Robert Allan Ltd. and Sanmar introduce the new VectRA series of Voith tractor tugs

March 7, 2016


The new and innovative VectRA 3000 Class Tug is a high performance VSP Tractor tug designed by Robert Allan Ltd in close collaboration with Turkish ship builder Sanmar and Voith Turbo Propulsion. The tug is designed for maximum efficiency in the performance of towing, harbour ship-handling and escorting of large ships. Performance has been verified with extensive model tests at the commencement of the design cycle. The unique propulsion arrangement features high speed diesel engines connected to the Voith units via reduction gearboxes with integral clutches. With a bollard pull of 70 tonnes, the VectRA 3000 form can generate escort steering forces in excess of 100 tonnes. Additionally, the design has fire-fighting and oil recovery capabilities and is fully MLC compliant.

The VectRA 3000 has been designed exclusively for Sanmar to offer as one of its highly successful stable of progressive tugboats for the world market. The first vessel in the series, the M/T Ares, built for Italian tug Owner Tripmare S.p.A., was successfully launched at Sanmar’s new Altinova advanced shipbuilding facility in February 2016.

The principal particulars of the VectRA 3000 are as follows:

Length overall:
Length overall, with fenders:
Breadth, moulded:
Depth, moulded (hull):
Navigational draft (design draft):
– 30.25 metres
– 31.10 metres
– 13.00 metres
– 5.10 metres
– 6.30 metres to bottom skeg/VSP guard
– < 500, international

The vessels are built and classed to the following ABS notation:

  • ✠ A1 Towing Vessel, Escort Vessel, ✠ AMS, Unrestricted Service, UWILD, HAB (WB), ABCU
  • Fire-Fighting Vessel Class 1
  • Oil Spill Recovery – Capability Class 2 (>60° C) (OSR – C2)

Rather uniquely for a VSP installation, the propulsion drive train comprises a pair of CAT 3516C high speed diesel engines, each rated 2525 kW at 1800 rpm, and driving Voith 32R5EC/265-2 cycloidal propellers. The engines are connected to the Voith drives through a pair of Reintjes WAF 863 gearboxes and Vulkan composite shafts, rather than using the more traditional turbo coupling. This combination is smaller, lighter and less costly than the traditional medium speed drive system. The electrical plant consists of two identical diesel gensets, each with a rated output of 86 ekW.

To enable extended endurance at sea, the vessel has the following tank capacities:

Fuel Oil:
Fresh Water:
– 163 m³
– 55 m³
– 11 m³

Crew accommodations are all located on the main deck level for optimal crew comfort. There are 4 single crew cabins plus 1 double crew cabin, each with an en-suite bathroom. A comfortable lounge/mess area and galley facilities are also in the deckhouse, with galley stores and laundry room located below the main deck forward.

All towing, ship handling, and escort work is performed using a double drum escort winch and escort rated staple fitted on the aft deck. One drum can store 710 metres of steel wire line, while the other stores 150 metres of synthetic towline. For increased operational flexibility radial type tow hooks are installed on the main deck forward and aft.

As in a traditional tractor configuration, the stern is the working end of the tug, and as such features heavy duty cylindrical fendering with a course of ‘W’ fenders below. Hollow ‘D’ fenders protect the sheer lines and tie neatly into the ‘W’ fenders at the bow.

The wheelhouse is designed for excellent 360 degree visibility and includes overhead windows. The split type console is biased aft to ensure unobstructed visibility of the working deck  (including the winch, staple, bulwarks and fenders) during operations.

For more information on the VectRA 3000 Class tugs, or on any other high-performance vessel designs developed by Robert Allan Ltd., please contact us at