For the mechanically minded there are detailed descriptions of the engines, winches, propulsion systems and all the principal equipment aboard. These small masterpieces of technical writing are succinct but thorough and highlight the unique characteristics of each vessel.
The general arrangement drawings are usually of very high quality and level of detail and show how the boats work for those who run them and live on board. Combined with the photos one can see quite clearly that the combination of function and form in the hands of skilled naval architects can produce stylish, even beautiful vessel.
Nowadays tugs are highly specialized craft, often designed for specific uses, but also with the same necessary features to push and pull larger and larger ships. The prolific Canadian naval architects Robert Allen Ltd are as usual at the forefront of new technology. The cover feature tug, the Norwegian Dux owned by Ostensjo Rederi AS, is a dual fuel vessel built for extreme northern conditions and is one of several Allen deign featured this year.
While Europe is well represented in the various featured vessels, so are Asia, the United States and Canada. In fact two Canadian tugs have made the pages this year. Both tugs are operated by Groupe Océan. The first is Océan Catatug 1 a shallow draft catamaran tug with large working deck that is demountable for truck transport. Currently working with its sister tug Océan Catatug 2 on the Champlain Bridge project in Montreal, the tugs could be sent to remote locations accessible only by land. The other is the Océan Taiga the second of the 8,000 bhp ice class tugs for St.Lawrence River tanker escort and arctic work (also a Robert Allen design) . Both featured vessels were built by Océan's own shipyard at Ile-aux-Coudres, QC and fitted out at their Quebec City facility.
The features give a wide overview of the tugs built in the past year and cover a huge range from the small 10 tonne bollard pull training tug to the 100 tonne plus bollard pull behemoths. There is also a range of offshore service vessels from anchor handlers, to suppliers and support ships including icebreakers.
While the publication is aimed at the tug and OSV industry, it is also of special interest to ship designers and those in related fields. Of course die hard tug enthusiasts will find it endlessly fascinating too.
There is probably no more authoritative source for this kind of information in one place. It is available for £30 (plus £5.50 for airmail) from the publishers: www.tugandosv.com
The ABR organization will be hosting the 25th International Tug, Salvage and OSV (ITS 2018) conference June 25-29 in Marseille, France. Information on the conference is also available from the company website.