-  Shoalbuster of Damen Shipyard Gorinchem

In 2004 I had the chance to visit the Damen Shipyard. At that time, the new Shoalbuster AMSTELSTROOM was preparing for her first dancing steps. For some years, Damen have been building standard tugs and workboats, the Shoalbuster being a special development of a standard Damen model. The Shoalbuster 2609 is the latest stage in this series of workboats for shallow waters. Damen have many bare hulls in their own port, the customer selects one and the new tugboat is ready for delivery in only nine months. The hull of the Amstelstroom was built in Poland and towed to Gorinchem for the final fitting. The owner is the shipping company Wijngaarden.

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-  Development of the Shoalbuster

Damen have built workboats since the 1940`s, and have a excellent reputation in the tug industry. They are able to deliver tugs and workboats in a very short time. Most of the hulls are built at foreign shipyards, Poland for example. Some years ago a new workboat type was born. Originally, Damen had only the Pushy-Cat for towing and the Multi-Cat for supporting other vessels. Now the best properties of both designs are combined and the result is the SHOALBUSTER. At the bow there is the pushing knee of the Pushy-Cat, while the aft deck is a large working area with a big crane. Development has continued ever since the first Shoalbuster.

Here are some versions:
  • Typ 1907
  • Typ 2209
  • Typ 2409
  • Typ 2509 and
  • Typ 2609 is the latest at the present.
Pushy-Cat Multi-Cat
Pushy-Cat Multi-Cat
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The shipyard and the test sail

The new Shoalbuster Type 2609 has a length of approximately 26m. The first sisters of the Type 2609 are the Tarka, the Camperduin, the Amstelstroom and the DMS Globe. The Amstelstroom differs a little, she has an additional deck in the deckhouse, which is half a deck higher than the other Shoalbusters. Damen are now considering a much bigger Shoalbuster with a length of about 30m and three main engines. In 2004 I had the opportunity to take part at the first dancing steps of the Amstelstroom. But before this, I visited the shipyards in Gorinchem and Hardinxveld. They had several different hulls in their own port and in the shed were two ASD-Tugboats under construction. Outside at the pier was the Camperduin waiting for her final fitting out. Damen build all kind of vessels but they also offer tugboat kits. These kits are like those for model makers, but with every screw, seal and stealplate in it. Damen delivers these kits all around the world. It is like model making in a scale of 1:1!!!
The next day, early in the morning, we set off from Damen in Hardinxveld in the new Amstelstroom. It was a great experience to take part in the test sail. I had never been on a ship during her first dancing steps before. I like this type of ship very much. My model tug Elizabeth was one of the first Shoalbusters ever built. I hope I will have the time to build a second Shoalbuster. But that one will be a type 2609!

For photos in higher resolution please click the thumbnails!

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Werftpier Camperduin
Pier in Hardinxveld Camperduin
Blick in die Werfthalle Warenlager
View in the hall Warehouse in Gorinchem
Warenlager Rohbau eines STAN-TUG
...kaskos Carcass of a Stan-Tug
Schlepper für Tobago Schlepper für Kenia
Tugboat for Tobago ...another one for Kenia
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