A high-technology rudder solution developed in the Netherlands has been adopted in a US-built tug designed to handle barges carrying chemical and petroleum products between US ports. Constructed at BAE Systems’ Jacksonville, Florida yard, the 9,280kW Sea Power was delivered to a subsidiary of Seabulk Tankers, headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The twin-screw, 43m tug has been developed to work in tandem with a 30,000dwt tank barge as an articulated tug barge (ATB) unit, plying US coastal waters.
The 185,000-barrel capacity barge was completed this year by DonJon Shipbuilding & Repair at its yard in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Sea Power offers increased manoeuvring capability by virtue of two independently controlled and operated Van der Velden BARKE rudders, in a system that alternatively allows synchronised actuation. Van der Velden, a subsidiary of Damen Shipyards Group, said that tank tests demonstrated the effectiveness of the rudder design for this vessel type, promising enhanced manoeuvrability and course-keeping stability in the ATB application, whilst also yielding significant through-life fuel savings.
The key driver behind the patented BARKE rudder is its innovative high-lift design. The progressively operating flap linkage system is contained in a fully enclosed, grease-lubricated housing, resulting in minimum wear on the linkage components and obviating problems caused through contact with floating objects.
The ATB tug is based on a design drawn up by Guido Perla and Associates (GPA) of Seattle. Company chairman Guido Perla states: “Van der Velden provided excellent technical support and on-time delivery of design documents that helped us develop the engineering and design for the installation of their steering system.”
Sea Power has two 4,640kW main engines and three 250kW generators, plus a standby 150kW genset. She employs a pin connector system for mating to the barge, and complies with ABS’ Under 90m Rules, AMS ACCU Towing Vessel notation, SOLAS and US Coast Guard Subchapter 1 requirements.