Holyhead Towing has added another boat to its diverse fleet of tugs and workboats. Like most of the vessels in the fleet, the Afon Alaw is named after a river on the Island of Anglesey where
the company's home port is located. (Afon is Welsh for river.)
This is the third vessel built for the company by Hepworth Shipyard of Paull, Kingston Upon Hull and will be the most powerful in a fleet that includes multicats, survey boats, fast crew boats and a large split hopper barge. The 83.6 x 29.5-ft. tug has a molded depth of 11.8 ft., which allows a shallow 7.8 ft. working draft, this is important as a major focus of Holyhead Towing's work is dredging and marine civil engineering support in shallow water. The company's work also includes pipelay support and cable work throughout North West Europe and the Caspian Sea
In addition to conventional towing, the versatile vessel is suitable for anchor handling with a winch capable of 45 tons pull at nine meters per minute and for towing, a capacity of 400 m of 44-mm towing wire. The transom is fitted with a 3.5-m stern roller and hydraulic guide pins. A powered storage reel is in a hold below the after deck. A deck mounted 90 t/m Heila HLRM 90/55 hydraulic crane has a capacity of 29.7 ton at 2.89 m extension and 5.1 ton at 14.47 m. The Afon Alaw's main engines are a pair of Cummins (CMI)
KTA 38M2 engines delivering a total of 2,600 bhp through ZF gearboxes to propellers in fixed Kort nozzles. Giving her a free running speed of about 11.5 knots and a bollard pull of about 35 tons. As with most of the vessels in the fleet Afon Alaw is fitted with box coolers to allow shallow water work. The tug is also fitted with high lift rudders and a bow thruster. Electrical service is met with a pair of Cummins-powered 50 Kva generator sets. Hydraulics are provided for by a Cummin hydraulic power-pack.
The hardwood covered working deck can be fitted with a 30-ton A-frame. A towing hook is also fitted aft of the towing winch. Tankage includes 100-cu.-m. for fuel, 12 cu. m. of domestic water with another 60 cu. m. for ballast or supply water. Fuel and freshwater supply pumps facilitate support to dredges and other floating equipment.