This system is the newest on the market and the list of applications has grown quickly, especially in smaller and medium-sized tugs. It marries some of the ideas of ARTUBAR with a unique approach to connection.
In this system, a pin on each side of the tug, self-aligns to a connecting hole as the tug enters the notch. This is done via wedges in the barge notch sidewalls directing the pin to the proper hole. The system is relatively light in weight. Like ARTUBAR, the pin does not bottom out on the receiving hole in the barge. The loads in this case are said to be much lower, by the builder, due to the reduced span/cantilever of the engaged pin, vs. other systems. The free space between tug and barge, like in ARTUBAR, needs to be filled to prevent movement of the tug back and forth across the notch.
Beacon’s web site forthrightly reported this in the maiden voyage of their first application, the KARA SEA. K-SEA, which owns the initial unit and later sisters, is planning further conversions to it and is happy with the cost and operation. Beacon has made continual improvements to their system. This system has potential, and is gaining experience. It has now sold to companies like Penn Maritime, Reinauer and others. It is a serious contender for retrofits due to it’s light weight, and newbuilds due to its cost. OT&BE is currently working in support of JAK applications for Penn Maritime, and others.
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