DISCOVER Magazine #7

Good things come in small packages

Published in category: Harbour & Terminal

“It’s the power”

Hidden in between Norwegian hills, lays the small town of Flekkefjord, where the shipyard Simek is based. Last year, Damen sold Simek a Stan Tug 1004. An exceptional situation, selling a tug to a shipyard.

Today, Bjørn Solvik, captain of the tug and Hans Jørgen Fedog, Production Manager at Simek, still don’t regret their decision. The tug, also named Simek, is moored at the shipyard’s jetty and is deployed frequently according to Mr Fedog. “It’s the power. It’s much stronger than the boat we had before. It really makes the difference.”

To use the tug optimally in ice conditions, the yard has made one adjustment to the vessel installing an ice knife on the bow fendering to break through the ice. In Norway, the water often freezes in winter and Simek uses the boat in every weather condition. “If we need the tug, we’ll use it. We use it in the inside area in Flekkefjord. We use it in snow, to break through the ice, wind, rain, everything really. The tug never stopped us, in any condition. It has always been working well.”

The Simek is mostly deployed to assist ships, to tow around large hulls. “Before we had just a small boat, useful for fishing in our spare time but it didn’t have enough power for the work,” Mr Fedog explains. “We decided to order a bigger tug and we contacted Damen.

“Of course, Damen as a specialist in small tugs came to mind first. We knew that they were the specialist and we know Damen’s Sales Manager in Norway, Remko Hottentot,” Mr Fedog says. “We came to Holland to try the tug and when we came home, we decided to buy it. We have a very good relationship with Damen. We don’t have the design to build these tugs ourselves.”

Captain Solvik is also very content with the vessel. He usually sails it with one extra crew member. He doesn’t mind taking it out for a spin, says it’s an easy tug to sail and that it has lots of power. The tug is also very flexible; it makes sharp turns and it speeds up pretty quickly.

Mr Fedog concludes: “This tug really makes the difference when we are working with the ships. It makes the operations much safer. I used to be really stressed when a vessel came close to the quay. I am more calm now, more relaxed, because we have more towing power.”

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