Voith Schneider Propulsion for Smaller Vessels

Discussion in 'Props' started by bateaudemoi, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. bateaudemoi
    Joined: Jul 2019
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    bateaudemoi Junior Member

    Hello all,

    I am but a naval architecture student. I am researching to begin a new concept design for a small tugboat (14-15m). Voith Schneider propulsion systems seem intriguing, however, I haven't been able to find any applications of the system/prop on any vessels under ~28m. I am wondering if anyone could explain why Voith is rarely (if at all) used for smaller vessels around 15m.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. jehardiman
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: Port Orchard, Washington, USA

    jehardiman Senior Member

    Most design decisions come down to space, weight, and cost-to-performance. I'll be willing to bet that a Voith Schneider propulsor does not have the cost-to-performance advantage for the space and weight it takes up in a vessel that size. A tug is all about maximum bollard pull for size and cost. In the first go round the design spiral, set your minimum required bollard pull. Then spec cost, weight, and volume for the prime movers and gear sets for conventional, azimuthing, and Voith Schneider propulsors. Unless there are one or more specific requirements in the SOR otherwise, select the minimum volume-to-cost set.
    See this explanation of options. What are the Types of Tugs and Use - Nautical Class http://nauticalclass.com/what-are-the-types-of-tugs-and-use/
    bajansailor likes this.
  3. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Jehardiman's excellent link above also mentions using two Voith Schneider propulsion units on a typical tug - I am guessing that the manoeuvering advantages would be much reduced (if not disappear altogether) if you only had a single unit (?)
    And then it would be simply a matter of space available re installing two V-S units in a relatively small 15 metre tug - this is probably a practical impossibility.
    Meanwhile, a pair of shaft driven diesels (or even a single engine) will be MUCH less expensive (assuming that there is a V-S unit small enough for a 15 m. tug).

  4. bateaudemoi
    Joined: Jul 2019
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    Location: Canada

    bateaudemoi Junior Member

    Thank you both for responding, especially jehardiman. I realize that there is no clear cut answer but rather these things tend to get ironed out when considering cost-to-performance, space to weight, etc. I am finding the link quite helpful in terms of high level capabilities. I will take your advice on my first go around the spiral and see where it takes me!
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