First RAstar Series tugs from Robert Allan Ltd. enter service for Svitzer A.S.

December 9, 2008


A unique new design of high performance terminal/escort tug has just entered service at the Dragon LNG terminal in Milford Haven, U.K., under the Svitzer flag. The Svitzer Lindsway was delivered to the UK from the builders Freire Construcciones Navales of Vigo, Spain in early November, 2008.

The overall contract for this entire project comprised two (2) distinct designs for vessels of the new RAstar 3900 (one off) and the RAstar 3400 Classes (five off). Due to differences in major machinery and performance requirements there are also two (2) machinery variants in the 34 metre tugs.

The RAstar design represents a truly unique development in offshore tug design. The hull form incorporates a significant outward flare (or sponson) on the upper hull sides. When the tug is heeled over under influence of the towline during an escort operation, the “downhill” sponson is submerged and a large righting force is generated to improve the stability, thus increasing the towline force.

In addition, the hull has a large foil-shaped skeg, also designed to provide increased indirect forces. Although these hull and appendage design features were initially developed to provide increased escort performance, the sea-keeping characteristics have serendipitously also shown very significant improvements in sea-keeping over more conventional hull forms. The RAstar hull form provides dramatic reductions in roll amplitude and roll accelerations, thus providing a much safer and more comfortable platform for crews, who are now being asked to conduct docking operations at LNG terminals and similar installations in up to sea-states of 3.0 metre significant wave heights. Extensive model tests indicate that the roll accelerations of a RAstar hull are about 60% lower than in a typical hull form.

Figures 1 and 2 below illustrate graphically how superior the roll behaviour of a RAstar Series hull is in comparison to a more standard hull form of comparable size, displacement and GM.



The tug is equipped for typical ship-handling and escort work, with a Rolls-Royce model TW 2250/850/AW 22U2 H hawser winch on the fore deck, with a capacity for 250 metres of 76 mm diameter high strength towline. The aft deck is strengthened for a potential future fit of an aft towing winch, but that is not presently fitted.

Auxiliary power is provided by a pair of Cummins gen-sets, each rated 390 ekW.



The accommodation is to a very high standard for a crew of potentially up to ten persons. Two (2) spacious Officer’s cabins are located on the main deck, each with private en-suite facilities, and below decks are four (4) double cabins, two of which also have private en-suite facilities. The fully equipped galley serves a large common lounge/mess area.

In common with the majority of Robert Allan Ltd. designed tugs, a great deal of attention was paid throughout the design process to mitigate the propagation of noise and vibration. This includes the essential resilient mounting of the main engines, isolation of all exhaust system components, and the extensive use of visco-elastic floating floor systems throughout. The shipyard executed all these requirements exceptionally well, and the reward was an extremely quiet ship throughout, as attested to by the following noise level results at full power:

Bridge Deck
Main Deck
Master’s cabin
Chief Engineer Cabin
Lower Deck
Engine Room
Crew cabins

– 62 dBA

– 62 dBA
– 61 dBA
– 57 dBA
– 59 dBA

– 109 dBA
– 74 dBA
– 57-59 dBA

The wheelhouse is designed to provide maximum all-round visibility from a single split type master console.

The Svitzer Lindsway is built in accordance with Lloyd’s Register of Shipping requirements for a Lloyd’s ✠ 100A1 Escort Tug, Fire Fighting Ship 1 (2400 m³/hr) with water spray, ✠ LMC, UMS, 1BS, NAV1 notation, and also in compliance with the UK MCA regulations.

The fire-fighting capability is provided by a pair of main-engine driven pumps, each rated 1,400 cubic metres per hour, which serve a pair of Kvaerner monitors and a self-protection waterspray system.


The principal particulars of the RAstar 3400 Class tugs are as follows:

Length Overall – 34.00 metres
Beam, Moulded – 14.50 metres
Depth, Moulded – 6.09 metres (above design baseline to underside of drives)
Maximum operating Draft – 6.55 metres


Tank capacities are as follows:

Fuel Oil
Potable water
Lube Oil
– 220 cu. metres
– 20 cu. metres
– 2 cu. metres


The main engines and Z-drives installed in the various tugs of the RAstar 3400 series are:


a.  General Electric/Schottel Version:


Make – General Electric
Model – GE 7FDM 16
Rated power (MCR) – 2,900 kW at 1,000 rpm at 100% MCR (ISO 3046/1)
Make – Schottel
Model – SRP 3030 CP
Input power – 2,900 kW at 1,000 rpm
Minimum thrust ahead at bollard condition – 46 tonnes/unit


b.  Niigata Version:


Make – Niigata
Model – Niigata 6L28HLX
Description – 6 cylinder non-reversing diesel
Rated power (MCR) – 2,206 kW at 750 rpm at 100% MCR
Make – Niigata
Model – ZP-41HG CP
Input power – continuous rating – 2206 kW at 750 rpm
Minimum thrust ahead at bollard condition – 40 tonnes/unit


The first of Class tug Svitzer Waterston, which has been delayed from entering service due to grounding damage, delivered performance beyond all expectations during trials, and the subsequent tug has matched this same capability, with the following results:

  • Bollard Pull, ahead = 107 tonnes
  • Bollard Pull, astern = 105 tonnes
  • Free running speed, ahead = 13.7 knots at 85% MCR

For any further information concerning the RAstar Series tugs, please contact us.