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EUROPEAN UPDATE

The operator is also keen to point out that the use of marine diesel oil (MDO) as fuel simplifies the machinery and thus enhances reliability and safety. Unlike heavy fuel oil, MDO does not need to be heated to remain fluid, and this simplifies the fuel oil system: no heating systems are needed for tanks, pipes etc.; the number of separators, pumps and filters is reduced; no tank insulation is required; an emergency system which may be needed in case of a heating system failure can be omitted; and the significant reduction in the amount of required heating means that complex thermo oil or steam systems, including exhaust gas boilers, can be replaced by a simple hot water system. MDO is also a cleaner fuel. TT Lines estimates that around $1.3 million can be saved, compared with ships of the previous generation.

Other economies have been achieved by utilizing a streamlined hull, the design of which has been under development in Finland since the mid-1980s. Described as a "pram type semi-tunnel form," the improved lines — claimed to require around 18 percent less power — are achieved by means of a lower block coefficient and a slender forebody in combination with wide, moderately tunneled aft lines. Optimized forebody lines above the water also improve the ship's behavior at sea and reduce stresses, particularly on the bow doors. An aerodynamically- shaped superstructure front bulkhead also reduces air resistance in head winds, thus reducing speed loss in bad weather.

Aside from improvements in exhaust gas emissions and fuel consumption, Robin Hood and sistership have other environmental features such as a pre-sorting waste handling system for solid and hazardous waste — all of which is collected on board and disposed of on land — and a fully biological onboard sewage plant. All refrigerators are CFC-free; all cables are halogen-free so as not to emit dangerous smoke in the event of fire; waste heat from the diesel engines is recovered wherever possible; paints used are largely water soluble; and anti-fouling is tin-free. A futuristic approach has also been adopted with regard to safety factors, particularly damage stability in the event of grounding or collision, more than satisfying SOLAS 90 regulations (Stab 90 Rules). Double skin has even been incorporated above the bulkhead deck although not a legal requirement. Further improvements have been achieved by two longitudinal bulkheads on the main deck which also contain ventilation ducts for the lower hold. These ensure that, in the unlikely event of cargo shifting, the effects are minimal and stability is enhanced.

The newest fire safety regulations covering improved insulation, dimensioning and arrangement of escape routes and stairs, fire alarms and sprinklers, and low location lighting, have also been followed. Advanced navigation electronics with anti-collision radars are found on the bridge, where highly automated engine control also takes place. The integrated automation system for control and monitoring of ship operation technology is based largely on the Damatic XD system supplied by Lyngs0 Marine, a subsidiary of STN Atlas Elektronik.

Acting as a junction point for data coming from the areas of ship control, safety and cargo, it enables the navigator to monitor all ship operation equipment from the bridge.

Modular in design, the Damatic XD has numerous computer stations for fail-safe operation, and is powered by a Geapas automatic power supply system.

Atlas has also supplied an integrated navigation and command system, NACOS-25, which has been tailored to the difficult navigating conditions on the chosen ferry route. The system includes three radar pilot systems on which the planned route and the route already sailed as well as the current position of the ship — can be displayed at any time. Navigation lines represent a simplified form of chart, enabling the navigator to coordinate his maneuvers with full knowledge of the sea area and traffic. A second screen also makes the navigator's task far easier by displaying standard nautical information such as position, course, and speed, thus bucking the usual practice of havingdifferent displays distributed over the bridge.

The radar mast is equipped with two Atlas radar antennas; a further antenna is located on the forecastle, and a fourth unit in the stern area. These are used, for example, to obtain detailed information about obstacles when approaching a port or sailing in unfamiliar waters. Robin Hood, due for delivery at the end of May, but postponed due to damage to her electric propeller motor during sea trials, will operate between Trelleborg in Sweden and Travemunde in Germany on an eight- hour crossing. Nils Dacke is scheduled for delivery in the fall. Red Funnel tug Following a fairly quiet period in the U.K. tug industry, Southampton-based Red Funnel Group is now preparing to take delivery of the 108.2-ft. (33-m) tug Redbridge. Ordered in September of last year from Humberside yard Yorkshire Dry Dock (YDD), with official contracts signed at the International Towage & Salvage Convention (ITS '94)Jiedbridge is Voith- Schneider-powered for escort and harbor duties, and has been designed to serve the port of Southampton for some years to come. Stuart Bradley, chairman of Red Funnel explained: "The feature that we most value about this advanced design is the ability of the tug to handle the existing and forthcoming generations of still larger containerships and car ships which will be using the port. The maneuverability imparted by the Voith-Schneider units and the increase in bollard pull will fully satisfy these requirements." Redbridge will indeed be the most powerful vessel in the company's fleet to date as her twin Stork Wartsila FHD240 engines of 1,510 kW each ensure a bollard pull of 45 tons, a speed of 13 knots (ahead) and 12.5 knots (astern). Maneuverability is provided by twin five-bladed Voith-Schneider type 28G units. John Dempster, managing director of YDD, talked to MR/EN from his office amid his active Lime Street drydock yard, one of three facilities utilized by the company. "It was an excellent opportunity for us to win a contract for the first 'official' tug we've built for many, many years," he said. "But in terms of track record, it's worth remembering that over the past couple of years we've built the two most sophisticated 300 survivor stand-by vessels for the North Sea oil industry which, although they were not tugs, were capable of a 31-ton bollard pull." Red Funnel needed no further proof of the yard's ability when the contract went to tender and liaised over the vessel's design with YDD and consultant naval architects Burness Corlett & Partners. Significant features include a high sheer aft to protect the vessel during escort duties and positioning of funnel ahead in order to avoid an obstructed view of the stern, essential as the vessel will spend much of her service life in stern operation and will be crewed by just three. With the latter factor in mind, all winches are controlled from the bridge. Onboard equipment includes an Effer crane, SES electronics package, a Jason's Cradle man-overboard device, a Vicam alarm and monitoring system and two wheelhouse topmounted water/foam monitors.

When the contract, valued at $5.5 million, was placed, an option for a second identical vessel was also mooted but, said Mr. Dempster, Red Funnel has been forced to reconsider following the decision by competitive operator Howard Smith to locate one of its recently ordered tugs at Southampton early next year.

"Basically, the new Howard Smith tug will leave no capacity for another from Red Funnel and, therefore, the plan has had to be shelved. This is obviously a disappointment to us, but since the Red Funnel work started we've had other enquiries for tugs. We've enough work at the moment to take us into mid- 1996, but another contract would be good for overall security. The best news perhaps is that U.K. yards are now becoming very competitive on a worldwide level," he explained. Spanish buy British U.K. yards have been complaining long and loud about "unfair" competition from Spanish boat builders. It is, therefore, a remarkable reversal of current trends for a small boatyard located on an island in the upper reaches of the River Thames to secure an order for two 30-ft. (9- m) steel line-handling boats from La Coruna in Spain. The first vessel has been shipped, work on the second is soon to start, and the yard, Hampton Marine Services, is confident that orders for nine more similar vessels will follow.

The customer, seeking workboats for use at oil terminals, originally approached bi okers Sunrise International for a secondhand steel vessel with a very low air draft, enabling it to pass under the pile mounted pipeline to which discharging tankers connect. Despite a wide ranging search it proved impossible to find a vessel meeting this requirement, and consequently Hampton Marine was asked to quote for a newbuild — a small photograph of an existing vessel being the only guide. A design proposal was made by yard owner, Bob Sandall, and his quotation surprised the Spanish customer with its competitiveness, even when shipping costs of $7,000 were taken into account. An initial order for two boats was placed.

Trials of the first craft, observed by MR/EN, took place on the Thames just five weeks after building commenced. The vessel proved highly maneuverable with abundant power from a single 130-hp Perkins Sabre diesel driving a 30 by 19-in. propeller through a PRM gearbox with a 3:1 reduction ratio.

Busy Dutch yard confirms versatility Confirming its status as one of Europe's most innovative and versatile aluminum boat builders, the Engelaer Shipyard in Holland followed the announcement of an order for three 65.6-ft. (20-m) pilot boats (MR/EN August 1995) with details of its latest, completely contrasting delivery — a 101-ft. (30.7- m) aluminum schooner. Designed by Andre Hoek, the vessel, called Reesle, will be kept at La Rochelle on France's Atlantic coast for corporate entertainment purposes.

The yacht features a computer controlled hydraulic system allow- ing the helmsman to singlehandedly activate eight concealed winches, five sail furling operations, two anchor winches and a retractable bowthruster. Power is from a pair of240- hp MTU diesels driving 850-mm, f o u r - b l a d e d Hundested CP props through Twin Disc MG 5050 gearboxes. C r a n k s h a f t - driven hydraulic motors are fitted to each engine. Aluminium 5083 was used for frames and plating, and a bulb keel fitted. The hull is divided into six watertight compartments with the engine room amidships having watertight doors fore and aft.

Under construction at the yard is a 62-ft. (20-m) aluminum sailing yacht. Ease of operation was a primary consideration, and designer Gerry Dijkstra incorporated lightweight AeroRig mast and spars for effortless handling. The vessel will have two engine rooms — allowing a central corridor access to the owner's cabin in the stern.

 
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