-   VB Adroit

Boubon Group announced the order of 14 harbour tugs as part of their Horizon 2010 development plan end of April 2006. Eight of them were planned for the subsidiary Les Abeilles in different harbours. The remaining for somewhat smaller tugs were intended for the extension of the international business. They are not topic here. The eight tugs were to be delivered from November 2007 until end of 2008. But then Les Abeille was sold by Bourbon Group for approx. 270 Mio Euro to the Spanish Boluda Group in December 2007. The eight new tugs were part of the deal. The already delivered tugs were renamed and received the Boluda-typical prefix “VB” instead of “Abeille”. The remaining tugs received the “VB” from the beginning but some got different names than those chosen by Les Abeille. As sixth tug was delivered in September 2008:


-   Project development

The Bourbon Group was very content with the performance of the tugs ABEILLE BARFLEUR and CROISIC, when considering the fleet renewal. These tugs were delivered by Chantiers Piriou in Concarneau in 2003 and 2006. So the order for the new tugs went to the same shipyard. The new tugs are improved versions of the older ones built on basically the same hull. One of the goals was to get 15 per cent higher bollard pull. VB OCTEVILLE, VB TROUVILLE, VB YPORT, VB CAMARQUE, VB RHONE, VB ADROIT and VB CRAU were delivered at the end of January 2009. VB ESTERELLE has executed her bollard pull test in Brest in mid of February. She was delivered afterwards. The tugs are stationed in different French harbours.

-   Description

General: The vessels are ASD tugs with two azimuthing rudder propellers beneath the stern. The propulsion units are mounted approx. 3.5m from the stern and tilted 5° to get a smaller angle for the universal coupling and a better performance. The units are Schottel type SRP 1515 FP with fixed pitch propellers of 2.60m diameter in Kort nozzles. The draught at the propulsion units is about 1.40m larger than the hull’s draught. A large central skeg runs from the bow to approx. 6.00m from the stern and provides protection in the case of grounding and provides better directional stability. The hull is equipped with two bilge keels. The Schottels are connected by cardan shafts and modulating twin disk clutches to the ABC type 8DZC main diesel engines. The engines provide 1,945kW (2,645bhp) each at 1,000rpm and are good for a speed of 12kts and bollard pulls of 66t (tonnes) forward and 63t astern. The tugs are equipped with hydraulically operated bow thrusters providing 2.4t thrust at 235kW. The tugs have bunker capacities of 97m3 Marine diesel oil and 23m3 fresh water. The tugs are equipped with Fischcon fire fighting systems according to FiFi1 standards. Two combined step-up gear-pumps sets with a capacity of 1,380m3/h each and an additional PTO (power take of) are coupled to the front ends of the main engines and supply 1,200m3/h to each of the two Alco monitors. The remaining pump capacity is used for the deluge system.

Tank top deck:

The deck contains from to stern: Chain locker, store, two double-bed cabins with en-suite sanitary facilities, laundry and office. Behind these rooms lies the engine room. It contains a separate engine control room, the two main engines, two Cummins generator sets with an output of 113kVA and two hydraulic unit which are powered as required by the main engines through the PTO of the fire fighting gear-pump set. Last compartment is the rudder propeller room.

main deck:

On the raised forecastle is a combined, hydraulically driven anchor and towing is mounted it was provided by the French company BOPP. The winch has two chain lifters, two warping heads and two towing drums with a capacity of 400m towing of 48mm diameter. The winch has a pulling power of 18t and a brake power of 150t. In front of the winch a towing staple with three posts and a cross beam with two fairleads is mounted. The chain stoppers are integrated into the winch foundation. Behind the winch the superstructure is located. On the forecastle level the two single-bed cabins with en-suite facilities for captain and chief engineer are arranged side by side. They are followed by the open plan galley and mess room on the working deck level. A sanitary room is accessible from the working deck. The working deck carries the hydraulically operated towing winch from BOPP directly behind the superstructure. It has one drum with a capacity of 400m of 48mm diameter wire and has a pulling power of 18t and a brake power of 150t. A Mampaey towing hook is mounted on the winch foundation. Behind the winch a H-shaped towing staple with one fairlead is located.

Boat deck:

The deck is the roof above the accommodation and is split-level according to the main deck below. At the aft end a rigid inflatable boat with outboard motor is stores as life boat. Its crane has a SWL of 1t. In front of the funnels and ventilation shafts stairs lead to the raised part of the boat deck. Between funnels and stairs an inflatable life raft is mounted on each side of the tug. In front of the wheelhouse an number of hose couplings is placed. Another five steps lead to the bridge deck.

Bridge deck:

The deck carries the wheelhouse. Two control consoles are arranged lengthwise with the captain’s chair on tracks in-between. The wheelhouse has room high windows for better visibility. The navigation equipment is mostly from Furuno. The VHF system is from Icom.

Top deck:

The wheelhouse roof carries the mast, communication antennas, the magnet compass and two fire fighting monitors.

-   Particulars

Length o.a.: 30.30m
Breadth moulded: 10.40m
Depth: 04.45m
Draught: Hull/Propulsion units approx.3.30m/ 4.50m
Volume: 334 BRZ
Main engine output: 2x 2,645bhp (2x 1,945kW)
Speed: 12kts
Bollard pull: ahead/astern 66/63tonnes

Tug World Review 2008
Maritime Journal,
Chantiers Piriou,
Mer et Marine,
more information

For photos in higher resolution please click the thumbnails!
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VB Adroit VB Adroit
Starboard view Port view
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Bow view Stern view
VB Esterelle VB Esterelle
VB Esterelle in Brest VB Esterelle in Brest
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Port view of superstructure View of wheelhouse
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Bow view of the superstructure Starboard view of superstructure
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Stern view of superstructure with RIB boatt Alco fire fighting monitors
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Forecastle – Making connection for bollard pull test Combined bow anchor- and towing winch
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After (working) deck Aft towing winch and towing staple
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Aft towing winch and towing hook Forward view of towing winch
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Wheelhouse – forward view Wheelhouse – view toward the stern
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Single-bed cabin of chief engineer Mess room and galley
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Starboard main engine Port main engine
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Generator sets between main engines rudder propeller – gear housing and steering unit
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