A Tug & barge system for sea and river service
Author Valkhof, H.H., Hoogeveen, T., Dallinga, R.P., Toxopeus, S.L. and Verwoest, T.F.
Title A Tug & barge system for sea and river service
Conference/Journal SNAME Annual meeting
Paper no. 5
Month October
Year 2000
Pages 1-24

In 1997, Marine Heavy Lift Partners (MHLP) and the consultancy firm MARVECO discussed with the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) the design and development of a new tug & barge concept. The combination has to travel between the United Kingdom and Germany, where it will be an important part of a highly reliable logistic chain, comprised of production facilities, road transport and waterborne transport. The combination has to cross the North Sea and will make use of the river Waal / Rhine through Holland up to at least Emmerich in Germany. To become this important link it is obvious that the probability of delays has to be minimised as much as possible. The production process cannot be stopped, while at the same time the storage facility on the assembly location has only limited capacity.
Another aim of the research programme was to show that a seagoing tug-barge combination could perform equally well or even better than conventional means of transport. To achieve the targets set, it was necessary to have a combination with the possibility to easily exchange the river- and sea-tug by keeping the barge unchanged and thus avoiding transhipment and related time loss. However, such a concept required extensive studies, not only to guarantee good propulsive properties both in shallow and deep water, but also good seakeeping and manoeuvring properties. Moreover, the operability of the ship in all conditions (on sea, on the river, in shallow water, etc) was studied and the chance of delays significantly reduced to less than 1 per cent.
This paper will describe the design process from the determination of the main particulars up to the hull form development with the aid of potential flow codes and the series of model tests carried out to determine the calm water, the seagoing and the manoeuvring properties. Furthermore, the logistic aspects, the environment of the sea and the rivers to cross and their implications on the concept will be presented.
Given the very promising results and moreover in view of the increasing congestion of the European roads, particularly in Holland, two of the combinations are under construction now and will more or less start their services in the course of the year 2001.

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