Customised Stan Launch 804s proves a hit for the boatmen of Terneuzen
Multraship Towage & Salvage
Although well-known Dutch towage and salvage operator Multraship already has many Damen vessels in its own fleet, the company recently took the decision to order two Stan Launches 804s for its boatmen service companies Verenigde Bootlieden B.V. and Montis Mooring, both operating in the Port of Terneuzen, in the province of Zeeland, the Netherlands.
Verenigde Bootlieden (United Boatmen) has been providing specialist maritime services, including water supply and lock warning expertise, crew tendering and a dedicated taxi service, to Zeeland for more than 100 years. The company became a member of Multraship Towage & Salvage, a division of the Muller Maritime Group, in 2004.
Core activities include mooring & unmooring services, quartermastering, transport & storage, crew & passenger transport and fresh water supply. Verenigde Bootlieden has a fleet of 10 units, but this is the first time it has owned Damen vessels.
Input from the boatmen
Multraship and its boatmen worked particularly closely with Damen Maaskant Stellendam Shipyards on the project to build the two Stan Launches 804s. Leendert Muller, Multraship Managing Director, stresses that the vessels certainly live up to their special denotation, referring them to as ‘small monsters’.
“There is really a lot of input from our boatmen in these two special vessels. They pretty much have everything. We are very happy with them, they are performing very well, in terms of manoeuvrability and the equipment on board.”
Damen’s design and engineering team and the Multraship boatmen customised the 8.62 metre Stan Launch 804 design to increase the standard bollard pull from 1.4 to 3.2 tonnes, adding an 11 kW bow thruster and a ø900 mm nozzle propeller. The D7C BTA Volvo Penta engine represents 182 kW of installed power, which more than doubles the power of the standard vessel.
“We needed this higher engine power and the bow thruster. The vessels had to be both highly manoeuvrable to be able to work in confined spaces, but also they need the extra power to work as a tug with a pusher bow, Mr Muller says.
Much of the work we do is for oil terminals and the tankers deploy steel wires on winches for mooring, he says. “These wires are large and very heavy when we are towing them to the jetties – you really need the power to move the wires.” For extra safety, the vessels are also fitted with Mampaey quick-release towing hooks. A capstan with a pull force of 750 kilogrammes was also installed to help the crew with the heavy mooring ropes.
Additionally, Multraship has invested a lot in anti-corrosion protection, such as equipping the two vessels with stainless steel, bulwark topsides, towing bitt, etc. “The measures we have taken mean that the vessels need less maintenance.”
Montis 5 and VB 2 also have an open stern instead of a closed stern and rubber fendering around, including at the topsides of the wheelhouse.
Due to the specifics of the Port of Terneuzen, the Stan Launch 804s vessels have a lower wheelhouse as well, so they can sail comfortably underneath the jetties. This meant limiting the air draught to a maximum of 2.75 metres. The mast can also be quickly folded to further reduce air draught if necessary. An anti-slip, wooden deck enables the Stan Launches to safely transport cargo of up to 450 kilogrammes.
In addition to these two vessels for Verenigde Bootlieden and Montis, Multraship has more than 10 Damen vessels in its own fleet. Mr Muller adds: “We are still renewing our fleet, every year we consider it, and are looking for growth. No consolidation as yet!”