Unusual Icebreaker Design

gCaptain and MarineLog are reporting a very odd icebreaker concept developed by Finland’s Aker Arctic. I think it may be worth reading both, since their emphasis is a bit different.

You look at it and the ship is very much asymmetrical. Unlike other icebreakers, which break a channel little larger than the beam of the ship, this design is intended to break a wider channel by orienting the ship obliquely relative to the direction of movement. The gCaptain article illustrates this best. They also plan to use this oblique orientation to sweep up pollutants.

The Aker Arctic concept is intended for breaking first year ice rather than multi-year Arctic ice. It is a medium size ship, 98m long, 3200tons, much closer to the Mackinaw than the projected polar icebreaker.  This concept is probably not applicable to the new polar icebreaker, but it might be useful for a USCGC Katmai Bay (WTGB-101) Class replacement, since it would allow a single relatively small ship to clear a channel for much larger ships.

7 thoughts on “Unusual Icebreaker Design

    • Thanks, great video. I liked it so much I put it at the head of the post. Also included more info on the ship. 9 MW (about 12,000 HP), and they gave the displacement as 3800 gross tons.

      • Gross tonnage refers to the volume of the vessel calculated with the formula

        GT = (0.2 + 0.02 * log(V))*V

        where V is the overall volume. Arctech has not published the displacement of the vessel and it’s difficult to estimate due to the unusual hull form, but once the ship is registered by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping, it will be public information and given in their database entry.

        If I had to guess, I’d say the displacement is around 4000-5000 tons based on the main dimensions and some estimate for the block coefficient.

    • I agree. While a built-in system with outriggers is a relatively common solution for large oil recovery ships, this is the first ship to use the vessel itself as a boom. In this way, it avoids the problems commonly encountered by “traditional” systems (e.g. oil sloshing over or escaping under the outriggers, reduced efficiency or even damage due to waves…).

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