VESSEL REVIEW | Italia – Modern Z-drive tractor tug bound for Genoa


The Genoa, Italy-based Rimorchiatori Riuniti Group recently took delivery of Robert Allan Ltd-designed tractor tug from Sanmar Shipyards of Turkey, named Italia.

While Rimorchiatori Riuniti has purchased several Z-drive tractor tugs during recent years and operates a relatively large fleet of this style of tug, they have not ordered any newbuild Z-drive tractors in many years, opting instead to add newbuild ASD and VWT tugs to their fleet.

Designer and builder both worked very closely with Rimorchiatori Riuniti to modify the design to suit the requirements of this experienced owner.

Modifications included a rescue boat and davit on the foredeck, Fifi 1 capability via and independent pump set, recovered oil capability, escort rating and other minor modifications to outfitting and arrangement.

Despite having a low length to beam ratio for accommodating high bollard pulls, Italia is an efficient, highly controllable, and manoeuvrable tractor tug. This is due to a modern hull form and appendage configuration that RAL invested significant effort in, in model testing and computer-based computational fluid dynamics optimisation.

The hull features a raised fo’c’sle deck for operation in rough weather and for keeping the lower accommodation space above the design waterline per the MLC code.

Italia has a length overall of 25.30 metres, moulded beam of 12.00 metres, moulded depth of 4.46 metres, harbour draught of 6.45 metres and gross tonnage of 323.

Primary tank capacities at 98 per cent full are 83.9 m³ of fuel oil, 12.3 m³ of potable water, 4.8 m³ of foam, and 31.0 m³ of recovered oil.

Italia has been outfitted to a high standard for a crew of six. The spacious accommodations are MLC compliant and each cabin features a private en suite WC space.

The wheelhouse is designed with a single split control station for both ahead and astern operation with excellent visibility over the aft working deck. The efficiently laid out engine room includes a separate switchboard room and separate engineer’s workshop.

Main propulsion consists of a pair of Caterpillar 3516C diesel engines each rated 2,100 bkW at 1,600 rpm driving Rolls Royce US 255 P30 fixed pitch azimuthing drives through straight-line carbon fibre shafts.

The electrical plant consists of two Caterpillar C 4.4 diesel gensets, each with a power output of 86 ekW, 50 Hz, 400 V.

Fifi 1 capability is provided by a Fire Fighting Systems package featuring a single diesel driven pumpset and two remote operated monitors model FFS1200/300LB with 1200/300 m3/hour seawater/foam capacity.

Deck machinery includes a DMT TW-E250KN frequency controlled electric drive, constant tension towing winch with tension and length indication. Band brake holding load is 190 tonnes on the first layer. Haul-in, low speed on first layer is 25 tonnes at zero to nine metres per minute, while at high speed, first layer is eight tonnes at zero to 28 metres per minute.

Ship-handling fenders at the stern comprise an upper row of 800mm diameter cylindrical fender and a lower course of W-fender. 300mm D-rubber lines the shear strake and 300mm thick W-fenders are fitted at the bow.

On trials, Italia achieved a bollard pull ahead of 70.2 tonnes and a free running speed of 12.4 knots.

See more stories from this month’s Tug and Salvage Week here

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