Robert Allan Ltd., Canada’s most senior consulting naval architectural firm, and a member of NAME’s Industry Advisory Board, recently announced that it has designed over 1000 tugboats.
Due to continual interest in the company’s history, a search was begun in late 2016 to review company archives to discover just how many tugboats had been designed since Robert Allan Ltd.’s founding in 1930. Identifying the “first” tugboat designed by Robert Allan Ltd. proved to be a difficult task, as records from the company’s inception consist mostly of incomplete sets of original drawings rather than written records. However, resident historian Rollie Webb was able to track down and identify records of what is believed to be the firm’s very first tug; designed in 1934 by the first Robert Allan (grandfather of the current executive chairman of the board), the Weaver Lake, was a “shallow draft towboat” built for a Captain E.C. Merchant.In comparison to the Weaver Lake, Robert Allan Ltd.’s 1000th ship looks like something out of a science-fiction novel. The title of 1000th tug – or as the firm dubs it “KiloTug” –, was awarded to the RAstar 4000-DF Dux, which was the first in a fleet of three ultra-high performance duel fuel escort tugs. Completed in May 2017, the Dux is the first duel-fuel escort tugboat in the world.
As is evident in the comparison between the Weaver Lake and the Dux, much has changed in the design of ships since Robert Allan Ltd.’s inception over 80 years ago. Since the firm’s humble beginnings, it has expanded significantly and has earned both national and worldwide reputation for its innovative ship designs.
In addition to a representative from Robert Allan Ltd. serving on our Industry Advisory Board, NAME is also proud to have among its teaching team Rob Allan (the third). The current Executive Chairman of Robert Allan Ltd., Allan is a guest lecturer who helps teach our NAME 591 (Computer-Aided Ship Design Project) course.
Congratulations to Robert Allan Ltd. for this milestone. We look forward to seeing your company design another 1000 tugs!
You can read more about the history of Robert Allan Ltd. here: The Place that Launched a Thousand Tugs
More details about the the DuxFirst of Robert Allan Ltd.’s RAstar 4000-DF Class Dual-Fuel Extreme Escort Tugs Delivered to Østensjø Rederi AS can be found here:
Since then, the company has grown significantly and has achieved a worldwide reputation for its innovative tugboat designs. To produce these designs, during the course of the company’s long history it has continued to embrace advanced technology as it has transitioned from pencil and paper to now using a variety of sophisticated software tools.
. Since then, the company has grown significantly and has achieved a worldwide reputation for its innovative tugboat designs. To produce these designs, during the course of the company’s long history it has continued to embrace advanced technology as it has transitioned from pencil and paper to now using a variety of sophisticated software tools.