Welcome to Tug and Salvage Week!

Photo: Detroit Shipyard
Photo: Detroit Shipyard

Alan Loynd, our esteemed tugs and towing columnist, cites Allanz, the insurer, in suggesting that there are "signs of recovery" in the global tug market. Well, I will be delighted to see the sector when it is really booming.

Compared with most maritime market sectors, tugs have been busy recently. The OSV sector would love to have experienced the kind of quiet times suffered in the tug business.

We seem to have new tug reviews on these pages at least weekly, mostly more often. The tugs reviewed and featured are frequently of new and innovative designs and of increasingly high quality. We see mostly AZD harbour tugs. They can be diesel, LNG and, more recently, electric or hybrid powered. Tug owners are obviously prepared to experiment, particularly in the interests of lower emissions from harbour tugs.

In addition to harbour tugs, we see tug and barge combos such as the new North Arm tug for British Columbia that will be featured this week. We see salvage and rescue tugs like the new Russian vessel Beysug, also reviewed this week. Other tug-based craft are the multi-purpose Multicats that originated, like many things to do with tugs, in the Netherlands.

Tugs • Towboats • Pusher Tugs • ATBs • Salvage • Autonomy • Marine Environment

Tugs are being built almost globally but, mostly, in Asia. European builders such as Piriou and Damen are renowned for their Chinese- and Vietnamese-built tugs. Indeed, a pair of 73 tbp tugs for well known owner Boluda have just been delivered from Vietnam by French-based Piriou.

Damen is building an all-electric tug in Vietnam for the Port of Auckland in New Zealand. They are a wonderful pollution solution in ports where electricity is generated renewably but, of course, apart from in New Zealand and Tasmania, there are not many such ports in the Asia-Pacific region.

The big Russian rescue, salvage, fire-fighting, patrol tug from St Petersburg's Nevsky Shipbuilding is a very impressive ship. At 80 metres LOA, she is big but her draught is only 3.2 metres. She is massive and ice classed and capable of going practically anywhere. She is also fitted out as an ROV mother ship. Read her review here this week.

The market may well be showing signs of recovery but it is already quite strong globally. As usual, it is fascinating as you will find on Baird Maritime this week.

Vessel Reviews:

Features and Opinion:

– "Here again, we are reminded of several other navigational accidents caused because of the preoccupation of a navigator with a cellphone conversation."

– by Michael Grey, former long-term editor of Lloyds List

– "If I was building tugs today, I would resist the temptation to festoon them with technology and concentrate on producing ships which were reliable and not particularly vulnerable to failures of flashy new monitoring systems."

– by Alan Loynd, former General Manager of the renowned Hong Kong Salvage and Towage company

– "Part of the thinking was to take a page from Bob and Russell Shrewsbury's book at Western Towboat in Seattle where they use Z-drives for towing. They face similar challenges in Alaska albeit with a lot bigger tugs and barges.."

by Alan Haig-Brown, marine writer and photographer

News, Gear, and Book Reviews:

Recent Important Features:

– "We must be getting close to the point where tugs will need to be idled, and that might lead to job losses, particularly in countries where labour laws are weak and trade unions frowned upon."

– by Alan Loynd, former General Manager of the renowned Hong Kong Salvage and Towage company

– "So if anyone ever gets around to revising deck cadet training to make it suitable for the modern era, I hope they will look to the past and include training modules. It will be fun, and it might just encourage more young men and women of the type we need to consider a career at sea."

– by Alan Loynd, former General Manager of the renowned Hong Kong Salvage and Towage company

Remember to come back every day to see the latest news, opinion and vessel reviews!

Call for content!

Any news or views about the global tug and salvage sectors? Send it through to editor@baird.com.au ASAP (between now and August 21), so we can add it to this current edition of Tug and Salvage Week!

We are after:

  • Vessels – Orders, new deliveries, under construction
  • Gear – Latest innovations and technology in the tug and salvage sector
  • Interviews – Owners, operators, builders, designers etc.
  • Reminiscences – Do you have any exciting, amusing or downright dangerous anecdotes from your time in the tug and salvage world? (example here)
  • Other – Any other relevant news

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