2005 - Tractor of the Year: Velox

Award Basis: Each year Towing Solutions recognizes a tractor design (Voith Schneider, Z-drive, ASD, etc) that, in our opinion, significantly improves:

  • that type of tractor’s overall performance,

  • the safety of the crew, or

  • the overall flexibility in meeting a specific port’s requirements. 

As it is not our intention to give away the trade secrets that designers and operating companies have worked hard to develop, the salient features of the winning design will be described but pictures and/or line drawings will, in most cases, not be provided on this web site.  Parties interested in the design for their application are encouraged to contact either the designer or operating company directly.

For 2005 Towing Solutions is proud to award our Tractor of the Year award to the 5,000 KW (6,700 Hp.) Voith Schneider “true tractor” VELOX designed by Robert Allan Ltd.  The boat is owned and operated by Østensjø Rederi AS located in Hougesund, Norway.

With this design, Robert Allan has taken the Voith Schneider tractor another step forward with a very dramatic underwater hull shape that is significantly different from the typical double ended “bathtub” shape of traditional Voith hulls.  The stern of the hull (the “working end”) is specifically designed to drive water down towards a truly massive skeg.  The skeg has also been fitted with Voiths new “Turbo fin” which will allow the boat to work at much higher angles of attack to the water flow before the skeg stalls and performance drops off.  This ability will be very helpful in maintaining how towline forces when operating in the indirect and powered indirect modes. 

The hull shape of the main hull is also unique as it is designed to provide smoother water flow to the two Voith Schneider propellers thereby improving the boat’s performance while escorting.  Further, the boat is fitted with sponsons that allow for a more reasonable length to beam ratio to obtain a higher hull speed, while providing extreme stability when the boat is heeled over conducting indirect or powered indirect maneuvers.  Finally, the boat has also been fitted with a bulbous bow.

It is our opinion that this design will significantly improve on the already stellar escorting performance of a Voith Schneider tractor.  For this unique and clever design we award the VELOX our Tractor of the Year Award for 2005.

Robert Allan has taken the Voith Schneider tractor another step forward with a very dramatic underwater hull shape that is significantly different from the typical double ended “bathtub” shape of traditional Voith hulls.

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