Welcome to Tug and Salvage Week!

Welcome to Tug and Salvage Week!

All of us at Baird Maritime love tugs. So, indeed, do most people in the maritime industry. Fortunately, tugs operate practically everywhere that sections of the maritime industry exist. Thus, most of us get to see them in action fairly frequently.

No port can operate without tugs. With the unbelievable growth in the numbers and sizes of cargo ships since World War II, the concomitant global growth in the numbers and capabilities of tugs has been phenomenal. Standard harbour tugs have developed from single screw, shaft drive, ten-ton bollard pull, polluting steamboats crewed by ten or more men to, almost invariably, twin screw, AZD, 60+ tonne bollard pull, increasingly clean, diesel-engined boats crewed by three men or, increasingly, women.

Currently, there are pull-tugs and push-tugs, harbour tugs and tug and barge towing or pushing tugs. There are salvage tugs and naval tugs for combat operations. We see them all here on Baird Maritime.

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

We are now seeing yet another new era in tug technology with hybrid and pure electric-powered tugs arriving on the scene. It seems likely that hydrogen, methane or even more exotically fueled tugs will be with us soon. Following the manning debates that came with reductions in tug crew numbers from ten, to five, and then to three people, we are now learning of proposals for completely crew-less tugs. One trusts that such unmanned boats are not clueless!

Tug engines, propulsion systems, electronics and deck equipment, and environmental purity have developed in tandem with their hull designs and construction methods. While many shipbuilders around the world have proved capable of building satisfactory tugs, as with other vessel types, there has been a continuing trend towards specialisation. The same applies to their designers. Their number continues to reduce as a small cohort of well known and highly reputable naval architects secure the bulk of the work from the increasingly specialised builders and the reducing numbers of their ever-bigger customers. Concentration, specialisation, innovation, environmentalism and globalisation are the main features of the modern tug world.

This week, Baird Maritime will present the latest tugs and their equipment from around the world. Tugs are a truly exciting and rapidly developing sector that offer endless ideas to not only tug owners and operators but to their counterparts in every other maritime sector globally.

Vessel Reviews:

Features and Opinion:

"Proponents of autonomous tugs continue to bombard us with good and not-so-good reasons for getting rid of our crews."

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

News, Gear, and Book Reviews:

Recent Important Features:

"Our own industry is helping to destroy our reputation by circulating the nonsense, instead of using facts to ridicule the lies, evasions and half-truths."

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

"I have never met anyone in the tug and towage industry who was not dedicated to providing the best possible service to customers."

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

"The canal remains at centre stage, although like everything else in shipping, the public only notices it when it gets blocked."

– by Michael Grey, former long-term editor of Lloyd's List

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 May 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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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World