An efficient and more accurate alternative to the use of tow ropes to manoeuvre large ships has been developed by the Japanese firm IHI (Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries). Based on exactly the same principles as the simple suction cup, IHI's suction cup is 3 m in diameter, and is provided with a lip type rubber seal. It is evacuated through a centrally placed hose, using exhaust pumps driven by two 5 kW motors. The cup can fit on any moderately curved surface, and will resist a pull of up to 58 tonnes (about twice as much as most tugboats can provide) and is ready for use about 15 seconds after suction is applied. The device is attached to the tug through a boom, which is mounted on a swivel, centrally located on the tug's bow and overhanging it. This system allows the tug to turn through 180 degrees while the cup is in position; other swivel bearings on the boom allow for vertical and rotational movement. Shock absorbing rubber on the mounting reduces the possibility that seas or sudden movements will damage the cup or cause it to break loose. In tests at sea, tugs using the device were able to handle a ship quite effectively through waves 1.5 to 2 m high, according to IHI. In addition to overcoming the problems associated with the conventional use of hawsers, manoeuvring will be more precise because the connection between ship and tug has virtually no slack to it. Further, the towing vessel can quickly disengage itself from one point of attachment and move to another. (No further information in article).

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    IPC Magazines

    66-69 Great Queens Street
    London WC2E 5DD,   England 
  • Publication Date: 1976-11

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 456
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 72
    • Issue Number: 1028
    • ISSN: 0262-4079

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00147784
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: IPC Magazines
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 16 1977 12:00AM