Spain: Damen Presents Its Newly Designed ASD Tug 3212

Damen Presents Its Newly Designed ASD Tug 3212

Damen Shipyards has launched its newly designed ASD Tug 3212 at the International Tug and Salvage Convention (ITS) in Barcelona. This innovative and powerful tug in the 85 t BP range is the result of three years of research and represents a completely new Damen ship type and a milestone in ASD tug design.

The new Damen ASD Tug 3212 has been designed to operate in all circumstances and features hundreds of big and small innovations, including a completely revised hull form and a higher bow, resulting in better speed and a dry foredeck. It has a maximum bollard pull of 85 tons, sails with 14.5 knots and it’s tested to operate in 3 meter wave height. Other features are, for example, super-absorbent fenders and a new Render/Recovery winch. Four of the new 3212s have been delivered to clients in Australia, Colombia and The Netherlands and 10 are currently under construction.

Mr Coen Boudesteijn, Damen Product Director Tugs, comments: “Damen has developed this completely new tug generation within the 85 ton bollard pull range to fit in with market developments. Many projects for tug operators are now in more open and challenging waters, such as those off Northern Australia, so there is a need to be able to cope with higher wave heights and for more powerful tugs, given the increasing size of tankers and container vessels.


Courtesy of Multraship, one of the first clients to express its confidence in the new design, Damen momentarily showcases the Multratug 19 at the ITS. This vessel is one of the new ASD Tugs in the 80 ton bollard pull range and the first with the Standard propulsion installation of 5050 kW. During its sea trials, the Multratug 19 achieved 85 t BP and a speed of almost 15 knots.

Coen Boudesteijn: “Damen has built more than 2,000 ship handling tugs, including 400 ASD Tugs, and delivered them to more than 125 countries. We have a huge amount of experience concerning what is required for a tug to operate in waves and this knowledge has been incorporated into the new design. We were absolutely delighted to see this come to fruition at the sea trials when the vessel more than proved her capabilities.

The new vessel also benefits from Damen’s philosophy of standardisation. “We sell our standard vessels all over the world. Therefore, for example, the cooling system in an ASD Tug has to be just as fit for purpose in St. Petersburg as it is in Australia”, Mr Boudesteijn continues.

Strong demand

Before the ASD Tug 3212 was officially launched at ITS, Damen already experienced a strong demand for the new tug type. To fulfil demand Damen is building a series, including two with Ice Class Notation. By March, four had been sold and 12 deliveries are expected for 2012 alone.

Improved sea keeping, towing capabilities and a new hull form

To improve the sea keeping and towing capabilities in waves, Damen conducted extensive in-house R&D, as well as at the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN). The ASD Tug 3212 has a completely revised hull form with a more pronounced “V shape” in the fore ship and more slender water lines in the bow region. Additionally, it has a higher bow with a more flared and slender shape, resulting in a dry fore deck. The vessel also has a relatively low wheelhouse, slope frames and bilge keels, guaranteeing low accelerations for improved crew comfort.

Crew safety and comfort

Mr Boudesteijn: “This is a very modern tug and it is always safety first! When towing, the crew can see and operate everything from the main deck, such as the pumps, so they don’t need to go into the engine room.”

The Damen ASD Tug 3212, which has a capacity for a maximum crew of 10, is built to comply with all of the very latest IMO and MLC 2006 crew and comfort regulations. Noise and vibrations are kept to a minimum due to flexibly mounted main engines and flexible drive couplings. The accommodation and wheelhouse have a floating floor to keep noise levels within 55 dB and vibration levels to a minimum.

The wheelhouse design gives good all round visibility and has a user friendly layout. Comfortable, air-conditioned accommodation is provided, with all cabins above the waterline. Officers have a 7.5 sq m cabin, with a standing height of 2.2 m. “Everything has been considered from an ergonomic point of view. If the vessel is operated for a 12-hour stretch, it has to be comfortable for the crew and this also makes it safer of course.

Quick acceleration

Main engines are the Caterpillar 3516C TA/D, giving 1600-1800 RPM and very quick acceleration: high torque at low RPM. The ASD Tug 3212 incorporates new Rolls-Royce rudder propulsion, with large controllable pitch propellers.

Mr Boudesteijn stresses: “Three core elements make the tug operator money; the main engine, the rudder propeller and the towing winch, therefore Damen paid particular attention to these components, with standard Caterpillar diesel engines and Rolls-Royce rudder propellers. Ultimately, the ASD Tug 3212 is a highly manoeuvrable vessel with fantastic performance. Customers get a true state-of-the-art vessel – a proven and tested design – which represents value for money.

Highlights of the new ASD Tug 3212

  • revised hull form for higher speed
  • dry foredeck due to higher bow
  • operational excellence in 3 m wave height
  • 85 tons Bollard Pull
  • 14.5 knots sailing speed
  • crew can see and operate everything from the main deck
  • new type of Render/Recovery Winch
  • new type of Towing Bitt
  • new super-absorbent Bow Fender
  • lots of options, incl. ICE-class, Fi-Fi 1, aft crane and aft winch

Render/Recovery Winch

While working in a high swell there can of course, be slack rope events therefore a key element of the new vessel is the specially designed Render/Recovery Winch. This was developed together with Bosch Rexroth and another Damen Shipyards Group member, Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam.

First fully Lloyd’s classified winch

The fully automatic winch is also the first in the market that has been fully classified by Lloyd’s Register. This classification process means that the winch is now proven for the tough conditions off Northern Australia for instance.

Winch performance

The hydraulically powered, double drum winch (with one running and one on standby) has a maximum brake holding load of a massive 200 tons, a recovery capacity of 60 tons at 50m/min and a rendering capacity of 100 tons at 100m/min. With these performances the winch is fully prepared for the harmonised rules for escort tugs coming into force in the near future. The winch is equipped with two Hagglunds CB840 motors and the motors are directly on the main shaft so no gearbox is required.

New generation Towing Bitt

And given the high forces in the towing lines, Damen has especially focused on the design of the towing bitt. Again, this unique design represents a new generation. Damen recommends the use of 60mm Lankoforce ropes and to avoid rope damage a special cast, stainless steel bitt has been developed for both its strength and anti-corrosion properties. Everything is rounded to make the bitt as smooth as possible to prevent wear-and-tear of the towline.

Damen has considered hundreds of details in creating the new design, making the ASD Tug 3212 a very special vessel. For example, smooth stainless steel is on the bulwark top. Deck construction details are rounded, making a better surface for painting. And the painting is of a very high standard being the two-part Epoxy paint systems, applied by Damen under strictly controlled conditions.

Super-absorbent fenders

A new super-absorbent bow fender design has been developed for maximum energy absorption. It consists of a double cylindrical rubber fender. After extensive non-linear finite element analyses, this was validated by full-scale tests with loads up to a massive 640 tons. Damen’s extensive tests also found that when pushing at maximum bollard pull, the contact pressure should not exceed 20t/m2.

New Praxis MEGA system

The ASD Tug 3212 includes a completely new Praxis MEGA operating and control system with one multifunctional touch screen – with a day and night screen – located on the main deck, wheelhouse and in the engine control room. This conning system is part of the Alarm & Monitoring system and allows the crew to control and monitor the main, propulsion, auxiliary systems, electric systems and tank capacities, as well as all the lighting and ventilation on all three locations. This means that when towing, the crew can see and operate everything from the main deck so they don’t need to go into the engine room. Effectively, the vessel can be operated by a crew of just three.

Optionals and tugs on stock

Damen makes sure that all of the optionals are prepared on standard stock vessels so customers can get quick delivery if they decide they want to upgrade at a later date. Optionals include having Fi-Fi 1, a crane on the aft deck, or an aft winch. Damen has all ship handling tugs on stock. At the last count, the Group had 200 tugs under construction and 25 different types on stock.

Damen’s 10-strong ASD Series

Damen currently produces about 50 ASD Tugs a year. The ASD Tug 3212 is part of the 10-strong Damen ASD Series. Damen is developing new ASD Tugs, with bollard pulls in the range of 20 tons to 105 tons. As well as the ASD Tug 3212, a new ASD Tug 3012 is under development with an 80 tons bollard pull, a new ASD Tug 2510 with a 50 tons bollard pull and a new ASD Tug 2009 (30 tons bollard pull).


Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, May 30, 2012; Images: damen