-   FAIRPLAY tugboats

When Kotug broke into the German harbour towage market in 1996 Fairplay Schleppdampfschiffs-Reederei Richard Borchard GmbH (Fairplay) decided to enter Rotterdam harbours as a countermanoeuvre. For use in Rotterdam four ASD tugs were ordered in Vigo, Spain. The business was expanded in the following years, lastly in Antwerp in 2008. The necessary tugs were chartered or bought second hand. Fairplay ordered two new tugs from Astilleros Armon, Spain. Considering the experiences with the first delivered FAIRPLAY III Fairplay ordered a second series of two of these tugs from Astilleros Armon. The four tugs got the following names:


-   Construction phase

Design and construction drawings were provided by Cintranaval-Defcar in Spain based on a concept proposal by the shipyard. The tugs were built on Astilleros Armon’s Navia shipyard. Two more tugs of this type were ordered by URS, at that time a 50% subsidiary of Fairplay. They were named UNION AMBER and UNION JADE. These tugs differ from the Fairplay tugs in different bridge equipment and the missing ice class. First tug delivered was the FAIRPLAY III in May 2007. She was commissioned in Rotterdam. FAIRPLAY I followed in Hamburg in September 2007. The first tug of the second series, the FAIRPLAY X was accepted in August 2009 and is being deployed in Hamburg. FAIRPLAY I was relocated to Rotterdam and FAIRPLAY III to Antwerp. The last tug of the series, FAIRPLAY XIV, was launched when FAIRPLAY X was delivered. She is due in October. Compared to the sister vessels FAIRPLAY I and III, the second series tug’s hulls have slightly been modified. With the assistance of the Fairplay-owned Buschmann-shipyard a skeg was developed which will increase the course-stability when going astern.

-   Description

The four tugs are typical ASD tugs with rudder propellers beneath the stern. The tug has a double chine hull with the chines proceeding into the stern. The hull is built on transverse frame 500mm apart and is divided in 5 watertight compartments. A bilge keel is fitted between the chines. A second smaller bilge keel follows the upper chine over almost the complete length. The hull and machinery are ice strengthened according to Bureau Veritas ice class 1C which is adequate to Germanischer Lloyd class E1. The rudder propellers are mounted approx. 3.5m from the stern. They are tilted backwards 3.5° to minimise the angles in the universal joints and provide a better performance. The rudder propellers are Schottel type SRP 1515 FP with fixed pitch propellers of 2.70m diameter running in nozzles. The Schottels protrude approx. 0.80m beneath the hull’s bottom. The skegs are different within the two tug series. The skeg begins behind the curvature of the bow and ends approx. 6m from the stern in the first series. The second series has kind of a flat bulbous bow and the skeg ends approx. 8m from the stern. At the end of the skeg the draught is 15cm larger as at the propulsion units to provide some protection in the case of a grounding. Two four-stroke diesel motors make ABC type 8MDZC provide 1,850kW (2,516bhp) at 1,000rpm. The power is transferred by Marine Control Drive clutches and cardan shafts to the Schottels. The clutches were provided by Twin Disc Inc, USA. The tugs have a maximum bollard pull of 70t and a speed of 12kts. The bunker capacity is 164m3 Marine Diesel Oil giving the tugs cruising ranges of approx. 12 days. Their accommodations are completely air-conditioned. The tugs are classified by German See-Berufsgenossenschaft and Bureau Veritas and got the class notation BV + HULL + MACH, TUG, AUT UMS, ICE 1C, UNRESTRICTED SERVICE.

Tank top deck:

the forepeak shelters water tanks, a store area and two chain lockers. In addition to the main engines two generators with an electrical output of 180kVA and driven by Scania type D 9 95M 10-40 diesel motors with 196kW are located on the ship’s centerline in the engine room. The forward gen-set is enclosed in a soundproof hood for harbor use. A special harbor gen-set was saved this way. Two hydraulic pumps for the towing winch are mounted at the forward end of the engine room. Behind the engine room follow a store with workbench, the rudder propeller room with the steering/gear units of the azimuth thrusters, and the aft peak with again water tank.

Main deck:

Forecastle: A hydraulically operated combined anchor and towing winch is mounted in front of the superstructure. It is a Brusselle Marine Industries type SLH150.20/2-2-2 winch with two drums, two chain lifters, and two warping heads. One drum carries 90m synthetic fibre rope and 15m steel pennant for harbour use, the second drum is fitted out with conventional harbour gear consisting of 90m steel wire with 52mm diameter, synthetic fibre ‘spring’, and a steel wire pennant. Alternatively the second drum can be equipped with a sea towing wire of greater length. The drums provide pulling powers of 44t at 0-10m/min, 8.5t at up to 44m/min, and 6t at up to 50m/min. The brake power is 180t in dry and 160t in wet conditions. The winch is of the constant tension type where the towline is automatically paid out or recovered depending on the measured tension to keep the tension within preset limits. Chain stoppers are fitted in front of the winch. A double towing fairlead is integrated into the bulwark in front of each drum. As the winch is the only on board, it is used when towing over the stern too. In this case the towline is led through a tunnel beneath the accommodation onto the aft deck

Superstructure: The approx. 1m high deck at both sides of the tunnel accommodates parts of the air-conditioning unit, a paint store, a battery room, and a second store. Above is the accommodation deck with mess and galley at port and three two-berth cabins at starboard at front. As none of the cabins has en-suite sanitary facilities a large sanitary space is located in the middle. The exhaust pipes are fitted at both aft corners. Ventilation shafts are placed on both sides behind the superstructure. They accommodate small stores additionally. The towing fairlead is mounted between these shafts.

Aft deck: This fairlead is right in front of the tunnel and carries a Palfinger Marine hydraulic knuckle boom crane. The crane is type PK 10000M and has a safe working load of 0.39t at 12.3m reach. With the exception of the customary bollards, ventilators, and an emergency exit the aft deck is completely void.

Bridge deck:

The wheelhouse is fitted approx. in the middle of the bridge deck. Its floor is raised 1.0m above the bridge deck. The space between is used for parts of the air-conditioning plant, the switch gear of the bridge electronics and stores. Beside the wheelhouse front two 6-persons inflatable life rafts from DSB are mounted in cradles at both outside edges of the deck. Inside the wheelhouse two control consoles are arranged to left and right of the ship’s centerline. They carry all necessary controls for rudder propellers, winch, main engines, and navigation lights. A Transas multifunctional screen with electronic charting is placed at the front end between the consoles. Gauges with the main motor data and indicators for the orientation of the rudder propellers are arranged vertically along the window posts in front aft of the control consoles. The captain’s chair is freely movable in the wheelhouse. A desktop is fixed to the handrails above the aft stairs. The navigational equipment contains among others magnet compass, autopilot, two radars for sailing forward and astern, electronic chart system, GPS, echo sounder, log, and AIS. The communications equipment is state-of-the-art according to GDMSS area A1 standard. This restricts the vessel to service within the VHF range of Coast Stations fitted with DSC (30-40nm). The two funnels are placed in the aft corner of the bridge deck. A Narwhal rigid inflatable boat (RIB) is used as M.O.B. and work boat. It is supported by a bracket cantilevering from the aft edge of the bridge deck. The boat is handled by the Palfinger crane.

Top deck:

It carries the magnet compass and a Seematz searchlight in the forward part of the deck and the mast and a second searchlight in the aft part. The mast carries two radar antennas and the navigation lights.


The tugs are run by a crew of three while ship-handling in harbour.

-   Particulars

Length over all: 25,00 m
Length between perpendiculars: 20,94m
Breadt moulded: 11,20m
Breadth over all: 11,60m
Depth moulded: 05,25m
Draught of hull: 04,45m
Draught, maximum (skeg): 05,30m
Survey: 308 BRZ, 92 NRZ
Main engines: 2 x ABC Dieselmotoren des Typs 8MDZC
Capacity: 2x 1.850kW /2.516PS (gesamt 3.700kW/ 5.032PS) bei 1.000U/min
Speed: 12kts
Bollard pull: 70t

Fairplay Towage Fairplay-Towage
Unie van Redding- en Sleepdienst NV (URS) URS
Bureau Veritas Veritas
Maritime Journal Maritime Journal
Astilleros Armon Video Video

The Tugworld Review 2006-2007

For photos in higher resolution please click the thumbnails!
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Fairplay I Fairplay I
Fairplay I in Hamburg Fairplay I in Hamburg
Fairplay III Fairplay X-XIV
Fairplay III at Astilleros Armon Side View of Fairplay X +XIV
Fairplay X Fairplay XIV
Fairplay X in Hamburg Launching Fairplay XIV
Fairplay I Fairplay X
Starboard view of superstructure Starboard view of wheelhouse
Fairplay I Fairplay X
Bow view superstructure Bow view wheelhouse
Fairplay X Fairplay I
Port view of superstructure Port view of wheelhouse
Fairplay X Fairplay X
Stern view of superstructure Stern view of wheelhouse
Fairplay I Fairplay X
Bow view of mast Stern view of mast
Fairplay I Fairplay I
Aft deck MOB boat
Fairplay X Fairplay I
Crane Towing fairlead aft
Fairplay I Fairplay X
Forecastle Bow towing winch
Fairplay X Fairplay X
Starboard view of winch Port view of winch
Fairplay X Fairplay I
Main control consoles Starboard console
Fairplay X Fairplay I
Bow toward view Desktop
Fairplay X Fairplay X
Port main engine Port main engine
Fairplay X Fairplay X
MCD clutch Schottel gear and steering unit
Fairplay X Fairplay X
Universal joint Generator set
Fairplay X Fairplay X
Hydraulic pump of winch Store
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