Two hybrid tugs have been fitted with an AlphaBridge, an advanced operator console designed by JRC/Alphatron Marine in close collaboration with several major tugboat operators. "The new design will contribute to the safety of the vessel and offer improved ergonomics for the operators," commented Bas van Hoorn, captain of RT Evolution, one of the new boats. Its counterpart is RT Discovery.
The OEM worked with yard and owner to optimise all aspects of operation, based on the principals that the captain should have an ergonomic working position at both fore and aft steering positions and can quickly switch between them; that all bridge controls were in reach to a single operator; and that visibility should be maximised.
The AlphaBridge comprises of two 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.
Due to the quantity of navigation and communication products required in such a small space, 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 manoeuvring forward or aft.