Due to the nature of the job they do tug boat engines must be very powerful to be able to accomplish the duties assigned to them. There is a variety of different engines to suite each tug but they all have characteristics that are similar to each other. As explained in another article “towing” tug boats are used for a variety of different jobs concerning ships. They are essential since they maneuver huge vessels in to position at harbors and also haul large amounts of cargo on barges. Fort this to be done effectively they must have powerful engines to cope with the immense weight they need to move.
Tug boat engine size depends on the tug boat size but to make it easier to understand, the average power they have, tug boats are capable of pushing 5 – 10 times their weight. This means if the marine cargo vessel is very big than several tug boats could be assigned to maneuver it. They are also used to move barges from place to place. Power produced by a tug boat depends on several different factors engine size, engine type, propeller size & shape and tug boat size all contribute to the power capacity tug boats have. Each has its one capacity and careful calculations must be made before assigning a tugboat to duty.
Since these boats push and pull crushing weights, a tug boat should be able to handle the weight assigned to it safety. Pulling is easier since longer distance and time make it possible for tug boats to move weights beyond their capacity. This could be potentially fatal when the vessel needs to stop the vessel being pulled since the moving weight becomes overwhelming and the tug is unable to stop the vessel from drifting. Damage to the vessel, harbor tug boat, or even loss of life could result if the cargo vessel crushes the undersize tug boat.
With this in mind marine harbor engineers conduct Bollard Pull tests on tug boats to estimate tug boat engines power. These tests are compulsory and regulated by each harbor. They determine each tug boats capacity and give a reference figure that can be used when calculating the tug boat allocations. These capacities change as vessel get older or install new engines thus changing bollard pull reading.
Some of the most commonly used tug boat engines are from Cumming, Yanmer, Caterpillar, and Mitsubishi, there are other manufacturers that produce tug boat engines but these are the most common. Many tug boat engine are also 2 stroke since these engines have faster revolutions and pick than four stock engines. Since there is lots of sudden revving up to do while maneuvering, engine with quick acceleration pick are best choice for tug captains.
Having excessive power in your tug boat engines is never a disadvantage since tug boats miniature the cargo vessels they shove in to place, and this could be fatally dangerous if you have no energy to safely maneuver or stop a drifting vessel. Tug boat captains must be alert at all time even when they have enough power since danger is ever prevalent and no person can know when it will come knocking.