Offering full control from a sitting position and exceptional all-round visibility through full height windows, the Robert Allan designed ART 80-32 Hybrid tugs RT Evolution and RT Discovery have been fitted with the AlphaBridge tugboat console concept of tomorrow, a design study, performed by JRC/Alphatron Marine, together with some of the biggest tugboat operators in the world. The captain of the RT Evolution, Bas van Hoorn was very pleased with the result and stated: “The revolution of the new design will contribute to the safety of the vessel and offer improved ergonomics for the operators”. Working together with the yard and owner on how to optimize all aspects of operations this new concept is based on the principals that the captain should have the best achievable ergonomic working position at both fore and aft steering positions, a one man operable bridge system with all the controls in reach, maximum visibility, reduced size to fit in a small wheelhouse and with reduced minimum actions required for the captain to change from forward to aft position. Based on these principals the tugboat console was designed. The AlphaBridge comprises of two ergo dynamically designed consoles with a central captain’s chair mounted on rails. The consoles contain the majority of controls and instruments required to operate the tug. At each end of both consoles is a semi-retractable screen, one with the radar display, switchable for the river and sea sets, and the other a multi-function screen displaying navigation and other operational data. The captain’s chair can be turned and positioned to face in either direction and the displays are arranged to ensure that the screen functions are always in the same position. The tugboat standardization concept is based upon minimal space usage on the bridge. This way the shipyard is able to design a wheelhouse as small as possible to increase visibility around the vessel. Due to the quantity of navigation and communication products required an overhead console on both sides of the consoles is supplied for the convenience of the captain and increases reachability of the equipment and increases visibility either maneuvering forward or aft.
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