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Jan van der Doe
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Geregistreerd op: 30-12-2004
Berichten: 504
Woonplaats: Fergus, ON

BerichtGeplaatst: Ma Mrt 14, 2005 3:04 am    Onderwerp: Nieuws Reageer met quote

Hythe improve US Army LT series tugs.
The United States Army – Combat Equipment Battalion at Hythe on Southampton Water is in the process of carring out a unique reconstruction programme on a series of powerful twin screw tugs. All six of the tugs concerned are just 10 years old but during their relatively short working lives have been found to have significant deficiencies, particularly with regards to stability. Decribed as The US Army Centre of Excellence for Watercraft Maintenance, the Hythe base is manned largely by civilian engineering and shipyard staff and is accustomed to project work of this kind. Known as the 128ft Large Tugs and indentified LT801 through LT806, all six vessels of the series were completed in 1994 by Trinity/Halter at Moss Point in the USA. Primarily intended to assist with berthing of large transports, they are also equipped for deep sea towing and barge handling. Each tug is 39 mtrs in length, with a beam of 11 mtrs and depth of 4.9 mtrs, powered by two 2.550 bhp main engines driving open screws. In keeping with many such vessels built to a military specification they are well equipped, have excellent communications facilities and a large crew of 24 persons. The main thrust of the ‘LT 128ft Stabilitation modifications’ is to greatly improve the vessels’ stability and thus remove many of the restrictions placed upon their operational capabilities. Those restrictions included stringent conditions govering the sea states under which they can operate and on the use of fuel oil. Range was limited considerably by the need to keep fuel on baord as ballast. Whilst undergoing essential modifications to correct these deficiencies the opportunity has been taken to improv many other aspects of the tug’s operational performance. The most obvious and significant modification has been a reducion in the height of the superstructure by one deck, by removing the radio cabin from beneath the wheelhouse. To accomplish that, the original wheelhouse and radio cabin have been completely removed and discarded. A new much larger wheelhouse structure has been fabricated at hte base in Alumiium Alloy. Windows for the vessels, a total of over 150 for all six tugs, are being supplied by Houdini Marine Windows. Prior to putting the new wheelhouse in place a new pre-fitted out and electronically screened radio cabin has been inserted into the excisting accomodation block. The top portion of the radio cabin protrudes into the centre of the new wheelhouse, which now has new control consoles forward and a considerale ‘walk-rond’ space at the sides and aft. Both exhaust uptakes have been reduced considerably in height and a new mast structure has been added. Other measures taken to improve stability include, a large reduction in the weight of fendering around the bow and raised forecastle, fitting larger bilge keels and the conversion of void spaces into internal tanks. The latter has increased the vessels range (free running at 12 knots) from 3.906 miles to 5.926 miles. Fuel and ballst transfer equipment has also been significantly upgraded. As part of the same project, a great deal of effort has been expended in reducing noise levels on board by improving insulation and modernising the ventilation system and air ducting. Noise levels on the bridge have been reduced from 70.1db to 60.2db. New consoles have been installed on the bridge wings for propulsion and whinch controls. On the after deck, the existing towing winches have been retained but relatively minor changes have been made to the fairleads and towing gear. Four of the LT128 series tugs were in the Hythe yard when Maritime Journal paid the base a visit in December, all at different stages in the reconstruction process. One vessel, LT803 Major General Anthony Wayne, has been the prototype for all modifications, has succesfully run extensive trails ans is virtually ready for operational service. A second tug LT805 Major General Winfield Scott has structural modifications well advanced, a third is undergoing underwater maintenance and modifications and a fourth vessel is waiting for major reconstruction to start. The remaining two tugs af the series will arrive from the USA in a few months time. (Bron: Marine Journal)
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