DISCOVER Magazine #7

Few vessels have the pedigree of a Stan Tug

Published in category: Harbour & Terminal

Many operators in the towage, dredging and marine construction industries speak of the Damen Stan Tug with great affection. Like a well-bred horse the Stan Tug range has a pedigree that can be traced back many generations to the mid-1970s. The first tugs, the Stan Tug 1 and 2 intended for use in harbours and to support dredging and construction work, quickly became popular and within a few years a new seagoing Stan Tug 4 was added to the portfolio.

Prior to that very first Stan Tug 1 came the venerable Pushy Cat, the first vessel to be built at Damen in Hardinxveld using serial production methods that have become synonymous with the Damen name. Pushy Cats were sold around the world and examples of elderly vessels are found, still in running order in the most remote and unexpected places.

Since those early days many new vessels have been added to the Stan Tug range and existing designs carefully reviewed and upgraded as necessary to meet the demands of clients and the industries they serve.

There are currently 10 vessels in the Stan Tug range, starting with the Stan Tug 1004, with a bollard pull of 4 tonnes and rising in size and complexity to the 100 tonnes bollard pull Stan Tug 4513, a vessel fully equipped for work offshore and deepsea. New designs at the small end of the range supersede the now outdated Pushy Cat. Approximately 20-30 Stan Tugs are delivered each year ready to carry out a variety of work in ports, harbours and at sea.

Stan Tug operators are enthusiastic about their vessels. A typical example is the family firm Clyde Marine Services Ltd based at Greenock in Scotland. Describing their activities Managing Director Hamish Munro said: “Our fleet of vessels provide mooring, boarding and towing services around the clock, assisting ship movements within the Clyde area. We operate four Stan Tugs of between 5 and 28 tonnes bollard pull, including Beaver Bay a Stan Tug 1 built in 1978 and purchased by us in 1980. We find them very reliable and our two 19m tugs are a good illustration of continuing development and are excellent tugs. The Stan Tug 1906, Battler has 20 tonnes bollard pull but the later Stan Tug 1907 Bruiser with 28 tonnes was a massive step forward for us”.

Bruiser is the most powerful vessel in the Scottish fleet of Clyde Marine Services Ltd which operates four Stan Tugs of various sizes.

Two Stan Tugs involved in a quite different operation are the Stan Tug 1205 SWS Essex and the Stan Tug 1606 SWS Breda. Employed by S. Walsh and Sons Ltd of Essex, in the UK, both tugs are employed in the transportation of bulk cargoes for the construction industry in and out of London. Working on the tidal river Thames the SWS Breda, with its bollard pull of 16 tonnes, operates a 24 per day service moving 10,000 tonnes of excavated spoil.

SWS Breda works around the clock pushing barges of excavated spoil away from Central London, sometimes moving 10,000 tonnes per day.

A similar pair of Stan Tugs the Asterix (Stan Tug 1205) and Ibex (Stan Tug 1606) recently entered service at the Fawley oil terminal on Southampton Water with the fleet of Solent Towage Ltd, a subsidiary of Norwegian company Ostensjo Rederi. The tugs replaced an 18 year old Damen Stan Tug 1405 and a single-screw Norwegian built vessel. The crews pointed out that although the Asterix is smaller than the tug it replaces, it is more agile and has considerably more bollard pull. Both vessels are used for mooring duties with very large tankers and are now able to assist smaller ships of up to 30,000dwt.

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