When it comes to talking about salvage tugs two names really stand out: the John Ross and the Wolraad Woltemade.
The John Ross was built in Durban in at the James Brown & Hamer yard in 1976 and was named after Charles Rawden Maclean. Her principle dimensions are: overall length of 94,60m, breadth: 15,80m, depth: 8,60m, draft: 7,50m. She is of 2.918 Tons GRT and 875 Tons NRT.
She was renamed Smit Amandla (callsign ZTUG) from December 2003.
I saw her in Cape Town in 1990, although the images I took were not great due to the early morning gloom.
Sadly she was broken up in 2010.
There are 1/1250 scale (1,2 x 7,6 x 2,0 cm) models of the Ross and Woltemade available and they are in nylon and unfinished although there are a variety of different finishes and colours to choose from but I took a low res because I really wanted to see what the the output from a 3D printer looked like.
What were they like? I battled to get a smooth surface on them, sanding did not seem to work and in the end multiple coats of paint were the easiest. I also battled to get anything to stick to them. The mast of the Woltemade was a battle and the end result is really just a compromise. They are nice models though, esp the Ross.
The Ross and Woltemade were the most powerful salvage tugs in the world when they were built and were involved in a number of marine casualties. They are true South African marine icons.
© DRW 2016-2018. Created 01/10/2016