9 February 2016

ASD Tug 3212 with render-recovery winch improves safety and flexibility in towing and escorting operations

Fratelli Neri S.p.A has taken delivery of a Damen ASD Tug 3212. The new vessel, called Luisa Neri, was handed over from Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam in the Netherlands, on 25 January 2016. The vessel represents two firsts: it is Fratelli Neri’s first Damen newbuild tug and it is the first ASD Tug in the Mediterranean with a Damen render-recovery winch.

Damen is renowned for its quick delivery times and this contract further reinforces that fact: the smooth process from contract to delivery taking just 5 months. With the vessel built for stock, Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam carried out the final outfitting works to bring the Luisa Neri up to client specifications. These modifications included, amongst other things, the installation of a deck crane and all equipment necessary to comply with FiFi 1 notation, Oil Recovery notation and Italian flag.

As one of the largest tug owners in Italy, Fratelli Neri will be putting the Luisa Neri to use in its home port of Livorno. “With some tight turns, Livorno is well known for being quite a challenging harbour to operate in,” comments Damen Regional Sales Manager Andrea Trevisan. “The Luisa Neri has the power – just over 80 tonnes of bollard pull – the manoeuvrability and the right equipment to handle these difficult escorting duties though.”

High performance towing equipment

The vessel is provided with a Damen render-recovery winch on the fore deck and a Damen towing winch on the aft deck. Both winches are designed and engineered by Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam and produced by Damen Marine Components. These winches allow operators to work in the toughest offshore conditions.

The render-recovery winch on the fore deck is a double drum anchor/towing winch, with 200 metres of Dyneema towing wire on each drum. The winch is directly driven by two Hägglunds hydraulic motors connected to the main shaft.

The aft towing winch is a single drum towing winch, with 750 metres of steel towing wire on the drum. The winch is directly driven by one Hägglunds hydraulic motor connected to the main shaft. Because the winches are not provided with gearboxes the design is very compact, robust and maintenance friendly.

All operating conditions

Each winch drum can be connected to the main shaft by means of a spring released, hydraulically engaged friction clutch fitted on the inside of the stainless steel brake drum connected to the winch drum. The use of friction clutches guarantees a safe and fast quick-release operation of the winches in all operating conditions.

Each winch drum can be connected to the deck by means of a hydraulically released, spring engaged band brake fitted on the outside of the stainless steel brake drum connected to the winch drum. An accumulator with sufficient capacity to release the band brakes several times is installed in the hydraulic system to guarantee a safe and fast quick-release operation of the winches in all operating conditions. The maximum brake holding capacity is 200 tonnes.

In control

“This winch outperforms its competitors by far,” says Damen Senior Design & Proposal Engineer Tugs Erik van Schaik. When working in the automatic mode the winch system is capable of a rendering speed up to 100 m/min with a line force of 100 tonnes and a recovery speed up to 50 m/min with a line force of 60 tonnes. “The system prevents high peak loads in the towing wire during open water operations in sea conditions up to 3 metre significant wave heights and 6 second wave periods. Thus reducing the chance of the towing line breaking and making offshore towing and escorting duties much safer. It really is unique in the industry.”

“The render-recovery winch also gives tug captains an outstanding degree of flexibility,” continues Mr Van Schaik. “They can work with various operating modes depending on the weather, the sea conditions and the work needed to be done. These modes are used to control either the distance or the forces acting between tug and the vessel it is assisting.”

Tight turns

Damen’s ASD Tug 3212 has excellent seakeeping characteristics, manoeuvrability and is optimised for operations in exposed waters by numerous features. The design consists of a large freeboard and more pronounced V-shaped frames in the lines of the fore ship. This, in combination with a more raised forecastle deck, ensures a relatively dry working deck.

Providing high dynamic stability, the vessel’s deep skeg, bilge keels and relatively low wheelhouse ensure low accelerations for increased comfort, safety and seakeeping performance. The fendering system has a large contact area to assure low static contact pressure and large energy absorption capacity: This guarantees a low dynamic contact pressure during impact.

89 years

Like Damen Shipyards Group, Fratelli Neri is a proud family-owned company with a long history. Damen’s origins go back 89 years. Neri’s activities began at the end of the nineteenth century when Costante Neri was involved in the coal trade from the United Kingdom. He expanded operations with the acquisition of a 65 hp coal-powered tug to offer salvage and wreck removal services.

While Fratelli Neri has previously taken delivery of a Damen Stan Tender 1905 and two second-hand Stan Tugs 2608, the Luisa Neri is the company’s first new build Damen tug. “We are really looking forward to serving Fratelli Neri in the future. Although we hope that it doesn’t take another 89 years for us to work together,” quips Mr Trevisan.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the whole management team at Fratelli Neri for all the trust they put in this project. Their excellent cooperation throughout the building process made this a truly enjoyable experience for the project managers and the production team at Damen Maaskant. Considering the challenging delivery time, this contributed to the final success of the project,” concludes Mr Trevisan.

“The extremely flexible characteristics of this tug, the experience and the professional capacities of Damen Shipyards Group together with the experience of the crew are such as to make us confident that this new unit will be able to fulfil the duties it will be asked to perform in a ready, efficient and safe way,” says Fratelli Neri Managing Director, dott Piero Neri (great grandson of Costante Neri). “A particular thanks goes to the workers, employees and the managers of Damen Shipyards Group, who have built such a powerful and efficient tug and also a thank to the management and inspectors of Neri Group, who have helped us in our long lasting project of renewal and improvement of our fleet. To Damen – may the delivery of this tug be only the beginning of a long series of new building tugs with us. To this new ship, Luisa Neri, a long, safe navigation with her crew.”


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