DISCOVER Magazine #7

A 50-year dynasty. Stan Tug 1606

Published in category: Harbour & Terminal

The Damen Stan Tug 1606 is pretty near perfection in the eyes of Coen Boudesteijn, the well-known Product Director Tugs and Workboats, who recently retired from Damen. This popular vessel represents decades of tug building evolution and its roots can easily be traced directly back to the renowned Damen Stan Tug 1 and Pushy Cat 42. These traditional Damen round bilge workboat hulls, were introduced between 1968 and 1972. In total, an impressive 360 Pushy Cats 42/46 and 175 Stan Tugs 1 were delivered between 1968-1988.

Damen’s current Pushy Cats and Stan Tugs are all essentially founded from these two original models, which have been popular since their introduction. Over the past 50 years, Damen has worked closely with dredging firms, towage operators and many other companies. The company listened carefully to clients, their captains and engineers and this input has been invaluable when it comes to the development of the Stan Tug Series. This especially goes for the Stan Tug 1 Series, which has been renewed four times over the past half century!

Each new tug generation is the result of constant product development. Each step and each detail has resulted in a vessel that is more cost efficient, more maintenance friendly, less prone to corrosion, has reduced fuel consumption and more power.

Hull design

Over the decades, the Stan Tugs have grown larger and gained more beam, but at the same time, they still embody their original robust forefathers. In the course of the standard development process, much attention was devoted to optimising the hull design. Valuable recommendations from Damen Research were combined with extensive full-scale testing, numerous detailed calculations for strength, vibrations, frequencies, stability and wave profiles.

In addition, the propulsion units have continually been improved, as noise levels and emissions were substantially reduced, even though bollard pull has increased. For example, the Damen Stan Tug 1606 has an impressive 50% more bollard pull than the Stan Tug 1 and yet its noise and vibrations are minimal compared to the first Damen Stan Tug.

The Stan Tug 1, with a 10-tonne bollard pull, evolved into the 1600/1605 with more power, more volume, more beam and with a 13-tonne bollard pull. The 1600 version was built between 1985-2007. But in 2005, the Stan Tug 1606 was introduced, again with more power, volume and beam and this time with a 16 tonne bollard pull.



The Stan Tug 1606, which is always delivered with twin propellers, has essentially been developed for towage, pushing, mooring assistance, mooring line handling, crew transfer, survey work and pilots’ services. In combination with a Damen Barge, it can take in bilge water, bring fresh water, do supply work and carry out many other harbor tasks. “It can all be done by one multipurpose, small tugboat,” Coen points out.

The Stan Tug 1606 features a very sturdy hull constructed out of 10 mm thick plating, a 20 mm heavy-duty sheer strake, continuous rubber D-fendering fitted at the sides and stern, and a heavy-duty rubber pushbow. Coen emphasises that this very strong construction all shows how Damen goes the extra mile. “A thickness of 6 mm is accepted by Class. But we decided to include thicker plating, heavy knees on deck and extra strengthening on the side and extra frames because of the knowledge we had from the dredging industry. We knew what rough conditions these boats could be working in.”

The sturdy hull has a shape to ensure the optimal water flow towards the propellers and rudders. And the Damen Stan Tug 1606 has open decks, both fore and aft, which have been kept as smooth as possible, obstacle-free, providing maximum space for safe working conditions.

A 1-metre high bulwark, with access doors, is all around and standard bollards are positioned on the aft deck, midship, on the pushbow and on the fore deck. And because the Stan Tug 1606 standard middle bollard has developed from the original Pushy Cat Series, this modern tug is still the ideal vessel for a one-man operation and speedy mooring. “A captain can moor and fi x the tug with one line himself. He is never more than five steps away from a mooring bollard!”


Meanwhile, the fore deck accommodates sound anchoring equipment with an electrical winch. The engine room hatch and emergency hatches, and ventilation facilities are all designed for optimal convenience, safety and easy accessibility for maintenance. In the wheelhouse and on deck, rounded-off corners make it easier to apply high quality epoxy painting and – benefitting the client – easy cleaning. Additionally, the Stan Tug 1606 has standard hoisting eyes to allow efficient transhipment onto another vessel.

More power, fewer emissions, quick response

Stan Tugs 1606 have a proven and reliable propulsion installation. Two durable, electronically-controlled Caterpillar C18 engines are combined with high quality Reintjes gearboxes, with an aggregate output of 894 kW at 1800 rpm. Thanks to the Damen Standard closed cooling system, these modern diesel engines have a very high torque of 1900 N-m at 700 – 1800 rpm available, resulting in a great acceleration.

The proven Damen standard propulsion train includes CuNiAl Kaplan propellers fitted in high performance Damen Marine Components nozzles. These nozzles give the Stan Tug 35% more pulling force compared to ‘open’ propellers. Both the propeller shaft and the nozzles’ inner ring are made of stainless steel for an extra long lifespan.


Exceptional manoeuvrability

The Stan Tug 1606 has exceptionally good manoeuvrability thanks to its power hydraulically operated, streamlined doubleplated rudders with 2 x 50° rudder angles. “These rudders facilitate easy turning circles, whereby the tug stops within a ship’s length and because of this 50° rudder angle she can turn around on her axle.” And again, Coen adds this is not required by Class, which only asks for 35° degrees. “This is another development which is based on our knowledge of the market. Quick turning is crucial in narrow, busy harbours for safety and efficiency.”

Main engine cooling is based on the original Pushy Cat Series; featuring the proven Damen standard closed cooling system with the streamlined cooling channels placed against the bottom shell plating. In this way, the Stan Tug’s cooling system remains pollution free, whilst navigating in extremely shallow water is enabled, and the cooling liquid is kept from freezing over during winter conditions. “This closed cooling system was already a great development when introduced in the Pushy Cat Series. There is no risk of pollution or freezing and the special cooling fluid guarantees an extra long lifespan for the main engines; this has all been part of the success of these Stan Tugs.” The latest Stan Tug 1606 generation has a modern engine room alarm system installed for engine and gearbox control, bilge water sensor surveillance, watertight door alarm and fi re detection. All displays are visible from the helmsman’s seat. The Stan Tug 1606 wheelhouse has an efficient layout with control and instrument panels positioned ergonomically. At the helm, the tug master has an excellent view all around through large windows. The centrally placed seat is close to the fore windows, with all essential control handles and buttons within reach. And the spacious wheelhouse includes a comfortable dinette.

Both the wheelhouse and the accommodation below deck are fully air-conditioned and heated. The modern, well-tried, durable Damen standard ship carpentry contributes to a cosy, user and maintenance friendly accommodation. The accommodation includes sleeping facilities for two persons, a galley with cooking facilities, a refrigerator, pantry, cabinets and a bathroom with shower.

Four weeks delivery

Stan Tugs 1606 give a great performance, are powerful, fast and boast outstanding manoeuvrability. They are totally vibration free and offer comfortable sailing under all conditions, thus enhancing the confidence of those who sail in them.

The range of standard options, such as a deck crane, extra coupling winches, a flying bridge, radar and additional accommodation are all available from stock, just like the completely finished Stan Tugs themselves and all standard components. Consequently, any Stan Tug tailored to the client’s specific demands, can be delivered within 4 weeks.

“The Damen Stan Tug 1606 can be seen all over the world today. In total, more than 200 modern Stan Tugs 1606 Series have been delivered since 1985 and we are still counting! It is a fantastic tugboat – as close to perfection as you can get!”

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