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Proceedings of OMAE 2005

24th International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering


12-17 June 2005 Halkidiki, Greece

OMAE2005-67219
THE BEHAVIOUR OF TUGS IN WAVES
ASSISTING LNG CARRIERS DURING BERTHING
ALONG OFFSHORE LNG TERMINALS

Bas Buchner, Pieter Dierx and Olaf Waals


MARIN
PO Box 28
6700 AA Wageningen
The Netherlands

ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION

For future offshore LNG terminals tugs are planned to The requirements for the uptime of new Offshore
assist LNG carriers during berthing and offloading operations. terminals for LNG import and export are extremely high (95-
A model test study was carried out to better understand the tug 99%). The Offshore industry realises that this requires
behaviour in waves and to make a first step in the dedicated mooring and offloading systems, so that the
quantification of the related weather limits. Scale 1:35 model offloading of LNG can proceed in significant waves and swell.
tests were performed in the two important modes of a tug Mooring to a dedicated Gravity Based Structure (GBS) and
during this type of operation: the push mode and the pull side-by-side/tandem mooring to a Floating Storage and
mode. Realistic weather conditions were used and the tugs Regassification Unit (FSRU) are considered in this process.
were working at the unshielded and shielded sides of the LNG This type of mooring problems has been studied in Buchner et
carrier. Based on the results presented in this paper, it can be al (2001, 2004) and Van der Valk and Watson (2005). It was
concluded that the motions of tugs in waves are significant, recognised as well that operational problems can also affect
even in wave conditions that are considered to be mild for the the operability of offshore LNG terminals. Van Doorn and
berthing and offloading LNG carriers. The resulting push or Buchner (2004) discussed these issues for oil offloading
pull loads may hamper these tug operations significantly. terminals and Onassis and Hurdle (2004) studied operational
Special measures are necessary to take this behaviour into aspects of offshore LNG terminals.
account in tug design, LNG carrier design and development of As indicated by Onassis and Hurdle (2004), in the design
operational procedures and equipment. The paper gives insight of new offshore LNG terminals tugs are planned for the
in the typical tug behaviour in different weather conditions. assistance of the berthing and offloading operations of visiting
One should be careful, however, to generalize the present LNG carriers. This is necessary to assure safe and efficient
results: with an optimised tug design and operation the tugs operations. So far this type of assisting tugs has mainly been
can be used in more severe conditions. used in sheltered conditions in harbours or other more shielded
conditions around terminals, see Figure 1.

Figure 1. Assisting tugs in a more sheltered condition. Figure 2. Experience with tugs assisting crude carriers
during lightering operations has shown that waves may hamper
tug operations significantly (courtesy Capt. Mark Scholma).

1 Copyright 2005 by ASME


However, for new Offshore LNG import or export
terminals, these operations should be carried out in a real
offshore environment with the related waves. Experience with
tugs assisting crude carriers during lightering operations has
shown that waves may hamper these tug operations
significantly (see also Figure 2):
In the pull mode the motions of the tugs in the waves
can cause extreme line loads, resulting in breaking of
the towline (or even the danger of capsizing of the
tug when large loads are applied transverse to the
tug).
In the push mode the motions of the tugs in the waves
can induce high impact loads in the fender, resulting
in large stresses in the side shell of the LNG carrier.
Green water on the deck can affect the stability of the
tug as well as the safety of the crew.
Figure 3. The scale 1:35 tug model with dummy thrusters
Excessive motions can influence the capabilities of and schematic modelling of bow fender characteristics
the crew that is working on the tug.
Tugs may need a significant part of their power to
stay on station themselves. Towline
Large tug motions and (relative) wave motions can The modelled towline of the tug consisted of 25 m
result in thruster ventilation and reduced thruster Dyneema and a 15 m nylon tail. The nylon tail was used to
efficiency. absorb the snap loads in the towline. The line was relatively
short because with a short tow line a quick change can be
Tug operations in waves can consequently be a real made between push and pull mode, which might be necessary
bottleneck in the uptime of a LNG import or export terminal. during the operation. Furthermore the short towline allows a
In Onassis and Hurdle (2005) this problem was addressed more directly controlled operation than a long towline. The
briefly, but not quantified in detail. The objectives of the winch for the towline was assumed to be located at the bow of
present paper are to better understand the tug behaviour in tug. The maximum breaking load (MBL) of the total towline
waves and to make a first step in the quantification of the was 4500 kN. The load-elongation curve of the towline is
related weather limits. For this purpose a dedicated set of given in Figure 4. In the basin it is modelled with a series of 3
model tests was carried out. linear springs with different stiffness, that are blocked at
certain elongations.
MODELS AND SET-UP
Force - Elongation curve

To better understand the behaviour of tugs in waves, a


pilot study was carried out in the Offshore Basin of the
3000

Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN). A 1:35 2500

scale model of an LNG carrier was used, in combination with 2000


Applied Force [kN]

a 35 m long tug, having a bollard pull of 50 t/500 kN. A third


structure, such as a GBS or FSRU, was not modelled in the 1500

present tests. The focus was on the local interaction between 1000

the tug and the LNG carrier.


500

LNG Carrier and Tug models 0

A summary of the particulars of both vessels can be


0 1 2 3 4 5 6
Elongation [m]

found in Table 1.
Table 1. A summary of the particulars of the LNG carrier
and tug. Figure 4. The load-elongation curve of the towline.
Designation Symbol LNG Carrier Tug Unit
Length LPP Lpp 274.00 34.80 m Fender
Breadth B 44.20 9.13 m
Depth D 25.00 4.50 m
The bow fender is designed to push against another
Draft (even keel) T 11.00 2.73 m vessel without damaging the tug and the other vessel. For the
Displacement 99,210 550 tonnes present tests a cylindrical rubber fender was modelled with a
diameter of 2 m and a length of 2 m. The main characteristic
of the fender is its compressibility: Figure 5 shows the force-
A picture of the scale model of the tug is shown in compression characteristics. For the tests the fender was
Figure 3. The model had no active propulsion, but two dummy modelled as a lever arm connected to a spring, as shown on
thrusters. the bow of the tug in Figure 3.

2 Copyright 2005 by ASME


Force - Compression curve carrier. Further two soft spring lines were attached between
2500 the bow of the tug and the LNG carrier to avoid too large
yaw/sway motions of the tug, as no active heading control was
2000 present.
Figure 7 shows the schematization of the push mode that
has been used during the model tests. As in reality, the line
Applied Force [kN]

1500

from the bow to the LNG carrier is often part of the towline of
1000
the tug. This was also done for the present tests: the
characteristics of a 15 m nylon line was used.
500

0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2
Compression [m]

Figure 5. The force-compression curve of the fender.

Set-up
To keep the LNG carrier at its position during the tests,
it was moored in a horizontal soft spring system, as shown in
Figure 6. Tests were carried out in the 2 important modes of
a tug during this type of operation:
The push mode, with a fender between the bow of
the tug and the side of the LNG carrier
The pull mode, with a towing line between the tug
and the LNG carrier.

Figure 7. Modelling of the push mode.

The pull mode was modelled by a weight attached to the


stern of the tug, representing the pull force of 500 kN/50 t. A
STAT.20 STAT.10 STAT.0 25 m Dyneema tow line with a 15 m long nylon tail was
modelled between the LNG carrier and the bow of the tug.
Figure 8 shows the schematization of the pull mode that has
been used during the model tests.

Figure 6. Horizontal soft spring mooring for the LNG


carrier.
Because the required mode of the tug can change quite
rapidly during the operation, the tug orientation was kept the
same in both modes: with the bow towards the LNG carrier.
In both cases the tug was positioned at approximately 1/3 from
the bow. The push and pull modes are shown in Figure 7 and
Figure 8.
During the present pilot tests the tug had no active
propulsion and no active heading control capability. This was
a result of cost and scale considerations. Even at a large scale
of 1:35 the size of the tug is small (1 m length) and the
thrusters would be very small as well, resulting in a less
reliable modelling of the thruster hydrodynamics.
Still a 50 t/500 kN thrust needed to be modelled for both
the push and pull modes. The push force was generated by
using pre-tensioned springs between the tug and the LNG
Figure 8. Modelling of the pull mode.

3 Copyright 2005 by ASME


Environment Limitations
As the mooring of an LNG carrier along a floating or The present pilot tests have been designed to give the
fixed terminal will mainly take place in wave headings close best possible representation of the full scale situation.
to head waves for the LNG carrier, the present tests mainly However, due to limited resources and practical
focused on this type of wave headings, except for a lower considerations, still a number of limitations are present:
beam sea. It should be noted that this type of wave headings, The tug had no active propulsion, there are only dummy
optimum for the LNG carrier mooring, are resulting in critical thrusters placed at the tug. As a consequence of this, no
beam wave conditions for the assisting tugs. thrust degradation effects due to thruster performance in
Figure 9 shows the resulting head waves, bow quartering waves can be studied with the present tests.
waves and beam waves for the LNG carrier and the tug in pull The tug has no active (heading) control, so the effects of
mode. All waves are assumed to have a JONSWAP spectral the control of tug by its master cannot be studied.
shape with a gamma value of 3.3. The tests have been performed in waves only, whereas in
reality wind and current will affect the operability of the
270 deg
tug as well.
225 deg
A relatively old, rather narrow, hull type was used
whereas modern tugs (Azimuthing Stern Drive or Voight-
Schneider) have a large beam and fuller hull shape.
There were no bilge keels or other roll reduction devices
on the tug model.
The possible effects of the terminal (such as the FSRU or
180 deg
GBS) were not considered.
The present tests were carried out with one tug size and
towing/fender arrangement, the sensitivity of the results
for these aspects needs to be investigated in future
Figure 9. Head waves, bow quartering waves and beam research.
waves for the LNG carrier and the tug in pull mode.
Wave conditions around the assumed working limits of GENERAL OBSERVATIONS OF TUG BEHAVIOUR
tugs assisting offshore operations were selected. For the bow
quartering wave conditions a sea state with an Hs of 1.9 m was Qualitative evaluation
selected as base case, both with a longer (swell) period and a The model test results confirmed that the motions of the
shorter (wind sea) period. In addition to this, a large sea state assisting tugs in waves are significant, even in wave
of 3.0 m was used as a sensitivity check for the wave height, conditions that are considered to be mild for the berthing and
see Table 2. offloading LNG carriers that are assisted by the tugs.
The following visual observations were made:
Table 2. Bow quartering waves.
Optimum wave headings for the berthing and mooring of
Wave
Direction Hs Tp Wave
Gamma LNG carriers (close to head waves) are in fact critical
[deg] [m] [s] spectrum beam wave conditions for the assisting tugs. This results
Quartering 225 1.9 14.0 JONSWAP 3.3 in large roll motions of the tugs.
Quartering 225 1.9 8.3 JONSWAP 3.3
Slack tow lines and peak loads occur often, especially
Quartering 225 3.0 8.3 JONSWAP 3.3
when the pull tug is in unshielded conditions. Figure 10
shows an example of a time trace of the towline load
Depending on the position of the tug at the LNG carrier
(F Towline) in such a condition.
the bow quartering waves represented a shielded or
unshielded location for the tugs. For the head wave condition
also both sea states with Hs = 1.9 m were used, see Table 3.
Tim e tra ce F tow line , unshie lde d conditions, Bow -Qua rte ring w a ve s, Hs=1.9m a nd Tp=8.3s
1800

1600
Table 3. Head waves.
1400

Direction Hs Tp Wave
Wave Gamma
[deg] [m] [s] spectrum
1200

Head 180 1.9 14.0 JONSWAP 3.3


F towline [kN]

1000

Head 180 1.9 8.3 JONSWAP 3.3 800

600

The beam wave was limited to a typical low swell


condition, see Table 4.
400

200

Table 4. Beam waves. 0


3000 3050 3100 3150 3200 3250 3300 3350 3400 3450 3500

Direction Hs Tp
Time [s]

Wave Wave spectrum Gamma


[deg] [m] [s]
Beam 270 0.95 14.0 JONSWAP 3.3 Figure 10. Time trace of the towline load (F Towline) with
typical slack lines events and peak loads (Hs = 1.9 m, Tp = 8.3 s,
tug in unshielded conditions).
The present tests were carried out in a water depth of 98 m.

4 Copyright 2005 by ASME


For lower wave conditions in the push mode, the tug has overview of the most important results for the push and pull
the tendency to roll around the fender tip instead of modes in different wave heights (Hs of 1.9 and 3.0 m) and
around a lower point (which is the case for a free floating wave directions. The Figures give the maximum roll angle and
vessel). towline load (F Towline) for the pull mode or maximum
For large wave conditions the fender comes free from the fender loads (Fx Fender) for the push mode.
hull regularly and the relative motions of the fender with
respect to the LNG are large. Peak fender loads occur
180 Roll Fx Fender
degrees [degrees] [kN]

when the tug hits the LNG carrier hull again. The test 225 Roll Fx Fender
Max.
Hs=1.9m 26.7 1255 135 Roll Fx Fender

with the tug in unshielded conditions and bow quartering degrees [degrees] [kN] degrees [degrees] [kN]

waves of Hs = 3.0 m had to be aborted because the model Max. Max.


Hs=1.9m 23.3 1820 Hs=1.9m 17.0 730
tug was damaging the LNG carrier model with a steel part Max.
Hs=3.0m 30.2 3900
Max.
Hs=3.0m 26.2 980
of the model fender. This was caused by pitch motions in
access of 12 degrees.
The roll motions, fender loads and tow loads are
influenced by the LNG carrier. If the tug is in shielded
conditions, these motions and loads are smaller than in
unshielded conditions, in which wave amplification can
occur (waves higher than the incoming waves due to the
combined incoming waves and waves reflected on the
LNG carrier).
Due to the large roll motions and relative wave motions 500 kN
(wave run up and down at the side of the tug) the dummy
thrusters were coming out of the water regularly. In
reality this will affect the thruster efficiency considerably
Figure 11. Overview of the most important results for the
due to thruster ventilation. However, modern tug types push mode in different wave heights (Hs of 1.9 and 3.0 m) and
(Azimuthing Stern Drive or Voight-Schneider) have their wave directions: the most probable maximum roll angle and most
thrusters deeper in the water below the hull. probable maximum fender loads (Fx Fender).

Quantification of tug behaviour 180 Roll F Towline


Table 5 presents the maximum motions and loads for a degrees [degrees] [kN]

wave condition of Hs = 1.9 m/Tp = 8.3 s with the tug at 225 Roll F Towline
Max.
Hs=1.9m 23.6 1300 135 Roll F Towline

different positions around the LNG carrier (push and pull degrees [degrees] [kN] degrees

Max.
[degrees] [kN]

modes). The maximum loads should be related to the


Max.
Hs=1.9m 20.1 1870 Hs=1.9m 18.2 1275

50 t/500 kN mean bollard pull in the towline or fender. Max.


Hs=3.0m 31.3 2080
Max.
Hs=3.0m 26.0 1520

Table 5. Maximum motions and loads for a wave condition


of Hs = 1.9 m/Tp = 8.3 s with the tug at different positions around
the LNG carrier (push and pull modes).

Hs = 1.9 m, Tp = 8.3 s
Bow quartering, Bow quartering,
Head
Signal unshielded shielded
Push Pull Push Pull Push Pull
Max
Fx Fender 1820 - 1255 - 730 - 500 kN
(kN)
Max
F Towline - 1870 - 1300 - 1275
(kN)
Max Figure 12. Overview of the most important results for the
Roll tug 23.3 20.1 26.7 22.0 17.0 18.2 pull mode in different wave heights (Hs of 1.9 and 3.0 m) and
(deg) wave directions: the most probable maximum roll angle and most
Surge probable maximum towline loads (F Towline).
range -2.6/4.0 -4.0/8.7 -0.7/0.6 -1.5/2.2 -4.3/3.0 -5.8/4.4
(m) From the results presented in Figure 11, Figure 12 and
Heave Table 5 the following can be concluded:
range -1.2/1.4 -1.2/1.3 -1.6/2.0 -2.3/1.8 -0.8/0.9 -1.1/1.1
(m) The roll motions are large for all conditions tested: up to
26.7 degrees for the Hs = 1.9 m. This is affecting the
working conditions for the crew heavily.
To give reliable values, the maximum values are most Already in the Hs = 1.9 m condition the maximum fender
probable maximum (MPM) values, derived from the model load at the LNG carrier hull is 1820 kN when the tug is on
test using a Weibull fit. Figure 11 and Figure 12 give an the unshielded wave side of the LNG carrier. Compared

5 Copyright 2005 by ASME


to the bollard pull of 50 t/500 kN this is a dynamic The unshielded situation is consequently the most
amplification of almost 4 times! This can be critical for critical and sensitive for the tug behaviour when it is close to
the hull of the LNG carrier. Special measures are the LNG carrier. This is due to:
necessary in the tug fender and LNG side construction to the very non-linear system of a tug that can become free
account for this type of loads. from the side of the LNG carrier in large waves
Having a certain shielding of the LNG carrier certainly the strong wave run up that can occur on the wave side of
helps: the maximum fender load reduced from 1820 kN to the vessel.
1255 kN in head waves and 730 kN in shielded bow
quartering waves. Wave period sensitivity
For the towline load in the pull mode something similar Table 7 shows the effect of the wave period for the
occurs: a most probable maximum load of 1870 kN is present tug: instead of the peak period of 8.3 s a longer swell
found in the unshielded Hs = 1.9 m. type wave of Tp = 14.0 s is used. The comparison with the
On the other hand this reduces less clearly in head and shorter wave period is not consistent for all headings and tug
shielded bow quartering waves (to around 1300 kN and modes:
1275 kN respectively). This is probably due to the fact For the push mode in unshielded conditions a clear
that in the pull mode the tug is further away from the reduction in the loads can be observed (to approximately
LNG carrier, which consequently provides less shielding half the load level in the shorter period), but for the pull
to the tug than in the push mode. mode the trend is less clear.
The surge motion range of the tug is large: more than The roll motion of the tug has reduced significantly,
10 m in the pull mode. which is due to the fact that the peak period is further
away from the natural roll period of the tested tug model
(9.9 s). This directly shows that one has to be careful in
SENSITIVITY CHECKS
generalising the present results: tug stability and the
related natural period can clearly influence the results.
Wave height sensitivity
Something similar applies for the absolute tug size
In Table 6 a sensitivity check is presented with respect to
compared to the incoming wave length.
the wave height. In this Table the maximum motions and loads
are given for a wave condition of Hs = 3.0 m/ Tp = 8.3 s with
the tug at different positions around the LNG carrier (push and Table 7. Maximum motions and loads for a wave condition
pull modes). Comparison with the results in Hs = 1.9 m shows of Hs = 1.9 m/ Tp = 14.0 s with the tug at different positions
the following: around the LNG carrier (push and pull modes).
1.6 increase in significant wave height results in more Hs = 1.9 m, Tp = 14.0 s
than a factor 2.1 higher fender load in the push mode with Bow quartering, Bow quartering,
Head
an unshielded tug. It should be noted that this test was Signal unshielded shielded
aborted due to large loading and the maximum in a full push pull push pull push Pull
test duration could have been (much) larger. Max
For the shielded wave heading and the pull mode the Fx Fender 820 - 670 - 720 -
(kN)
difference is less clear. These loads increase less than
Max
linearly with the wave height. F Towline - 1640 - 865 - 1800
(kN)
Max
Table 6. Maximum motions and loads for a wave condition Roll tug 11.6 16.0 12.1 14.6 9.5 12.0
of Hs = 3.0 m/ Tp = 8.3 s with the tug at different positions (deg)
around the LNG carrier (push and pull modes). Surge
Hs = 3.0 m, Tp = 8.3 s range -1.3/1.4 -3.5/4.1 -0.5/0.5 -1.4/1.2 -1.4/1.3 -4.7/6.2
Bow quartering, (m)
Bow quartering, shielded Heave
Signal unshielded
Push Pull Push Pull range -1.3/1.4 -1.3/1.4 -1.5/1.8 -1.7/1.7 -1.1/1.3 -1.4/1.4
(m)
Max Fx Fender
3900*) - 980
(kN)
Max F Towline
- 2080 - 1520 Tug behaviour in LNG carrier beam seas
(kN)
Max Roll tug Finally the situation of LNG carrier beam waves was
30.2*) 31.3 26.2 26.0
(degrees) investigated, resulting in bow or stern waves for the tugs
Surge range
-5.3/12.1 -8.3/5.1 -9.1/6.8 (depending on tug mode and tug position with respect to the
(m) LNG carrier). A low wave height (Hs = 0.95 m) was chosen
Heave range because higher sea states would be unrealistic for the LNG
-1.9/1.9 -1.3/1.5 -1.7/1.9
(m) carrier mooring in swell waves of Tp = 14 s. Table 8 shows
*) Test aborted due to extreme loading the resulting motions and loads.

6 Copyright 2005 by ASME


Displacement of Fender relative to LNG carrier hull, Unshielded conditions, bow quartering w ave s Hs=1.9m Tp=8.3s Displacement of Fender relative to LNG carrier hull, Unshielded conditions, bow quartering w ave s Hs=3.0m Tp=8.3s
3 3

Table 8. Maximum motions and loads for a beam wave 2 2

swell condition of Hs = 0.95 m/ Tp =14.0 s (push and pull modes). 1 1

Unshielded Shielded

Vertical displacement [m]

Vertical displacement [m]


0 0

Signal
Push Pull Push Pull
-1 -1

-2 -2

Max Fx Fender
970 - 730 -3 -3

(kN) -4 -4

Max F Towline
- 2250 - 1175 -5
-4 -2 0 2 4 6 8
-5
-4 -2 0 2 4 6 8

(kN)
Horizontal displacement [m] Horizontal displacement [m]

Max Roll tug


Displa cement of Fender relative to LNG carrier hull, Shielded conditions, bow quartering w aves Hs=1.9m Tp=8.3s Displa cement of Fender relative to LNG carrier hull, Shielded conditions, bow quartering w aves Hs=3.0m Tp=8.3s
3 3

4.0 9.9 6.2 4.8


(degrees) 2 2

Surge range
1 1

-1.5/1.4 -4.0/7.5 -1.4/1.5 -3.2/2.4

Vertical displacement [m]

Vertical displacement [m]


(m)
0 0

Heave range
-1 -1

-1.0/0.9 -0.8/0.9 -0.6/0.8 -0.8/0.9 -2 -2

(m) -3 -3

-4 -4

-5 -5
-4 -2 0 2 4 6 8 -4 -2 0 2 4 6 8
Horizontal displacement [m] Horizontal displacement [m]

The results show large surge motions of the tug in the


pull mode. This is a result of the head wave condition for the Figure 13. Two-dimensional time traces (Y-Z) of the
tug and the long period wave. The resulting maximum towline relative motion of the fender tip relative to the LNG carrier hull.
load of 2250 kN is a factor of 4.5 higher than the bollard pull The horizontal axis gives the horizontal displacement (range -4
of the tug. to+8 m), the vertical axis the vertical displacement (range -5 to
+3 m). The top figures show the unshielded bow quartering
waves of Hs = 1.9 m (left) and Hs = 3.0 m (right). The bottom
LOADING OF THE LNG CARRIER HULL figures show the shielded bow quartering waves of Hs = 1.9 m
(left) and Hs = 3.0 m (right).
For tug support of LNG carrier manoeuvring operations
in harbours and at terminals, typically tug push points are
marked on the hull of the LNG carrier. The fender of the tug
in the push mode should be applied at these points because
this load is preferably applied to a rather stiff and strong
vertical frame. However, in an offshore situation these loads
are higher than the required push force. The point of
application of this point also varies significantly, as will be
shown below. This can result in unwanted point-type loads on
the side shell of the LNG carrier (although the fender is
distributing the load over an area of approximately 4 m2 when
fully compressed).
Figure 13 shows the displacement of the fender over the
hull of the LNG carrier in bow quartering waves of Hs = 1.9 m
(left) and 3.0 m (right), both in shielded (bottom) and
unshielded (top) conditions. These graphs clearly show that
the fender is moving over a large part of the hull. Even in
shielded conditions the smallest displacement window is 3 by
1 meter and this window increases rapidly to areas of more
than 25 m2 in unshielded conditions. The fender load will
consequently also be applied to locations between two vertical
frames. The plate work between the two vertical frames is
obviously more sensitive to deformation. Figure 14. Plots of the fender impact loads as function of
Figure 14 shows again the displacement of the fender tip horizontal (left figures) and vertical (right figures) displacement
over the hull of the LNG carrier, but now the related fender of the tug fender relative to the LNG carrier. The top figures
loads are given in the other axis. It can be observed from this show the unshielded bow quartering waves of Hs = 1.9 m. The
Figure that the large loads on the hull are distributed over a bottom figures show the unshielded bow quartering waves of
Hs = 3.0 m.
large horizontal area. Further the highest fender loads seem to
occur higher up the side shell of the LNG carrier.
These aspects certainly have to be taken into account in
the decisions about tug operational procedures, the choice of ASSESSMENT OF TUG CREW PERFORMANCE IN
equipment and the design of the LNG carrier hull. WAVES

Beside the limits imposed by the large loads in fenders


and towlines, the safety and performance of the crew is an
important factor in the workability of the tug in waves. The
NORDFORSK Assessment of ship performance in a seaway

7 Copyright 2005 by ASME


identifies different types of work or operations at different RMS Roll Motions Tug in Push Mode , Unshielde d
locations onboard which impose different levels of motions 90 Hs=1.9m Tp=8.3s
and accelerations as limiting criteria. Figure 15 shows the five 120
8
60
+ Hs=1.9m Tp=14.0s
areas as identified by NORDFORSK (1987): 6
* Hs=1.9m Tp=8.3s
x Hs=1.9m Tp=14.0s

1. Fore perpendicular Heavy manual work 150 4 30


Hs=3.0m Tp=8.3s
Hs=0.95m Tp=14.0s
2. Bridge Intellectual work
3. Amidships Transit passengers 2

RMS Roll [degrees]


4. of ships length from aft Heavy manual work
5. Aft perpendicular Light manual work 180 0

210 330

240 300
2 270

3 1 W ave Direction

5 4

Figure 16. RMS values for the roll motion of the tug in
push mode in different sea states. (RMS values for the tug in
shielded conditions are on average 20% lower)
Although these results are clearly a function of the
Figure 15. Definition of positions on the tug. natural period of the tug and the application of roll reduction
For tugs assisting LNG carriers during berthing and devices (which were not present in the present tests), it can be
departure operations, locations 1, 2 and 4 were identified as concluded that the roll behaviour of the tug is one of the
the working areas. The limiting conditions for these locations critical factors for the operability of the tugs in waves.
are given by NORDFORSK in terms of RMS (Root Mean
Square/Standard deviation) values. These are defined in Table CONCLUSIONS
9.
Based on the results presented in this paper, it can be
concluded that the motions of tugs in waves can be significant,
Table 9. The limiting conditions for the 4 locations are even in wave conditions that are considered to be mild for the
given by NORDFORSK in terms of RMS (standard deviation)
values.
berthing and offloading LNG carriers that are assisted by these
tugs. The resulting push or pull loads may hamper these tug
Max acceleration operations significantly. For the present tug and configuration
Location Max roll
Vertical Lateral the following results were found (one should be careful in
1 0.15g 0.07g 4.0 deg generalizing them):
2 0.10g 0.05g 3.0 deg
Optimum wave headings for the berthing and mooring of
4 0.15g 0.07g 4.0 deg
LNG carriers (close to head waves) are in fact critical
beam wave conditions for the assisting tugs. This results
in large roll motions of the tugs (up to 26.7 deg for an Hs
Applying these limiting conditions to the test results, the
of 1.9 m).
following observation were made:
Slack tow lines and peak loads occur often, especially
The maximum RMS value of vertical accelerations is not
when the pull tug is in unshielded conditions. A
exceeded at one of the three locations in any wave
maximum tow load of 1870 kN is found in the unshielded
condition.
Hs of 1.9 m.
The maximum RMS value of lateral acceleration is not
For the push mode the fender loads are high as well. In
exceeded at location 1 and 4. At location 2, the bridge,
the Hs=1.9 m condition the maximum fender load on the
the lateral accelerations are exceeded during bow
LNG carrier hull is 1820 kN when the tug is on the
quartering waves of Hs = 3.0 m and Tp = 8.3 s in the pull
unshielded wave side of the LNG carrier. Compared to
mode, and at beam waves of Hs = 1.9 m and Tp = 8.3 s for
the bollard pull of 500 kN this is a dynamic amplification
both the pull mode as well as the push mode.
of almost 4 times. This can be critical for the hull of the
The RMS values for roll are exceeded during most model LNG carrier. Special measures are necessary for the tug
tests. Figure 16 shows the RMS values for roll in different fender design and LNG side construction to account for
sea states in unshielded conditions. this type of loads over a large area of the side shell.
The roll motions, fender loads and tow loads are
influenced by the LNG carrier. If the tug is in shielded

8 Copyright 2005 by ASME


conditions, these motions and loads are smaller than in REFERENCES
unshielded conditions, in which wave amplification can
occur (waves higher than the incoming waves due to the - NORDFORSK, Assessment of ship performance in a
combined incoming waves and waves reflected on the seaway, Copenhagen, 1987.
LNG carrier). - Buchner B., van Dijk A.W.V. and de Wilde J.J. (2001),
Due to the large roll motions and relative wave motions Numerical multiple-body simulations of side-by-side
(wave run up and down at the side of the tug) the dummy mooring to an FPSO, ISOPE 2001, Stavanger.
thrusters of the model were coming out of the water - Van Doorn, J.T.M. and Buchner, B. (2001), Design and
regularly. In reality this will affect the thruster efficiency operational evaluation of offloading operations for deep
considerably due to thruster ventilation. However, modern water FPSOs, DOT 2001, Rio de Janeiro.
tug types (Azimuthing Stern Drive or Voight-schneider) - Buchner, B., Loots, G.E., Forristall, G.Z. and Van Iperen,
have their thrusters deeper in the water below the hull. E.J. (2004), Hydrodynamic Aspects Of Gravity Based
The crew performance can be clearly influenced by the Structures In Shallow Water, OTC paper 16716, OTC
motions of the tugs. Applying the NORDFORSK motion 2004, Houston.
criteria it becomes clear that especially the roll motions - Onassis, J. and Hurdle, D.P. (2004), Manoeuvring Large
can be critical. Roll reduction devices such as bilge keels Tankers Alongside a Floating LNG (FLNG) Facility,
can improve this situation. OMAE2004, Vancouver.
- Buchner, B., De Boer.G. and De Wilde, J.J. (2004), The
It should be noted that one has to be careful in Interaction Effects of Mooring in Close Proximity of
generalising the present test results: absolute tug size, bollard Other Structures, ISOPE 2004, Toulon.
pull, tug stability (GM) and the push/pull arrangements can - Van der Valk, C.A.C and Watson, A.(2005): Mooring of
clearly influence the tug behaviour and related loads. The LNG carriers to a Weathervaning Floater Side-by-side
present test results can be used to validate numerical tools, or Stern-to-bow, OTC-17154, OTC 2005, Houston.
which can then be applied to study these aspects and propose
optimum solutions for the observed problems.

9 Copyright 2005 by ASME