AWARDS 2019 | Best Escort Tug – Mark E Kuebler – Robert Allan Ltd
Robert Allan Ltd (RAL) is inarguably the world’s longest established and best-known naval architecture firm that specialises in tugs and similar workboats. Its designs are built practically globally by a host of the world’s best and best known tug builders. This impressive new tug incorporates a number of innovations that the always forward thinking Robert Allan Ltd has developed. It is undoubtedly the ultimate in escort tugs.
This is a fully customised design built to meet the owner’s specific operating requirements, which included being able to safely escort the larger ships that are now calling to the company’s operating area.
“Robert Allan Ltd. determined through computer modelling that adding hull sponsons would improve escort performance,” RAL told Baird Maritime. “Those simulations showed more than 100 tonnes of steering force would be generated at 10 knots with a 98-foot ASD tug — a particularly important feature when escorting big ships.
“The sponsons are placed on the upper portion of the hull sides and continue along the majority of the hull longitudinally. The sponsons enable tugs to generate greater steering and/or braking forces hydro-dynamically at eight to 10 knots.
“Compared to the original very successful Z-tech design, the sponsons increased steering force at 10 knots by over 18 percent. When a tug is engaged in active escort operations, steering and braking forces generate high heeling moments causing the tug to lose its stability rapidly as the heel angle increases.
“Sponsons provide the additional buoyancy, righting arm and stability when the tug heels at these larger angles during escort work.
Robert Allan Ltd first designed a tug for G&H Towing in 2004 and since then the company has built a total of 29 tugs to various customised designs.
“We understand their work environment and they I think trust Robert Allan Ltd to consistently deliver designs that meet their operational needs,” added RAL. “Both companies have learned from one another over the years and so these latest tugs are the culmination of our combined experience working together.”
2019 has been another excellent year for Robert Allan Ltd, and the company is very optimistic about 2020 when we will celebrate its 90th year in business.
RAL has seen a steady year-on-year increase in the number of vessels built to its designs over the past five years and expects this trend to continue in 2020.
RAL said its growing international reputation brings with it diversification opportunities that were not readily available in the past.
“Improvements in the safety and environmental impact of escort tugs will certainly be our focus at Robert Allan Ltd. going forward as they have been in the past few years as well,” said RAL.
“We’ve already proven it is possible to build and operate more environmentally friendly tugs but in order to have more of these accepted into typical non-subsidised commercial operations we need to improve the economic viability of these cleaner tugs.”