There is a common thread connecting all Damen vessels – safety. This characteristic, the number one priority in all that we do and all that we build – is clearly seen in our tugs.
Safety is to be found throughout the designs of our tugs, from the shape of the hull to the colour of the interior. The Next Generation Tugs series, for example, are rounded in shape. It might not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think of a safe vessel, but a rounded tug means more efficiency – improved performance with less power – which in turn equals more predictable sailing behaviour; the more predictable the vessel, the safer it is.
Furthermore, above the waterline, the wheelhouse to safely kept out of harm’s way by a high degree of tumblehome, enabling the tug to get close to the ship during an operation.
Inside the wheelhouse, the theme continues with our full vision bridge concept, offering outstanding views over fore and aft decks. With the Next Generation vessels this is given an additional boost with Damen Safety Glass – shatterproof glazing that protects the operators in the event of a towing line snapping.
The Safety Glass, being twin layered, offers the additional advantage of reduced noise levels. Noise plays a significant role in crew fatigue on board a tug, besides which, the quieter operation makes concentration and communication considerably easier.
To these ends, we have taken every care to reduce noise and vibration to a minimum throughout the vessel. Flexibly mounted engines, large exhaust silencers, insulated floors, cabin to cabin insulation and flexibly mounted superstructure all play a part in ensuring a working and resting environment conducive to focus and concentration.
The bridge is similarly laid out in a manner that stimulates the captain’s concentration. For example, radio communications are conducted via a switch on the thruster controls and the winches foot pedals. The most frequent actions each have their own buttons to ensure user-friendliness.
Deck equipment is well-positioned to ensure the working areas are obstacle-free. Likewise the bulwark is closed, there are no tripping hazards and all corners are rounded. The positioning of four computers on board (in the engine room, on deck and two in the wheelhouse) mean that no there is no need for crew to go below deck during operations.
To complete the overall effect of safety, these features – amongst others – are all integrated aboard Damen tugs, a fact that is significantly aided by our role as vessel integrator – designer, engineer, shipbuilder all in one place.