It’s certain that 'Cherbourg 1' is being worked hard since its delivery last year. Interestingly, the deck gear is playing a central role, having been modified to squeeze out the last drop of capability from the Damen ASD 2810 design.
While the tug’s regular duties around Cherbourg’s harbour includes the regular berthing of cruise ships and ferries, the owners, Caen’s Port Authority and Chamber of Commerce & Industry, wanted to push the envelope even further on this 60 tonne bollard pull tug. Therefore they asked Damen to provide Cherbourg 1 with the ability to engage in a certain amount of offshore renewables support especially for the tidal energy projects which will be using port as a base.
First and foremost, an open stern and roller configuration – designed and fitted by Damen –was chosen to allow the tug to engage in light anchor handling and buoy deployment duties. Alongside this a wooden deck and cargo rails raise the vessel’s ability to transport several hefty pieces of equipment at once. On the port side, a Helia knuckleboom crane with a lift of 1.7 tonnes at 10.56m of reach allows for easy loading and unloading and this is paired with a DMT tugger winch for moving cargo over the aft deck.
The tug’s range of towing duties are being met by a mixture of steel and fibre ropes. To start with, the DMT split drum forward winch, which holds 200m of synthetic line on each side, allows Cherbourg 1 to put extra distance between the tug and the vessel it’s assisting.
By contrast the double drum aft winch, from the same manufacturer, has 500m of steel wire for coastal towing on one side, while on the other it has 200m of fibre rope for towing in and around the harbour. The 133 tonne towing pins from WK Hydraulics allow for fixing the towing wire during these coastal tows, as well as locking the anchor chains during any anchor handling duties. There’s also fender tyres on the bow to reduce hull friction in close tows.
It’s also worth noting that in order to get the best from the fibre rope and reduce friction, Damen has worked on a modified rear towing bitt, furnishing it with a dedicated fairlead and stainless steel cladding.
Last but not least, in order to meet potential fire and pollution incidents the tug has a FSS 1,200 m3/h fifi system with a pair of monitors, and Megator oil dispersant equipment.
All together, this thoughtful layout should help the tug make the most of its competence in a very demanding environment.