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Ship & Boat BuildingTugsUZMAR and SAAM Achieve Major Successes with Latest RAstar 3200-W Series Tugs...

UZMAR and SAAM Achieve Major Successes with Latest RAstar 3200-W Series Tugs for El Salvador

A pair of RAstar 3200-W tugs built by Turkey’s UZMAR shipyard for SAAM Towage have arrived in El Salvador, marking the successful completion of a 39-day delivery voyage via the Atlantic Ocean and Panama Canal. SAAM Acaxual shares the Nahuatl name for Acajutla, which will be its home port as well as that of its sister SAAM Centzunat, itself taking a Nahuatl name for Sonsonate, a region in El Salvador that includes the city of Acajutla.

These RAstar 3200-W tugs are the latest in a series that has proven to be a major commercial success for UZMAR following the lead vessel and RINA Significant Small Ship of the Year SST Tsimshian Warrior, also for SAAM (Canada). This latest delivery to SAAM is illustrative of the positive experience with the lead vessel for Canada, which serves at the Ridley Island Propane Export (LPG) Terminal near Prince Rupert, BC.

Built to serve at the Energia del Pacifico LPG terminal in El Salvador, SAAM Acaxual and SAAM Centzunat will perform similar roles assisting and escorting LPG carriers, while also providing support to the terminal itself. With this service in mind, both tugs have been outfitted with service-specific safety features including a gas detection system, remotely controlled dampers, and explosion-proof deck machinery. They are also equipped for standby roles, most notably with a Fi-Fi 1 external fire-fighting system with waterspray, supplied by Marsis.

Ideally suited for service at LPG and LNG terminals worldwide, these powerful workhorses deliver maximum capability in a sub 500 gross ton tug. At 32 metres length, the generous beam on these RAstar sponsoned hull forms provides a stable platform for generating very high forces in the indirect escort mode, complementing bollard pulls in excess of 80 tonnes. With a very flexible range of propulsion, emissions, deck machinery, accommodation, and outfitting options, it is no wonder that UZMAR has nearly completed 11 tugs in the series for customers worldwide in just over a 2-year span. With SAAM’s three vessels as current bookends, the series also includes another four tugs for Pakistan’s Karachi Port Trust, a further two for the Turkish Directorate General of Coastal Safety, and further exemplifying UZMAR’s confidence in the design, another two for their own fleet.

These latest additions to SAAM’s fleet are powered by CAT 3516C engines each producing 2,350 kW of power at 1,800 rpm, combined with 2.8 m diameter Kongsberg fixed pitch azimuthing stern drive (ASD) propellers. The deck machinery package is anchored by a powerful DMT escort winch, and a pair of low-profile vertical windlasses also by DMT. A disc type tow hook with quick release is provided aft, supplied by Data Hidrolik. Operational flexibility and capabilities are also amplified by a Palfinger PK23500 deck crane on each tug, located clear of the working decks on the deckhouse top.

The tugs are outfitted for a crew complement of up to seven, with three single berth cabins and a pair of singles plus spare. Each of these cabins is designed to be compliant with MLC 2006 standards and have private ensuite WCs. Natural light is provided to all cabins, with large windows into the deckhouse cabins, galley, and mess. The well-appointed galley is finished in stainless steel, and the large crew mess is furnished with ample seating, storage, and quality finishes throughout.

Classification is with Bureau Veritas with the following notation:

  • BV 1 ✠ Hull, ●Mach, Escort Tug, Fire-Fighting 1 Waterspraying, ●AUT-UMS, In Water Survey

Key particulars of the SAAM Acaxual and SAAM Centzunat are:

Principal dimensions:

  • Length, overall: 32.0 m
  • Beam moulded: 13.2 m
  • Depth, least moulded: 5.5 m
  • Tonnage, gross registered: 498 GRT


  • Free-running speed: >13.5 knots
  • Bollard pull: 81 tonnes
  • Steering force at 10 knots: 86 tonnes
  • Braking force at 10 knots: 129 tonnes
  • Fire Fighting: Fi-Fi 1 class, with waterspray and foam

Tank Capacities:

  • Fuel: 205 m3
  • Fresh water: 40 m3
  • Foam: 11 m3

With such proven commercial and in-service success, UZMAR is continuing to build these tugs for a range of discerning customers, and it is fully expected that the reach of this series will extend into many more regions in the near future.

For more information on the SAAM Acaxual and SAAM Centzunat, the RAstar 3200-W series, or any other high-performance designs developed by Robert Allan Ltd., please contact


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