Close collaboration between leading Turkish tug building specialist, Sanmar Shipyards and world-renowned designer, Vancouver, Canada-based Robert Allan Limited, has brought instant success with the signing of a prestigious order from Orkney Islands Council’s Marine Services. Construction will soon start at Sanmar’s Altinova facility, one of the company’s two custom-built shipyards located some 75 minutes drive from Istanbul. The Orkney Islands archipelago is in the Northern Isles of Scotland, situated off the north coast of Great Britain.

The two 32m x 13m fire-fighting omnidirectional vessels, which are provisionally being called Orkney 1 and Orkney 2 pending a public vote on their naming, will be the first two in a new series of extremely cost-effective RAstar 3200-SX tugs designated the Kocaçay series by Sanmar. They are exclusively designed, hence the SX suffix (for Sanmar eXclusive) to meet the builder’s own general requirements and the customer’s specific local needs.

Ali Gurun, Projects Director at Sanmar expanded: “We have visited the port and spent time with the team and the crew and tried to understand the operational needs of the area. Then we have suitably modified the design with our designers not only according to the tender requirements but also according to the demanding conditions of Orkney.”

Picture of Sanmar and Orkney Islands Council members.

Sitting from left to right:
Ali Gürün – Projects Director and Board Member of Sanmar, Cem Seven – Managing Director and Board Member of Sanmar, Brian Archibald – Head of Service and Harbour Master (Orkney Islands Council), Peter Reid – Consultant to Orkney Islands Council

Standing from left to right:
Onur Cerav – QMS Manager (Sanmar), Coşar Yıldız – Project Engineer (Sanmar), Erkan Güngör – Project Manager (Sanmar), Rüçhan Çıvgın – Commercial Director (Sanmar)

The RAstar 3200-SX tugs are purposely designed for a shallower draft than comparable high-performance escort tugs with a maximum draft of 5.47m while incorporating considerable input from Sanmar. According to Oben Naki, Contracts Manager at Robert Allan Ltd, this includes optimizing the design to minimize building costs taking into account this builder’s advanced construction techniques without reducing end performance, implementing feedback from the large number of companies already operating tugs designed and built by the two firms and pre-engineering features to easily allow future customisation.

Commented Naki, who moved to Vancouver some four years ago from Sanmar: “Main propulsion for each tug comprises a pair of Caterpillar  3516C diesel engines, each developing 2,350kW at 1800 rev/min, driving a Rolls Royce type US 255 P30 CP Z-drive units, with a 2,800mm diameter controllable pitch propellers in ASD configuration. This is predicted to deliver a free running speed over 13.5 knots with an expected bollard pull of up to 84 tonnes ahead. Unlike other shallow-draft designs that use a compromised hullform to achieve a reduced draft, these RAstar 3200-SX are still expected to deliver high astern bollard pulls of up to 77 tonnes. Using the latest Robert Allan Ltd escort analysis software the tugs are capable of safely escorting ships at up to and including 10 knots with predicted steering forces over 70 tonnes and braking forces of almost 120 tonnes.”

Although possessing some specific features for Orkney’s conditions and operations, the overall design is well proven world-wide. They will have a full fire-fighting capability, forward and aft winches and will be much more capable than the present tugs, further improving operational safety as well as increasing the operational flexibility available to the Harbour Authority.

Brian Archibald, Head of Marine Services and the Council’s Harbour Master, said: “The current tugs have served us very well indeed for over 30 years and the three vessels, with their highly skilled crews, have provided an excellent service to the highest standards. However, in order for Scapa Flow to maintain its faultless safety record and to continue to thrive as an income generator for Orkney, the new tugs are essential. I am delighted that we have selected Sanmar as the yard to build these two new ships. I was highly impressed with their modern facilities, design team capabilities and quality of workmanship I observed when I visited the shipyard in December. “