Allan town

“Welcome to my town,” Rob Allan told the 450 or so attendees at the 21st International Tug & Salvage Convention held recently in Vancouver, British Columbia. “Welcome to Vancouver.”

Now the executive chairman of the board of Robert Allan Ltd., the tremendously successful naval architecture and marine engineering firm started by Allan’s grandfather, Rob Allan has spoken at ITS conventions held around the world throughout his career. At this year’s event, he and his firm enjoyed home field advantage and scored a lot of points, especially with the “BRAtt.”

An acronym for [Ron] Burchett Robert Allan training tug, the BRAtt is a 25’6”x11’10” aluminum Z-drive designed for training operators of modern, high-tech tugs. Built at Adrenalin Marine in Vancouver and completed just before ITS, the tiny prototype tug was on display at the marina next to the hotel. At the event, Allan and company also announced that two new BRAtts would be built for Western Maritime Institute, a training company on Vancouver Island. One will be a hybrid diesel-electric, and the other will be entirely battery powered. The prototype is conventionally powered by a pair of 225-hp Cummins diesels.

Robert Allan also announced at the ITS convention that it has teamed up with Voith Turbo Marine for the design of the RAVE (Robert Allan Voith Escort) tug. The new concept features twin Voith drives situated longitudinally fore and aft, as opposed to a more standard transverse configuration. The RAVE design has been model tested and CFD analyzed and is said to offer higher indirect steering forces than a conventional VSP configuration, as well as quick response to directional commands.

ITS 2010 was also the occasion for Robert Allan Ltd. to celebrate the company’s 80th anniversary.

All in all, it was a successful week for the Allan gang as well as all the other attendees, exhibitors and guests at ITS 2010.

[For a photo of Rob Allan and his BRAtt, click here. To view a video of the BRAtt in action, click here.]

About the author

Bruce Buls

With a degree in English literature from the University of Washington (Go Dawgs!), journalism experience at the once-upon-a-time Seattle P-I, and at-sea experience as a commercial fisherman in Washington and Alaska, Bruce Buls has forged a career in commercial marine trade journalism, including stints at Alaska Fishermen’s Journal and National Fisherman, WorkBoat’s sister publications. Bruce spent 16 years as WorkBoat's technical editor before retiring in May 2015. He lives on Puget Sound’s Whidbey Island, about 20 miles north of Seattle (go 'Hawks!).

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