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Authors: Andrew Kendrick, Derek Buxton, Dan McGreer

Title: Designing a new Heavy Polar Icebreaker - Challenges and Achievements


The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) has not acquired a heavy icebreaker for 50 years. Its new Polar Icebreaker project has posed numerous challenges, ranging from defining the operational requirements for a multi-mission ship to developing a design within the cost-constraints. This paper and presentation explore some key aspects of the project, and highlights how the government and industry project team collaborated to produce an extensively validated and state-of-the-art Polar Icebreaker design capable of breaking 8 ft of ice, operating in multiple roles in any areas of the Arctic and Antarctic, and providing exceptional crew comfort in transit and operations. Key issues such as hull form selection, propulsion plant configuration, ship layout and design for reliability under extreme conditions involved extensive options analyses and sophisticated modelling. The developing requirements of the new IMO Polar Code and their impacts on classification society rule and interpretations were a further challenge to be managed. In some cases the project has had to develop unique methodologies to verify aspects of the design. The project team explored issues arising in each area and were able to develop consensus solutions that fully met the Coast Guard’s requirements. The paper and presentation will describes the design itself, discuss the approach and methodologies that were employed, and provide some lessons learned – both technical and organizational.