15 June 2016

Van der Velden Marine Systems (VDVMS), part of Damen Shipyards Group, in conjunction with its US representative Ships Machinery International, Inc. (SMI) is pleased to announce the launching of a new state-of-the-art Jones Act Articulated Tug Barge (ATB) with BARKE® high-lift flap rudders for coastal services in the USA. This newly designed vessel brings increased manoeuvring to the fleet of ATB plying the US coastal waters.

Tank tests prove that for this type of vessel this is the most effective rudder design. The new ATB will have enhanced manoeuvrability and excellent course-keeping stability. The efficiency provided by this high technology rudder solution will result in significant savings over the life of the vessel, hence reduced total cost of ownership.

The complete tug (the future M/V Sea Power), which is under construction at BAE Systems’ shipyard in Jacksonville, Florida, will be handed over to its owner Sea-Vista ATB I LLC, in the summer of 2016.

Main characteristics

This modern ATB is designed by one of North America’s leading naval architecture firms, Guido Perla and Associates, Inc. to the following vessel characteristics: length 43 metres, breadth 14 metres and a draught of 6.75 metres. Power is via two main engines of 4640 kW and three main generators of 250 kW each with a standby emergency generator of 150 kW. The vessel uses a pin connector system between the tug and the barge and fully complies with ABS Under 90m Rules, Maltese Cross A1 AMS ACCU Towing Vessel, SOLAS, USCG Subchapter I.

Close cooperation between all parties

“We are pleased that our client selected this state of the art rudder system for their new vessel” said Arthur Dewey Vice President of SMI. “We are confident that their faith in Van der Velden rudders will be rewarded.” There is no other vessel like this one in the US at present time. It has an exceptional manoeuvring system with two independently controlled and operated hydro-dynamic Van der Velden BARKE@ rudders. Independent Proportional Steering will allow the rudders to be actuated either independently or synchronised.

Van der Velden has done a lot of work to facilitate the installation of these rudders into a hull and works closely with the designer and shipyard to ensure a smooth transition from initial design to final installation. Guido Perla commented, “Van der Velden provided excellent technical support and on time delivery of design documents that helped us develop the engineering and design for the installation of their steering system. Their coordination with our staff was prompt and to the point. We appreciated their support.”

Enhanced manoeuvring performance

The key driver behind the BARKE® rudder is its innovative and sophisticated progressive high lift design, offering unsurpassed manoeuvring and course-keeping performance as well as smooth operational comfort. The progressively operating flap linkage system is contained in a fully enclosed, grease-lubricated BARKE® housing. This results in minimum wear on the linkage components and eliminates the problems caused by contact with floating objects.

Another set of BARKE® high-lift rudders will be installed on another ATB before this summer.


Whether it's a simple question or you need assistance with your Damen product, we believe great things can start with a small conversation.

I'm interested in...