Robert Allan’s Turkish Tug Connection

Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Photo courtesy Robert Allan Ltd.

For more than fifteen years Robert Allan Ltd. has had tugs built to their designs by a cadre of Turkish shipyards. In that 15 years there has been almost one new tug delivery every month to a Robert Allan Ltd. design in Turkey. To date more than 150 tugs have been Turkish-built, and even in a slightly reduced market this year, compared to the heady days of 2008–2009, there are at least 15 Robert Allan Ltd. designs under construction there today. Robert Allan Ltd.’s first Turkish client was the tug-owner/shipbuilder Sanmar Denizcilik Ltd. with 80 RAL tugs built to date, a significant milestone achieved during the celebration of Robert Allan Ltd.'s 80th year of business in 2010.

These Turkish-built tugs have been delivered to owners around the world, but the majority of these now operate in the Mediterranean, Western Europe, the Middle East, and in the Black Sea. It is noteworthy therefore that on January 4th the first Turkish-built tug for Canada arrived in Vancouver, the birthplace of its design. Seaspan International Ltd., of North Vancouver took delivery of the new RAstar 2800 Class tug Seaspan Raven, the first of four powerful new tugs destined to reshape harbour towage and tanker escort operations in the environs of the largest port in Western North America.

Particulars of this RAstar 2800 Class tug:
Length, o.a.    28.20 m
Beam, moulded    12.60 m
Depth, moulded    5.30 m
Operating Draft, max     5.10 m
Fuel capacity     119.3 m3
Potable water capacity    12.9 m3

The Seaspan Raven is classed for both harbour and coastal towing, and escort duties. The tug was built to ABS Class notation X A1, E, AMS, ABCU, Towing Vessel, Escort Support, Fi-Fi 1.

Propulsion comprises a pair of CAT 3516B marine diesel engines, each rated 1840 kW at 1600 rpm, and each driving a Rolls-Royce model US 205 CP azimuthing Z-drive unit with a 2400 mm diameter propeller, through a Cardan shafting system. This combination delivered a Bollard Pull of 71.2 tonnes on trials conducted in late October, 2010. A free running speed of 13 knots was recorded. 

In common with all the RAstar series designs, this new tug will out-perform its typical wall-sided competition, offering far superior escort towing performance, and reducing roll motions by at least 50%. The RAstar hull form is also far more energy-efficient, as the reduced waterline beam reduces free-running resistance considerably in comparison to old style tugs of similar overall proportions.

The Seaspan Raven is outfitted for a crew of six persons, in modern and well-equipped, air-conditioned accommodations.

The main hawser winch is a single drum, hydraulic winch supplied by Rolls-Royce. The aft deck is equipped for harbour towage with a Rolls-Royce towing winch.

Electrical power is provided by a pair of MAN gen-sets, each rated 120 eKW.

The tug has a full Fi-Fi 1 rating of 2,400 m3/hour in accordance with the ABS Class notation requirements. The fire pumps are driven from the front end of the main engines through a Kumera gearbox, which also drives the main hydraulic pumps, powering the winches.

The second tug of this class is expected to arrive in BC within a few months.

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