Experienced UK operator, SMS Towage, has taken delivery of its fifth ASD tug built by Sanmar in Turkey. All are identical Ulupinar RAmparts class designs by Robert Allan Ltd of Vancouver, Canada. Formerly operating in Sanmar’s own fleet this vessel has been dry-docked, renamed Merchantman and delivered to the port of Belfast, Northern Ireland, to join sister tug Masterman as a matching pair.

The opportunity to acquire the new vessel was quickly grasped by SMS Towage as they have extensive experience with the series having been successfully operating a fleet of three, Statesman, Scotsman and Yorkshirman, at Immingham on the north-east English coast.

Measuring 24.4m x 9.15m, Ulupinar Series tugs are available with a variety of Caterpillar engine and Rolls-Royce Z-drive options to give bollard pulls of up to 50 tonnes. The vessels are renowned for remarkably low noise levels and an exceptionally high standard of comfort throughout the accommodation.

SMS Towage is not the only operator to be convinced of the virtues of the Ulupinar range – some 20 units have now been built for operations around the world.