How Tugboat Works

these are the sheepdogs of the marine world without harbor tugboats mega ships could never get into port and we'd run out of oil food and pretty much everything else in a matter of days as the size of ships have increased so have the demands put on tugs conventional harbour tugs working here in Vancouver need all the help they can get and it comes from this tractor tug the newest and toughest member of the family a sumo wrestler and dancer all-in-one that can push and turn a Leviathan a thousand times its size let's see how it works tugboats need two things to get their job started a big powerful engine and a special hull design that allows them to dig into the water essential to help monsters like these parallel park these Harbor tugs pack around 1,800 horsepower this tractor tug is driven by two 3,000 horsepower diesel engines precision tuned with computer monitored fuel injection and turbochargers each one of these engines could power a full-size locomotive all the horsepower in the world means nothing if you can't somehow get a grip and create leverage the secret to winning that battle is in the home tugs are kind of like icebergs a big part of them live underwater they ride low under the enormous weight of their engines and as they power up they sink even further that's because they're built with something called a heavy displacement hull instead of riding on top of the water it sinks into the trough of its own wake more contact with the water means more friction and more pushing power but to guide ships in and out of narrow Harbor entrances modern tugs need a lot more than power and grip including independently controlled props keels that go on the front of the boat and indestructible winches even with all that friction and horsepower these machines often work in teams they have to on this big fella that's all loaded up and ready to head back to see the tugs take aim at clearly marked sweet spots and quickly push the freighter into a shipping lane that's the work of a basic harbor tug heavy displacement home big engine lots of times but with moves like these this tractor tug is destined for something more when it's not managing this massive parking lot it goes out to meet ships and guide them through narrow Harbor entrances if it needs to slow them down it just hangs on with the winch pulls the other way and becomes an aquatic emergency brake to be effective escort tugs require advanced engineering starting with these asmath z drive thrusters thrust comes from huge propellers these cones increase their power and the whole rig can spin a full 360 for total control on the water they allow an experienced hand to steer on a dime move forward backward and sideways two controllers each connected to a Z Drive twist the control to turn the blades push them forward to control thrust commands are sent electronically to two sets of gears an outer ring gear that controls direction and an inner drive shaft that connects the engine to the propeller blades the as myths are great for pushing around boats but they're even better when teamed up with the tugs powerful winch driven by a large 250 horsepower motor and equipped with a 300 meter fabric line it's light enough to float and unlike steel cables it doesn't rust this rope is so strong you need the thrust of 10 f-16 fighter jets to pull it apart and that comes in handy for this tugs most advanced move it starts by hooking up to the back of a ship then moves out to one side and finally with the help of its powerful drives and front keels digs in and rotates the ship like a giant rudder turning vessels ten times faster than it ever could with a simple push tug boats may look small when sitting next to mega ships but they're all muscle and fancy footwork helping take Goods out and bringing them in a big gear in our economic engine

26 thoughts on “How Tugboat Works

  1. Ahh yes the typical Discovery Channel 'documentary' , replete with over-editing, soundtrack and narration aimed at per-pubscent kids with low attention spans.

  2. The hull has 0% affect on pushing power, that makes no sense. The hull doesn't push, the props do. That's why they are big and shrouded for better "grip" in the water.

  3. Ships wouldn’t be able to get into harbour without tugs
    Modern Ships With Docking Assist: Press X To Doubt

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