T R Healy

Designing a split-hopper barge which may be the first of its kind in the world

Length (OA): 40.2m (131.9ft)
Beam: 12.5m (41.0ft)
Draft: 2.05m (6.7ft)
Hopper Capacity: 620m3 (21,895ft3)
Construction: Marine Grade Aluminium
Builder: Q-West Boat Builders

The Teknicraft Design team proved their versatility by designing a split-hopper barge which may be the first of its kind in the world. The unique feature of this particular barge design is that the structure is built in aluminium alloy.

In a vessel such as this, where deadweight capability is crucial to the viability of operation, it made perfect sense to use aluminium instead of steel which is a more traditional building material. An additional 20% capacity, or some 150 tonnes,  has been added to the carrying ability of the vessel as a result of utilising this lightweight alternative.

Aluminium also has the added benefit that it does not need to be treated by a protective coating to prevent corrosion, and therefore significantly reduces the long term maintenance cost of the vessel.

The design has a hull length of 40 metres, a carrying capacity of 1000 tonnes, and is a non-propelled vessel with an efficient hull shape so that it can be towed by a relatively lightweight tugboat. It is ideally suited for work in shallow water inlets, boat marinas, and river areas where shipping channels need to be kept open, and can operate at a draft of only 2 metres whist carrying than 650 tonnes of material. As the barge is designed to be un-manned, the operation of the hydraulic cylinders is performed by a remote control system from the towing vessel either whilst stationary or under tow.