Ocean Tundra – Canada’s most powerful tug enters service

January 14, 2014


On December 13th, 2013 the 6000 kW ASD tug Ocean Tundra was commissioned into service for its Owners, Ocean Groupe Inc. (Ocean) of Quebec City, Canada. This icebreaking escort tug becomes the most powerful tug in Canadian registry, and heralds a new generation of extremely capable tugs which will provide the highest degree of year-round escort towing capability to Canada’s east coast and the St. Lawrence River and Seaway system.

The Ocean Tundra is the latest addition to the TundRA 3600 series (with a nominal 100 tonnes Bollard Pull) of icebreaking tugs designed by Robert Allan Ltd., Naval Architects of Vancouver B.C.. This tug was built to the highest standards at Ocean’s own shipyard, Ocean Industries, on Iles aux Coudres, Quebec. The launching of this heavy tug was a major challenge for the shipyard, due to its high weight and draft. The tug was therefore launched with additional flotation provided by inflatable bags surrounding the hull, as shown here:



This powerful tug has been designed to provide a wide range of services, including tanker escort, terminal support, general ship-docking operations and icebreaking/ice-management services in various ports along the St. Lawrence River. The vessel is also equipped for coastal and rescue towing and is equipped with a major fire-fighting capability. In addition the vessel is equipped to carry lube oil as cargo, for transfer to transiting ships.


The tug was built under the inspection of and classed by Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, with the following notation:

  • ✠ 100 A1 Escort Tug, Fire-Fighting 1 with water spray
  • ✠ LMC, UMS
  • Ice Class 1AS FS


Particulars of the Ocean Tundra are as follows:

Length overall:
Beam, moulded, extreme:
Depth, moulded (hull):
Maximum draft (DWL):
– 36.0 m
– 13.0 m
– 6.85 m
– 6.80 m


Tank capacities are:

Fuel Oil:
Fresh Water:
Z-drive Oil:
Oily Water:
Main engine lube oil:
Cargo Lube Oil:
– 294 m³
– 18 m³
– 11 m³
– 1.7 m³
– 5.4 m³
– 5.4 m³
– 6.0 m³
– 7.6 m³
– 130 m³


The trials of this powerful tug were completed in early January 2014, with the following impressive results:

Bollard Pull, ahead
Free Running speed, ahead
Escort Steering Force (Predicted)
Range at 12 knots
– 110.3 tonnes
– 15.13 knots, calm water
– 122 tonnes at 10 knots
– 3700 nautical miles


This icebreaking hull form has been extensively model-tested to ensure superior performance in ice, as well as to provide the best possible open water and escort performance, bearing in mind the contradictory hull geometry requirements of those functions. The ice capabilities have been well demonstrated in similar slightly smaller tugs working in Sakhalin, Russia.

As indicated on the accompanying General Arrangement drawing, the vessel has been outfitted to the highest standards for a crew of up to ten (10) people, although the normal operating crew for short runs is four (4), and for longer voyages with up to seven (7) people.

The deckhouse is entered via a generous transverse corridor/wet lobby which also serves to isolate engine room and exhaust noise from the accommodations spaces. On the main deck are located the galley, a generous mess room/lounge, and the spacious cabins for the Master and Chief Engineer, with a shared en-suite lavatory. In common with all the cabins, the bunks are located inboard to be isolated from cold exterior bulkheads and to minimize the motions experienced by crew members when resting. The lower deck contains four (4) two person crew cabins, separate toilet and shower rooms, a laundry and galley stores.

The wheelhouse has a split-level design, providing excellent all-round visibility. The forward control station, of typical split parallel console type, affords the Master maximum visibility to both fore and aft deck working areas.

The main propulsion for Ocean Tundra consists of a pair of MAK 9M25C diesel engines, each rated 3000 kW at 750 rpm, and each driving a Rolls-Royce US 305 CPP, 3000 mm. diameter Z-drive unit, in ASD configuration. The main engines, auxiliary engines are resiliently mounted for maximum noise and vibration isolation.



The electrical plant comprises three (3) identical diesel gen-sets, Caterpillar C9, each with a power output of 250 ekW, designed for independent or parallel operation.

The deck machinery is dominated by a very high-performance all-electric, escort rated, hawser winch on the fore deck, Markey model DESDF-48-200HP and aft an electric towing winch, Markey model TES-40UL-125HP. The latter is fully enclosed in a deckhouse/shelter. A Palfinger model 15500 hydraulic knuckle boom crane, with 14 t·m maximum capacity and a 14.4 metre reach serves the aft deck and over-side operations.

The off-ship fire-fighting system is rated to about twice the Fire-Fighting 1 standard, with two pumps, each rated 2978 m³/hr at 11 bar, and driven from front end PTO’s off the main engines. The pumps feed a trio of high capacity monitors; two foam/water monitors each rated at 1200 m³/hr and one large water-only monitor rated at 2400 m³/hr, all mounted on a large header above the wheelhouse top.

Ship-handling fenders at the bow comprise a set of extruded 300 mm thick ‘W’ fenders and large heavy duty rubber tires. This system has been proven to be the most effective and durable in the cold climate of eastern Canada. A 300 x 300 hollow “D” fender, along with hard type rubber tires, provides protection at the main and foc’sle deck sheer lines, and 350 x 350 hollow “D” type fendering is used at the stern.

For more information on this or any of the TundRA Series icebreaking tugs offered by Robert Allan Ltd., please contact design@ral.ca.