Cruise News Daily Newsfile
June 15, 2009

How Do They Squeeze the Tugboat In?

Last week when we published the above picture of Celebrity Equinox being floated out of the covered building dock at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, a sharp-eyed reader noted the tugboat ahead of the ship to assist it in the process. He wondered how it got into the berth ahead of the ship, since Meyer positions the ship in the building dock with only inches between the bow of one and stern of the next. The berth is obviously too narrow for it to squeeze around the side of the ship, so just how do they get it in there?

Our friends at Meyer Werft provided the answer below. When you are a shipyard that is used to lifting blocks of ships weighing tens of thousands of pounds, it's no problem to lift a tugboat. In the photos below, showing the operation when they were readying Celebrity Solstice to float out last summer, you can see one of the cranes lift the tugboat and carry it around the ship ready to deposit it back in the water in front of Solstice.

In this shot of the bow of the ship, you can see where the watertight barrier is just ahead of the bow, leaving no room for a tug to come in from the front. Just ahead of the barrier is another vessel with its stern as close to the barrier as Solstice's bow is.

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