Wärtsilä signs agreement with Kuribayashi Steamship in Japan for deployment of innovative gate rudder technology

Source: Wärtsilä Corporation, 30 March 2020 at 10:00 AM E. Europe Standard Time

Image caption 1: Evaluations of the innovative gate rudder assembly have shown improvements in both efficiency and manoeuvrability. Copyright: Yamanaka shipbuilding
  • Gate rudder technology lowers fuel consumption and reduces emissions
  • Better manoeuvrability & course stability in both calm and rough seas
  • An innovative design that reduces noise and vibrations

The technology group Wärtsilä, with the consent of all joint Japanese patent holders developing gate rudder technology, has announced the signing of a Licence and Co-operation Agreement with Kuribayashi Steamship Co for future development, sales and servicing of the gate rudders. In addition to Kuribayashi Steamship Co, the other patent holders are Kamome Propeller, the National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology (NIMPAT, Japan), Yamanaka Shipbuilding, and Professor Noriyuki Sasaki. As an authorised license holder and partner, Wärtsilä intends to fully integrate gate rudders within its propulsion product designs and focus on global markets outside Japan. The agreement was signed on 28 February 2020. 

Image caption 2. This Shigenobu vessel has been fitted with the gate rudder for evaluation purposes. Copyright: Yamanaka shipbuilding

By offering gate rudders as an integral part of Wärtsilä’s propulsion offerings for newbuild vessels, compliance with the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) will be further facilitated. The technology is available for both new build and existing vessels. As an integral part of the design, it will realise synergies in capital and operational savings for ship owners by increasing fuel efficiency, improving manoeuvrability and course stability in both calm and rough sea conditions, while also reducing noise and vibration. 

This new collaborative partnership will accelerate the deployment of gate rudder systems across all vessel classes. By combining Wärtsilä’s propulsion and machinery integration expertise with the Japanese patent holders’ gate rudder technology and know-how, this new technology will become accessible throughout the marine sector, with ship owners benefiting from the technology concepts. 

Speaking on the agreement, Lars Anderson, Director, Propulsion, Wärtsilä Marine, said: “At Wärtsilä we are doing our outmost to support our customers as they look for new technologies to reduce operating costs and improve the environmental sustainability of their operations. We see great potential in this gate rudder technology collaboration. Today’s agreement enables us to support the building of better and more sustainable vessels already today, and Kuribayashi Steamship and the Japanese patent holders are the ideal partners to help us realise this goal.” 

Sadatomo Kuribayashi, Chairman of Kuribayashi Steamship Co. Ltd., added: “Today’s agreement with Wärtsilä is a major step forward in introducing gate rudder technology to the global market, and it helps the shipping industry’s initiatives for sustainable shipping and reduced operating costs. An innovative approach has been taken in creating this new solution for the maritime industry. The first evaluations of vessel performance on Japanese coastal vessels have shown a significant improvement in efficiency and manoeuvrability. We see Wärtsilä, with a strong global presence, and sharing the same commitment for developing cleaner, more sustainable, and efficient marine shipping, as being the ideal partner.” 

Instead of the traditional rudder arrangement in the propeller slipstream, the gate rudder is a twin arrangement around the propeller, allowing improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. The concept is applicable to all current vessels equipped with conventional propellers. 

All Wärtsilä releases are available at https://www.wartsila.com/media/news-releases and at http://news.cision.com/wartsila-corporation where also the images can be downloaded.

MGM Boats Lift Dublin Port Pilot Boat ‘Tolka’

Source: Afloat.ie Team. 2nd April 2020

Dublin Port Company’s striking new Pilot Boat Tolka was in Dun Laoghaire Harbour yesterday for a maintenance lift on MGM Boatyard‘s purpose-built travel hoist.

The new addition to Dublin Port’s fleet plays a vital role in meeting the operational needs of Ireland’s largest and busiest port as it continues to experience growing trade volumes.

As Afloat reported previously, the new Pilot Boat Tolka arrived into Dublin Bay last December from leading UK boat builder Goodchild Marine Services Limited.

Ninety per cent of all goods into and out of Ireland arrive or depart via Dublin Port. The pilot boat, therefore, provides an essential service assisting ships in and out of the port to maintain the supply chain

Designed by naval architects Pantocarene and adapted by Goodchild Marine Services Limited for the local market, the boat design is renowned for its fuel efficiency, capacity to cut emissions and ability to handle high speeds in bad weather owing to an innovative beak bow design which can steady the hull of the boat as it pitches into the sea.

A separate, flexibly mounted wheelhouse helps mitigate noise and vibration, making the experience for pilots and crew more comfortable, whilst the hull form significantly reduces fuel consumption due to minimal drag. These environmental and design features are in line with Dublin Port’s commitment under the Masterplan 2040, reviewed 2018, to focus on environmental performance improvements in order to reduce the carbon footprint of vessels in port

Afloat.ie is Ireland’s dedicated marine journalism team.

Read more articles by Afloat.ie Team >

Coronavirus: Here’s what you need to know about cruise refunds and cancellations

Source: Bankrate

UPDATE: On March 14, President Trump announced that Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, MSC Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line will suspend all cruises from the United States for 30 days in an effort to combat the spread of Coronavirus. 

In the wake of multiple outbreaks of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on cruise ships, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State Department issued new guidance for Americans who plan to travel via ship this spring.

On Monday, March 9th, the CDC updated its ship travel guidance recommending that Americans (particularly those above 70 years of age or with pre-existing conditions) avoid all cruise ship travel stating “cruise ship passengers are at an increased risk of person-to-person spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19”.

In line with the updated CDC guidelines, the State Department also issued a warning for Americans to avoid travel by cruise and stated, “while the U.S. government has evacuated some cruise ships passengers in recent weeks, repatriation flights should not be relied upon as an option for U.S. citizens under the potential risk of quarantine by local authorities.”

Response from cruise lines to COVID-19

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) was in rapid response mode following updated guidelines from the CDC and State Department. The CLIA released a statement saying, “singling out the travel and tourism industry, and cruise lines specifically” was “unreasonable” and “unwarranted.”

But, with multiple outbreaks of Coronavirus on cruise ships around the world — most notably in recent news with an outbreak on the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California — many travelers are understandably nervous to take travel.

Following the new travel guidelines (and the recent classification of the virus as a pandemic) many Americans who have a cruise booked — or were planning to book a cruise in the near future — may be wondering what their options are now.

Trip protection offerings by cruise line

Responses regarding trip refunds and waivers vary by cruise line, but nearly all have addressed passenger concerns about the threat of Coronavirus ahead of their busiest travel season.

Here’s what major cruise lines have said about current and future cruise offerings in the wake of new government guidelines surrounding cruise travel:

Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line has suspended all cruises leaving from the United States for 30 days. Passengers will be eligible to receive a future cruise credit worth the full amount of their trip which can be redeemed any time before Dec. 31, 2022.

Carnival Cruise Line:  Carnival Cruise Line suspended all cruises leaving from the United States for 30 days. Passengers will be eligible for a future cruise credit to compensate for the loss of their trip. This credit will be redeemable anytime until March 31, 2021.

Celebrity Cruises: Celebrity Cruises announced that passengers who booked any cruise departing before July 31, 2020 are eligible to cancel the trip up to 48 hours before departure. Canceled trips can be refunded to the purchaser, or they can be rebooked for the future using “future cruise credit”. Credits must be redeemed before Dec. 31, 2021.

Disney Cruise Line: As of March 12, Disney Cruise Line announced that it is suspending all cruises. A return date has yet to be announced, but Disney did say that the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy cruise ships won’t sail until at least April.

Holland America: Holland America announced on March 12 that it would suspend all global cruise operations for 30 days. Passengers impacted by trip cancellations will receive a future credit towards a cruise of equal value and will receive a refund for their initial booking.

Princess Cruises: Beginning on March 12, Princess Cruises suspended all cruises for 60 days following outbreaks of coronavirus on two of their ships. All affected guests can reschedule their cruise for a future date of their choosing and Princess Cruises has said that passengers can expect a “generous future cruise credit”.

Royal Caribbean: Passengers who have booked a cruise with Royal Caribbean that departs before July 31 can cancel their trip for a cruise credit up to 48 hours before the departure date. Cruise credits must be redeemed before Dec. 31, 2021.

Viking Cruise Line: As of March 12, Viking Cruise Line announced that it would suspended all planned cruises until at least May 1. Passengers impacted by this suspension will be given a cruise credit to book a future trip.

MSC Cruises:  MSC suspended all cruises leaving from the United States for 30 days. Passengers are eligible for a cruise credit to compensate for the loss of their trip. Cruise credits can be used anytime before Dec. 31, 2021.

Credit card travel insurance

If you have yet to book a cruise, you may be considering your travel insurance options in the case that you aren’t able to travel due to restrictions from Coronavirus. While nobody knows how long the Coronavirus is expected to last — or when a vaccine will be ready— travel insurance through your credit card could give you peace of mind when paying for your next cruise.

Travel insurance through your credit card can also alleviate any stress that might come with rebooking your cruise with “cruise credits” that are subject to expiration dates and fine print.

Here’s Bankrate’s top picks for excellent travel cards that also have trip insurance:

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card offers trip cancellation insurance that is worth up to $20,000 in coverage per trip. Additionally, the Sapphire Reserve credit card also offers travel accident insurance worth up to $1,000,000. Perhaps most useful of all in this case, the Sapphire Preferred card offers emergency evacuation coverage worth up to $100,000.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
While the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card may not offer the same high-value trip insurance like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, it comes with travel accident insurance worth up to $150,000 and has no annual fee. If you are purchasing a cruise with this credit card you will want to make sure that the cruise line in question has trip coverage as a backup because this card only offers accident insurance — not cancellation insurance.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
If you are traveling on a budget — but still want quality trip insurance — the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card might be the sweet spot between the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card and the Wells Fargo Propel card. With an annual fee of $95 (modest compared to the $550 annual fee of the Chase Sapphire Reserve), the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers up to $20,000 of trip cancellation protection and a trip delay reimbursement option worth up to $500 per ticket.

Final Thoughts

The outbreak of Coronavirus worldwide has made planning a cruise an uncertain venture. Whether you have already booked a trip– or are still planning your future sea voyage –staying up to date on guidelines from health officials and the government regarding sea travel is the best way to keep yourself safe and healthy. In addition to the increased risk of exposure to the coronavirus on cruise ships, many ports around the world have closed in an attempt to contain or prevent further outbreaks.

You can stay up-to-date on travel restrictions by visiting the World Health Organization’stravel advice page.

Accurate information about Coronavirus and its transmission can also be found on the CDC’s website, which has real-time updates and information for travelers.

This article was originally published on March 10 and is a developing story. Updates will be added as new information is released by health officials and cruise lines.  

Remote pilotage among Covid-19 measures introduced at Peterhead Port

Source: Buchanan Observer

Peterhead Port Authority has introduced remote pilotage for selected vessels entering the harbour as part of a package of measures designed to reduce the risk of staff and users contracting the Covid-19 virus.

Port chief executive Simon Brebner says he is proud of its team of dedicated employees 

Harbour Master John Forman said the preferred option would be for pilots not to board vessels entering and exiting the harbour, instead remaining on their pilot boat and delivering instructions to vessel masters via VHF radio.

And for those vessels requiring a pilot to come aboard, such as tankers, the Port is asking that two-metre social distancing be observed throughout.

Mr Forman said: “Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we are enhancing social distancing and limiting movement of staff wherever possible.

“Remote pilotage is part of that. We are urging vessel operators to communicate often and early with port control to ensure that delays are avoided.

“Clearly remote pilotage will not be suitable for all vessels, and decisions will be taken on a case-by-case basis, but we hope to be able to handle most traffic in this way.”

Meanwhile, under the direction of Peter Duncan, head of Fishing – commercial, the port has introduced a range of measures to allow the Greenhill Fish Market to continue to operate while observing social distancing requirements.

Vessel landing limit – No entry to market from quayside after 0600hrs. This has been accepted by all as a necessary restriction which allows the market staff time to conduct their daily checks and procedures before any of the processors arrive in the market for the commencement of the sale.

Spacing of the fish – This effectively reduces the amount of fish that can be landed in the fish market by 50% – space has been allocated so that there is a three metre-plus distance between each row of fish. This allows stakeholders who are in the auction room the ability to pass each other at the required social distance.

Transport delay – the transport time uplift has been delayed to 0800hrs each morning. This means that the labour force who uplift the fish are not permitted entry to the auction hall until that time each morning. This allows the processors to have completed their sale and have either left the building or move to the opposite end of the building before the transport and labour force arrives, thus keeping the two groups of people separate.

One-way system – Stakeholders are encouraged to leave the fish market via the end door at Greenhill (exit only) thus there is no cross over of people entering and leaving the market.

Hand wash/boot wash – This facility has been in place since the market opened with hand sanitiser being commonly used.

Peterhead Fish Market has the highest hygiene and ethical standards possible for a fish storage facility through the BRCGS, Seafish, Marine Stewardship Council and Environmental Health. The processes and procedures that were put in place prior to the Covid-19 outbreak have ensured that this facility remains operational and hygienic in these uncertain times.

Simon Brebner, CEO of Peterhead Port Authority, said: “It is even more so now the time to assure our stakeholders of our ability to take proactive measures to keep the port and the fish market open for business allowing the supply of vital seafood to flow into the UK retail and wholesale markets, keeping the nation fed and nourished.

“I am proud of our team of dedicated employees who are making this happen, implementing initiatives such as social distancing and hygiene control measures within our fish market’s operational footprint, keeping everyone as safe as possible whilst going about their business.”

Werf in Lauwersoog apetrots op eerste loodsschip

Source: RTV Noord


Loodstenders worden gebruikt om loodsen van en naar grote zeeschepen te vervoeren. Langs de Nederlandse kust varen twintig van deze tenders. De komende jaren moeten er vijf worden vervange


De ‘Mira’ is de eerste van die vijf. Momenteel worden er proefvaarten uitgevoerd, daarna wordt het schip overgedragen aan de opdrachtgever.

Loodstender Mira in de haven van Lauwersoog (Foto: Steven Radersma/RTV Noord)


Als definitief gebleken is dat het schip aan alle voorwaarden voldoet, mogen ze in Lauwersoog in eerste instantie nog eens twee van deze schepen bouwen. Daarna nóg eens twee.

Verdubbeling van de omzet

Werfeigenaar Albert Keizer becijferde eerder al eens dat deze opdracht zorgt voor een verdubbeling van de omzet.

Hij is trots op het ranke schip: ‘Het is een hele bijzondere opdracht’, zegt hij glunderend. ‘Het is een enorme referentie voor ons in de hele wereld dat wij dit schip, dat ontworpen is door een gerenommeerd Iers bureau, hebben mogen bouwen.’


‘Wat er zo bijzonder aan is? Het is helemaal opnieuw ontworpen en in samenwerking met onze engineering is er een enorme gewichtsbesparing bereikt. Samen met een optimale vorm van de romp zorgt dat voor een enorme brandstofbesparing. Reken maar op 200.000 à 300.000 liter per jaar.’

Dat betekent niet dat de loodstender niet voldoende ‘power’ heeft: het schip vaart met gemak 30 knopen, dat is omgerekend ongeveer 54 kilometer per uur.

Record Breaking LNG bunkering for Sleipnir in Rotterdam

Source: Steel Guru

Pic: Herman Broers

World’s most powerful semi-submersible crane vessel Heerema’s Sleipnir received the largest LNG bunkering ever completed. Titan LNG organized the bunkering, using Coral Fraseri, Anthony Veder’s LNG carrier in the Port of Rotterdam. Sleipnir arrived at the Port of Rotterdam on Sunday, March 22. The vessel came home for the first time following a successful global campaign. The vessel has a wide range of sustainable measures, including being fully outfitted with LED-lighting alongside a hot/cold energy recovery system besides its ability to run on LNG. The use of LNG considerably reduces harmful local emissions and emits less CO2 than other commonly used fuels.

The total amount of LNG delivered was almost 3,300 metric tons, making this the largest LNG bunkering to have ever taken place. The history-making delivery took less then twenty-four hours to reach completion.

Sleipnir demonstrates that it is financially possible to sail on LNG, even in remote parts of the world. As Titan LNG, we are proud to supply the vessel with LNG for the sixth time. However, as this delivery is at home, it was particularly special.’

Source : Strategic Research Institute, SteelGuru

Fugro and SEA KIT forge autonomous underwater vehicle partnership

Source: 4COffshore

Dutch geo-data specialist Fugro and SEA KIT International, winner of the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, have announced a strategic partnership. The companies aim to develop a new range of agile and compact uncrewed surface vessels (USVs) which can deploy remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) for marine asset inspections. 

The first USVs are expected be launched before the end of this year, and a larger USV model is being designed for delivery in 2021. These inspection-related USVs are being developed alongside Fugro’s range of USVs for hydrographic data acquisition. 

Mark Heine, Chief Executive Officer at Fugro, said: “We are excited to be partnering with SEA-KIT International to develop a range of USVs that will transform the marine industry. Together with other strategic alliances, this partnership represents a major acceleration to our strategy of leading the development of remote and autonomous solutions, which is key to delivering a safer and more sustainable approach to constructing and maintaining marine assets.” 

Ben Simpson, Managing Director of SEA-KIT International, commented: “We’re delighted to announce our partnership with Fugro, which will combine our design and build expertise with Fugro’s track record in the marine inspection market. Together we can push for better sustainability in the marine industry and lead the way for others to follow.” 

In addition to investing in USVs and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), Fugro has built a global network of seven remote operations centres (ROCs) to deliver inspection and positioning services, including two new ROCs in Aberdeen, Scotland, and Leidschendam, the Netherlands, both opened in 2019. By the end of 2020, Fugro aims to be the first company in the world to provide offshore subsea inspections via USVs and ROVs that are operated from onshore ROCs. 

International will accelerate the development and use of uncrewed vessels, remotely operated from Fugro’s ROCs, to improve safety, efficiency, and reduce the environmental impact on marine activities. Fugro and SEA-KIT claims the new range of USVs will consume up to 95 % less fuel than traditional vessels.

Dutch Navy submarine aborts North Sea training mission due to Covid-19 outbreak on board

Source: RT.com

31 Mar, 2020 13:04 

A Dutch combat submarine was forced to cut its voyage short and quickly return home after several of its crew members tested positive for the Covid-19 disease.

The mission was aborted after 15 sailors on board the Walrus-class submarine HNLMS ‘Dolfijn’ showed flu-like symptoms. Eight of them later tested positive for Covid-19, the Dutch Defense Ministry said.

The outbreak was discovered when the submarine was on a training mission in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland. The disease forced the vessel to cut its trip short and return to the Den Helder naval base two weeks earlier than planned. All of its 58 crewmembers have been quarantined for further testing.

More than 11,700 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the Netherlands, and 864 patients have died.Also on rt.com 4 NATO soldiers in Afghanistan test positive for coronavirus, 38 more isolated with ‘flu-like symptoms’

Earlier this month, the US Navy reported that at least 36 sailors tested positive for Covid-19 on board the aircraft carrier USS ‘Theodore Roosevelt.’ Last week, four NATO soldiers were diagnosed with coronavirus in Afghanistan, while dozens more were quarantined with flu-like symptoms.

COSCO SHIPPING UNIVERSE outbound from Rotterdam

As the COVID-19 pandemy restricts our daily lives more and more, Shipping Lines, Ports, Linesmen, Tugs an Pilots will never stop. We are all part in a big chain that keeps moving cargoes anytime, worldwide. Today we may wear face masks, we do not shake hands anymore, and we stay at a safe distance from each other onboard. But we keep them ships moving. This is a short video about the outgoing COSCO SHIPPING UNIVERSE, a 400 meter long ULCS, from Yangtzekanaal, Euromax Terminal to sea.

She has a full China crew. Let’s not forget the sacrifice these ship’s crews are making, since they are no longer allowed ashore or even be relieved at the end of their contract due to the Corona-crisis. They are the real heroes of the logistic chain.