Turkish Quartet Make Big Maiden Voyage

Sanmar Marine’s chairman, Orhan Gürün, flew from Istanbul to Vancouver, British Columbia, in early July as an honoured guest at the naming ceremonies of three new powerful RAstar Class azimuthing tug boats built at the company’s yard located on the outskirts of Turkey’s largest city. Vessel designer Robert Allan, of Vancouver, was another special guest.

The three tugs, Seaspan Osprey, Seaspan Kestrel and Seaspan Eagle followed a 2011 delivery by Sanmar, Seaspan Raven. All four vessels, the largest operating in British Columbia, measure 28.20m in length, have a beam of 12.60m, a draft of 5.39m and a propulsion system comprising two Caterpillar main engines and Rolls-Royce Z-drives mounted aft in ASD configuration to give exceptional manoeuvrability and plenty of power when assisting and escorting large tankers. Two of the boats (Osprey and Kestrel) have bollard pulls of 81 tonnes whilst, with a lower, more economical, horsepower rating, Eagle and Raven still manage a healthy 71 tonnes. Rolls-Royce also supplied the fore and aft winches.

Commented Orhan Gürün: “I spend most of my time organising and supervising the continuous construction of tugs at our new custom built yard. But this triple-commissioning, the first in Seaspan’s 126-year history, was an ideal opportunity for me to see ‘our’ tugs in their final place of work – more than 15,000 kilometres away from where their keels were laid. Moreover, I was able to meet and talk to the people who will be operating them and who are obviously so proud of their new boats. All four tugs crossed the Mediterranean and Atlantic Oceans, negotiated the Panama Canal into the Pacific and made their way up to Vancouver under their own power,” he added. “A fitting tribute to the designer’s art and the high skills of our workforce.”