Innovation and Diversity

in Marine Design

Icebreakers and Ice-Class Vessels

Ice-Class vessels come in all shapes and sizes, and are required for many functions, but what they have in common is the ability to operate effectively and safely in ice.

The most capable of these ships, able to operate independently in ice, are generally referred to as icebreakers.

The serious work of Robert Allan Ltd. with vessels for severe ice conditions began with the advent of major oil exploration activity in the Beaufort Sea, when we designed the first vessels ever built to Canada’s then new Canadian Arctic Shipping Pollution Prevention Regulations (CASPPR).


The rigorous service, remote operating locations and severe environment of Canada’s Arctic coast demands vessels of the highest standards and quality in design and construction. Since the early 1970’s Robert Allan Ltd. has designed numerous tugs, anchor-handling tug/supply vessels, barges and other specialized craft all supporting offshore exploration and community supply routes in this harsh region.

The lessons learned in the design of these early vessels led to numerous recent designs for similar types of craft, but operating in much different parts of the globe, including offshore Sakhalin and the Caspian Sea.

In addition to the TundRA series of ice-class tug designs, the Beaufort series of unique icebreaking and ice-class AHTS and OSV designs have been developed for a wide range of offshore oil exploration/support duties.

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