AWARDS 2020 | Best Ocean Tug – VB Guardian – Piriou and Piriou Vietnam

Photo: Pascal Bredel
Photo: Pascal Bredel

VB Guardian is one of a series of purposeful, classy, all-steel, 30-metre harbour and ocean tugs for a very experienced Spanish owner, Boluda, which will operate them from the French Mediterranean port of Marseille.

Designed and built by the renowned Concarneau-based French shipyard Piriou at its Vietnam yard, she is a strong and powerful vessel with a bollard pull of 75 tonnes ahead.

Fully equipped with all imaginable electronics and winches, this FiFi1 tug is ready, like her five sisters, for anything the capricious Mediterranean can throw at them.

"Having a lot power is good but being able to control it with precision is better," Piriou remarked when asked by Baird Maritime about what makes the tugs so unique. "To achieve this goal, Boluda, Piriou and Ortlinghaus have closely collaborated. The result is a new slipping clutch that enables the captain to smoothly distribute the power of the main engine for the firefighting pump and also ensure a fine regulation of propeller speed, on the full range of speed of the engines. This will in turn guarantee accurate and safe positioning, especially with ships having headway."

Piriou claims the innovative approach in the tugs' design is in line with its focus on technologies that guarantee both efficiency and sustainability. Another step aligned with that focus is its continued collaboration with customers in developing new vessels that rely on clean energy sources instead of fossil fuels while at the same time making sure those vessels perform exactly as intended.

"Our continued collaboration with our customers helped us weather the storm that was 2020," Piriou told Baird Maritime. "As a result, we were able to secure large orders in the defence and security sectors as well as orders from our existing customers in the towage industry. This was despite the months of economic slowdown caused by Covid-19.

"We expect that the towage industry will only continue growing, as evidenced by the increasing number of port construction projects around the world. We are also exploring more of niche markets, and we are currently working on new vessel designs optimised for supporting the offshore wind market."

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World