Nordergründe buoy tender with MAN engine

MAN Engines for Commercial Shipping

MAN D2842 LE412 - power for two thanks to MAN power

"Nordergründe" buoy tender after launching

To secure shipping routes on the Lower Weser and Outer Weser, the Bremerhaven Water and Shipping Authority places its trust in a new ship and MAN engines:
The versatile "Nordergründe" buoy tender with two MAN D2842 LE412 V12 engines each rated at 560 kW (760 HP) braves all weathers and is on the spot in no time at all for an emergency.

Despite state-of-the-art navigation equipment that enables exact positioning, buoys are indispensable in making waterways safe.
They mark out very dangerous places, such as wrecks or shallows. This allows captains to identify obstacles early and react accordingly.

Buoy crane on the working deck
Buoy crane on the working deck

There are around 500 tons of steel or plastic buoys on the waterways of the Weser. The warning signals need continuous maintenance, as settlements of mussels considerably increases their weight, and ice drifts and shipping change their position.

This is the primary task of the "Nordergründe". With its working crane, the ship heaves buoys onto the working deck that weigh from eight and a half tons to eleven and a half tons including chain and anchor stone. They are then cleaned from dirt by high-pressure water blasters, and checked for good conditions. The power of 1,500 HP, with which the two MAN D2842 LE412 hold out against the water flow, is fully needed here.

Captain Kai Weers is filled with enthusiasm: "The work can hardly be compared with that on the "Bruno Illing", my old ship. This is not only because I can navigate far more exactly with the "Nordergründe", it's also much more enjoyable to work with a ship that accelerates so powerfully. A real experience!"

Fire-fighting system
Fire-fighting system

Thanks to its state-of-the-art equipment, the new buoy tender also has a "side job" as a fire-fighting boat. So in addition to making the waterways safe, the "Nordergründe" also makes a significant contribution to civil protection on the Weser. The propulsion of the powerful D2842 LE403 MAN 12-cylinder engine sprays water from the fire-fighting system over distances up to 115 meters. Happily the fire-fighting monitors have only been used for testing until now.

The shipping routes on the Weser are ready for any situation thanks to the new "Nordergründe" buoy tender with its two MAN D2842 LE412 V12 engines.

The Bremerhaven Water and Shipping Authority accepted the "Nordergründe" buoy tender from Fassmer on November 14th, 2012. The new investment was a positive asset for the authority on many levels, because on the one hand highly-specialized working ships such as this are constructed only very rarely. On the other hand, it replaced three aging ships: The over 40-years old "Bruno Illing" and "Eversand" buoy tenders, as well as the "Imsum" motor boat.

Another reason why the new buoy tender was needed was explained by Enak Ferlemann, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development:
"With an annual traffic volume of around 50,000 vessel movements on the Lower Weser and Outer Weser, ships need safe and efficient waterways so that the global exchange of goods can be carried out on a stable basis. The Federal Government caters for increasing shipping demands with the modern and versatile "Nordergründe" buoy tender. The 15 million euros that the ship costs and which are paid by the Federal Government are an investment in a secure future."

Bridge control unit on the
Bridge control unit on the "Nordergründe"

The "Nordergründe" is a highly-specialized working ship with a very specific scope of duties. In addition are the special requirements posed by the strong currents and severe weather in the operational area. These are the reasons why the buoy tender must work powerfully, exactly, and reliably around the clock. The propulsion and engine must also be correspondingly special and powerful.

The buoy tender is fitted with a Voith Schneider Propeller propulsion system that enables exact approach to buoys as well as holding position in water with strong currents. The vertical rotation axes and the two propellers each with five pivoted blades ensure very good maneuverability.
The system is operated by conventional control levers with stages 10 – 0 – 10. Three different speeds and one idle speed are selected at buttons on an operating panel.

Engine room with two MAN D2842 LE412
Engine room with two MAN D2842 LE412

Dirk Hansen, the Sales Manager at MAN Truck & Bus Centers in Hamburg, was initially skeptic when he learned about the tender for engines for the "Nordergründe":
"A Voith Schneider Propeller propulsion system is seldom installed anyway, but of course very unique demands are placed on the main propulsion engines in combination with this special type of control system. We first took a deep breath, but then we quickly had a concept of what we could do with the engine control system."
He got straight down to work with his team of engineers. Whilst other competitors had a tough time with this task, the MAN team designed specifications customized for optimum performance.

The customer, the specialist agency for mechanical engineering in Rendsburg, finally opted for two MAN D2842 LE412 V12 engines each with 560 kW (760 HP) and high outputs with compact dimensions. Quality from the International Engine Competence Center in Nuremberg provided the decisive argument: The long service life of MAN engines and the outstanding MAN service.
Captain Kai Weers stressed:
"Of course, reliability is the all-important factor for a ship such as ours. In the first eight months we haven't had any problems at all with the MAN engines, though we can count on their service if should ever really happen."
In the event of an engine malfunction, Reinhard Winkler from the MAN Main Service Center in Flensburg will immediately send a worker who has been trained at the International Engine Competence Center and will fix the problem on the spot – long idle time ruled out!

Technical data
Ship's name Nordergründe
Ship type Buoy tender
Classification GL+100 A5 RSA (50) E1
Shipyard Fassmer, Berne
Operator Water and Shipping Authority
Home port Bremerhaven
Launch 29.08.2012
Main dimensions
Length 43.15 m
Beam 10.65 m
Draft 2.40 m
Displacement 568 t
Working deck 140 m²
Power and propulsion
Maximum speed 12.0 kn
Main engines 2 x MAN D2842 LE412,
V12, each 560 kW (760 HP)
Transmission 2 x ZF 3,000, i=2.375:1
Propellers 2 x Voith Schneider Propellers
dia. 1,600 mm, 5 blades
Bow thruster Schottel, type STT 170 T-LK,
300 kW (408 HP), 30 kn thrust
Cargo and equipment
Fuel 67.7 t diesel
Fresh water 7.5 t
Fresh water discharge 10 t
Crew 7
1 rescue boat
Gas protection system, gas warning system
1 working crane (HMB Lintec) with 17 m, reach (SWL 12 t)
Fire-fighting system (2 fire-fighting monitors, 10 m telescopic hydraulic mast) with 115 m spray distance