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Displaying items by tag: Towage Trio

#Ports&Shipping - At 184m in length, CPO Germany which became the biggest ship ever to dock in the Port of Larne, departed the Co. Antrim port recently following routine maintenance, writes Jehan Ashmore

The London registered tanker at almost 20m longer than the port's regular ferry customers became the longest to berth. The ferries European Causeway and European Highlander which are near-sisters operate P&O Ferries route to Cairnryan on the North Channel. 

Port of Larne is building a reputation in accommodating ships of all sizes and in managing an increasing amount of cargo, project cargo (i.e. wind turbines) and the aforementioned maintenance service to its portfolio in addition to other non-ferry related work.

Handing the operations of CPO Germany required the Port of Larne along with the Doyle Shipping Group (DSG). Among the duties required involved the deployment of tugs for the departure of the tanker. This saw a tug/workboat from the John McLoughlin & Son fleet located in the port joined by two tugs based in neighbouring Belfast Harbour.

As seen in the above photo at the tanker's bow is the red-hulled Merchantman. The 24.4m ASD bollard pull tug of 72 tons is based in Belfast Harbour and operated by SMS Towage that began business in the port during 2013.  SMS Towage is an East Yorkshire company located in Hessle. The town is close to the Humber Bridge which is upriver of Kingstown-upon-Hull.

As previously reported on Afloat, ABP's Port of Hull invested in of a pair of Irish built ship-to-shore container cranes installed at the fourth busiest trading estuary in Europe. Afloat will have more to report on SMS operations at the UK North Sea port.

Published in Ports & Shipping

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.


The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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