-   Abeille Gascogne

Les Abeille is a long-established towing company founded in 1864. Group Bourbon took over Les Abeille in 1996. In the course of time the fleet was renewed and expanded a number of times. Four tugs that were delivered to Les Abeille in 2000 were part of one of these renewal programs. These tugs went to Boluda Group when the harbour towing division of Les Abeille was sold to Boluda in December 2007. The ocean towage and salvage division Les Abeille International stayed with Group Bourbon. Following the acquisition the ABEILLE in the name of the tugs was replaced with VB. Today the four tugs are named:

VB FÉCAMP

VB GASCOGNE

VB DEAUVILLE

VB SAINTE ADRESSE

-   Project development

The tugs were designed in close co-operation between owners and shipyard Alstom Leroux Naval. The midsection of the hull is designed that by omitting or adding of straight sections lengths between 33m and 40m can be offered. The length and displacement of the four tugs were chosen with regards to the winterly sea state conditions en-route to the Antifer Oil Terminal two hours sailing north of the home port Le Havre. Three tugs are designed as harbor tugs, the VB GASCOGNE as deep sea tug. She carries two additional three-berth cabins in front of the engine room and a larger winch on the aft deck. All tugs were classified by Bureau Veritas as B.V. I 3/3 E.AUT-MA + deep sea. VB DEAUVILLE and VB SAINTE ADRESSE are equipped and classified as fire fighting tugs according to FiFi-1 standard.


-   Description

General: The four tugs are typical ASD-tugs with the rudder propellers beneath the stern. The chine lines of the double-chine hull are carried forward into the stern. A bilge keel is fitted midships between the two chine lines. The rudder propellers are mounted approx. 4.5m from the stern. They are tilted approx. 3° backwards to reduce the angles of the universal joints and to enhance the efficiency of the propulsion units. The rudder propellers are Rolls Royce Aquamaster type US 3001 with 2.60m dia. propellers in nozzles. The Aquamasters outstand about 1.00m beneath the hull. The approx. 19m long box keel begins about 6m behind the bow and is as deep as the propulsion units at its end. This way it offers kind of protection for the propulsion units in case of grounding and enhances the directional stability. Two ABC type 8MDZC diesel engines with 1,840kW (2,500bhp) each at 1,000rpm are driving the propulsion units through Twin Disc type MCD 3000 multiple disc clutches and cardan shafts. The tugs have a speed of 12.5kts and bollard pulls of 65t. Bunker capacities are 167m3 MDO (diesel) and 32m3 freshwater The two FiFi-1 standard equipped tugs can bunker just 159m3 and additionally 9m3 dispersant. VB FÉCAMP and VB GASCOGNE have one monitor each, delivering 300m3/h. The fire fighting system on each FiFi-1 tug was provided by Kvaerner. It comprises of two 1,200m3/h monitors, and step-up gears and fire fighting pumps coupled to the front end of the main engines. All tugs are equipped with deluge systems. The tugs are equipped with Schottel SST 110 LK bow thrusters of 200kW with 79cm dia. propeller.


Tank Top Deck:

Beginning at the bow VB GASCOGNE has the following five compartments: forepeak with accommodations and stores above of fuel oil and freshwater tanks, engine room, workshop and store, rudder propeller room, and aft peak. On the remaining tugs the accommodations are replaced by stores. Additionally to the main engines there is the following equipment mounted: fire fighting pumps mounted to the front end of the main engines, two 1.400m3/h pumps on the FiFi-1 tugs, a smaller one on the port engines on the remaining tugs, two generator sets in line between the main engines delivering a total of 168kW, and the starting air system.


Tween deck:

It is approx. 2.8m above the tank top deck on top of fuel oil and freshwater tanks. The deck begins approx. 5m from the bow and is approx. 7m long. It is located beneath the raised forecastle. On VB GASCOGNE there are two three-berth cabins, a separate sanitary room and stores. The remaining tugs have stores for among others fire fighting materials instead of the living quarters. At the end of the deck behind a watertight bulkhead inside the engine room the engine control room is located, overlooking the engine room lying below.


Main deck:

Aft deck: the hydraulically operated aft towing winch is fitted behind the superstructure and a large hatch accessing the engine room. On VB GASCOGNE it is a reversed waterfall winch with two drums which was provided by AMGC, a French company. The aft, upper drum carries 400m x 50mm steel wire, spring and pennant. The forward, lower drum carries 600m x 50mm steel wire. The drums have a pulling power of 7t and a brake force of 135t. The remaining tugs have a single drum winch from the same manufacturer with 400m x 50mm steel wire. The forces are the same. Only the VB GASCOGNE carries a MOB boat. It lies on a rack mounted on the side frames of the winch. A horseshoe-shaped towing fairlead is fitted directly behind the winches. An AMGC tugger winch with a warping head is mounted on just VB GASCOGNE at the port side of the towing fairlead. In front of the tugger winch a Mampaey towing hook type DCX 50/65 is fitted to a bracket. The tugs have a clear deck behind the towing fairlead.
Forecastle: About midships a 1.00m high ramp leads to the raised forecastle which has a sheer of one meter toward the bow. A hydraulically operated combined anchor and towing winch is mounted in front of the superstructure. It was provided by AMGC and has two drums, two chain lifters and two warping heads. When delivered the port drum carried a synthetic Steel Lite rope of 100m length and the starboard drum 300m x 52mm steel wire. The brake power is 135t. A double towing fairlead is fitted in front of the winch.
Superstructure: Two single-berth cabins with en-suite sanitary facilities are located at the forward bulkhead on forecastle level. Adjacent to the aft are galley and mess. The stairway and a changing room are separated from the forward part by a crossway. They are framed on both sides by funnels and ventilation shafts. Behind the shafts you find a CO2 store at port and a store at starboard.


Accommodation deck:

Here are three single-berth cabins with en-suite sanitary facility for captain, chief, and boatswain arranged. An inflatable life raft is mounted on each side of the deck at the railing. VB GASCOGNE has two boat cranes with a safe working load of 850kg each, one in each corner at the aft of the deck.


Bridge deck:

There is an alleyway around the wheelhouse. Steps lead to the wheelhouse which is raised approx. 1.10m. The space in-between is used for air-conditioning equipment and switchgear of the bridge electronics. The two main control panels are fitted eccentrically. The forward one is at starboard, the aft one at port. Each consists of two consoles. The forward panel has a tracked captainís chair between the consoles. At port you find a chart table and a seating. The equipment is according to GMDSS Area 1 standard and contains among others Sailor VHF radios, Atlas colour radar, and Navitron autopilot.


Top deck:

The deck carries the magnet compass, two search lights, the mast with radar, navigation lights and antennas, and fire fighting monitors. VB SAINTE ADRESSE and VB FÉCAMP have two monitors, the remaining tugs one.


-   Particulars

Length over all: 36,82m
Length between perpendiculars: 33,90m
Breadth moulded: 10,60m
Depth moulded: 05,60m (without Skeg und propulsion units)
Draught moulded (hull): 04,29m (without Skeg und propulsion units)
Draught, bottom propulsion units: 05,50m on summer load line
Survey: 487 BRZ,146 NRZ
Output: 2x 1.840kW /2.500PSe (total 3.680kW/ 5.000bPS) at 1.000U/min
Main engines: 2x ABC 8 MDZC diesel engines
Speed: ca. 12,5kts
Bollard pull: 65t

Sources:
Data sheet from Les Abeilles
Data sheet from Marine Marchande,
Reedís Tug World Review 1999-2000,
Tugs of the World, 3.Edition,
BV Register entry



For photos in higher resolution please click the thumbnails!
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Bow view from port Stern view from port
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Abeille Deauville Abeille Fécamp
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Abeille Fécamp Abeille Sainte Adresse
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Abeille Gascogne on a job Abeille Gascogne on a job
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Stern view of superstructure Bow view of superstructure
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Bow view of wheelhouse Port view of superstructure
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Starboard view of Abeille Sainte Adresseís superstructure with FiFi1 monitors Stern view of wheelhouse
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Stern view of mast Bow view of mast
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Aft towing winch from starboard Aft towing winch from port
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View into the aft towing winch from stern Tugger winch
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Tugger winch Mampaey towing hook
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Aft deck Boat cranes and MOB boat
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Forecastle with combined anchor and towing winch Bow winch
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Bow winch Forward controle consoles
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Aft controle consoles Chart table
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Instruments panel in ceiling lining Main engine
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Main engine Starboard rudder propeller
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