North Vancouver, B.C., based Washington Marine Group member Seaspan International is splashing out on its largest tug build commitment of a single class of vessels in over 35 years.
The company recently signed a contract with Sanmar Denizcilik Shipyard, of Istanbul Turkey; to build four state-of-the-art ship assist tugs. The 28-metre tugs, designed by Vancouver’s Robert Allan Ltd., are being built by Sanmar Denizcilik Shipyard in Istanbul as an order initiated by another firm that was unable to complete the purchase. Whitworth said it was “great news” that Seaspan was able to step in and pick up the order. The first tug is scheduled to arrive by the end of this year. The remaining three are expected by fall of 2011.The prime duties for these tugs will be to dock, undock and escort ships in Vancouver Harbor and Roberts Bank. Jonathan Whitworth, CEO of the Washington Marine Group that owns Seaspan, said the purchases were made in part because the company realized concern was growing about tanker traffic in the port in the wake of the massive oilwell blowout in the Gulf.
“It was part of that bigger picture,” he said, adding that the present fleet of tugs is still capable of safe assists. “The smaller, older boats still work great.”
Comparison of new Seaspan Terminal Tugs with current flagship Seaspan Resolution
The RAstar 28 m tugs, designed by Vancouver based naval architect firm Robert Allan Ltd., will feature full fire fighting capability and upon arrival will be amongst the most powerful vessels to sail British Columbia's waters.
The first vessel is scheduled to arrive by the end of this year; while the remaining three tugs will be delivered in the summer and late fall of 2011.
"We are excited to announce this fleet enhancement to our employees, the BC marine industry and the community at large," said Jonathan Whitworth, Washington Marine Group CEO. "The benefits of a purchase of this type are numerous, including the rebuilding and modernization of our fleet, and increased safety and capabilities for all ship escorts performed in the Vancouver Harbor. As recently reported, the Port has an immediate need for more modern and powerful tugs to assist the growing number of tankers within the Port. Seaspan recognized this growing concern, and I'm extremely pleased to report that we took the necessary steps to assist Port Metro Vancouver and the BC Coast Pilots in providing the solution."
Mr. Whitworth noted that recent sales tax changes and very favorable exchange rates created a "golden opportunity" the company just couldn't pass up. "Because of these two factors alone, we were able to increase the purchase size from an initial three boats to the eventual four boat order," he said
LOA: 92'-6" (28.2 m)
ENGINE POWER: 2 x 2500 BHP @ 1600 RPM
BOLLARD PULL 70 TONNES + 80 TONNES
SPEED 13.0 KNOTS
CLASS NOTATIONS ABS, III A 1, E, AMS, ABCU, TOWING VESSEL, Escort Support FI-FI 1