Numas Warrior Stationed on Vancouver Island

Canadian naval architect A.G. McIlwain has earned a reputation for powerful and compact ship-docking tugs. This was taken to a whole new level with the launch in early 2009 of the ship-docking tug Numas Warrior. At 58 feet in length with a 28 foot beam, the sturdy tug is just shy of having a 2:1 length to beam ratio. For such a small tug, she packs a lot of power — generating 2,100 hp from a pair of MTU-8v4000 60 diesels.

Small but powerful ASD tractor, Numas Warrior, was designed for ship docking work involving large freighters calling at a gravel quarry near Port McNeill, B.C.

It was built as a dedicated docking tug to work panamax ships that call at a gravel loading dock on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island between Port Hardy and Port McNeill. The ships are routinely running out around the north end of the island and heading south to San Francisco where the gravel is unloaded. Prior to the delivery of Numas Warrior, assist tugs were being brought from considerable distances at considerable cost to the operators of Polaris Minerals Corp., operator of mines. During routine production, the facility plays host to roughly two ships weekly, with each ship remaining in port about 24 hours.

Built at Sylte Shipyards on the Fraser River in Maple Ridge, B.C., Numas Warrior is owned by a management company headed by well-known tug owner and B.C. coast pilot, Jack Davis. Davis was also involved with the design and building of the tug Island Scout, which has been well employed in the oil trade by Island Tug and Barge Ltd. of Vancouver.

The influence of Davis on this new vessel can be seen in the wood interior finishing and the technological details such as the extensive sound dampening. In addition to the MTU main engines being soft mounted even the hangers for the exhaust flues and large circular mufflers are soft mounted. The space-saving circular muffler is from Cowl Industries Ltd. and has been used by designer McIlwain on several recent tugs. Auxiliaries include a Northern Lights 30-kW main generator set and a 20-kW generator for hotel needs. 

This compact wheelhouse includes z-drive controls on aft end of consoles, with access to bow compartment through centerline hatch visible against forward bulkhead.

The large beam combines with a 12.5-foot molded depth to give this tug ample space for two bunkrooms with a separate shower and head as well as a stores room in the fo’c’s’le, accessible through a watertight door. Aft of the accommodation area is a cavernous engine room that manages to make the main engines look relatively small. In fact, the engines each deliver more than 1,000 hp through cardon shafts to HRP 6000 z-drives mounted well aft in twin drive rooms each with watertight doors and separated by an access passage with its own watertight door to the engine room. Access to the engine room is via a watertight doorway on the boat deck between the two exhaust stacks.

The large and well-windowed wheelhouse is set on shock and sound isolators with all connections made through soft materials for better sound isolation. The two z-drive controls are mounted on port and starboard consoles. In addition to the usual suite of electronics, closed-circuit TVs monitor the engine room. Winch controls are located on the starboard console with an abort button as required by Canadian law.

The most distinctive feature of the new tug is its massive high bow covered in Schuyler loop fendering. It is this bow that distinguishes Numas Warrior from McIlwain’s earlier Tiger tugs, which are designed to work ships in relatively sheltered waters. Numas Warrior is stationed in Port McNeill, but to reach the gravel dock is about a one hour run through some waters with strong tide and winds that can kick up a good chop.

Ship docking work by Numas Warrior includes line-handling action provided by a Burrard Iron Works hawser winch on the bow.<

The aft deck has towing bitts while the forward deck has a staple and a hawser winch from Vancouver’s Burrard Iron Works. The winch carries 400 feet of 2.5-inch synthetic line. A heavy cover can be wrapped around the line to protect it from damage by sunlight between jobs. •

By Professional Mariner Staff