Robert Allan, Xuhui (Bill) Hu, Dwight Organ, Scott Curtis, Vesna Klipa
Z-Tech Schlepper, 2004


Robert G. Allan on the challenge of ship-handling tug design

Marine aesthetics – defined mobility

For most trading nations, the sea is the most important route of transport for exchange of goods. More than 90 per cent of the total world trade is handled via sea routes. To enable bulky transport ships to manoeuvre in coastal waters and ports, harbour tugs are of great importance to tow the ships on the spot. The Z-Tech is a new category of harbour tugs designed by world-renowned Canadian naval architect, Mr. Robert Allan.


Robert G. Allan on “The Challenge of Ship-Handling Tug Design”:

The objective was to create a new and distinctive design that would truly represent a breakthrough in ship-handling technology, and offer improvements in performance and crew safety. Robert Allan Ltd. met with tug crews and operations managers to gain a better understanding of the complete operation and specific tug requirements in Singapore. Emerging from that session was a clear understanding that some crews had a distinct preference for the “tractor” style of tugs, while others favoured the stern-drive type, each with unique operational advantages. Our challenge was to develop a single design that would incorporate the best features and eliminate the negative characteristics of both types.

Robert G. Allan is President of Robert Allan Ltd. and Head of the Z-Tech Design Team. He graduated with a B.Sc. degree (Honours) in naval architecture from the University of Glasgow in 1971. Kenneth D. Harford had been President of Mechtronic Engineering Corporation in Vancouver and joined Robert Allan Ltd. as Engineering Manager in July 1988. Xuhui (Bill) Hu is Project Manager at Robert Allan Ltd., with a degree in naval architecture and ocean engineering from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China. Marine Systems Technologist Dwight D. Organ graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, with a diploma of technology in marine systems design in 1993 and a bachelor degree in technology in 2003. Scott H. Curtis, Naval Architect and Marine Systems Technologist, studied at the Marine Institute of Memorial University, St. John’s, receiving his naval architecture diploma in 2002 and his marine engineering systems design diploma in 2003. Vesna Klipa is Project Naval Architect, with a B.Sc. degree in naval architecture from the University of Rijeka in Croatia.

You’ll find more exciting texts on the winners of the red dot award: product design 2005 in our red dot design yearbook 2005/2006. Order here!