Damen Marine Components delivers rudder and steering gear for new coastal research vessel


A single high-lift Barke® flap rudder together with a piston-type steering gear system was delivered by Damen Marine Components’ (DMC) to Holland Shipyards Group’s yard in Hardinxveld-Giessendam. There they were fitted into a 35-metre coastal research vessel that was built for the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (IMR) and which is named the RV Prinsesse Ingrid Alexandra.

DMC’s Barke® flap rudders are specifically designed for ships engaged in activities such as research, fishing and dredging that require excellent manoeuvrability, low noise and vibration levels, and first-rate fuel economy. Their progressively rotating flaps generate high lift forces at large rudder angles and low drag at small rudder angles, delivering the necessary performance in all situations. The enclosed linkage system also provides overload protection and prevents any material present in the surrounding water from entering the rudder assembly.

DMC’s piston-type steering gear systems are an ideal match for the Barke® flap rudders. They are highly reliable and, with multiple options regarding rudder stock connections, rudder angles and cylinders, the installation process is both efficient and economical when it comes to the space required.

The state-of-the-art ship will undertake a wide variety of duties. These will range from data collection and fish stock sampling to the deploying and retrieval of ROVs, buoys, ocean landers, autonomous ocean gliders, AUVs and other equipment.

Barke® flap rudders can be found installed on other specialist vessels including the UK’s 90m RRS James Cook research ship and the MN Colibri, a unique RoRo vessel built to transport launcher components for the Ariane 5 and Soyuz heavy-lift space launch vehicles. DMC also supplied the complete steering system for Australia’s recently delivered 160-metre, Research and Supply Vessel (RSV) Nuyina, including full-spade rudders, steering gear and control systems. Last, a Barke® rudder and piston-type steering gear were delivered for the Multi-Purpose Research Vessel of NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) in New Zealand.

DMC’s Sales and Marketing Director Wim Knoester commented: “We are confident that the combination of our Barke® flap rudder and piston-type steering system will serve the IMR’s latest research vessel well for many years into the future. It has been, as always, a pleasure to be continuing our cooperation with Holland Shipyards Group that dates back to its formation over 40 years ago.”

Jules Custers of Holland Shipyards Group added: “We have every confidence in the quality and performance of the equipment designed, built and delivered by Damen Marine Components. They will contribute to what is a first-class research vessel capable of fulfilling a wide range of roles.”

The two organisations already have another project underway, with DMC contracted to build five Optima nozzles Ø2625 for two, newbuild, 3,600 DWT inland waterway cargo vessels and three, new 3,800 DWT MPP coasters.