The VSP harbor tug Weser (1973). This beautiful model was built in a scale of 1:50 by G. Schmidt in the city of Flensburg. It is part of our exhibition on the harbour industries, on deck 9 of the museum.
This tug was built in 1973 as the “Weser”. She is a harbour tug with the capacity to work as a pusher tug or, as the US Americans call them, a towboat. That means that they are built to push barges and other not self-propelled cargo vessels. The peculiarity of pusher tugs is their square bow and the „knees“ on it. That’s how the large plates mounted on the bow of the tug are called. With them, she can push barges at various heights. The “Weser” was built at the Jadewerft shipyard in Wilhelmshaven for the Unterweser-Reederei AG company from Bremen. After 20 years of service, she was sold and renamed “Wotan”. She is still active and working under the Slovenian Flag at the Port of Koper, the main international merchant harbour of that country.
Another peculiarity of this boat is her propulsion. Those who are not familiar with a cyclomotor, or Voith Schneider Propeller (VSP) may wonder where the propeller of the boat is and what is the structure below the boat. That structure protects the VSP, a propulsion system that allows vessels to maneuver with an incredible precision, in any given direction and to change that direction almost instantaneously. From a circular plate, rotating around a vertical axis, a circular array of vertical blades (shaped like rudders) protrudes out of the bottom of the ship. Each blade can rotate itself around a vertical axis. The internal gear changes the angle of attack of the blades in sync with the rotation of the plate, so that each blade can provide thrust in any direction. The VSP was invented as a turbine by Austrian engineer Ernst Leo Schneider and developed into a propulsion system by the company Voith. Its first practical use dates from 1928.
This beautiful model was built in a scale of 1:50 by G. Schmidt in the city of Flensburg. It is part of our exhibition on the harbour industries, on deck 9 of the museum.