A brat in my backyard

Well its been a couple of weeks since my last tweet, sort of speak. In that time, I, and the domestic compensation unit, aka “the wife”, have been very busy in the back yard, turning it into a safe and cozy refuge from the “stormy seas” outside. This entailed building about 200 feet of wood fencing, and about a dozen pick truck loads of whatever, but always damn heavy. With the rainy weather upon us this week, I hope to catch up on my blog, as a few items has been catching my eye of late.

One of which is practically in my own back yard, as it turns out. This year the International Tug and Salvage (ITS 2010) convention is in Vancouver, first time in a very long time. At the conference, Vancouver based Naval Architecture firm Robert Allan Ltd (RAL) is announcing, along with partners Corvus Energy and Western Maritime Institute (WMI), a world first. Western Maritime Institute, practically my neighbor, located in Ladysmith, BC, will begin offering a DNV certified commercial advanced tug and pilot ship-handling courses, the first of its kind in the world.

The program is schedule to begin in 2011 with the delivery of two new “z drive” tugs. The tugs are the brainchild of Ladysmith based ship uber-modeler Ron Burchett and Robert Allan Ltd. and carry the BRAtt moniker.

The first one built by Adrenalin Marine, of Delta, BC, is a direct diesel-powered, which is on display at ITS 2010. It is a 7.8 metre long vessel, and features a 450 horsepower diesel along with most of the features of a full size, and much more expensive, z drive tug, in extensive use today. Although it is primarily designed as a training vessel, the tug is also designed to work as well; yarding, boom deployment, line handling and what have you.

The second and third tugs will be super green, meaning that WMI will not only be a world leader in “z drive tug” training, but also one of the first to operate an all electric tug, and a hydride diesel electric tug. The RAL press release reads… “Corvus has developed the electrical propulsion power systems for both these vessels in close collaboration with Robert Allan Ltd. These design options offer the best of both worlds, one fully emission free, electric-powered vessel and one fuel-efficient, diesel-electric hybrid vessel.”

I think this is another fantastic showcase of West Coast Canadian technology and innovation from some well known “can do” Canadian entities. And to think, its practically in my back yard, which by the way is now fully fence in a beautiful cedar fence.

You can read the press release from Robert Allan Ltd here, Western Maritime Institute`s website is lacking, which is completely understandable, as Capt Kitching and his cohorts at WMI, a very busy coming up with new and innovative training products; but you can find out more about the institute on my main website. Corvus Energy, based in Richmond, BC, has more information on their batteries and management system, at their website.

Pictures are from RAL of the BRAtt, and Ron Burchett is also pictured, from internet sources.

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