SST Tsimshian Warrior Blessed at Grand Opening Ceremony for New LPG Terminal

June 24, 2019

Guests for the grand opening for AltaGas’ Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal (RIPET) in Prince Rupert, BC, Canada were recently fortunate to witness a blessing ceremony for a new RAstar 3200-W escort tug named SST Tsimshian Warrior, in honour of local first nations. The latest addition to the SAAM SMIT Canada Inc. (SST Canada) fleet, the SST Tsimshian Warrior was blessed after which distinguished guests were welcomed aboard to admire the tug’s decks, interiors, and the very fine craftsmanship by Turkey’s UZMAR Shipyard.

A warrior in both name and spirit, this new Robert Allan Ltd. designed tug brings formidable capabilities to the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. Principally intended to serve AltaGas’ newly opened LPG terminal, the SST Tsimshian Warrior is both the most powerful tug of its kind on the coast, as well as the most environmentally friendly in Canada. With an IMO Tier III compliant exhaust after-treatment system, a first on a tug in Canada and pioneering in the world as well, the tug’s emissions of NOx, SOx, and particulate matter are dramatically reduced from levels seen on even the most recent generation of tugboats.

Powered by CAT 3516E engines each producing 2,525 kW of power at 1,800 rpm, combined with 2.8 m diameter Rolls-Royce (Kongsberg) controllable pitch azimuthing stern drive (ASD) propellers, the tug generates bollard pulls well in excess of 80 tonnes. It is however the tug’s performance in indirect escort modes that truly sets it apart from other tugs in the region. Using its unique sponsoned RAstar hull form, the tug can generate and safely sustain steering and braking forces in excess of 80 and 120 tonnes respectively at escort speeds of up to 10 knots in the tethered mode. When free-running, the tug reaches speeds in excess of 14 knots.

This performance was designed to meet and exceed stringent performance requirements that were carefully identified and verified by multiple real-time full mission bridge simulations in collaboration with British Columbia Coast Pilots, Pacific Maritime Institute, Towing Solutions Inc., Lantec Marine Inc., Robert Allan Ltd. and SST Canada. A truly state-of-the art tug, the SST Tsimshian Warrior will be capable of safely performing all ship-handling roles, including berthing, unberthing, and escort duties, including in heavier weather conditions.

The tug is also fully equipped for terminal standby roles with a Fi-Fi 1 with water spray (2,700 m3/hr) external fire-fighting system supplied by Marsis that can not only provide significant additional fire-fighting capability to the new LPG terminal, but to the Port of Prince Rupert as well. Having been custom designed for servicing the terminal, the tug is also equipped with additional safety features including both a gas detection system, as well explosion-proof deck machinery.

This deck machinery package is anchored by DMT winches both forward and aft. The powerful 300 hp escort rated winch on the foredeck was chosen after using simulations to determine the ideal winch power for the operation. This will allow the tug to perform its escort towing missions in elevated sea states while remaining in an active haul-in/pay-out (constant tension) mode, all while maintaining maximum towline forces. On the aft deck, a towing winch spooled with steel wire rope, paired with a set of DMT hydraulic towing pins allows the tug to support rescue towing missions if required, providing yet another improved capability to the local tug fleet and local community.

Guests who boarded the tug after the blessing ceremony marveled at the fine workmanship by UZMAR while touring the accommodations, wheelhouse, and machinery spaces. Five spacious, single occupancy MLC 2006 compliant cabins are provided for the crew, and all feature ensuite WCs. Two of the cabins are outfitted with Pullman bunks to allow for additional, but unobtrusive surge berthing capacity. Natural light is provided to all cabins, with large windows into the deckhouse cabins, galley, and mess. The well-appointed galley is impeccably finished in stainless steel, and the large crew mess is furnished with ample seating, storage, and quality finishes throughout.

The wheelhouse provides commanding views of the forward and aft decks, with state-of-the art electronics and controls arranged in a split console arrangement. Of particular interest is the integration of an electronic inclinometer by Navitron. This unit, custom calibrated and programmed with the tug’s specific stability limits, allows the master to monitor dynamic stability and heel angle during escort manoeuvres, with audible and visual alarms available to assist operation within safe limits established by Class. The addition of a specially calibrated, vessel specific inclinometer system is a new standard feature on Robert Allan Ltd. escort tugs that will significantly improve safety in escort operations, and the SST Tsimshian Warrior is one of the first to feature this new system.

Following the blessing ceremony and vessel tour, guests were entertained during a ceremony and lunch reception for AltaGas’ new terminal by a display of the tug’s impressive manoeuvrability, as well as its fire-fighting capabilities, with the new very large gas carrier (VLGC) Maple Gas and pristine surroundings in the background.

With the protection of this environment being of paramount importance to both AltaGas and SST Canada, the tug has the following environmentally friendly class notation with Bureau Veritas:

  • BV 1 ✠ Hull, ●Mach, Escort Tug, Fire-Fighting 1 Waterspraying, AUT-UMS, In Water Survey, Cleanship, Green Passport

A true leader in both capability and environmental stewardship, the SST Tsimshian Warrior is the largest and most capable escort-rated, multi-mission tug in both SST Canada’s fleet as well as the entire west coast of Canada. With a suite of state-of-the art technology and features specifically designed to improve safety, performance, and eco-friendliness, executed through quality in design and construction, this tug has already made a very strong impression and is a source of great pride for all who have been involved since its conception, and of course the local community.

Following the great success of this vessel, UZMAR has recently elected to build another two vessels of the same series on a speculative basis. Key particulars of the SST Tsimshian Warrior, as well as these two RAstar 3200-W newbuilds are:

Principal dimensions:

  • Length, overall: 32.0 m
  • Beam moulded: 13.2 m
  • Depth, least moulded: 5.5 m
  • Tonnage, gross registered: 499 GRT


  • Free-running speed: 14 knots
  • Bollard pull: 80+ tonnes
  • Steering force at 10 knots: >80 tonnes
  • Braking force at 10 knots: > 120 tonnes
  • Fire Fighting: Fi-Fi 1 class, with waterspray and foam

Tank Capacities:

  • Fuel: 199 m3
  • Fresh water: 40 m3
  • Foam: 16 m3

Construction at UZMAR is already well underway as of this spring, with completion of the next such tug expected in early 2020.

For more information on the SST Tsimshian Warrior, the RAstar 3200-W series, or any other high performance designs developed by Robert Allan Ltd., please contact