44 20 8370 1736 e:

Head of Sales – Asia: Kym Tan t: +65 6809 3098 e: Sales – Asia & Middle East: Rigzin Angdu t: +65 6809 3198 e: Sales – Australasia: Kaara Barbour t: +61 414 436 808 e:

43 Simulators improve ship manoeuvring and tug safety 44 TTC explains its dedicated blend of tug training

Production Manager: Richard Neighbour t: +44 20 8370 7013 e:

Terminal operations

Subscriptions: Sally Church t: +44 20 8370 7018 e:

46 Svitzer tug master James Clarke talks about the challenges and issues of working on LNG escort tugs in the Port of Milford Haven, South Wales 47 Tug Svitzer Kilroom technical specifications

Fenders 48 Polymer fenders last longer and are more abrasive resistant than rubber 49 Tug fender types and shapes explained; Fendering for Arctic tugs

Software & IT 50 Panama Canal invests in optimised tug and vessel scheduling

Conference preview 52 Asian Tug Technology & Salvage Conference will deliver new perspectives in tug design and operations

Chairman: John Labdon Managing Director: Steve Labdon Finance Director: Cathy Labdon Operations Director: Graham Harman Head of Content: Edwin Lampert Executive Editor: Paul Gunton Head of Production: Hamish Dickie Business Development Manager: Steve Edwards Published by: Riviera Maritime Media Ltd Mitre House 66 Abbey Road Enfield EN1 2QN UK

Next issue Main features include: area report – Americas; propulsion – fuel efficiency; inland waterways and canal towage; tug of the year; container terminal operations; insurance & legal; bridge technology ISSN 2056-709X (Print) ISSN 2056-7103 (Online) ©2017 Riviera Maritime Media Ltd

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Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017

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he tug industry must do more to improve towage safety by following new best practice guidance. Reports into two accidents, one fatal, investigated by the UK's Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), have highlighted deficiencies in towage safety and practices. It seems to be a global issue that must be dealt with by the whole industry. In a report published in July, MAIB found that a lack of communication and towage safety equipment led to the girting and capsizing of tugboat Domingue when it was manoeuvring container ship CMA CGM Simba in Madagascar in 2016. In this accident, the container ship master and pilot used the vessel’s engines to avoid striking a mooring dolphin, but failed to tell the tug crew. Subsequently, the high towing forces caused the tug to be pulled sideways through the water by the towline. It capsized with the loss of two lives (see page 18). This accident was similar to the sinking of vessel Asterix in 2015, which MAIB also investigated. In this incident, Solent Towing’s mooring launch capsized while manoeuvring a small chemical tanker in Southampton. The two crew were rescued but the vessel was written off as a total loss (see page 16).

Both accidents happened because of poor communication between the ship and the assisting vessel. In the case of Domingue, there were no gog rope or bridle and no emergency release mechanisms, which would have saved the tug. On Asterix, the crew were not trained sufficiently in the use of this towage safety equipment. On the back of these accident reports, the UK’s National Workboat Association (NWA) is publishing the Towage Good Practice Guide. which

highlights the importance of using gog ropes, emergency release systems and good communications between ships and tugs. In an exclusive interview in this issue, NWA secretary Mark Ranson told Tug Technology & Business that the misuse or lack of use of gog ropes was one of the main causes of major towage incidents. Therefore, the towage industry needs to use the new guidance to improve its safety record to prevent more fatal accidents in the future. TTB

Martyn Wingrove, Editor Tugs Technology & Business

Salvage issues highlighted in Asian conference Salvors face many technical and financial challenges as they continue to provide maritime safety and emergency response services. The importance of the salvage industry to shipping is most pronounced in the world’s busiest shipping lanes, many of which are in Asia. Asian salvors have to tackle ever larger ships that sail through narrow sea lanes in the waters around China, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. They provide essential safety and environmental services to shipping in all weather and sea conditions. Tug operators are usually among the first on the scene of a shipping accident, saving seafarer lives, recovering cargo, mitigating losses for the industry and preventing pollution. But, according to International Salvage Union president John Witte, their margins are being squeezed by the industry they serve, reducing the fewer funds for investment in the equipment and people that shipping depends on (see page 38). The issues facing the salvage industry will also be discussed at Riviera Maritime Media’s inaugural Asian Tug Technology & Salvage Conference, which will be held in Singapore on 18-19 September. There will be a dedicated session on salvage in Asia’s busy waterways and sea lanes, plus sessions on propulsion and deck machinery technology and tug design.

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017


Electric towing winches developed for tugs Finland’s electric drivetrain manufacturer Visedo and Norway’s marine technology group Kongsberg Evotec have teamed up to develop and produce electric-driven deck handling winches. They expect these will replace traditional hydraulic winches on tugs. Together they will integrate electric components into existing winch designs to enable them to be electronically controlled. This will make them more efficient and reactive to commands than hydraulic winches, according to Visedo founder and chief executive Kimmo Rauma. He said the electric drive technology will lower fuel costs and associated emissions and hinted that other applications are being planned. “The revolution to electrify more marine applications rolls on,” he said. Kongsberg Evotec general manager Steinar Aabelvik said the agreement with Visedo will enable the company to introduce new products into the marine handling market.

“In particular, we are focussed on developing weight and space-saving solutions that at the same time remain competitive,” he explained. Kongsberg Evotec supplies handling systems for offshore equipment including remotely operated vehicles and seismic survey cables. Visedo also struck a deal in June with Veth Propulsion to jointly develop an integrated L-Drive compact and efficient electric propulsion device with a permanent magnet motor for tugs (see page 32). Rapp Marine has developed electric-driven tow winches for tugboats, using its experience in supplying similar winches for other industries, such as research ships, oil and gas offshore and fishing vessels. Its new electric products for the workboat and tug markets are designed to replace hydraulic winches, which Rapp Marine said are less dependable and need more maintenance than electric ones. Its first products are for the North American tugboat

Kimmo Rauma (Visedo): “The revolution to electrify more marine applications rolls on”

market. Rapp Marine has built an electric-driven, doubledrum tow winch for a new tractor tug that is being built by JT Marine Shipyard in Vancouver, Washington state, USA. The tugboat was designed by Jensen Maritime for Baydelta Navigation subsidiary Vessel Chartering. Rapp Marine said the main drum of the winch can

store 760m of 2.5in (63.5mm) steel wire and the store drum can accommodate 670m of 2.25in (57.2mm) wire. The main drive is a 75kW motor that enables the winch to pull more than 75 tonnes. There is a secondary electric drive that serves as a back-up to the main drive. The winch can be controlled from the bridge or from the deck controls.

Tug technology unveiled at inaugural Asian conference Deck machinery, including winches and rope technology, will be introduced for discussion at Riviera Maritime Media’s inaugural Asian Tug Technology & Salvage Conference, which will be held in Singapore on 18-19 September. There will be updates in the latest innovations in deck systems, engines and thruster technology at the conference, which is supported by platinum sponsor Wärtsilä Marine Solutions. In a dedicated session on deck systems and bollard pull, Caterpillar Propulsion engineering supervisor Tobias Huuva will describe technologies that enhance bollard pull and towing operations on tugs. He will be supported by Rotortug naval architect Marinus Jansen to compare bollard pull across different manufacturers and tug designs. Mr Jansen will then describe the new generation of tug designs. In that session, Samson Rope applications engineer Bernabe Gallardo will explain the towing system design considerations and lifecycle management of towlines. He will outline a system

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017

approach to high-performance towlines and winches and the performance considerations of towing lines. On the first day of the conference, Wärtsilä manager of application engineering Joost van Eijnatten will explain why the latest propulsion system have fewer components, less weight and reduced fuel consumption. Niigata senior assistant manager for system design, marine engineering and the Engineering & Technology Centre, Takuro Hatamoto, will present different lowflashpoint gas-fuelled propulsion systems, including LNG-fuelled, dual-fuel and hybrid systems. There will be a panel discussion exploring the reasons for switching from diesel mechanical propulsion to hybrid and electric propulsion. There will also be a presentation of the potential cost savings, benefits and challenges for LNG-fuelled tugs. The future of tug technology will also be discussed as RollsRoyce Marine and Svitzer present the benefits of remote and autonomous tug operations. More details on the conference programme can be found via this link: TTB

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US operators counter market slump with new tugs North American tugboat owners are taking delivery of new tugs and ordering more despite the continent’s inland towage market being in a serious downturn. Two factors have contributed to this trend. First, US Coast Guard’s (USCG’s) new Subchapter M regulations of Title 46 of the US Code of Federal Regulations came into force on 20 July. This set new standards on the inspection, auditing, and safety policies of towing vessels. Second, a need for more powerful tugs to replace older units, has driven US operators to build modern tugboats. Kirby Corp took delivery of a second articulated tug barge (ATB) from Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in July. This is despite the tugboat owner’s president and chief executive David Grzebinski explaining that the current downturn is one of the most severe and long-lasting that the market has seen in the past 30 years. Fincantieri built Paul McLernan tug and a 155,000-barrel barge 155-02 to carry petroleum and chemical cargoes for Kirby as the second half of a two-ATB deal, the first of which was delivered last year. Each tug has 4,475kW of installed power and is ABS-classed. Rival tug operator Great Lakes Towing took delivery of the first tug to operate under the Subchapter M regulations in June. Cleveland was launched from Great Lakes shipyard on 25 May and delivered to the towing company on 30 June. Cleveland’s first job was to assist dry bulk carrier Federal Saguenay in the port city of Cleveland on Lake Erie. IWL River has expanded its fleet with a series of CT Marinedesigned tugs. These were delivered this year by Eastern Shipbuilding Group to ABS classification at its Allanton shipyard. Impala Soledad, Impala Salgar, Impala Mompox and Impala Cantagallo are triple-screw inland towboats with retractable pilothouses to sail under low bridges. Bay-Houston Towing and Suderman & Young Towing ordered Robert Allan-designed Z-Tech tugs from Gulf Island Shipyards in May. Up to four tugs will be built to a Z-Tech 30-80 design, meeting ABS class and Subchapter M

Kirby took delivery of Paul McLernan tug and 155,000-barrel barge 155-02 in July

requirements. They will have Caterpillar 3516E (EPA Tier4) engines and Schottel SRP 510 Z-drives. The shipbuilder expects the tugs will generate a bollard pull of 80 tonnes and have a contracted speed of 13 knots. In June, Harley Marine Services took delivery of the first tug in North America to feature a complete Caterpillar Marine propulsion system (see page 10). Dr Hank Kaplan is a Robert Allan RAmparts 2400 design tractor tug with Cat power and Cat azimuth drives. It was built at Diversified Marine shipyard in Portland, Oregon. It is equipped with two 3516C marine propulsion engines and a pair of MTA 524-T azimuth thrusters. Information about subchapter M, with links to the regulation and other material can be found via:

Port developments drive Asian tug fleet growth Asian port and terminal developments has driven tug fleet expansion this year with shipyards in the region delivering tugs to new designs by local naval architects. China’s Jiangsu Zhenjiang Shipyard launched six more tugs for domestic operators in June and July this year. The shipyard launched Ninggang 26, a 3,235kW azimuthing stern drive (ASD) harbour tug for its client Nanjing Port Group on 12 July. This

followed the launching of a 2,942kW ASD vessel. In a series of new construction orders, Jiangsu Zhenjiang Shipyard delivered a batch of tugboats to its own designs for Chinese port operators in June. This included the delivery of Zhougang Tuo 31, a 5,000kW tug, and the 3,680kW Gangxing Tuo 233, for Ningbo Zhoushan Port. Also in June, the shipyard launched an ASD tugboat

and a 3,680kW tug for domestic shipowners. Cheoy Lee Shipyards in Hong Kong built four escort and harbour tugs for operations in Australia and Indonesia, powered by Perkins and Caterpillar engines. These 32m powerful tugs were named Hawksbill, Flatback, Loggerhead and Limin. During sea trials, these tugs exceeded performance expectations with a running speed of 13.4 knots and a

bollard pull of 71 tonnes. These tugs were each equipped with a pair of Cat 3516 diesel engines and two Perkins 6TWGM auxiliary engines. Design and construction of advanced tugs will be discussed in detail at the inaugural Asian Tug Technology & Salvage Conference in Singapore, 18-19 September 2017. More information on this conference can be found via: TTB

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017


Harley Marine is still powering on after 30 years Investment in new and more powerful tugs is a fitting way for the Seattle-based tug operator to mark its 30th anniversary, writes Clive Woodbridge


eading US tug operator Harley Marine Services celebrates 30 years in business this year, having been founded by current chairman, Harley Franco back in 1987. The Seattlebased company has significantly expanded the scale and scope of its operations over those three decades and this milestone year has been marked by the delivery of some notable new tugs. In June, Harley Marine Services welcomed Dr Hank Kaplan into its Puget Sound fleet. It is a 24m long, 70 tonnes bollard pull tug, built by Diversified Marine in Portland, Oregon, and designed by Robert Allen. While the new tug is a sister to Michelle Sloan and Lela Franco, which are RAmparts 2400-type tugs delivered in 2015, it is notable for being the first vessel of its type in North America to feature a complete Cat Marine propulsion system. Work is in progress at Diversified Marine on a second vessel of the same specification, with Rich Padden expected to enter service on the US West Coast later this year.

In early 2017, Harley Marine Services took delivery of the 36.5m, 75 tonnes bollard pull tractor tug Earl W Redd, which was the first vessel of its type in the US to meet the demanding Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 4 emissions standards. Also built at Diversified Marine, the tug features twin Cat 3516 main engines, fitted with a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) aftertreatment system to meet the EPA’s standard and is operating with Harley’s Olympic Tug & Barge division in Seattle. As part of its ongoing fleet modernisation programme, Harley Marine Services is in the process of commissioning two articulated tug and barge units (ATB). The vessels include two 35.4m tugs being built at Conrad Shipyard and two 80,000-barrel capacity barges from Gunderson Marine. The two tugs, OneCure and Todd E Prophet, are also equipped with Tier 4 compliant main engines, this time from GE. They are due for delivery around October this year. Two other ATB tugs,

Bill Gobel and Min Zidell, have also been delivered to Harley Marine Services by Conrad shipyard this year. From its beginnings in Seattle harbour, Harley Marine Services has expanded and now provides towage and other marine services along the US West Coast, Alaska, US Gulf and in the port of New York/New Jersey. The bedrock of the company remains Olympic Tug and Barge, which was set up in 1987 with a single leased tug and barge and which quickly grew both in terms of fleet size and the range of services provided. This division now has a fleet of more than 20 tugs operating along the West Coast. In mid-1998, Harley Marine Services was formed as a holding company for acquisitions. Since then, the number of vessels and home ports served by the company has continued to grow at a steady pace (see timeline). Harley Marine Services’ tugs provide harbour and escort services, emergency and rescue tows and long distance coastal towage. It made its first foray into international long haul towage last year. Olympic Tug & Barge’s tug Ernest Campbell towed vessel Susitna, loaded on barge Chatham Provider, on a demanding 15,000 nautical mile journey from Washington to the Philippines for the Philippine Red Cross during the fourth quarter of 2016. TTB

HARLEY MARINE TIMELINE Harley Marine Services formed as a holding company


Olympic Tug and Barge set up in Seattle


Entered San Francisco Bay under the name Starlight Marine Services

Purchased Links Marine assets from Chemoil Corp


Acquired Pacific Coast Maritime with Alaska, Washington, and California operations

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017



Added Millennium Marine, started operating in Los Angeles and Long Beach


Formed Harley Marine Gulf by acquisition of MGI


Established Harley Marine New York



Entered the international long haul towage sector



A S D T U G S C A N P U S H , T O W, P U S H - P U L L , E S C O R T, B E R T H , F I G H T F I R E , S A LVA G E A N D C O N T R O L P O L L U T I O N I N A L L W AT E R S .



Tempest blows in to support aircraft carrier towage Serco’s latest new tug sets new standards for power and operational capabilities in the UK towage sector, writes Clive Woodbridge


ne of the most notable tug arrivals in the UK for many years, Serco’s SD Tempest is a Rotortug ART 80-32 design, which was delivered in February this year by Damen Shipyards. The tug was acquired to support the arrival of the Royal Navy’s two aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. After a series of sea trials, training and familiarisation sessions for crew the tug was officially named on 31 May and entered service

shortly afterwards. When HMS Queen Elizabeth left the Rosyth shipyard on 26 June for sea trials, SD Tempest was deployed at the huge vessel’s bow, escorting the carrier into open seas. SD Tempest, the first UK registered, owned and operated Rotortug type, has been built to a Robert Allan design. This in itself makes the vessel relatively unusual, as most Damen supplied tugs are constructed to its in-house designs. Two Rotortug ART 80-32 type tugs, RT Endeavour and

RT Leader, are already in service with Kotug, but SD Tempest differs from the earlier pair in a number of significant respects. This tug features three azimuthing thrusters, which give the Rotortug its omnidirectional capabilities, enhancing manoeuvrability and power. SD Tempest features a conventional diesel engine arrangement, powered by three Caterpillar 3512C main engines producing a total of 5,293kW at 1,800 rpm. These engines drive Schottel SRP 1515 controllable pitch

SD Tempest, the first Rotortug to be owned and registered in the UK

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017


propellers, as opposed to the fixed pitch propellers used on the two previous ART 80-32 Rotortugs. This combination meets the demanding power requirements specified by Serco so that it is able to handle the Royal Navy’s largest ever warships safely and reliably. SD Tempest has a maximum bollard pull ahead of 81.7 tonnes, and a top bollard pull astern of 83.4 tonnes, making it the most powerful tug in the Serco fleet and one of the highest performing in the UK. Also setting it apart from its predecessors is the fact that it is equipped with a DMT TW-E-300KN double-drum render/recovery aft towing winch, to supplement the DMT ATW-111-E22k forward towing winch. This has been

specified to ensure the tug is well equipped to meet long haul ocean towing and harbour towage work. This also provides a high degree of redundancy in the event of any equipment failure. Another specific feature to allow SD Tempest to perform its primary role as a forward bow tug for the aircraft carriers is a hydraulically retractable mast arrangement. This is necessary to avoid damage and ensure safe working when operating under the flight deck overhang of the aircraft carriers, where there is limited clearance. As with previous Damen tugs delivered to Serco, SD Tempest is also fitted with grey fendering to match the colour of Royal Navy vessels and prevent hull marking.

Serco decided to purchase the Rotortug ART design after an extensive evaluation of the available options, including ASD, tractor and Voith-Schneider types of tug, to ensure the optimum choice was made. The specification process involved Serco working with Damen and endusers from within the Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence. The Rotortug design provided the best option for working with these large warships in a range of weather and other operational conditions. Crew were involved in the 495gt tug’s construction from the outset and were trained with Admiralty pilots and members of the aircraft carrier’s company to ensure preparedness for the initial entry of the carrier into its home port, Portsmouth, which

“SD Tempest is such an important part of the UK’s aircraft carrier development programme”

is expected later this year. SD Tempest is classed by Lloyd’s Register and is the 31st vessel to be supplied by Damen to Serco. It was built under subcontract at the Safe Co Engineering Services shipyard in Gdansk, Poland. The new tug is 31.95m long with a beam of 12.6m and has a crew of four, although accommodation is provided for six workers in two

Innovation Design Engineering Analysis Safety



single and two double crew cabins. Accommodation also includes galley, mess and sanitary facilities. The wheelhouse features an extensive range of navigation and communication systems supplied through the Alphatron JRC partnership. This includes GPS compass, X-band radar, autopilot, ECDIS and speedlog and Alphatron bridge alarms, security TV and magnetic compass. Sailor VHF and MF/ HF radios were supplied by Cobham Satcom, emergency beacons by McMurdo and the

two searchlights by Francis. Damen UK sales manager Arjen Van Elk said the feedback from Serco for SD Tempest has been very positive, with the maiden tow out of Rosyth going smoothly. He added: “SD Tempest is such an important part of the UK’s aircraft carrier development

programme. We look forward to continuing to work with Serco over the months to come as the vessel enters a more intensive operational phase.” Serco supports the Royal Navy at Portsmouth, Devonport, Falmouth and in Scotland and operates one of the largest fleets of

UK-flagged vessels, currently numbering 109 craft with a range of specialist capabilities for the Royal Navy. Serco has procured 32 new vessels since 2007 and has two more pontoons under construction with Damen that are scheduled for delivery in December this year. TTB

Picture © Kees Torn

SD Tempest: Main particulars Length, oa                               32.90m Beam, oa                                 13.15m Draught fully loaded              6.40m Deadweight 266 tonnes Bollard pull max ahead          81.70 tonnes

Propulsion 3 x Cat 3512C main engines 3 x SRP 1512 CPP Propeller diameter                   2,300mm Class                                        Lloyd’s Register Flag/Port of Registry UK/London



ke r





Speed astern                            13.8kts

n t a l ly

n d ly

Speed ahead 14.0kts

e nm



Bollard pull max astern           83.40 tonnes

pro du


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Asterix mooring launch was assisting small chemical tanker, Donizetti in Southampton when it capsized

CAPSIZE DRIVES IMPROVEMENTS IN TOWAGE BEST PRACTICE When the mooring vessel Asterix capsized in Southampton, UK, it raised awareness of the need for towage best practice guidance, writes Martyn Wingrove


lack of training and experience were singled out when the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) reported its findings into the girting and capsize of the 13m mooring launch Asterix in May last year. Fortunately, the two crew on board were not injured, although one was trapped for an hour, but it prompted the UK’s National Workboat Association (NWA) to update its Towage Good Practice Guide and a draft version

was published at the end of 2016 for industry feedback. It expects to publish a final version in September this year. As well as the Asterix harbour accident, it draws on discussions the NWA held with the UK towage industry and feedback from P&I clubs and safety inspectors for the guide. NWA also worked with the MAIB to improve its best practice guide with new annexes, including advice on rope and towing line best practice to prevent tugs capsizing.

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017

One of the safety issues highlighted by the MAIB was that the coxswain’s training “did not equip him for the task, and specifically did not equip him to use the gog rope/bridle effectively”. NWA secretary Mark Ranson, who is a former head of safety at tug group Svitzer, explained to Tug Technology & Business that “misuse, or lack of, gog ropes is one of the main causes of major incidents and will be covered in the towage guide to reduce the risks and raise the standards of towage.”

He outlined some of the guidance on preventing vessels from girting. Using gog ropes “has the effect of moving the towing point further aft towards the propellers while still using a winch near mid-ship. This reduces the risk of the tug being turned sideways on to the tow, being girted and capsizing.” Rob Cranstone and Nick

“A number of incidents have been attributed to lack, misuse or failure of the gog rope and its emergency release”


Hance from the MAIB reiterated the safety concerns and guidance in a presentation to the towage industry in Southampton in June this year. They said: “A number of incidents have been attributed to lack, misuse or failure of the gog rope and its emergency release, leading to or exacerbating girting scenarios.” They recommended: “More rigorous preparation, with contingency plans in case of bad weather or emergency situations, along with a clearer allocation of responsibilities to the coxswain and vessel pilot.” There will be further development of NWA’s Towage Good Practice Guide after its publication in September to address the industry skills gap and reduce the risk of other causes of major incidents. For example there will be more coverage of towage stability, emergency towline release equipment and communications between tug masters, ship captains and pilots. This emphasis on communications reflects other concerns highlighted by MAIB among the contributing factors to the Asterix incident. Mr Ranson explained: “The captain and pilot [on the tanker Asterix was working] did not communicate to the tug master their intended manoeuvre in advance to allow him to better

“There are cases where the operator could not physically operate the emergency release because there was too much weight on the hook”

the first to provide practical advice on the use of gog ropes and emergency release systems and will subsequently be revised next year on the basis of operational feedback.

Asterix accident and investigation position his tug.” It is important that the towage team communicate before and during the manoeuvring operations. “Ships have their own power, captain and pilot to assist, so it is essential that they have some understanding how the tug master will be assisting the vessel,” Mr Ranson explained. There need to be ship assistance plans and prior knowledge of what the pilot intends to do with the ship being manoeuvred “so captains do not use the ship’s engines and catch the tug master unaware. The tug may not be capable of reacting in time, so maintaining communications is essential before and during the job,” Mr Ranson explained. There will also be an annex on emergency release equipment design and testing, since the published standards do not take into consideration varying weight, fatigue and training requirements, said Mr Ranson.

“Some classification societies have standards of towage hooks and testing, but this [testing] needs to be done with full weight as it may require considerable force on the hook to trigger a release. There are cases where the operator could not physically operate the emergency release because there was too much weight on the hook,” he explained. The NWA is working with the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency on writing an annex to its towage guide to include explanations of how tug crews should test emergency release devices. It will also cover methods of triggering emergency release, whether this is physically on deck or from a remote control in the wheelhouse It is hoped that the publication of NWA’s Towage Good Practice Guide will improve the safety of towage not only in the UK but also worldwide. It is thought to be

Solent Towing’s mooring launch Asterix capsized on 30 March 2015 while assisting the manoeuvring of the small chemical tanker, Donizetti, owned by Bera Beteiligungsgesellschaft, at the Fawley oil refinery in Southampton. The two crew from the launch were rescued and the vessel was declared a constructive total loss after its recovery. In a report into the incident, MAIB highlighted that the coxswain was not trained in the use of gog rope and bridle equipment and the launch crew were not sufficiently experienced in the use of the emergency release mechanism and could not activate it effectively. MAIB’s report included recommendations for Solent Towing’s parent company, Østensjø Rederi. Read MAIB’s report into the accident via MAIB-Asterix

National Workboat Association closes the skills gap The UK’s National Workboat Association (NWA) is the only recognised organisation currently administering the country’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) voluntary towage endorsement scheme. This is a means of independently verifying a tug master’s competence through assessment. NWA secretary Mark Ranson said 187 endorsements have been issued to date through this scheme. “The MCA certifies towage tug masters using theory only, but our towage endorsement scheme involves three or four hours of practical assessment and a stringent exam.” Chris King, an assessor for the MCA voluntary towing endorsement, said at a seminar in Southampton, UK, in June that

improving tug crew competence will improve the towage safety. He highlighted that common injuries during towage are from rope handling and whiplash injuries, which can be caused by inadequate mooring. Tug seafarers can also be struck by oxygen deprivation from working in confined spaces. He said members of the crew need to take responsibility for their actions on board their vessels. This needs to be “combined with a greater emphasis on crew teamwork and an enhanced understanding of the importance of safety procedures across the towage industry”. Competence training and assessment and best practice guidance should help tug operators achieve these goals. TTB

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017


TUG CAPSIZES DURING CONTAINER SHIP MANOEUVRES Tug Domingue girted and sank, with the loss of two seafarers, when it was manoeuvring container ship CMA CGM Simba in Madagascar

A Tug Domingue was connected to CMA CGM Simba’s port quarter to help pull the vessel’s stern off the berth.

MAIB main findings Forward movement by CMA CGM Simba caused capsize of tug Domingue Lack of communications between ship captain, pilot and tug crew Domingue poorly equipped, no gog rope or emergency release Tug doors and hatches open, crew not wearing lifejackets.

n unexpected and uncommunicated movement by a CMA CGM container ship caused a poorly equipped and insufficiently powered tug to capsize with the death of seafarers, according to an accident investigation report. The UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said that manoeuvres ordered by the master on the UK-registered CMA CGM Simba to prevent a collision was one of the factors in the sinking of tug Domingue and the resulting two fatalities. The accident occurred when Domingue was manoeuvring the container ship in Tulear, Madagascar, on 20 September 2016. In a report published on 19 July 2017, the MAIB said Domingue girted and capsized as it was connected to CMA CGM Simba’s port quarter. Girting occurs when high towing forces can cause a tug to be pulled sideways through the water by the towline. If the tug is unable to manoeuvre out of this position it is likely to capsize. It was intended that the 16m tug be used to pull the stern away from the quay and that the ship’s bow thruster would be used simultaneously to bring the bow off. The manoeuvre began well with the master satisfied that the tug had enough power. The ship master ordered the chief officer to apply ahead propulsion and the helmsman to apply starboard helm. The resulting actions caused the ship to pivot on the remaining forward backsprings, thereby enhancing the stern’s movement away from the quay When CMA CGM Simba’s stern was 25m from the quay, the forward backsprings were let go. The container ship was moving astern but its stern was closing to within 3m of the mooring dolphin so, to avoid striking the dolphin, the ship’s master briefly manoeuvred his ship ahead.

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017

The ship’s speed increased to 5.4 knots ahead but the tug, which was now astern of CMA CGM Simba, girted and capsized. MAIB said pre-operation communications were inadequate as the ship master and pilot did not discuss what actions should be taken if the planned manoeuvre proved unsuccessful. Neither the master nor the pilot warned the tug that they would be coming ahead and, during the manoeuvre, nobody on board the boxship was monitoring the tug’s position. There were other factors that potentially caused the accident. Domingue had one engine driving a single shaft with a fixed pitch propeller in a nozzle and MAIB discovered that it was less manoeuvrable than the port’s usual tug, which was undergoing maintenance. MAIB also found that the Domingue crew were inexperienced in assisting ships. In addition, the tug’s single towing hook was not fitted with an emergency release mechanism. There was no gog rope rigged and the tug’s doors and hatches were left open during the towing operation. None of the five crew was wearing a lifejacket or other buoyancy aid at the time of the accident. Following the accident, CMA CGM Simba’s manager, Midocean (IOM), highlighted to its fleet the potential dangers of working with tugs, including girting, and measures that should be taken to minimise the risks. In its accident report, MAIB warned of the girting dangers of towing operations. MAIB also said tug crews can only rig a gog rope appropriately once they know how the tug will be used throughout the manoeuvre. The report recommended that there should be proactive communications and an agreed means for monitoring the tug throughout the towing operation to reduce the risk of a tug girting should the manoeuvre not go according to plan. TTB


PAX is part of the first series of LNG-powered dual fuel tugs ever built in Europe.


It is equipped with a pair of SCHOTTEL Rudderpropellers Type SRP 630 CP (3000 kW each) featuring the new VarioDuct SDV45 nozzle and a SCHOTTEL Transverse Thruster Type STT 170 (250 kW) in the bow.


Photo courtesy of Gondan Shipbuilders




UAE operators expand tug fleets A number of orders have been placed recently for new tugs to meet the evolving requirements of port and shipyard clients in the United Arab Emirates, writes Clive Woodbridge

This satellite image shows the position of tugs operating in the Middle East on 12 July (credit:


onsiderable investment is being made to expand port facilities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the present time. This in turn is creating a requirement for additional tugs, more powerful than their predecessors, to accommodate the increase in trade flows and larger vessel types this infrastructure development will bring. To a

large extent, port expansion within the UAE is focussed around Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but some of the smaller emirates are also expanding their facilities. One such is Ras Al Khaimah (RAK), where Saqr Port has signed a contract for the Damen Group to deliver an ASD 2913 tug. The vessel will be built a short distance away at Albwardy Damen in Sharjah

(until recently known as Damen Shipyards Sharjah) and will be delivered in time for the opening of a new bulk terminal at Saqr Port in mid-2018. The ASD 2913 will complement the seven tugs currently at Saqr Port and provide the additional power needed to receive Capesize vessels. Saqr Port is the Middle East’s leading bulk handing port and serves RAK’s fast-

Albwardy Damen is building the largest Rotortug built to date for Kotug

growing quarry industry. Each year 55 million tonnes of bulk materials are exported through the port to countries around the Arabian Gulf and RAK Ports is currently adding a series of new deepwater berths designed to achieve greater economy of scale by accommodating larger vessel types. Damen’s regional sales team worked closely with Saqr Port to identify the class of tug that would be most suitable to meet its requirements once the new bulk terminal is operational. It was determined that the priority was for a tug that was both compact and powerful to handle the large bulk carriers that will call at the new terminal, and yet worked safely and effectively within the confines of the harbour. Furthermore, the proximity of the Hajar Mountains and the fact that Saqr Port can experience sudden and very strong winds as a result required a powerful tug that offers a high degree of

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017


manoeuvrability in demanding weather conditions. The ASD 2913 was selected after a lengthy review that concluded it possessed all the necessary attributes, including having 80 tonnes of bollard pull within a 29m hull, as well as a high freeboard and a raised quarterdeck to ensure safe operations in rough seas. This order highlights the fact that Albwardy Damen is now a leading builder of tugs, not just for Middle East clients, but further afield as well. Alongside this latest order, Albwardy Damen is also currently building three large Rotortugs tugs and some smaller ASD type units. One of the Rotortugs will be the largest Rotortug built to date anywhere in the world. It is being built for Kotug to a Damen design and is destined for a contract in Australia. The other two Rotortugs are being built to a non-Damen design.

Abu Dhabi expansion Also expanding rapidly is Abu Dhabi Ports (ADP). New terminals are being developed at Khalifa Port, which is one of the fastest

“Using information technology to smooth processes and improve operational efficiency”

growing container handling facilities in the Middle East. This includes a new terminal that will be operated by Cosco Shipping Ports. Harbour towage services at ADP facilities are provided by Safeen, a subsidiary company that currently owns and operates a fleet of 11 tugs and 14 other marine services craft. Three new 75 tonnes bollard pull ASD tugs were taken into the Safeen fleet in 2016 to handle the latest generation container ships of 18,000 teu capacity now calling at Khalifa Port. The company also charters in tugs from third parties to accommodate demand from shipping company customers, as required. Safeen is planning a further fleet expansion and modernisation in the near future. As Safeen chief marine services officer Maktoum Al

Houqani told Tug Technology & Business: “We are currently evaluating technical proposals to acquire four new tugs to meet additional demand from the market and also Abu Dhabi Ports’ next phase of expansion at Khalifa Port. It is Safeen’s aim to provide the most efficient and environment friendly solutions to the ever changing demands of the marine industry.” Safeen is setting itself demanding performance targets, in relation especially to safety and efficiency. “Our customers expect a world class service to be provided to them at all times and in the most competitive and efficient manner possible,” Mr Al Houqani said. “We aim to achieve this by acquiring modern marine units and by using information technology to smooth processes and improve operational efficiency.”

Al Qattara is one of three new 75 tonne bollard pull tugs taken into Safeen’s fleet last year

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017

Currently Safeen operates only within Abu Dhabi. However, ADP has recently signed a deal to operate and develop the port of Fujairah on the east coast of the UAE. This is likely to create opportunities for Safeen to provide marine services, including harbour towage, to terminals under ADP management in Fujairah in the future. Mr Al Houqani concludes, “Our mandate is to be the preferred marine services provider to clients within the UAE and in pursuing this mission we are evaluating many options to take on additional roles and responsibilities.”

Dubai growth

The biggest container port in the Middle East is Jebel Ali in Dubai, where P&O Maritime, part of the DP World group, is the leading harbour towage service provider. The company has a fleet of some 16 tugs, with bollard pull ratings up to 60 tonnes. As well as Jebel Ali, and Port Rashid in Dubai, the company also provides towage services within the Middle East at Yemen LNG and the port of Sokhna, Egypt. Drydocks World Dubai is another UAE-based company that is investing in its tug fleet. The shipyard has recently completed building an innovative new tug, in conjunction with Wärtsilä, which will provide berthing and manoeuvring services to vessels entering the drydocks. The tug will be able to use LNG and diesel for fuel and will offer Drydocks World greater levels of power and manoeuvrability than its existing tugs. Drydocks World plans to carry out trials to evaluate the performance of this dual-fuel tug over the next few months. The company indicates that it may build additional tugs of this type, both for its own


Sirapinar – 22m long, with bollard pulls of 46.9 tonnes ahead and 44.8 tonnes astern

use and also for third party operators, if the design proves as successful as expected. In addition to the new LNGpowered tug, Drydocks World has recently purchased three additional tugs from Sanmar in Turkey. The 22m long Sirapinar completed sea trials in January 2017 when it met or exceeded all performance expectations, with bollard pulls of 46.9 tonnes ahead and 44.8 tonnes astern. Drydocks World was so pleased with the performance of the tug that it subsequently ordered a pair of smaller line-handling ASD tugs from Sanmar. These were delivered in the first half of 2017. Goksu II is a Robert Allan design RAscal 1500 type ASD tug. Measuring 14.95m long by 8.3m wide with a draught of 3m, the agile tug has a bollard pull of 16 tonnes and a free running speed of 9.5 knots. The second tug, which measures 18.7m by 9.2m, is named Yenicay V, and is bigger and more powerful, with a bollard pull of 32 tonnes.

Saqr Port is adding to its existing fleet of tugs to provide the power rating needed to handle larger bulk carriers

Rashed Almehairbi, Drydocks World’s director of procurement and Ruchan Cývgýn, Sanmar commercial director, signing the recent contract for two additional line handling tugs

JAK adds new tugs for tanker escort Outside the UAE, one of the most notable recent tug investment projects in the Middle East this year has come from Jawar Al Khaleej Shipping ( JAK), which has taken delivery of a pair of Damen ASD 3213 tugs for operations at the Al Basra and Khor Al Amaya oil terminals in Iraq, which handle the lion’s share of the country’s oil exports. The two new ASD 3213 tugs, Jawar Faw and Jawar Um Qasr, have 85 tonnes of bollard pull, making them amongst the most powerful operating anywhere in the Middle East region. The latest acquisitions will join two existing Damen tugs in the company’s fleet. Jawar Basra is another ASD 3213 design that was delivered in

2015, and Jawar Dubai, is a Stan Tug 2909 purchased in 2009. Built at the Damen Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam, Jawar’s latest tugs are used to manoeuvre large tankers berthing at the two oil terminals located on the Faw Peninsular. This part of the Arabian Gulf is known for its high winds and the tugs have been selected to ensure an uninterrupted service throughout the year. The two oil terminals are a vital part of Iraq’s economic infrastructure and are currently expanding their facilities in expectation of increased exports in the years ahead. The new tugs will have a vital role to play in enabling that expansion and the increased number of tanker calls that will take place in the future. TTB

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017


WILL NEWBUILDING ORDERING RETURN AFTER MARKET SLUMP? There are encouraging signs for future tug orders, but newbuilding contracting has slowed since last year, writes Barry Luthwaite


owage business in terms of newbuilding investment is quiet in comparison to a record period for business in 2016. However, there are encouraging signs that more newbuildings will be needed. The recent switching of container ship routes has led to turmoil in vessel schedules and the size of ships visiting ports. This means port infrastructure needs to be improved, including the provision of more powerful tugs. In response, ship and port operators need to decide whether to hire these tugs on long-term charter deals, purchase secondhand vessels or order newbuildings. Another encouraging aspect is that larger ships are now transiting the expanded Panama Canal locks, opening up new port calls – especially in the Americas. Changes in oil production patterns also bring potential opportunities for tug operators. In the US, a VLCC was recently berthed at a US shore terminal to load shale oil for the first time, instead of loading totally offshore. This will be a positive trend for demand for more powerful 70-90-tonne bollard pull tugs. The market is now beginning to witness a step up in power to 80-tonne pulling tugs. For example, Gulf Island Shipyards received orders for four 80-tonne bollard pull Robert Allan-designed Z-Tech tugs, two each from operators Bay-Houston Towing and Suderman & Young Towing. US shipyards continue to see a stream in orders and new deliveries (see page 9). In Asia, Japanese tug fleets are now coming under the microscope. A steady flow of order interest is materialising with a view to the future generation and changes in ship handling. Mitsui OSK has launched its own MOL Smart Ship Project and will use a newbuilding tug’s development and operation to support research into various LNG-powered ships in service, under construction or still on the drawing board. The tug in question has been ordered from Kanagawa Dockyard with delivery for Osaka Bay deployment in April 2019. Dual-fuel propulsion has been specified but with emphasis on burning more LNG, eventually converting fully to LNG fuel. With the offshore market collapse over the past two years, it is interesting to observe European success in Asian yards. Tug owners are deciding to quote for long distance towing work

instead of offshore projects. ALP Maritime, a subsidiary of Teekay Offshore Partners, is due to take delivery soon of ALP Keeper, the fourth and last in a series of dynamic-positioned and powerful ocean-going towage tugs. The quartet was ordered in 2014 from Niigata Shipbuilding in collaboration with Mitsui to a design and equipment package supplied by Ulstein Design & Solutions. In Europe, shipyards dependent on building tugs see the example of Damen Shipyards in terms of building stock hulls for sale as the way to go, after tying up deals with design companies. Turkish yards Sanmar, Med Marine and Uzmar have started building tugs for their own accounts with the expectation of selling some before completion (Tug Technology & Business, 2Q 2017) Damen Shipyards enjoyed more sales of its ex-stock standard hull designs, which can be fitted out and supplied to owners within eight weeks. A major talking point however was the acquisition of Daewoo’s Mangalia shipbuilding site in Constantza, Romania. This builder is currently constructing five Aframax tankers for Greek interests and it is unclear at the time of writing what Damen’s intentions for the site are. The facilities could allow multiple constructions of tugs and offshore craft or Damen may enter another phase of shipbuilding. The deal is valued at US$69 million by Daewoo, which has a 51 per cent shareholding in the yard, but subject to the Romanian Government’s approval. Another encouraging trend is demand for floating LNG import and regasification ships. As more FSRUs are ordered, tug operators are being approached for support services. In July, a major deal was concluded between Svitzer and Excelerate Energy to supply support services to a Bangladesh project over 15 years with an optional extension of five more years attached. Construction of Bangladesh’s first LNG import terminal is due to commence in the fourth quarter and scheduled for commissioning in June 2018. Three deepsea terminal tugs under construction at Cheoy Lee Shipyard to Robert Allen RAstar 3200 design will serve the terminal, supported by the existing Svitzer Foxtrot and one newbuilding crew boat. In North America, there is a steady stream of new orders and completions. For the first time in over three decades, a complex liquefied anhydrous ammonia barge named Harvest was recently completed by Vigor Shipyard and represents a landmark for US shipbuilding expertise. The support pusher tug is Abundance, which was simultaneously delivered from Nichols Brothers Boat Builders and the duo will operate in Jones Act trades transporting 22,000 tonnes of ammonia under contract to Tampa Port Services. Source for all data: BRL Shipping Consultants. Data as of 25 July 2017

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017


TUGS CONTRACTED IN 2017 OVER 20M IN LENGTH region/country/shipbuilder



bollard pull

service year


Tuong Aik Shipyard



Svitzer AS



Mitsui O.S.K.


Damen Song Cam*


Port Autonome de Papeete


Piriou Vietnam


Caraibes Remorquage











Russia Govt.

Damen Hardinxveld


De Boer Remorquage


Damen Shipyards


Kotug Smit Towage


Damen Shipyards*



Damen Shipyards


Meyer's Group

TB Shipyards




Kotug Smit Towage

Sanmar Denizcilik*


Targe Towing


Sanmar Denizcilik*


Svitzer AS




Own account



Saqr Port


JB Marine Service*


Southern Illinois Transfer


Gulf Island Shipyards


Bay-Houston Towing



Gulf Island Shipyards


Suderman & Young Towing




SAAM Smit Towage



Asia Malaysia Tuong Aik Shipyard China Cheoy Lee* Japan Kanagawa Zosen* Vietnam 55


Europe Italy 60



2018-2019 80

2017 2018

Romania Damen Galatz



Middle East Turkey

United Arab Emirates Albwardy* Americas USA

Brazil Wilson Sons Total


* Ordered in 1Q 2017

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017


Photo courtesy of Foss Maritime

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111 $520

Number of vessels



49 Total value US$M

86 262


LIVE TOTAL 578 vessels 1,973 US$M


70 $302




33 $152

Number of vessels

Total value US$M


3 27


95 5

TOTAL 13 vessels 173 US$M


49 $140 vessels




22 $98




Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017





25 22









181 $119

$118 2013


$91 2012


$99 2011


$165 2010


$165 2009


$142 2008




1,387 US$M


Number of Vessels










20-24 25-29

22 42





40-44 45-49




Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017

Powered by natural gas Rolls-Royce is widely recognised for its system solutions for a broad range of vessel types. Systems comprising propellers and thrusters, engines, stabilisers, deck machinery, rudders, steering gear, automation and control systems. Rolls-Royce supply gas-powered propulsion solutions that reduce emissions significantly. Compared to diesel engines that meet IMO Tier 2 emission levels, Bergen gas engines give E2 weighted emission reductions of 92% NOx, close to 22% in CO2 and virtually eliminate SOx and particulates, already meeting enforced IMO and EPA Tier 3 requirements and are subject to EPA Tier 4 certification. Clean efficiency by Rolls-Royce.

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3D printing for tug propellers is coming Tug builders and owners can consider 3D printing as a new method of manufacturing optimised propellers for future towing vessels


ropellers could in the future be produced through 3D printing (or additive manufacturing as it is more accurately known) as a consortium of companies in Europe have made considerable progress with the technology. Damen Shipyards Group has entered a co-operative consortium with the Port of Rotterdam’s RAMLAB, propeller manufacturer Promarin, software developer Autodesk and class society Bureau Veritas. RAMLAB is an initiative of the Port of Rotterdam, InnovationQuarter and RDM Makerspace. The goal of this group is to develop the world’s first classapproved 3D printed ship’s propeller, to be called the WAAMpeller. It would be a major step forward in the application of 3D printing techniques in the towage sector. The propeller will be based on a Promarin design that is typically found on a Damen Stan Tug 1606 design. This 1,300mm diameter propeller weighs around 180kg. Using Autodesk software in the construction process, RAMLAB will fabricate

Technology explained The combination of an electric arc as a heat source and wire as feedstock has been researched for additive manufacturing purposes since the 1990s, although the first patent was filed in 1925. WAAM hardware currently uses standard, off-the-shelf welding equipment – the welding power source, torches and wire feeding systems. Motion can be provided either by robotic systems or by computer numerical controlled gantries. Whenever possible, magnesium in gas is the process of choice. Here, the wire is the consumable electrode, and its coaxiality with the welding torch makes it easier to work. Magnesium in gas is ideal for materials such as aluminium and steel, but with titanium the process is affected by arc wandering (deflection of the arc), so that tungsten inert gas or plasma arc welding is used for titanium deposition.

The propeller will be based on a Promarin design that is typically found on a Damen Stan Tug1606

the WAAMpeller from a bronze alloy using the wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) process. Once the propeller has been printed, Damen’s role will continue with full-scale trials. “We will be performing a comprehensive programme that will include bollard pull and crash test scenarios,” explained Damen’s research and development department project engineer Kees Custers. “Our ambition is to demonstrate that the research phase for 3D printing in the maritime sector is over, and that it can now be effectively applied in operations.” The first propeller was scheduled to be printed during the third quarter of this year and then tested during the fourth quarter. Damen principal research engineer Don Hoogendoorn sees the development of a 3D printed propeller as part of the company’s drive to build more effective, more cost-efficient and more environmentally friendly tugs. He explained: “The WAAMpeller project contributes to this goal because not only does it mark an important advance in 3D printing, but also it has the potential to yield significant results in optimising future vessel designs. 3D printing technology brings with it an excellent opportunity to improve ship structures in terms of both performance and fuel consumption.” RAMLAB is the first field lab equipped with 3D metal printers that focuses on the port and towage sectors. It uses additive manufacturing to develop knowledge in the field of metal printing, 3D design and certification. Bureau Veritas will be involved in the certification of the completed product, in what will be the first time that a metal 3D printed maritime component is approved by class. TTB

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017


Wärtsilä HY is a fully integrated hybrid power module in a diesel-mechanical configuration




ropulsion systems have become one of the most important aspects of tug design as owners need more power from their workboats for manoeuvring larger ships in confined spaces. With this in mind, new propulsion options have been developed that deliver greater power, better manoeuvrability and improved energy efficiency. Traditional propellers still have a role to play in tug design, construction and operations, but thrusters have become one of the main elements of many modern designs. With two or three thrusters, tugs are able to turn a full 360 degrees in evermore tight circles, which is increasingly important for ship handling operations in harbours and terminals. Veth Propulsion has

Permanent magnet motors and hybrid energy generation and storage reduce the size and emissions from tug propulsion systems

developed an integrated L-Drive compact and efficient electric propulsion device with a permanent magnet (PM) motor designed in collaboration with Visedo. The unit does not have geared transmission, meaning that it generates less noise, while the electronically controlled drive and watercooled PM also contribute to noise reduction, since there is no gear transmission in the tug. Veth told Riviera Maritime Media that the unit is designed for workboats and is available with nozzle or counter-rotating

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017

“The minimal mounting height allows the thruster to be fitted below deck height, so that few vulnerable capital assets are underwater”

propellers delivering power ranging from 300kW to 1,325kW. The first vessels to use the integrated L-Drive is due to be delivered in October 2017. The PM motor is 40 to 60 per cent more compact than an asynchronous motor. This is integrated into the thruster and housed inside the vessel, making it much less vulnerable than if it were located underwater. Veth has made adjustments to the control box and aligned the headset to improve the compact design further. These are important design requirements for workboats that have little spare capacity for equipment and shallow draughts, said Veth chief executive Erik Veth. “The minimal mounting height allows the thruster to be fitted below deck height, so that few vulnerable capital assets are


underwater,” he said. Using a PM motor improves the propulsion unit’s efficiency, particular during part-load conditions when compared with an asynchronous motor. Mr Veth said they are 5.2 per cent more efficient when the thruster is operating at 25 per cent load. The design of the propeller, especially the shark tail on the counterrotating propeller, optimises the flow of water, improving the thruster performance further.

Hybrid propulsion

Wärtsilä has also developed new hybrid propulsion units. The Wärtsilä HY, as the concept is called, combines the engines, an energy storage unit and power electronics to drive propulsion thrusters on tugs. Wärtsilä said this product was a “benchmark in marine hybrid propulsion” because of the wide range of benefits to tug operators, such as increased operational efficiency and flexibility, lower fuel consumption, reduced emissions and improved vessel performance. It said some operations would not generate any emissions at all, depending on load points and operating mode. Another benefit is

Veth Integrated L-Drive benefits

• Compact design: extremely low mounting space requirements • High efficiency • Minimal noise production • Low weight • O utstanding manoeuvrability due to the 360-degree thrust • Electric motor inside the ship means few vulnerable components underwater • Simplified installation • No need for a slip ring cabinet • No gear transmission • Optimal flow of water due to a shark tail on counterrotating propeller

the reduction in engine maintenance required because of its fewer operating hours. Lloyd’s Register has issued an approval in principle certificate for the Wärtsilä HY, which has enabled Wärtsilä to deploy the first examples of these hybrid propulsion units on a tug under construction for harbour operations in the Mediterranean region. They will give this tug 80 tonnes of bollard pull and it is likely to be deployed in

an Italian port by its owner Rimorchiatori Riuniti. The hybrid propulsion contract was signed during the NorShipping exhibition, near Oslo in Norway, at the end of May this year. Wärtsilä’s equipment is scheduled to be delivered during the second half of 2018 and the new tug is expected to be in service by the beginning of 2019. Rimorchiatori Riuniti group technical director Raffaello Corradi said the

New features added to propeller modelling software

HydroComp PropCad software automatically prepares 2D design drawings, 3D modelling and thickness classification reports

HydroComp has added new features and updated the classification rules for its propeller geometric modelling software. The US performance prediction software specialist’s PropCad software automatically prepares 2D design drawings, 3D modelling, thickness classification reports and exports computer-aided engineering data. The latest version of PropCad, released in July, includes new features for weedless, cleaver, and surface-piercing style propellers. It has updated classification society thickness rules, improved CAD/CAM export and a greater control of edge radius conditions. HydroComp said there

are new options to modify the trailing edge offsets in order to progressively blend the trailing edge surface smoothly into the hub. This transition is important for both the performance and manufacturing of the propeller. PropCad uses blade thickness calculations and strength rules from nine class societies that dictate the required root, edge, and tip thickness. HydroComp added the thickness rules from the Indian Register of Shipping to the latest version. Each class society includes rules for fixed pitch and controllable pitch propellers and some have special rules for highly-skewed blades, naval-classed vessels, and ice-classed propellers.

tug owner was focused on embracing advanced hybrid technology for its new tugs. He added: “Wärtsilä HY will provide operational flexibility, added safety and environmental sustainability.” Specific operational features will be embedded in the control logic of Wärtsilä HY to enhance its safety and environmental performance when the tug is operating in waters adjacent to heavily populated areas. Wärtsilä HY will also feature an integrated energy optimisation system that has been designed for hybrid applications to improve reliability and predictability of the power generation.

Propulsion analysis

Rolls-Royce has studied the use of hybrid propulsion systems and various motors for a notional stern-drive harbour tug with 60 tonnes of bollard pull. The studies considered various diesel-electric systems driving two US205FP azimuth thrusters. The analysis considered 1,460kW engines and two small (215 kWh) batteries, or 920kW engines supplemented by two 500 kWh batteries. The baseline involved two 1,920kW engines and a small auxiliary generator set covering hotel loads. These studies demonstrated that energy storage systems can significantly reduce emissions during most tug operations but will need to be combined with diesel-based power generation until the price and efficiency of batteries has fallen. Another conclusion was the efficiency of using PM motors and induction motors with batteries was similar at full loads. However, the PM motor maintains high efficiency down to very low loads whereas an induction motor’s efficiency drops away. Therefore, a PM solution can save on battery capacity as tugs only need small amounts of time at their maximum load rating. TTB

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017


WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL HYBRID ESCORT TUG ORDERED The Port of Lulea in Sweden has ordered an icebreaking escort tug with hybrid propulsion, which its designer, Robert Allan, claims will be the most powerful icebreaking escort tug of this size in the world with hybrid propulsion. It will be capable of breaking ice with a thickness of 1m at a speed of 3 knots and will be used in extreme climate conditions in the northern Gulf of Bothnia, where it will assist and escort ships to and from the port and provide coastal towage, ice management, fire-fighting and emergency support. It will be a TundRA 3600 class tug with a hull structure that exceeds Finnish-Swedish ice class rules and has high environmental standards. Contributing to this is its hybrid propulsion unit, which the port authority has requested for the tug. This will include diesel main engines, shaft motor generators and batteries for energy storage. According to Robert Allan, the 36m tug will be able to operate in three main modes. It can operate in a hybrid boost mode with two 2,720kW diesel main engines and the batteries offering an energy boost, or it can operate on battery power alone, or in a

hybrid diesel-electrical mode. The the naval architect expects the tug to have a bollard pull of up to 55 tonnes in the hybrid dieselelectrical mode. The designer expects the propulsion power in the hybrid boost mode to increase enough for bollard pull capabilities of up to 90 tonnes continuous and up to 100 tonnes intermittently. Robert Allan said the tug will have flexible operational capabilities, lower fuel consumption, and emissions and maintenance savings. It will be classed by Lloyd’s Register with notations including Ice Class 1A Super FS for icebreaking, Escort Tug and Fire-Fighting 1. The latest TundRA 3600 class escort tug to be delivered, Océan Taiga, entered service with Océan Remorquage for winter operations this year in Canada (Tug Technology & Business, first quarter 2017). Although that tug had a bollard pull of 110 tonnes – more than this Swedish project – it did not have hybrid propulsion, being powered by diesel engines driving two Z-drive omnidirectional propellers. That 36m tug was also classed by Lloyd’s Register to Ice Class 1A Super FS.

NEWBUILDS COMBINE THRUSTERS WITH CAT ENGINES Caterpillar has teamed up with thruster suppliers Veth and Schottel on Robert Allan-designed tug newbuildings. For three new tugs being built in Bulgaria, Caterpillar is supplying diesel engines and generator sets while Veth is providing Z-drive units. Shipyard MTG Dolphin in Varna, Bulgaria, is building three RAmparts 2700 design tugs for domestic shipowner Navigation Maritime Bulgare (Navibulgar). The first of these 27.6m tugs, Alcor, was delivered in July and has a bollard pull of around 40 tonnes and a free running speed of 13 knots. The main propulsion of these three tugs is a pair of CAT 3512C diesel engines, each rated 1,350kW at 1,600 rpm. Each one drives a Veth VZ-1250A Z-drive unit that has a 2,000mm diameter fixed pitch propeller. The electrical plant consists of two CAT C7.1 diesel generator sets, each with a power output of 118kW at 50Hz.

Alcor has a pair of CAT 3512C diesel engines to power two Veth Z-drives

Caterpillar is supplying the engines and Schottel the propulsors for four terminal and escort tugs being built by Gulf Island Shipyards in the USA. These will be Robert Allan-designed Z-Tech 30-80

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017

tugs that will be operated by Bay-Houston Towing Co and Suderman & Young Towing Co. These will have Caterpillar 3516E engines that comply with the US Environmental Protection

Agency’s Tier4 requirements. These will power Schottel SRP 510 Z-drive units, enabling these tugs to generate bollard pulls of 80 tonnes and a minimum speed of 13 knots. TTB

DUX, the very first Dual Fuel Tug built in Europe Owner: Ă˜stensjø Rederi A/S (Norway) Designer: Robert Allan Ltd. Dux is the first one of a series of three Dual Fuel tugs designed to withstand freezing cold and grant full operational availability at temperatures of 20 degrees below zero. Thanks to its innovative Dual Fuel system, these escort tugs combine the use of LNG in most of their operations with the flexibility of diesel power to ensure high operational safety and environmental sustainability.

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Svitzer and Rolls-Royce demonstrate remote control tug operations


vitzer has demonstrated that it is possible to remotely control a tug in a harbour for various operations without the need for any crew on board. It worked with Rolls-Royce to test the technology in a live environment using one of its newest tugs. Svitzer Hermod conducted the remotely controlled manoeuvres in Copenhagen harbour, Denmark in June. The 28m vessel’s captain controlled the vessel from the remote base at Svitzer’s headquarters, berthed it alongside the quay, undocked the vessel, turned it 360°, piloted it to Svitzer headquarters, before docking again. Robert Allan-designed Svitzer Hermod was built in 2016 at Sanmar Shipyard, Turkey. It is equipped with a Rolls-Royce dynamic positioning system, which is the key link to the remote controlled system. The vessel is also equipped with a pair of MTU 16V4000 M63 diesel engines from Rolls-Royce, each rated 2,000kW at 1,800 rpm. Svitzer Hermod features a range of sensors which combine different data inputs using advanced software to give the captain an enhanced understanding of the vessel and its surroundings. The data is transmitted securely to a remote operating centre from where the captain controls the vessel. Lloyd’s Register supported the project, using its ShipRight procedure guidance to ensure the technologies were implemented safely. Svitzer chief technology officer Kristian Brauner said: “Disruption through innovation is happening in almost every industry and sector, and technology will also be transforming the maritime industry. Svitzer is actively engaging in projects that allow us to explore innovative ways to improve the safety and efficiency of towage operations to benefit our customers and our crews. We are proud to be partnering with Rolls-Royce in this high-level research and development of systems for remote operation.” Rolls-Royce president – marine Mikael

Rolls-Royce and tug operator Svitzer demonstrated the world’s first remotely operated commercial vessel in Copenhagen harbour, Denmark

Makinen commented: “We have been saying for a couple of years that a remotely operated commercial vessel would be in operation by the end of the decade. Thanks to a unique combination of Svitzer’s operational knowledge and our technological expertise, we have made that vision a reality much sooner than we anticipated.” Robert Allan developed an autonomous tug concept last year to attract interest from owners and accelerate innovation.

It unveiled the RAmora tug conceptual design following an extensive research and development programme. The RAmora 2400 is designed primarily for ship assist and berthing operations with a bollard pull of 55 tonnes and hybrid propulsion that includes battery storage capacity. The design includes technical features for remote operations including live 360° video, real-time electronic position-sensing and advanced real-time control interfaces for the operator. There is also onboard manoeuvring and positioning controls, equipment and workspace monitoring and safety management functionality. The RAmora design incorporated Voith Schneider Propeller drives arranged in a fore/aft configuration for omnidirectional manoeuvrability. It also had heavy-duty cylindrical fendering around the entire deck perimeter to allow RAmora to push from any point. In a different development, Tuco Marine Group introduced remote controlled navigation systems for ProZero workboats. Tuco introduced designs for an autonomous tug, patrol vessel, iceclass workboat and a support vessel for remotely operated underwater vehicles. To enable the ProZero series unmanned operations, Tuco worked with Sea Machines to develop remote controlled navigations systems. These can be embedded into a wide variety of vessels in the ProZero series enabling the vessels to be operated remotely and to be self-piloting. The autonomous control system and unmanned workboats provide the ability to perform repetitive and quantifiable marine tasks more reliably when compared to direct human control, to improve the quality of operations. TTB

Svitzer Hermod was designed by Robert Allan and built by Sanmar in Turkey

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017

Salvors have to tackle a number of hazards on a ship casualty

CAN SALVORS TACKLE GIANT CRUISE AND CONTAINER SHIPS? In an exclusive interview, ISU president John Witte predicted the biggest challenges the salvage industry could face, such as an emergency involving a cruise ship or a gasfuelled vessel


alvage tug operators face greater technical, oceanographic and financial challenges than ever before, but still provide essential safety and environmental services to shipping. Salvors are vital to shipping as first-reactors, loss mitigation partners and wreck clean-up contractors, yet they are finding their margins squeezed at a time when demand is rising. In an exclusive interview with Tug Technology & Business, International Salvage Union

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017

(ISU) president John Witte described some of the technical and financial challenges the salvage industry faces. “Our biggest concern and worry is: what will we do in a casualty of a cruise ship with thousands of people on board – it is highly scary,” Mr Witte commented. The Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster of 2012 demonstrated how unstable cruise ships can be, he said, and the Sewol ferry disaster of 2015 highlighted how quickly ships can capsize and the difficulty of evacuating

passengers in an emergency. Another worry is dealing with container ships that are being built larger than 22,000 teu capacity. “The size of container ships and the number of these vessels are challenges,” said Mr Witte, while another is not knowing what is inside damaged containers, “so, we may not know what we are dealing with in a casualty.” Because of this, he thinks there should be more information available on how containers are stacked and what is inside them. “Most are listed


“The issue with LNG-fuelled ships is they are potential bombs”

accurately, but some will not be and there will be salvage concerns if there is something dangerous in them,” he added. Mr Witte also said dealing with a gas-fuelled ship casualty would be challenging. “The issue with LNG-fuelled ships is they are potential bombs,” he said. “As more ships use LNG as a fuel there will be more risk of a casualty, and more technical challenges.” He acknowledged that the LNG industry had a good safety record, with no significant casualties so far, but it only takes one safety lapse and salvors will be faced with a semi-capsized ship full of LNG fuel and a cloud of methane to deal with, he warned. His comments reflected those made by Smit Salvage master Sylvia Tervoort at the ISU conference in London in March this year (Tug Technology & Business, second quarter 2017). She had listed the risks, saying that they come from the phase change from a cryogenic liquid to a highly flammable gas, the explosion potential of LNG vapours – or pool fires, the possibility of asphyxiation from working in an oxygendeprived area. Those are the greatest technical risks, which will require further investment by the salvage industry in equipment, tugs and people. However, salvors are facing financial challenges since shipowners and insurers are driving prices lower for wreck removal, said Mr Witte, adding that this increases the risk that

no experienced salvage company will be available to tackle a marine casualty in the future. “We are there to partner with shipping to save lives and prevent pollution when casualties occur,” he said. “A lot of the activity is ensuring that crews are safe, because a shipping company can replace a vessel and the cargo, but cannot bring people back.” ISU data demonstrates that there was a 47 per cent reduction in gross revenues and 57 per cent dive in wreck removal turnover in 2016, compared with 2015. This is despite the industry tackling 306 salvage jobs and 131 wreck removals (TTB second quarter 2017). Mr Witte is campaigning to ensure that shipowners and insurers are willing to pay a fair price for salvage work. “There has been a major reduction in revenue, but increasing number of responses. It is a changed market, so the salvage industry has to change with it,” he said. “We need to keep people trained and remain ready to respond to environmental incidents, but we are all competing for the jobs. There has to be some type of recognition that salvors do not work every day of the year and need to be fairly compensated for the efforts we provide.” Salvors are increasingly working with multiple stakeholders, including governments, local authorities, environmental organisations, cargo owners, shipowners, insurers and law firms. With this in mind, Mr Witte said

“It is incorrect to see LOF as open cheque-book to salvors”

Biography John Arnold Witte, Jr John Witte has 40 years in the salvage and tug operating industry. He is president of the International Salvage Union and is also a past president of the American Salvage Association. He is executive vice president and senior salvage master at New Jersey-headquartered Donjon Marine, which was created by his father in the 1960s. He manages Donjon’s salvage, demolition, marine transportation and heavy lift operations. Mr Witte is also acting general manager and director of Donjon Shipbuilding and Repair, which has facilities on Lake Erie in Pennsylvania.

ISU members and other salvors help to protect the environment and return value to shipping and nations that benefit from the maritime environment and fishing when a casualty occurs. “We have been approached due to environmental concerns to remove bunkers from vessel wrecks. But in deeper water the cold temperatures mean bunker removal may not feasible,” he said. However, the wreck could be leaking fuel and damaging the environment, which is why an integrated team effort is needed. “Everyone plays a part in line with the local legal and regulatory requirements and environmental concerns – it has become a more involved process. For a successful casualty response, there needs to be good communications and support,” he explained. There should also be more recognition of the need for safe refuges for ships in distress and for salvage operations. “Salvors would rather bring vessels into places of refuge to work on instead of in the open ocean,” so that fuel can be pumped out and cargo removed in a safe environment, Mr Witte explained. One of the main financial issues for salvors is the falling use of Lloyd’s Open Form (LOF) for salvage and wreck removal. Around 33 per cent of dry salvage revenue came from LOF contracts in 2016, compared with 46 per cent in 2015 and 55 per cent in 2014. “We think this is the best form of contract for the owner and salvor protection and for a quick response,” Mr Witte explained. LOF provides a mechanism for a third party to make a decision about fair compensation to the salvor that is based on past results, but it is under-used because owners and insurers do not understand it, he said. “It is incorrect to see LOF as open cheque-book to salvors.” ISU members want LOF

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017


to become the standard contract used for all salvage and wreck removal projects as it once was. “We want operations in a cost-efficient manner that supports the industry and makes money, taking care of bad events and not over-charging so owners feel they have paid a fair price,” Mr Witte concluded. “Salvage is still based on physics, so the tools and tugs need to be better and bigger. We still need people, such as salvage masters and foremen, and recognition that we are part of the solution, and not part of the problem.”

Salvage Technology John Witte, president of the International Salvage Union thinks that various technology developments in the last decade has helped drive salvors to greater depths and to tackle more challenging wreck removal projects. He highlighted these key technologies as contributing to the improvements:

Five Oceans Salvage tugs re-float bulk carrier Benita off the coast of Mauritius

• Robotics and remotely operated vehicles • Tugs with higher bollard pull and shallower draughts • Hydraulic pulling systems and hydraulic rams • Hyperbaric diving technologies • Higher rated portable lifting equipment • Drones that can be flown to survey casualties • Better weather forecasting • Underwater mapping – multibeam surveys with 3D panning to visualise the layout of a wreck

DONJON MARINE FOCUSES ON PEOPLE AND DIVERSIFICATION New Jersey-headquartered Donjon Marine places a lot of emphasis on training its personnel for the new requirements in salvage and its diversified operations. The group has operations in salvage, towage, dredging, heavy lift and marine transportation. It also owns a shipyard in Erie, Pennsylvania. Donjon executive vice president and senior salvage master John Witte said the group’s strategy is to own as much of the equipment needed for these diverse operations as possible to minimise the costs of hiring tugs and other vessels. Donjon also focuses on training its own marine and shipyard teams.   This requires considerable time and expenditure on teaching employees to make the best use of the vessels and equipment, said Mr Witte. “We have people trained on specific equipment and aligned with the rest of our operations,” he added. There are times when salvage, towage or construction projects are too complex for Donjon’s own equipment. “We contract out some operations, but try to maintain as much in house as possible,” he continued. Donjon has a fleet of heavy lift barges, tugs, dredgers, workboats and small utility boats (see table) but Mr Witte stressed that the most important element of the company is human. “Without good people salvage and tug operators would not be successful,” he said. “We need well-trained and competent people to operate tugs and barges.”

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017

It is costly to maintain the vessel fleet and the equipment required for salvage and other operations, which is one of the reasons why Donjon acquired the Erie shipyard. “Diverse operations keeps a company ahead of the bankers and ensures there are benefits from different operations,” said Mr Witte. “There are few exclusive salvors these days, so diversification is key to success.” Its yard also attracts repair business, including contracts associated with salvage. One of these was achieved in May this year when the shipyard repaired bulk carrier Indiana Harbor. This ship grounded while backing into an ore dock in Ohio and sustained damage below the waterline. An emergency tow and repair was needed to get the vessel back into service. TTB

DONJON MARINE FLEET 17 tugs / 12 hopper scows / 10 deck barges 5 crane barges / 5 dredgers / 4 workboats 4 other barges / 3 utility and crew boats






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Simulators improve ship manoeuvring and tug safety Greater challenges in manoeuvring ever-larger ships is leading to developments in more advanced training software and simulator modelling, writes Martyn Wingrove


ug owners require more sophisticated simulators to train tug masters and show crew how to interact with the larger ships in confined spaces of harbours and terminals. The simulation software can also be used for creating best practice for towage and ship manoeuvres. Transas and Kongsberg Digital believe they are leaders in developing and delivering tug training simulators and software. Transas Academy vice president Ralf Lehnert explained that manoeuvring activities are having a growing impact on safety and on commercial factors in modern port operations because the sizes of ships is increasing and tugs are becoming more powerful. As a result, ports are putting more focus than in the past on providing advanced training systems, he suggested. “Team training for tug operations is a critical factor for safe and efficient berthing” in all weather conditions, Mr Lehnert told Tug Technology & Business. The team should include the ship’s crew, pilots, the local vessel traffic management system and up to five tug masters. Training should involve scenarios based on various weather, tidal and current conditions that will be expected in the port and which would influence berthing or unberthing operations. To achieve this, Transas has developed sophisticated hydrodynamic models for all types of conditions with help and support from global tug handling experts. This means an individual tug master or a full team can be trained in these simulated environments before they are attempted in the real world. Transas uses mathematical and physical models to program tug-to-ship interactions, which includes high-fidelity modelling of the towing ropes. The simulators can offer up to

360 degrees of visualisation, said Mr Lehnert, allowing “a realistic view of the operational scenery, which is based on the 3D virtual reality of ports and mooring areas”. The simulation model is also based on specific tug types and various ships to tow. “Altogether, it makes it difficult to decide whether it is a simulation or a real-world scenario,” said Mr Lehnert. The model is loaded into a physical simulator that replicates tug bridges by using consoles that have specific tug controls. “This makes the simulators an extremely realistic and costeffective training tool,” said Mr Lehnert. In March of this year, Transas signed a global strategic partnership with Alphatron Marine and Japan Radio Co to incorporate software into integrated bridges and training simulators. This combines the realistic 3D modelling with actual tug bridge consoles for training centres.

Ralf Lehnert (right) signed an agreement with CSMART for delivery of simulators to new complex in the Netherlands

Future developments

Kongsberg Digital vice president for maritime simulation products Jan Ståle Kauserud said that simulators are increasingly used for modelling ship manoeuvring operations in new terminal and waterway developments or extensions. He added that simulation can also help improve procedures for manoeuvring ships and for emergency preparedness training. “With unparalleled data capture, replay, and playback capabilities, modern simulators provide a flexible tool for testing and validating new manoeuvring procedures and concepts,” Mr Kauserud said. He highlighted some of the benefits of this approach, mentioning greatly enhanced physical modelling of tug connection mechanisms, winch performance and line characteristics, adding that this can support effective testing of innovative and non-

“Team training for tug operations is a critical factor for safe and efficient berthing”

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017


conventional methods of tug employment, and mooring configurations. He expects more advances will enhance tug operations simulation further. “The use of object-oriented and scenario-centric simulation, using physical 3D modelling techniques, will further expand the ability of towing companies, marine pilotage groups and port authorities,” he explained. Object-oriented simulation focuses on the accurate physical simulation of all components that are important to the simulation. The objects are all the elements that compose the simulation scenario and create an environment that is comprehensive and completely interactive. In this way all objects are simulated by the program. For example, the fluke of an anchor can get caught on an underwater cable or another obstruction, all of which can be modelled objects. These objects can be physically connected together and separated from each other in a simulation model. In the program, these object interactions could be deliberate actions such as releasing a crane

hook from a load, or accidental separations, which could include the breaking off of a fuelling hose. Objects can include: lifeboats, deck cranes, fuelling hoses, hatch covers, fenders, anchor chains, shackles and couplings. “The next generation of simulators will combine all the positive aspects of a hydrodynamic model manoeuvring simulator with 3D physical models and a powerful physics engine,” said Mr Kauserud. The physics engine will simulate mechanical forces that are applied to a tug by other objects, such as ships, locks and harbour walls. The impacts will be simulated in more realistic terms. “The external forces are computed and applied to the ship, tugs and lines in a correct and empirical manner without the need for instructor-controlled interpretation or subjective judgements,” Mr Kauserud added. An example of this is the dynamic force calculation on tug tow lines. This will incorporate factors such as line length and vertical angle, along with their influence on the actual towline loads and the lateral forces applied to the ship.

“The next generation of simulators will combine all the positive aspects of a hydrodynamic model manoeuvring simulator with 3D physical models and a powerful physics engine”

A dedicated blend of tug training Tug Training & Consultancy (TTC) has created a dedicated training centre and has the world’s only full-scale training Rotortug. These facilities enable the organisation to deliver blended training to improve the competency of tug masters. TTC general manager Patrick Everts told Tug Technology & Business that simulator training is combined with classroom learning and practical exercises on the vessel. “We have a fullscale and mission tug bridge simulator for training and a 15m Rotortug that is the only one in the world used for training purposes only,” he explained. “We offer a combination of simulator, actual tug training and classroom training. The theory supports optimising the practice. We focus in our training a lot on what is happening under the tug, in the water.” The Rotortug is located in Rotterdam harbour, in the Netherlands. TTC’s training is not limited to just the Dutch training centre as it has a global team of trainers and can provide nautical consultancy. “We can send our trainers to any facility and use Rotortug models as long as they have been validated by our senior trainers,” said Mr Everts. The company collaborates with the major providers of simulators and software, including Transas, Kongsberg, VStep and Force Technologies. TTC offers the following training: • Basic tug handling. • Harbour towage. • Advanced harbour towage. • Escort towage. “Escort towage training is needed for handling ships through confined waters, where tugs are used for steering and braking and

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017

manoeuvring vessels,” said Mr Everts. TTC also provides nautical consultancy, offering advice to organisations developing new port facilities. “They need to know what type of tugs or how many tugs are needed,” said Mr Everts. “We can also simulate difficult and oversized transportation, such as offshore structures, drilling rigs, and lock transport prior to project execution.” Examples of projects it has worked on include providing consultancy and training in Port Headland, Australia, where Rotortugs are used for ship manoeuvring, and in Iraq where TTC trained tug masters at the oil terminal near Basra to help keep the facility open even in bad weather and high waves. TTB

Trainees practice terminal operations on a Rotortug simulator




vitzer tug master James Clarke works on board the highperformance LNGescort tug Svitzer Kilroom at the UK's Port of Milford Haven. Here, he describes working at the helm of the world’s most powerful RAstar 3900 tug as it guides large LNG carriers in and out of the South Wales port’s two LNG-import terminals.

Svitzer tug master James Clarke spoke to Karen Thomas about the challenges and issues of working on LNG–escort tug Svitzer Kilroom

How long have you worked at sea on board tugs? What changes have you seen in tug technology and working practices during that time? I have been working at sea since I was 19. I spent 20 years working on aggregate dredgers around Europe and the last nine years on tugs. Some of the biggest changes have been from wire tows to all soft rope. The advances in marine electronics include automatic identification system (AIS), digital selective calling radios, having mobile internet on board and the changeover from a paper-based management system to an electronic one.

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017

James Clarke: escorting LNG carriers safely to and from Milford Haven

How does operating tugs at Milford Haven compare with other ports you have worked in? The biggest difference is the five miles we go out of the pilot station to escort vessels in, and the constant sea swell off the entrance to Milford Haven. In many other ports the tugs meet the vessels within the shelter of the port. What shifts do you work and how busy is a typical working day? I work two weeks on, two weeks off. During our two weeks on, we live on board the tug as we can be called to assist a vessel at any time. Working hours laws only allow us to work 14 hours in any 24-hour period and we have to balance towage with drills and maintenance while remaining abreast of changes in regulations. Svitzer Kilroom is a big tug so there’s always plenty for the five of us to do. What were your impressions when you took the helm on Svitzer Kilroom for the first time? The first thing is the size of the vessel compared to other tugs I have worked on. Svitzer Kilroom is not as nimble as some smaller tugs but is

designed as an escort tug to operate in the sea swell we get in Milford. It is a similar difference between driving a sports car and a lorry; the size when you come to berthing being 6m longer than other Milford tugs. Svitzer Kilroom also responds more slowly due to its size. What kinds of vessels does Svitzer Kilroom escort? What particular challenges do you associate with each? The tug escorts mainly LNG vessels to the South Hook terminal and very large crude carriers (VLCCs) to the oil terminal. LNG carriers tend to be twin-screw, twin-rudder ships. The rudders are mounted very close to the transom of the vessels and can affect our movements when making fast. The VLCCs we escort tend to be single-screw with a single rudder mounted deeper down. When making the tow line fast in big swells there is a danger of the tug surfing on the swell into the stern of the vessel. What are Svitzer Kilroom’s fire-fighting capabilities? We have two fire-fighting, FiFi 1, monitors that can spray water at 1,500m³ – or tonnes


– per hour, each at a pressure of 12 bar. We can also act as a floating pumping station to the jetties by connecting into their fire main. Can you describe a typical operation, escorting an LNG carrier in and out of Milford Haven? With an incoming LNG carrier, we normally leave our berth an hour and a half before the pilot is due on board. We meet the LNG carrier at the pilot station, five miles from the entrance, at the same time that the pilot boards the vessel. We make fast our tow line to a strong point on the aft end of the vessel at a speed of around eight knots and pay out about 100m of tow line. We then have an escort mode on the towing winch that keeps a constant tension on the tow line to prevent it snatching in the swell. We then follow the ship into the port. The other tugs make fast to the side of the LNG ship as it sails up the west channel. Usually, the pilot will start to slow the ship after rounding the angle buoy and the bow tug

will make fast. About a mile from the berth the pilot will ask us to start giving weight astern to slow the LNG vessel. As we approach, we stop applying astern pull and move to a position to stop the stern of the LNG vessel coming into the berth too fast - a check position. When the LNG vessel is alongside the berth, the two tugs alongside the LNG vessel push with full force to hold it alongside until the ropes are made fast. When the spring lines and breast lines are secure, the pilot releases us so the stern lines can be run. Sailing is reverse but we may assist with a swing of the LNG vessel if it did not swing on berthing. How do you expect tug designs and operations to evolve? I expect changes in tug propulsion, away from diesel engines to gas or even electric. Svitzer has already trialled a hybrid-powered tug in Southampton. The energy market is continually evolving but ships are always going to need tugs. TTB

Svitzer Kilroom: technical spec Svitzer Kilroom was built by Construcciones Navales Paulino Freireat Vigo in northwest Spain. It was delivered at the end of 2008 and entered service when the Dragon LNG terminal in Milford Haven received its first cargoes in 2009. Svitzer Kilroom is the largest, most powerful RAstar tug built for the terminal. Canadian naval architect Robert Allan designs the RAstar series. The vessel was the third of six high-performance RAstar escort tugs that Svitzer ordered to support LNG carriers delivering cargoes to the Dragon LNG terminal, which is jointly owned by Shell and Petronas. Svitzer Kilroom is designed and equipped for ship handling and escort duties. It features a Rolls-Royce model TW 3000/1000H single drum hawser winch on the foredeck that has capacity for 250m of 76mm diameter, high-strength towline. The escort-rated winch is driven by a twin-pump electrohydraulic pump set. It features a three-speed drive system that can deliver line recovery at 100-tonne line pull at 5.2m/ min or of rendering at 150 tonnes at 8 m/min in the first speed range, or of recovering at 24 tonnes at 18 m/min and rendering at 50-tonnes line pull at 28 m/min in the third speed range. The aft deck is strengthened for an aft towing winch that is not presently fitted. Robert Allan designed Svitzer Kilroom to minimise the impact on vessel and crew of noise and vibration. This included essential resilient mounting of the main engines and isolating all the exhaust-system components. The tug is also fitted throughout with visco-elastic flooring. Svitzer Kilroom has accommodation for up to 10 crew. It has two officers cabins on the main deck, each with a private en suite bathroom and four double cabins below deck, two with private en suite bathrooms. The galley serves a large common lounge/mess area, equipped with video and audio entertainment systems.

Svitzer Kilroom particulars Built: CNP Freire, Vigo, Spain Delivered: 2008 Length: 39.71m Beam: 14.71m Draught: 4.81m Depth: 6.1m Gross register: 819gt Bollard pull (tonnes): 115 ahead; 107 astern Propellers: Twin Schottel SRP 3030 CP Svitzer Kilroom is Milford Haven’s largest, most powerful tug (Credit: Owen Howells)

Main propulsion system: Twin General Electric 7FDM16D10

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017

KVRE has reduced operating costs on five pilot vessels since fitting polymer fenders

POLYMERS OFFER BETTER RESISTANCE FOR TUG FENDERS Fenders manufactured from new materials have been found to be longer lasting and more abrasiveresistant than those made from traditional rubber


anufacturers of tug fenders have started to use new materials that have been proven to be more resistant to abrasion and collision forces. Fenders of various types and shapes have been traditionally manufactured using rubber material to provide protection for both tug and ships during vessel manoeuvring operations. But now things are changing. Fenders’ primary function is as a protective bumper and a point of contact during tugboat push operations, so they need to be highly durable with resilience properties in all conditions to enable tugs to tackle the most challenging ship manoeuvring operations. They must absorb impact energy from the force of two objects colliding, often when both are moving so the material needs to be resilient and elastic in reaction to impact stresses. For tugs operating in cold climates, the fender material also needs to be winterised to prevent brittle failure. Rubber material is relatively low-cost, widely available and reliable for fender manufacturing and daily use. However, some fender suppliers have developed products with higher performance, more resilience and lasting for longer periods between replacements. Fendercare, which is part of the UK’s James Fisher Marine Services, offers fenders that are manufactured with polymer products that it

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017

claims make them more durable than rubber fenders and reduce damage to tugs. Among its references are Rotortug escort and harbour tugs operated by Kotug, including RT Evolution. It has partnered with the polymer products specialist supplier Polymarine to distribute its polymer fenders. Fendercare told Tug Technology & Business that traditional rubber fenders transmit shock loading throughout the whole tug, leading to damage around engine and gearbox mounts and general structural problems on tugs. This can force tug operators to take vessels out of service for repairs. By fitting the correct type of polymer fendering, however, tug operators can reduce damage caused by shock loading and provide more versatile ship handling operations, the company said. It explained that its fenders are very strong, lightweight and can be individually produced for different applications with various wall thicknesses and foam types. Polymer materials used in Fendercare’s range provide more resistance to chemicals and ultraviolet light, it said, and they are less affected by hydrolysis than some plastic materials, which will degrade in some water conditions, it explained. Polymer materials also have high elasticity and will not mark ships’ hulls, it added. Koninklijke Roeiers Vereeniging Eendracht (KRVE), the Netherlands pilots association, has Fendercare/Polymarine fenders installed on


five vessels used for transferring pilots to ships in Dutch ports. It has three bases of operation in the port of Rotterdam, at Waalhaven, Botlek and Europoort/Maasvlakte. KRVE’s mooring vessels are spread across 13 locations in the port of Rotterdam, all ready to provide mooring, unmooring and manoeuvring operations. Its five vessels with polymer fenders have been operational for five years, logging around 5,000 running hours per year with no hull damage or significant downtime recorded. Fendercare said KVRE has seen an average operational cost reduction of €15,000 (US$17,700) per vessel per year since fitting the polymer fender systems. Trelleborg Marine Systems uses high abrasion resistant and low density material to give longer periods between replacements. It supplies four different types of tug fenders, mainly from its main base in Dubai, UAE. Last year, Trelleborg developed what it calls a “new high performance super abrasion resistant compound” for its tug cylindrical fenders, which it claims increases service life significantly. FenderTec, of the Netherlands, specialises in manufacturing all types of rubber tugboat fenders that can be of a standard or customised design. Its rubber marine fenders can be cut to length, drilled or pre-curved as required.

Tug fender types and shapes

Tug owners, builders and designers have a choice of five types of rubber fenders for protecting towboats from ships and harbour infrastructure. The main types of tug fenders are*: • Cylindrical tug fenders • D-shaped fenders • Block fenders • M-shaped fenders • W-shaped fenders Cylindrical fenders form the main fendering installed on a tugboat’s stern and bow. They have a longitudinal support chain running along their centre

and usually have straps and chains fitted into their grooves. These fenders are used for pushing against ship hulls of all types and in all sea conditions. D-shaped fenders are similar to cylindrical fenders, but with one flat surface. They are designed to reduce shear forces on tugs and ships. They can be used on the main deck sheer lines, on the forecastle deck and stern of tugs to provide protection. Block fenders can have better grip than cylindrical fenders because of their shape and grooved surfaces. They have large contact surfaces that reduce contact pressures between ships and tugs, which makes them more suitable than other types for heavy-duty applications. This means block fenders could be particularly practical for tugs that operate in heavy swell and storm conditions. M-shaped fenders are usually fitted to the bow and the aft section of tugs to protect the tug and ship from damage during operation. Their weight is low, which improves tug stability, and a large flexible surface area that reduces the forces on the vessel during pushing and pulling operations. M-shaped fenders can be fitted around tight curves and provide additional grip due to their grooved surfaces and stronger attachments to the vessel, which means they are suitable for heavy duty operations. They are usually used as pushing fenders on tugs manoeuvring bulk carriers and tankers at terminals. W-shaped fenders are designed for tug operations in more extreme weather and sea conditions. They can be installed around the curves of most hull shapes and are an effective buffer between tug hulls, docks and ships. W fenders are increasingly used for ocean-going and large harbour tugs. *Some of this information is based on a blog by Malaysia-based Max Groups Marine, which supplies cylindrical, M- and W-shaped fenders ( It provides conventional rubber fenders that are durable and versatile for various tug operations.

Kotug’s RT Evolution has polymer bow fenders supplied by Fendercare and Polymarine

Arctic tugs fendered for gas carrier operations Three winterised terminal tugs built for an Arctic terminal project have been heavily fendered to protect them and the gas carriers they were designed to escort from extreme weather and sea conditions. Spanish shipbuilder Astilleros Gondán built three escort tugs – Pax, Dux, and Audax – for Østensjø Rederi to provide escort services to LNG carriers entering and leaving Statoil’s Melkøya production terminal in Hammerfest, Norway. These tugs are expected to operate all year round in rough sea and weather conditions, but not in ice. These RAstar 4000-DF design escort tugs have bow fendering consisting of a 1,000mm diameter cylindrical fender extending well aft along with a lower course of 400mm thick W-shaped fender, which was specially designed to limit fender contact pressures to 20t/m2. According to designer, Robert Allan, sheer fendering is from a 400mm x 400mm D-shaped fender and stern fendering is a 400mm thick W-shaped fender. In comparison, Robert Allan-designed RAmparts 3200 class tug Panyi has a mixture of cylindrical, W-shaped and D-shaped fenders. It has ship-handling fendering at the bow that consists of two rows of cylindrical fenders of 800mm and 400mm in diameter. A 500mm x 450mm W-shaped block fender is arranged below the cylindrical fenders. There are also 300mm x 300mm hollow D-shaped fenders to provide protection along the forecastle deck and the main deck sheer lines, and similar D-shaped fenders at the stern. TTB

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017


Panama Canal invests in optimised tug and vessel scheduling


ith the opening of the upgraded Panama Canal came challenges in providing the required marine resources, including powerful enough tugs. While questions remain over the adequacy of the tugboat fleet, Panama Canal Authority is introducing a software solution for improving management of the existing tug fleet and ship scheduling. The authority is introducing a planning and resource management system from Quintiq to improve vessel scheduling for the canal system and to manage marine resources. When this system goes live later this year, it should improve the availability of marine operations for ship transits and reduce waiting times for vessels. It could

also increase the capacity of the canal and the amount of cargo container ships can carry through the locks. Quintiq director of Latin America Camilo Gaviria expects the first phase to go live in September this year. “Our solution is expected to take care of vessel scheduling and generate a schedule for tugs that assist in the transit,” he said. The program will help Panama Canal Authority achieve its goal for an integrated planning, resource management and operations environment that will also include scheduling pilot launches, line handlers and tugs. “The long-term plan is to have a fully integrated solution in a couple of years said Mr Gaviria. He added: “Our system enables more concise and precise scheduling, which

Tugs escort a container ship through the Panama Canal waterways

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017

Panama Canal Authority is introducing a planning and resource management system from Quintiq for vessel scheduling and managing resources, including tugs

will enable more efficient tug operations and better resource management. Our system will provide more visibility of tug requirements and enable the assigning of specific tugs to a vessel transit.” Panama Canal Authority expects tug operations to be more efficient by using the resources available and relocating tugs to where they are needed in convoys through the locks to assist transits. Mr Gaviria continued: “This is particularly important for the new set of locks as they are heavily reliant on tugs for vessel transits.” Quintiq’s system can provide up to 96 hours of vessel scheduling and lock planning, and will become self-learning for rapid reactions to changes in conditions and ship plans. “It will provide a long-term overview of what is needed and will react to operation disturbances by relocating tugs and rescheduling vessel transits so they are more operationally efficient,” said Mr Gaviria. The program receives data from various sources, including some in real-time, such as the level of water in the locks, weather and oceanographic conditions, position of tugs and ships using the canal complex and the estimated time of arrival of other ships. “The data helps operators manage the Panama Canal better,” Mr Gaviria explained. “Over time our system will be able to learn how to operate the canal resources more efficiently automatically.” But the system still needs input from the experienced and trained canal operators and planners. “When the planner allocates vessels, it will reflect this in the locks utilisation, water and tug utilisation,” he added. “For example, if there is a delay in ship availability or fog disrupts operations, then planners can use their own information and experience to move vessel schedules and then use our system optimiser to move all the vessel


PANAMA CANAL KEY FACTS Originally opened 1914 Expanded canal opened July 2016 New locks on the Atlantic and Pacific sides Capacity for Post-Panamax vessels up to 13,000 teu Expansion doubled the waterway’s cargo capacity Expansion cost of US$5.25 billion Total of 18 basins for the entire project 16 rolling gates required for the new locks Forecast 2017 cargo volumes: 397 million tonnes




schedules around this.” Quintiq’s solution uses meta-language for modelling and configuring layers to model the supply chain. Rules and constraints are fed into the system to ensure the result is feasible and can be delivered as an optimised solution, Mr Gaviria explained. “We input local data and use optimisation techniques to model and automatically plan optimised processes for the Panama Canal,” he said. “It has the same data that human operators use and when the optimiser completes the modelling, then the result will be immediately available to the planner.” Using the software should deliver accurate transit windows to ships preparing to use the canal system and increase the throughput of vessels between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. “This should have significant impact in routes between the east and west coasts of the US because of the increased availability of passages,” he said. This means additional capacity on ships and reduced 1:56 p.m.

delays during transits. “It should lead to more precise booking in future reservations and reduced costs through the Panama Canal,” Mr Gaviria commented. Quintiq’s solution should improve gas carrier transits and increase capacity for more LNG carriers. “LNG shipping is particularly complex to plan going through the Panama Canal as they need particular routes,” he said. “There are sequences by which LNG carriers can pass. Integrating this into the schedule will increase capacity for LNG shipping transits.” While the next step for the Panama Canal Authority is to bring the Quintiq solution online, future stages will include much more data and information. “The system can enable laser guidance, security systems and meteorological information to be streamed in,” Mr Gaviria explained. “This can be then integrated with the manual data, such as lockage rates. The system will use self-learning algorithms to optimise lock times and automate more operations.” He added: “Our system could also forecast future tug requirements.” TTB



platinum sponsor

gold sponsors

September sees the beginning of Riviera Maritime Media’s inaugural Asian Tug Technology & Salvage Conference in Singapore. This will be an industry-leading two-day conference that is devoted to tug, towage and salvage in Asia. The conference, which is supported by platinum sponsor Wärtsilä, will be held on 18-19 September and promises to be a vibrant and informative event with sessions dedicated to the region’s tug challenges, salvage issues and future global tug-related technology trends. This event is also kindly sponsored by Bureau Veritas, Damen, MacGregor, Rolls-Royce, ABS and SeaTech. The programme is live and can be viewed at: The first day will address the new regulations and opportunities facing tug operators in Asia, with viewpoints from industry leaders. There will be sessions covering key tug markets in the region and major safety and tug stability challenges. Day one also includes presentations of the latest tug propulsion technologies, from engines to propellers and thrusters. There is also a session devoted to the benefits, issues and challenges of using LNG as a marine fuel. The second day of the Asian Tug Technology & Salvage Conference will be split into three sessions. The first will incorporate presentations and discussion on all of the main salvage sector challenges, including technical elements, risk and regulation and contracting.

silver sponsors

There will be a session on deck machinery and bollard pull capabilities on day two of the conference. This will cover towage system design considerations, technologies that enhance bollard pull capabilities, compliance issues and lifecycle management. The final session of the conference will provide delegates with information about the latest tug designs and future trends in tug operations.

Speakers include

Julian Oggel General Counsel     Multraship Towage & Salvage

Dave Wisse Contract Manager Smit Salvage Asia Pacific

Mei-Yan Soh Principal Engineer ABS

I Gusti Ngurah Askhara Danadiputra Chief executive officer Pelindo III

Bas Wiebe Commercial Manager Resolve Salvage & Fire

Todd Barber Naval Architect & Principal Robert Allan

Gijsbert de Jong Marine Marketing & Sales Director Bureau Veritas

Thomas Tan Executive Chairman & CEO Kim Heng Offshore & Marine Holdings

Tug Technology & Business | 3rd Quarter 2017

more ships on more seas...

Tugs Technology & Business 3rd Quarter 2017  

The technology, design and operation of tugs is advancing rapidly and Riviera Maritime Media’s Tug Technology & Business journal offers uniq...