In a unique christening ceremony taking into account the February weather, SAAM SMIT Towage Canada hosted industry representatives aboard the Pacific Yacht cruise vessel to witness and celebrate the christening of two new tugs — the SST Orca and the SST Grizzly. The event also provided an opportunity for the shipping industry to welcome new SST Canada President, Sander Bikkers. Guests were chartered over to SST’s docks in Vancouver Harbour where Orene Askew of the Squamish Nation and Helen Xia, President of COSCO blessed the SST Orca and SST Grizzly respectively. The new vessels arrived in Vancouver following construction at Hong Kong’s Cheoy Lee Shipyards in early November. The tugs are the state-of-the-art RAstar 3200 escort tugs designed by Robert Allan Ltd.’s Andra Papuch and Bill Hu. Both have bollard pulls in excess of 80 tonnes with the abiltiy to generate high indirect escort forces at speeds of up to 10 knots, namely 82 tonnes in steering, and 130 tonnes in braking.
The tugs are also both equipped with Ibercisa electric towing winches aft, spooled with 600 metres of 54 mm (2-1/8”) diameter 6×36 IWRC steel wire rope towline, thus boosting the capacity of the local tug fleet to rescue vessels and tow them to safety should they become disabled beyond where they would typically be actively assisted by escort tugs.
Specialized fendering systems designed to minimize contact pressures, along with folding masts both act to keep the risk of any steel-to-steel contact with assisted vessels with high flare to a minimum, while also assisting these vessels into terminals as gently as possible. A Fi-Fi 1 standard external fire-fighting system with waterspray and a 16 m3 foam tank, also makes these tugs very useful for terminal standby roles.
Other principal particulars of the new RAstar 3200s include:
- Length, overall: 32.0 m
- Beam moulded: 12.8 m
- Depth, least moulded: 5.4 m
- Draft, navigational: < 6.0 m
- Tonnage, gross registered: 492 GRT
- Speed: 13.5 knots
- Fuel: 193 m3
- Fresh water: 35 m3
The tugs’ full classification notations are as follows:
- Lloyds Register ✠ 100A1 Escort Tug, Fire-Fighting Ship 1 (2,400 m3/hr) with Waterspray, *IWS, ✠ LMC, UMS
The main propulsion machinery comprises a pair of CAT 3516C diesel engines, each rated for 2,525 kW at 1800 rpm, driving 2.8 m diameter controllable pitch Schottel SRP 4000CP Z-drives. This propulsion plant propels these tugs at speeds in excess of 13.5 knots, thus allowing them to comfortably keep pace and manoeuvre into position during high speed escorts.
The electric deck machinery combined with the house loads are powered by a pair of 200 ekW Caterpillar C9 gensets, and the tug is also equipped with a smaller C4.4 harbour genset, rated for 51.5 ekW.