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A Practical Guide
2nd edition
Captain Henk Hensen FNI
N.Cham. 387.166 H526 2.ed. 200';
Autor: Hensen, Henk,
Titulo: Tug use in port: a practical guide.
TUG USE IN PORT - 2nd edition
by Captain Henk Hensen FNI
1st edi tion published by The Nautical Institute
2nd edition 2003
Published by The Nautical Institute
202 Lambeth Road, London, SEI 7LQ, England
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7928 1351
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This edition Copyright The Nautical Institute 2003
Sponsored by the Port of Rotterdam Authority
Cover picture The Hellespont Metropolis arriving in Rotterdam on her maiden voyage October 2002 with
Fairplay tugs in attendance. Courtesy of Port of Rotterdam; Ben Wind Fotografie, the Netherlands
All rights reserved: No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in
any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written
permission of the publisher, except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.
Although great care has been taken with the writing and production of this volume, neither The Nautical
Institute nor the author can accept any responsibility for errors, omissions or their consequences.
This book has been prepared to address the subject of tug use in port This should not, however, be taken to
mean that this document deals comprehensively with all of the concerns which will need to be addressed or even,
where a particular matter is addressed, that this document sets out the only definitive view for all situations.
The opinions expressed are those of the author only. Captain Henk Hensen was born in 1935, is a Master
Mariner and was a Port of Rotterdam pilot for 23 years. During his years as a pilot he was stationed at the Pilot
Office for five years. During that time he started simulator courses for harbour pilots and tug captains and partici-
pated in many port studies, including simulator research. He started a database for casualties in the Port of Rotterdam
and analysed them with the object of improving safety. Following his retirement he started his own consultancy,
Nautical Safety Consultancy, and works as marine consultant on the nautical aspects of port studies, tug advice and
simulator training.
All photographs and diagramS acknowledged
Typeset byJ A Hepworth
I Ropers Court, Lavenham, Suffolk, CO10 9PU, England
Printed in England by
Modern Colour Solutions
2 Bullsbridge Industrial Estate, Hayes Road,
Southall, Middlesex, UB2 5NB, England
ISBN 1 870077 39 3
Acknowledgements ii
Foreword iii
Author's Preface iv
Tug Use in Port - The Overvi ew v
Glossary of Terms vi
List of figures ix
1 Tug design factors 1
2 Types of harbour tug : 9
3 Assisting methods 33
4 Tug capabilities and limitations 43
5 Bollard pull required 68
6 Interactio n and tug safety 80
7 Towing equipment 94
8 Training and tug simulation 117
9 Escort tugs 134
10 Tug developments 163
References 174
1 Port authorities & towing companies which provided information 178
2 Safety of tugs while towing 180
3 Rules for escort vessels 182
Index 187
1st edition
The author would like to express his appreciation to the Rotterdam Municipal Port Management for their generous
support, which made it possible to write this book.
Without the expertise and support of many individuals and companies this book could not have been completed
to the standard which has been achieved. The author is sincerely grateful for their contributions. Although it is hardl y
possible to name them all, a small list of the persons and companies that have been so kind in providing information
or sharing their insights would include:
The Rotterdam towing companies, and in particular Smit Harbour Towage Company; Damen Shipyards, Gorinchem,
The Netherlands; Mr.Joh. deJo ng MSc, Marine Simulator Centre the Netherlands; Mr. David L. Potter, Marlow
Ropes, UK; The Glosten Associates, USA; Captain Larri J ohnson, Marine Superintendent Foss Maritime, Seattle,
USA; US Coast Guard; and Thomas Reed Publications, UK.
Furthermore the author is greatly indebted to the following persons:-
Mr. W. Hoebee MSc, and his staff, and Captain W. Verbaan of the Rotterdam Port Authority, Mr. T.E. Tomasson
MSc, of MarineSafety Int ernational Rotterdam, for their generous and continuous support.
Captain Evgeny Sarmanetov, former St. Petersburg pilot, for his excellent contribution regarding manoeuvring in
ice and Captain N. Golovenko, Rotterdam, for the Russian - English translation of this article.
Captain Victor ]. Schisler, Long Beach - pilot, USA and Captain Nigel Allen, Southampton - pilot for their
professional contribution on escorting.
Those of all the port authorities and towing companies that compl eted the questionnaire and provided information
regarding tugs and tug assistance in their ports. The response to the questionnaires, which were sent by the Port
Authority of Rotterdam to a hundred ports around the world, was much higher than might be expected and the
information provided by those ports that completed the questionnaires was invaluabl e. The names of these persons
and the port authoriti es and towing companies are listed in Appendix I.
Finally, the author is sincerely grateful to Captain Herbert van Donselaar MSc, for sharing his keen professional
insight during the process of writing this book.
2nd edition
In 2002 the book was revised. Again many were helpful and contributed by providing information, sharing their
insights and always willing to answer questions. The author is grat eful for the contributions of:
Mrs. Heike Hoppe of IMO, London, United Kingdom; Mr.JoopJansen and Erik Leend ers, Damen Shipyard, the
Netherlands; Mr. Randy S. Longerich, Puget Sound Rope, USA; Mr. Paul P. Smeets, DSM High Performance
Fibers, the Netherlands; Mr. David L Gray, Glosten Associates, USA, Mr. Robert Allan, Robert Allan Ltd, USA;
Mr. J on M.Jakobsen, Statoil Mongstad, Norway; Mr. Erling Kvalvik, Norsk Hydro Produksjon a.s, Norway; Mr.
Jimmy Brantn er, Marine Towing of Tampa, USA; Mr. Richard Decker and Mr. John Collins, Seabulk Towing,
USA; Mr. Markus van der Laan, IMC Group, the Netherlands; Mr. Dave Foggie, The Maritime and Coast Guard
Agency, UK, while several others could be added.
Furthermore, the author is greatly indebted to the following persons:
Mr. Jaap C. Lems, Director Rotterdam Port Authority and Harbourmaster of the Port of Rotterdam, for his great
support; Captain Roger Ward, Tug Master and formerly Marine Manager with Howard Smith Towage, Melbourne,
Australia,for the valuable discussions and informati on exchange on practical aspects of harbour towage during
several years; Captain Gregory Brooks, Tug Master/Instructor, USA; Captain Victor]. Schisler, Long Beach pilot,
USA; Capt Arthur Naismith, Voith Training Master; Captain Nigel Allan, Southampton pilot, UK; LTKeith Ropella,
Chi ef Vessel Traffic, MSO Valdez, Alaska, USA and Mr. Henrik Hammarberg, Det Norske Veritas, Norway, for
their professional contribution; on escorting, escort procedures, and / or regulations.
Finally, the Rotterdam Muni cipal Port Management generously supported also this revised edition of the book,
for which the author would like to express his sincere appreciation.
Without the help of all those mentioned it would have been impossible to revise the book in the way it has been done.
Executive Dir ector of the Port of Rotterdam
Mr. P. Struijs
Tug Use in Port, which includes escor t tugs, is a valuable addition to nautical literature. Twenty
years ago few would have believed that it could be possibl e to bu ild in so mu ch powe r and
manoeuvrability int o the hull form of today' s tugs.
With conventional designs it was impossible to achieve this capability, but now towage companies
which do not embrace thi s new techn ology are likely to find the compe tition overwhelming.
It is against thi s background, and I trained as a naval architect, that I welcome this book. It sets
out to demonstr at e the characteristics of the old and new and in doing so the reader can come to
appreci ate how to transfer and adapt towing practices to optimise the use of all tugs in a mixed
Whilst naval architects and mari ne engi nee rs have concentrated on fuel economy per ton mile
in deep sea vessels they remain unwieldy in confined waters. Simil arly the car carrier and contai ner
ship, although generally high er powered than the bulk carr iers, have special limitations imposed
by windage.
Happily whilst the deep sea vessel has become larger and relatively less manoeuvrable tugs have
grown in capability and so play an essential role in port economics. Indeed a port which cannot
provide effective tug suppor t becomes unviabl e and it is important that the towing industry
recogni ses this.
So Captain Hensen an experienced pilot from my port has provided an essential service in
demonstr ating how tugs can be used to best effect. The Port of Rotterdam is pl eased to have
pl ayed its part as a major sponsor to this publication.
This book examines towage techniques and the reader will be constantly reminded that
shiphandl ing with tugs is all about competent teamwork. On board the ship are the maste r, pilot
and crew, on board the tugs are the tug masters and crew and they have to work together. To be
effective all need a good knowledge of this professional area of activity particular ly as ships are
often attende d by a mixed variety of tugs. The foundation of how best to control operations is
laid out in this ve ry practical guide.
The other chapters on tow ropes, training, bollard pull and escort work, all linked by a common
thr ead of safe working me thods makes this an ideal book for study. I beli eve it will favourably
influence the way tugs are designed and used . This is the hallmark by which this book will be
recognised and' I have no hesitati on in recommending thi s well illustr at ed text to towage
companies, ports, tug masters, pil ots and sea staff alike. Everybody will benefit from its practical
Wh en ships are assisted by tugs, teamwork, communication and above all insight into the capabilit ies
and limitations of ships and attending tugs are essential for safe and efficient shiphandling. This applies to the tug
captain and hi s crew as well as the shipmaster and pilot, particularly nowadays as older conventional tugs ar e
increasingly being replaced by modern types with larger engine powers and increased capabilities. Reputable shipyards
build good tugs, and designers can predict how well their tugs will perform. However, they do not handle ships
themselves and have not experienced the tug assistance required: not in a river, channel or port approach nor in a
confined harbour basin, not during a storm or in strong currents nor in the midd le of a foggy night. Not even during
nice, calm weather. These are the situations and conditions in which pilots and tug captains have to handle ships. So
it is essential that they knowwhat can be expected from a tug in any specific circumstance. Only when these professional s
are fully aware of the capabilities and limitations of the various types of tugs in general and of an individual tug,
including the effects on an assisted ship, are they able to utilise tugs in the safest and most effective way and in
harmony with a ship's manoeuvring devices.
Good insight int o the operational performance of differ ent types of tugs while assisting vessels is also of major
importance for tugboat companies. It allows them to determine what type of tug will provide optimum service for the
port, with respect to the local situation, environmental conditions and ships calling at the port.
The increasing use of simulation for research and training purposes requires an in-depth knowledge of tug capabilities
and limitations, in addition to the data requir ed for creat ing a tug simulator model. Only then can results be achieved
that are safely applicable to daily pr actice and which form a contribution to safe shiphandling.
Th ere is a trend towards ever more powerful tugs and more manoeuvrabl e modern vessels. This is leading to a
reduction in the number oftugs used to assist those ship s, so the role of harbour tugs becomes even more crucial than
There are many reasons, therefore, why a book on tug assistance could be usefuL The aim of thi s book is to
improve the practical knowledge of harbour tugs and their different types, and to give a bett er insight into the
capabilities and limitations of these tugs while rendering assistance.
Not all aspects of shiphandling with tugs are addressed in detail within this book. This work should be seen as a
basic guide to the reader, whilst at the same time encouraging further increase of knowl edge. The references menti oned
at the end may prove usefuL '
The book is specifically written with the needs of maritime professional s involved in the day-to-day pr actice and
training of shiphandling with tugs in mind, particularly pilots, tug captains and training instructors. It should also be
of value to towing companies, shipmasters and mat es of seagoing vessels and all other persons or organisations
involved, one way or another, with tugs and shiphandling.
In the second edition several subjects have been reviewed or extended, based on experience and kn owledge
gained during the last five years. Items that were found to be mi ssing have been included, Ship's fittings for use with
tugs have been addressed more specifically, the escort chapter has been extended, new devel opments in the tug
world have been included, and several refer ences used for the book have been added for tho se who want to read
more about certain subj ects.
The tug world is a fast changing world, although basic principl es for tugs and tug operations do not change that much.
It is the author's earnest hope that this book will contribute to improved knowledge of harb our tugs and lead to
increasing safety in tug and shiphandling operations in ports and port approaches around the world.
The author.
The contents of this book are outlined below.
A general reviewis presented first of factors which affect operational requirements for a harbour tug, such as the
different tasks for which they are used, the particulars of a port, the environmental conditions and ships calling at
the port.
Various types of harbour tug are discussed in a general way, addressing the diversity of design, propulsion,
steering and manoeuvring capabilities.
After reviewing assisting methods in use worldwide, tug types are considered in more detail, including the
performance of different types of tug resulting from the location of propulsion devices, towing point and lateral
centre of pressure. Tug capabilities, limitations and effectiveness with respect to different assisting methods and
operating positions relative to a ship are discussed.
The number of tugs required to handle a vessel safely is frequently a topic for discussion between pilots and
shipmasters. This iroportant subject is discussed taking into account the effects ofwind, current, shallow water and
confined waters. The number of tugs and total bollard pull used in several ports around the world is mentioned.
Much attention is given to dangerous operational situations for tugs, such as interaction and girting, and to
environmental conditions such as fog.
Towing equipment is dealt with, particularly in relation to safe and efficient shiphandling.
Escorting and escort tugs, being a subject of specific interest nowadays, is dealt with separately.
Proper training for a tug captain and crew is essential in order that they handle the tug safely and efficiently. The
same applies to the pilot and/or master for shiphandling with tugs. Training is therefore an important subject in the
book, including siroulator training and research.
All subjects are, as far as possible, related to situations encountered in practice.
PIw,,, S ~ ~ L b i . , Cmwia
&verse-tractor tug> 'Seaspan Hawk' and'Seaspan Falcon' (l.o.a. 259m, beam 9lm, bp ahead 39 tons, bp astern 375 was) ready wmahfastat
thefrrward andport quarters with a bow line
Dead ship
Cross lines/gate lines
Assisting methods The term used to describe the way in which harbour tugs assist seagoing vessels.
Breasted/alongside towing : A tug securely lashed alongside a ship, usually with a minimum of three lines: head
line, spring line and stem line. Also called 'on the hip' or 'hipped up'.
Push-pull A tug made fast so that it can pull as well as push at a ship's side. Depending on the
type of tug, its location and the assistance required, it can be secured with one, two
or three lines.
Towing on a line A tug assisting a ship while towing on a line as is in common use in many European
Box keel An enclosed keel structure extending from the aft skeg (if fitted) to a point close to
the forefoot of a tug. A box keel is sometimesinstalled on ASD escort tugs to provide
a better course stability on astern and additional lift forces, resulting in higher towing
forces, when operating as stem tug in the indirect towing mode. In addition, a box
keel gives additional strength to the tug's hull and provides a better distribution of
dock forces when in dry-dock.
Course stability and directional stability:
Course stability is also called dynamic stability, stability of route or dynamic stability
of route (see References : Hydrodynamics in Ship Design, Vol. I. H.E. Saunders). It
is that property of a ship (which includes tugs) that, when disturbed, damps out
extraneous motions set up by the disturbance and to reduce them progressively to
zero. Course stability should not be confused with directional stability, which is,
strictly speaking, the ability of a ship to follow a certain direction, e.g. by means of
an automatic steering system. A ship closely following a selected heading has
directional stability but may be course unstable (see below), which resultsin frequent
rudder (or thruster) actions to hold the ship on its course.
Course stable ship With a constant position of the steering systems (rudders, thrusters, etc.), a ship is
defined to be course stable if, after experiencing a brief disturbance, it will resume
the original manoeuvre without any use of the means of steering. Course stability
on a straight course, with the rudder in the equilibrium position, is mostly only
considered. A turn initiated by a brief disturbance of a course stable ship will thus
not continue. However, after the disturbance has vanished, the actual course of the
ship will generally be altered. A course stable ship needs relatively large rudder
angles for course changing. A course stable ship has good yaw checking ability.
Course unstable ship A ship is called course unstable, if, after it is disturbed, it will immediately start to
turn. Course changing, with relatively high rates of turn, can be achieved with
relatively small rudder angles. A course unstable ship therefore generally has poor
yaw checking ability.
Separate lines from either side of the tow to the opposite quarter of the tug or the
opposite side of the tug's H-towing bitt.
A ship which cannot use her own propulsion.
Density of air as used
Density of sea water
as used
Escort tugs
Escorting tug
Free sailing
Gob rope I gog line
1.28 kg/m'
1025 kg/m'
Tugs specifically built for escorting at high speeds.
Any type of tug escorting a ship underway.
Floating (Production) Storage and Offioading Unit,
A tug sailing independently.
Risk of capsizing, especially with conventional tugs, due to high athwartships tow
line forces. Also known as girding, girthing or tripping.
A rope or steel wire used on conventional tugs to shift the towing point
Norman pins
Azimuth propellers
Signifi cant wave height
Snag resistance
Towing point
High-modul us polyethylene fibre under the trade names ' Spectra' and ' Dyneema'
used for high performance ropes .
Kinking or twisting of a strand in a rop e whi ch makes it unfit for use.
International Maritime Organization.
Length between perpendi culars.
Length overall.
Length at the waterline.
Minimum Breaking Load (of arope},
Initial Metacentric Height.
A light rop e attached to the tow line in order to heave the tow line on board a ship.
Short iron bars fitted in the gunwales of the transom to pr event the tow line from
slipping over the side gunwales. Sometimes called ' King Pins'.
A tube around the propeller to increase pr opeller performance. The nozzle can be
fixed or steerable.
Oil Companies International Marine Forum.
Permanent Int ernational Association of Navigation Congresses.
A separate part at the final part of a tow line which is most liable to wear on board
an assisted ship, at Ship's fairleads, etc. The pendant can be of different construction
to the tow line.
steerab!e propellers, which can deliver thrust in any direction.
Also called: ' Z'pellers', 'Rexpellers' , 'Duckpellers' (azimuth propellers in nozzles).
Cont rollable pitch propeller{s}.
Fixed pitch propeller(s}.
Voith Schneider propulsion: propulsion system with vertical propeller bl ades, also
called cydoidal propulsion system.
Prevention and Response Tug.
The approximate wave height as seen by an experienced observer when estimating
the height visually.
Resistance of a rope to single yarns being pulled out of the rope when it slides along
a surface, such as over a deck or through a fairlead. A snag is a loop of a yarn .
Single Point Moorings.
A strongly flared section in the side of a tug, commencing at or just below the
waterline, which results in substantial increase in deck area and reserve buoyancy
without increasing the beam at the waterline.
A tug coming under the bow of a ship at speed.
That part of a tow line, between the original tow line and pennant, which absorb s
the dynamic forces in the tow line. Also called a spring and often made of nylon,
polyester or a polyester/polypropylene combination.
Point of appli cation of the tow line force. It is the point from where the tow line goes
in a straight line towards the ship.
A flexible hawser used for towing purposes.
A tug towing on a line swinging around and coming alongside a ship's hull due to
excessive speed by the ship in relation to a tug's capabilities and towing angl e. The
expression 'tripping' is also used for girting.
Tug/ engine power :
Tug simulation:
Int eractive tug
Vector tugs
UHMW polyethylene
Brake Horse Power : power delivered by the engine.
Shaft Horse Power: power delivered to the propeller shaft (approximately 97% of
Bollard Pull, which in this book is expressed in the practical units of tons , equal to
1000 kgf (= 980665 kN).
Maximum Continuous Rating (of tug engine).
The practical unit used in this book for force, e.g. for bollard pull , equal to 1000 kg
force, and for 'weight', equal to 1000 kg.
A tug simulated on a bridge manoeuvring simul ator, able to int eract wi th other
bridge manoeuvring simulators, which are simulating other tugs and! or the assisted
Tugs simulated by just a for ce vector.
Ultra High Molecular Weight polyethylene.
Material used for dock fendering and for fenders of tug boats at places whe re a low
friction coefficient is required.
A tug with VS propulsion.
Fi gure
Titl e Page
2. 7
2. 24
2. 37
Port or Antwerp. Zandvlietsluizen. Tugs should be able to assist ships thr ough the locks and bridges 1
Push-pull tugs operating in the Port of Osaka. Large manoeuvring area near the ber th _ 2
M.T. Capitol berthing at Jetty 4 at Sullom Voe Oil Terminal 3
Tug assisting in open sea close to port entrance _ _ 3
In colder areas tugs should be able to operate in ice conditions 4
Car carrie r passing Calandbridge in the port of Rotterdam. The stem tug is an azimuth tr actor tug 4
Azimuth tractor tugs (53 tons bollard pull ) of the KOTUG towing company towing an oil rig 5
Conventional twin screw tugs of 27 tons bollard pull towing on a line 6
Harbour tugs - factors influencing choice 7
Main types of harbour tug 8
Pusher tug Lam Tong ................................................................................................................................................................... 10
Plan of the navigation bridge deck and view of the wheelhouse of a modem Hong Kong pusher tug 11
Typi cal fender arrangement for a tug pushing under swell conditions and!or at flaring parts of a vessel 12
Bow fend ermade of reinforced truck tyres 12
Tyree used in addition to vertical bow fenderi ng 13
Conventional twin screw tug - type Stan Tug 2909 13
Twogenerally used nozzle types 19A and 37 15
Steering nozzles, one with a moveable flap the other with a fixed fin 16
Construction of a steerab le nozzle with moveable flap 15
Fixed nozzle with a moveable flap rudder 15
Schilling rudder 16
Shutter rudder system with a fixed nozzle and two flanking rudders 16
'Iowmaster rudder system of tug Hamm 17
Twin screw tug moving sideways to starboard, also called flanking 18
Some assisting methods with conventional tugs 18
Combi-tug Petronella] , GoedJuJop of Wijsmuller Harbour Towage Amsterdam 19
~ : : : ~ ~ ~ : o e : : ~ s = : c c : : ~ ~ = : . : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : . : : : : : : : : ~ ~
Voith tractor tug 21
Prop eller blades of a VS tug 21
Principl e of Voith propulsion 22
Propeller control of VS tugs 22
A VS tug sailing ahead and astern 23
Some assisting methods with a tractor rug 23
Azimuth tractor tug Fairplay V.................................................................................................................................................... 24
Integrated Schottel nozzles with open protective frames 24
J oystick for combined control of both thrusters 25
Thruster control unit for combined control of thrust and thrust direction "" 25
Manoeuvring diagram for reverse-tractor tug 25
Reverse-tractor or pusher tug Lam'Iimg 27
Thrusters of Cates
reverse-tractor tugs 27
Assisting methods with a reverse-tractor tug 27
ASD-tug type 3110 28
Free sailing manoeuvring capabilities of an ASD-tug and reverse-tractor tug 29
Some assisting methods with an ASDtug 29
Relati onship between brake horse power and bollard pull for different propulsion systems 30
Ranges in relationship between brake horsepower and bollard pull for different tug types 30
Example of thrust vector diagrams 31
An assisting meth.od as used in some USA ports 32
Tugs alongside at approach and push-pull whi le mooring/unmooring 34
Conventional USA tug secured with backing, spring and stern lines 35
Alongside towing (USA) 35
Forward tug secured alongside 35
Alongside towing in Cape Town for a 'dead ship' up to 100 metres in length 35
Rudder or steering tug 35
Conventional tug working stem to stem with a lar ge passenger ship 36
Conventional twin screw tug EsperaTlQl 36
At approach, forward tug alongside and stern tug on a line; push-pull while berthing 36
Towing on a line at the approach and while mooring 37
Figure Title Page
3.11 Ship is passing. narrow bridge and a conventional tug forward is assisting with two crossed tow lines 37
3.12 Towing on a line at the approach nd push-pull while mooring 37
3.13 Combination of different assistiog methods 37
3.14 Ship approaches the berth nearly parallel to the dock 39
3.15 Tug assistance in ice during approach to the berth and whil e mooring 40
3.16 Tug sweeping ice aw.y from between ship and dock 40
3.17 Mooring in ice wh en some 30 me tres free be rth is available in front of the bow position 40
3.18 Combination of tug and bow thruster while mooring 40
3.19 Good results when approaching the berth astern and mooring star boar d side alongs ide 41
3.20 Tug assistance when mooring in ice with ships and powerful engines 41
3.21 Ship approaching the berth astern 41
3.22 Two tugs stem to stem clearing ice between shi p and berth whil e othe r tugs keep the ship in position 41
3.23 Ship of medium size departiog 42
3.24 Unmooring bow first 42
3. 25 Channel through the ice prepared by ice breakers or strong tugs 42
4.1 Location of the pivot point for a ship at speed 43
4.2 Location of the pivot point in a shi p with zero speed 44
4.3 Forces created on assistiog tug, moving ahead 45
4.4 Forces created on assisting tug, moving astern 46
4.5 Tug working on a gob rope 47
4.6 Swivel fairlead on the after end of a tug's deck for the gob rope 47
4.7 The large fairlead is the aft lying towing point on a VS tractor tug 47
4.8 Direct and indirect towing methods 48
4.9 VS tug operating in the indirect towing mode 49
4.10 Heeling forces working on a conventional tug when towing on a line 49
4.11 The effect of a r adi al hook 50
4.12 The effect of a radial hook , 50
4.13 Basic differ ence between tug types 52
4.14 Comparison between tractor type tugs and conventional tugs when towing on a line with a ship having headway 53
4.15 When port helm is applied and the tug pulls to starboard to counteract the port swing 54
4.16 Comparison of performance of tug types when pushing or pulling 55
4.17 Pushing force created by hydrodynamic force on a tug's hull 56
4.18 Effect of dynamic forces in the tow line 57
4.19 Performance and behaviour of a 40 metre conventional tug 58
4.20 Performance and behaviour of a 30 metre ASD-tug for pushing 58
4.21 Performance graphs for four and six koots speed 59
4.22 Performance graphs for eight koots speed 60
4.23 Different tug positions 62
4.24 Two conventional tugs assisting a tanker having headway in making a starboard tum 63
4.25 VS tug &dbridgeof AdsteamTowage, Southampton, UK 65
5.1 Bollard pull required to compensate for beam wind 70
5. 2 Wmd height velocity ratio 70
5.3 Bollard pull required in a cross-eurrent 71
5.4 Effect of underkeel clearance on current for ce 72
5.5 Bollard pull required for beam waves 73
5.6 Open berth construction for bulk carriers 73
5.7 A tug's propeller wash hitting a ship's hull, reducing towing effectiveness 74
5.8 Different towing positions 75
5.9 ' Coanda' effect 75
5.10 Total bollard pull in tons and average number of tugs for container and general cargo vessels 77
5.11 Total bollard pull in tons and average number of tugs for tankers and bulk carriers (based on length overall) 77
5.12 Total bollard pull in tons and average number of tugs for tankers and bulk carriers (based on deadweight) 77
6.1 Effect of following water when passing through a channel with a deep loaded ship 81
6.2 Schematic flow - unsteady flowfield as felt by an observer in a stationary tug seeing a ship approaching 82
6:3 Pressure pattern and relative flow field around a bulk carrier 82
6.4 Interaction effects on a tug when proceeding along a ship 83
6.5 Effect of flow pattern around a ship on tug performance 85
6.6 A: Tug is waiting for the approaching ship to come closer to pass the tow line 87
6.7 Girtiog and tripping 88
6.8 Some specifi c manoeuvres by conventional tugs towing on a line including risk of girting or capsizing 89
Figure Title Page
6.9 Due to excessive speed a tug at a ship's side may capsize if the stem line cannot be released 90
6.10 Due to low powered tugs and a strong beam wind, a container ship is drifting 91
6.11 ADS-tug 'Smit Marne 93
7.1 Radial towing hook with rail track 94
7.2 Radial towing hook of conventional twin screwtug Saona, DominicanRepublic 94
7.3 Aft er deck of a conventional tvvin screw tug with a tovving winch , i thradial system _ 95
7.4 Additional fairlead/towing point near the stern of combi-tug Hmdrik: P. Goedkoop 95
7.5 Two different gob rope systems 95
7.6 Conventional single screw tug Adelaar 96
7.7 After deck of ASD-tug Maasbank 96
7.8 Standard hook and a disc-hook with spring shock absorbers and different quick release systems 97
7.9 Single drum towing winch of azimuth tractor tug Iixelbank 97
7.10 Waterfall winch on board RTSpirit 98
7. 11 The friction drums of a traction winch 98
7.12 Split drum winch of the ASD-tug Melton 98
7.13 Double winch forward on the reverse tractortug]ohn 99
7.14 Steel wire construction 102
7.15 Typical minimum breaking strengths 102
7.16 Fibre rope components and constructions 103
7.17 Table giving comparative weights and minimum breaking loads of eight strand ropes of different fibres 105
7.18 Table showing some characteristics of different fibre types 105
7.19 Tug reaction time and manoeuvring space required depending on towline length 108
7.20 The effect of different tow line lengths 108
7.21 Tug operating broadside 109
7.22 Static force in a a to, line 109
7.23 Two conventional twin screw tugs, Smit Ierlandand Smit Denemarkm 109
7.24 VS tug Matchless II I
7.25 Reverse tractor tug Charles H Cates 1 _ 112
7.26 Quick release hook used on ferries of North Sea Ferriesfor securing a tow line when a tug is required 112
7.27 Automatic hook up system, Aarts Autohook 113
7.28 Typical emergency towing arrangement 114
7.29 One of the emergency towing systems in three phases of deployment 115
8.1 Simulator layout with five bridge manoeuvring simulators, a VTS simulator and instruction rooms 116
8.2 Desktop computer program Tug.Master, developed by The Glosten Associates, Seattle, USA 121
8.3 Bridge layout of a full mission bridge simulator 124
8.4 Simulation track plot of a loaded tanker entering a port from the sea 125
8.5 Simulated ship and assisting tug passing a bridge 126
8.6 Schematic diagram of an interactive tug operations simulator 127
8.7 Field of view required for interactive tugs 128
8.8 Relationship between direction of view and control handles for an interactive tug with a 225
out-of-window view 128
8.9 Heeling angle is an important factor in tug limitations. Twin screw tug Smit Siberiii 129
8.10 Model and model tank test for escort tugs to obtain hydrodynamic data, optimise tug design 132
8.11 Model and mod el tank test for escort tugs to evaluate performance 132
9.1 Major oil spills from tankers and their causes: No. of inci dents & volume, World, 1976-89 134
9.2 Typical effect of frequency reducing measures 135
9.3 Direction of forces applied by assisting harb our tugs 137
9.4 Photographs taken during escort trials in Prince William Sound, Alaska, August/ September 1993 139
9.5 Terminology relating to di rect and indirect towing methods 140
9.6 The reverse-tractor tug LynnMarie 140
9.7 Maximum direct bralcingforces azimuth drive 141
9.8 Approximation of steering forces of a 36 tons tractor tug 141
9.9 Definition sketch offorces on a tug and a ship 141
9.10 Importance of proper locations of centre of pressure and towing point.. 142
9.11 Aquamaster escort tug concept - The Towliner with towing arch l43
9.12 Steering forces required based on 15 rudder angle 145
9. 13 Rudder forces in tons for different loaded tankers, speeds and rudde r angles 145
9. 14 Tug Lindsey Foss applying steering forces in the indirect mode 146
9.15 Plots of a full scale trial with the loaded 125,000 dwt tanker Anofuraou and the pwpose built escort tug Lindsey Foss 147
9.16 VS escort tug Bess with modified tractor tug design 148
9.17 Specially designed tanker stern fittings on the former ARea tankers, now Polar tankers 149
Figure Title Page
9.18 The Foss Transom Link 151
9.19 Ttvc escort tugs of towing company Foss Maritime keeping pace with a ship 153
9.20 Large VS escort tug Garth Foss .................................................................................................................................................. 154
9.21 A selection of escost(-ing) tugs at different ports. Situation 2002 155
9.22 VS escort tug Ajax 156
9.23 Powerful ASD escort tug Hawk 157
9.24 Can the escort tug prevent a grounding? 160
10.1 Novel new tractor tugdesign .. vith sketch of the original shunters 164
10.2 Taiwanese reverse tractor tug No 3 Iao-Yu 164
10.3 The optimum harbour tug concept 164
10.4 ROTOR escort tug concept 164
10.5 The Rotor escort tug RTMagic 165
10.6 Modified ROTOR tug concept with aft thruster located more aft, behind the aft towing point 165
10.7 Typical assist modes with a ROTOR tug 166
10.8 SDM NewRiver of Seabulk Towing (USA) 166
10.9 Side viewof SDM Mark 11 167
10.10 BowviewofSDM 167
10.11 Assistmodes SDMs 167
10.12 Characteristics of DesignA and Design Bof the carrousel tug 169
10.13 Combitug Mullratug 72 169
10.14 Modified combi-tug Multratug 72 during full scale trials 169
10.15 Towing forces based on model tests 169
10.16 Carrousel tug outer port design 169
10.17 Damen ASD tug 2477 with an open docking skeg, extending as a closed skeg forward 170
10.18 Compact tugs. Common assist modes 17l
10.19 Example of a compact tug - Cape Pasley 17l
Photo; SmitIntmulJionnl
Three difJerrnJ tugtypes wwing ona line. The lugs port silkforward andstarboardside aft are VStugs of35 tons bollardpuU. Ttutugstarboard side
forward isa twin screw conventional tugof375 tons bollardpuUandtheport tugaft isanASD-tugof 62 tons bollasdpulL
When the tanker hastoberth starboardsilk a1mlgside the j etty, the ASD-tugandthe VStugportsilkforward can, whm near thebmlt, easily dlange
toapushingpositian orpush-puU witlwut rekasing thetowline
Chapter ONE
1.1 Differences in tug design and
assisting methods
port approaches around the world differ due to local
conditions and specific situations and have often grown
from long standing customs and traditions. These
differences in assistance methods and practices are often
reflected in the requirements for the tugs and hence in
the development of a range of tug types.
Over the past fewyears rapid development has been
observed amongst harbour tugs. New types have been
designed with high manoeuvrability and considerably
increased engine power. Modemsteering devices, new
towing appliances and new materials for towlines , to
name a few, have been fitted. These developments affect
methods of tug assistance and the number of tugs used.
Following the Exxon the requirement to
escort tankers in certain port approaches has resulted
in the development of specially built escort tugs.
As a result of the improved manoeuvring capabilities
of modern ships on the one hand and the improved
towing performance of modern tugs on the other hand,
the number of tugs required for assistance in port areas
is decreasing, Due to economic factors shipping
companies are facing, captains and pilots are often under
pressure to use the minimum number of tugs.
This reduction in the number of assisting tugs per
ship places the individual tug in a more crucial role . It
requires a high level of operational safety and reliability
from the tug and a high level of suitability for the job to
be carried out
In order to keep a port's tug services up to date and
to ensure safe, smooth shiphandling it is essential tokeep
abreast of developments in harbour towage and
shipping, to have the most suitable tugs available and
to have well trained crews for the specific situation in
the port. This is all the more important when the
investment required for newtugs is so very high. It may
be necessary to reconsider the traditional approach.
It requires extensive research and knowledge of tugs
before an answer to the question "which type of tug or
which working method is the best for a certain port"
can be given. It requires a profound knowledge of the
different tug types, their capabilities and limitations, and
a good insight into the local situation.
The capabilities and limitations of different tug types
are dealt with in the following paragraphs.
The operational requirements that harbour tugs must
conform to with respect to ship assistance are mainly
determined by the following factors:-
The kind of port or harbour and approaches,
foreseeable future developments and the existing
geographical environmental conditions.
The type of ships calling at the port.
The services required in and around the port and, if
relevant, at offshore locations, e.g, SPMs, F(P)SOs
or oil rigs.
l'Iw"',/'brl of I G.w. O>olnu
FW'" 1.1 Prn1 ofAntwerp. ZondvlUtsluiQrz. Tugs s!wuldbeobI. toassist ships tIorough theloda and bridges.
l'r1rts underdevelopment
Inmany ports , developments take place such as new
berths or harbour basins and new ports are still being
designed. At an early stage it is desirable that tugboat
companies and pilots should participate in design studies
for these new ports, harbour basins, terminals, etc. In
this way tugboat companies and pilots can give advice
based on tbeir experience of shiphandling with the
available harbour tugs. Moreover, tug companies can
take account of these new developments when ordering
new tugs which are suitable for the new situation.
Regular consultation between port authorities, port
designers, tugboat companies and pilots will favourably
affect the accessibility of ports and harbours.
Incontainer ports, especially where space is limited,
the requirement for large land space to stack containers
may not correspond with the minimum manoeuvring
area required for ships and tugs. Specific requirements
for tug assistance may be necessary, such as the type of
tug, engine power, towing equipment and assisting
PADto:.4. 1II1uK-
Figure 1.4 Tug arsisting in open sea dos toPOTt entraTla
As already mentioned, ports
close to the sea may be influenced
by waves and swell, leading to
additional requirements for tugs.
The same applies to tugs that have
to operate at offshore locations or
in ports in colder areas where ice
may be encountered. Limited
water depths in port areas where
harbour tugs have to operate will
give rise to special requirements
with regard to a tug's maximum
1.2.2 Environmental conditions
Port approaches
Port approaches are under the influence of the open
sea and can be wide or narrow, with sandy or rocky
banks, winding or straight entrances. Depending on the
local situation, tugs may be used in the port approaches
and should he capable of working in more open sea
conditions with waves and!or swell. Following the
Exxon Va/de'1: disaster there is a growing tendency to
require an escort for oil and gas tankers in port
approaches. Tugs used for escorting must comply with
very specific requirements.
Geographical environmental conditions are very
important from a tugboat company's point of view. The
majority of older ports are situated in river estuaries
and are particularly subject to the influence of tides or
seasonal effects. Fairways and rivers are constantly
subject to changes. Differences in water depth, bridge
passages and lock entries may require the adoption of
time windows. The accessihility of these ports, therefore,
can be rather complicated. Tugs have to handle ships
,---- ------- ----------------- -.., safely and efficiently, Especially in
these ports, therefore, the
requirements to which a tug must
conformmay change continuously
from the entrance or approach up
to the berth and the final mooring.
In some ports this problem is
solved by using different types of
tugs for the various parts of the
Fwn' 1.3 M.T 'Capitol' berthing atJetty 4 at Sullom ", eOil Tmninal
The usual course taken by vessels through a harbour or coastal waters
Phot.o: KOTUGI FotostUlh:oRijnmondRobert Nagtllurlu
Tug assistance always includes risks for the tug and her
crew. These risks can be minimised by good training
and by a well designed and equipped tug. The type of
tug also influences the level of safety. Depending on
the type of port, the environmental conditions, the ships
assisted, the assisting methods and the port regulations,
the safety requirements may differ by port. On the other
hand tug owners should require, regardl ess of the port
situation, the highest level of safety, which could dictate
a certain type of tug and tug equipment.
1.2.7 Safety requirements
The method of assistance used by tugs will depend on:
Port,jetty, terminal layout andloroffshore installation.
Types of ship.
Environmental conditions.
Navigational complexi ty of river, channels and port
Whether bridges and locks have to be passed.
Often on tradition.
Figure 1.7 Azimuth tractor tugs (53 tonnes hollardpull) of theKaruGtowingcomparry towingan oil rig.
Dependingontheport, harhour tugs shouldalsobe able tohandle offiharee q u i p m e n ~ barges, fWaling cranes andsoon.
These activities also demand a specific type and size port. They have built up their experi ence with these
of tug, as well as specific manoeuvrability, equipment tugs and with the tug's crews. They know the advantages
and towing methods, as is the case with tugs that have and the shortcomings of their tugs and are thus able to
to operate, for example, at SPMs, F(P)SOs or at oil rigs. anticipate. Changing over to a new system or to a new
type of tug may be associat ed with difficulties, will take
time and should be weighed carefully. Training and
instru ction will be needed, especially when the type of
tug and the way it operates is totall y different from the
existing system. A well planned changeover to the new
system will be ne cessary. All thi s should be taken into
account when considering the introduction of a new
tug typ e or assisting method.
12..5 Assisti ng method In use
The type of tug used is largely dependent on the
assisting method. Tugs have to meet, as far as possible,
the requirements related to the assisting method. The
assisting method may also depend on the availability of
mooring boats . When no mooring boats are available a
ship has to be brought up very close to the berth or
even alongside to be able to pass the mooring lines. In
these circumstances tugs should be able to push at the
ship's side.
1.2.6 Available experience 1.2.8 Summary
Pilots and tug captains are accustomed to the assisting
methods used in the port and to the types of tugs in the
No port is the same. Many factors influence the choice
of typ e of tug. such as local customs , environmental
1.5 Conclusion
It is clear that no port is the same with respect to tug
requirements. Port layouts differ, as do the types of ship
frequentiog the port, the environmental condi tions, local
tradi tions and consequently the types of tug and the
assisting methods.
Wh en a new tug is nee ded a simple answer to the
que stion "which typ e of tug and/ or which towing
method is most suitable for the port" cannot easily be
given. Too many factor s play a role. It takes reliabl e
research, weighing all the advantages and disadvantages
against each other, in order to establish the requirements
for the most suitable tug for the port. Most important is
Factors influencing harbour tug choice
not only what forces have to be considered but how,
when and under what conditions and circumstances,
such as ship's speed, confine ment, envi ronmental
conditions and underkeel clearance. This is the way
more and more modern ports and/or tug companies
work nowadays. Th e outcome may be a tractor type
with azimuth propellers or Voith-propulsion or even a
conve ntional type of tug. Escorting of tankers will set
additional requirements.
On the other hand tug owners want to operate as
few different types of tug as possible and prefer that the
available types ar e put into action as frequently as
possible. Harbour tugs should, therefore, be as versatile
as possible.
Passage! Environmental Types of Services Assisting Exi sting AvaUable Safety Financial
Berth Conditions Ship required Methods Th", Experience ofThgs Aspects
Sea/Approach Swell General Offshore Towing Conventional Tug Tug Budget
cargo installations on a single type type
River waves ships line screw experienc e Tug
Barges Portl price
Channel Wind Container Push-pull Conventional Assisting State
vessels Floating twin methods regulations Operating
Waterdepth Current cranes Alongside screw experience costs
Car towing Classification
Locks/Bridges lee carriers Dockyards Tractor regulations
Escorting tugs VS
j etties in Fog Ro-rc Escorting Environmental
open sea ships Tractor conditions
Jetties in
Tanke rs! Azimuth
protected VLCCs
water ASD tugs
Harbour basins tankers Reverse
Terminals Bulk tugs
River berths SDMs
Ferries (Ship Docking
Mooring buoys Modul es)
Mooring boats ships
Figur 1.9 Harhour tugs - faCUITS influencingchoice
Propulsion forward
Propulsion aft
Tractor tugs
ASD-type *
(Multi tug)
Combi *
Tugs that can operate as a conventional tug and as a reverse (tractor-) tug
The ROTOR tug discussed in par. 10.1.1 is in fact a tractur tug with a dynamic skeg, being a third thruster.
The SDM (Ship Docking Module) discussed in the same paragraph does not belong to any of the categories
mentioned above.
Figure 2.1 Main types ofharbour tug
Chapter TWO
2.1 Classification of harbour tug types
i.e. the type of propulsion, propulsion manufacturer,
location of propulsion or steering system. Names include
conv enti onal tugs, Voith-Schneider tugs, Z-peller tugs,
Kort nozzle tugs and tractor tugs, amongst others. There
is no uniform naming system in use and this can be
confusing. For example, when talking about a Z-peller
tug, what is meant? Is this a tug with azimuth propellers
forward or with azimuth propellers aft? The difference
does not seem so great, but considering tug performance
while rendering assistance, it is. Afte r all, that is what
tugs are used for - to render assistance. As will be seen
later, it is better to classify tugs according to their location
of propulsion and towing point It makes things easier
to understand.
Naming tugs this way there are only two main
classifications , which can be grouped as follows:
a) Tugs with their propulsion aft and towing point
ncar midships. These are basically conventional
types of tug.
This category includes all normal conventional types
such as single scr ew and twin scr ew tugs.
b) Tugs with their towing point aft and propulsion
forward of midships. These are tractor tugs.
In thi s category are:
Tractor tugs with Voith propulsion.
Tractor tugs with azimuth propellers.
There are intermedi ate types of tug that can be
classified either as conventional or tractor tugs,
depending on the way they operate. These are:
Reverse-tractor or pusher tugs - tugs with azimut h
propellers aft and towing point forward, built to
operate mainly over the tug' s bow, as can be seen
for example in J apan, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Tractor tugs normally work with their towing point
- the tug's st ern - towards the ship and their
propellers - near the tug's bow - away from the ship.
Reverse-tractor tugs operate in -the same way
regarding the towing poi nt and the pro pellers,
consequently the tug itself lies in the reverse direction.
Azimuth Stem Drive (ASD) tugs. These are multi-
purpose tugs with azimuth pr opellers aft which are
built to operate over the tug' s bow as a reverse-tractor
tug as well as over the tug's stern like a conventional
tug. Most ASD-tugs have a towing winch forward
and one on the after deck while some have simply a
towing hook instead of a towing winch aft. Because
an ASD-tug can operate as a' reverse-tr actor tug, it is
often mentioned together wi th reverse-tractor tugs.
Although the term ASD-tug is frequently used, it is
not such a good name, because rever se-tractor tugs
also have azimuth propulsion under the stern. Multi-
tug is a bett er name.
Modified older tugswith a360 steerable bow thruster
(combi-tugs) and equipped ....,th an additional towing
point at the after end of the tug. These tugs can
operate as a normal conven tional tug or like a tractor
tug when using their aftermo st towing point.
So the following types of tug can be seen, all
belonging to one or both of the above groups:
Conventional tugs.
Trac tor tugs with azimuth propellers or Voith
Reverse-tractor tugs.
The table in figure 2.1 gives an overview of the
classification of harbour tugs.
There are, of course, many differ ences in
construction, hull de sign, propulsion and rudder
configuration and so on within each tug type. The
different types of tug are therefore discussed in more
detail star ting with some general aspects regar ding tug
performance and safety of operations.
2.2 Important general requirements for
good tug performance
For good harbour tug safety and performance, the
following factors are important:
2.2.1 Thg performance and safety
Response time
Harbour tugs should have a short respo nse time and
their manoeuvrability should be such that the tug can
react in a minimum of time. It is therefore impor tant
that measures are taken to increase the manoeuvrability
of harbour tugs and shorten their response time .
Not only is a short response time required when
assisting a vessel, but also for making fast. Due to ever
decr easin g number s in a ship's crew, th e time taken to
make tugs fast is increasing. Thus the requirement for
tugs regarding fast an d easy handli ng of towing
equi pment becomes an element of in creasi ng
importance in orde r to improve their response time.
near stern of a ship
Effectiveness and safety of operations
It is not only manoeuvrability, but also bollard pull
and underwater shape that make a tug effective and
th er efore suitable .Ior the j ob . For exampl e, lar ge
containe r vessels with containers stacked six high on
deck need powe rful tugs in case of strong winds. When
a ship is underway at speed, loss of tug' s effectiveness
due to the ship's speed and/or towing direction should
be as smal l as possible. The effectiveness and safety of
a tug is also related to factors such as the tug's stability
and suitability of towing equi pment.
Required manoeuvring space
Th e manoeuvring space required by assisting tugs
should, depending on the situation, be as small as
possibl e. Thi s ca n be achieved by good tu g
manoeuvrability, limited tug dimensions and proper
towing equipment.
Other practical aspects of importance for good tug
performance and safety of operations are as follows:
2.2.2 Wheelhouse construction and layout
Atug' swheelhouse should be placed and constructed
such that, at his manoeuvring station, the tug captain
has a good view of the tug's fore and aft ends and tug
sides . He must also have a good view of:
The towline and towing equipment.
The working deck.
Contact areas between tug and ship.
The assisted ship.
Other assisting tug boats.
The direction of ope ration.
This requires a field of view at the manoeuvring
station(s) as unobstructed as possible, with an angle of
view as close as possible to 360.
TIu HQrIg KongSalvagt & 10wage Co. Ltd.
Figure 2.2 Pusher tug 'Lam Tong' (l.o.a 267m, beam 805m, bp
4JT) with a cockpit uhedhmue. S'" has vertical andhorizontal
heauy dutyfentkring withwater lubrication at thebowplur vertical
sum andhminmtal sidefender systems
In addition to the all round view, well designed
wheelhouses also have small windows that face upwards,
which is important when making fast to vessels with a
high forecastle, stern or freeboard. On some modern
tugs very small wheelhouses are constructed wi th large
windows and a nearly 360
Manoeuvring stati ons
When making fast to a vessel and while assisting, a
tug captain should be able, in one glance from his
manoeuvri ng station, to see the mo st essential
information available from outside, without jumping
from side to side in hi s whee lhouse and without getting
painful legs, neck or back. The ess ential outside
information comes from:
a) The towline(s) - their dir ection and tension.
b) The assisted ship: such as relative heading and speed,
distance off and the way the assisted ship reacts to
the applied tug forc es. When pushing, essential
information also comes from the co ntact area
between tug and ship.
c) The combined ship/ tug dir ection of movement with
regard to channel or fairway boundaries, other traffic
and nearby berths and banks.
Depending on the typ e of tug and th e assisting
method in use, this essential information may come from
totally different or eve n opposit e directions. The
directions may change during one and the same trip
and are dependent, in any case, on the assisting method.
In a reverse-tractor tug, which is assisting from over the
tug's bow, nearly all the essential outside information
comes from forward and should be available in one
outside look from the manoeuvring stat ion. This can be
achieve d with one forward facing statio n. If the
manoeuvring station is well planne d, the tug captain
may have an unobstruct ed view in th e working
direction, even from a seated position, of the winch,
working deck, bow and side fend ers and the assisted
For all other typ es of tug and/or other assisting
methods the visibility requirements may be totall y
different. For instance, a tractor tug used for push-pull
operations works over the stern. The n an aft facing
manoeuvring panel is needed. When the same tug is
free sailing a forward facing manoeuvring panel is
required, Depending on the wheelhouse construction,
a central manoeuvring panel for this type of tug could
be useful, capable of being oper ated in both dir ecti ons,
forward and aft. On other tugs more manoeuvring
panel s may be required, of course, depending on the
wheelhouse size and construction. Some harbour tugs
even have three manoeuvring panels facing forward and
one facing aft. Care should be taken in order that reliabl e
change-over between manoeuvring panels is possible
without the risk of failures or mi stakes.
Contr ols at the manoeuvring panels should be
arranged such that they can be operat ed in a logical
way in rel ation to the tug's direction of movement.
Pushing a lever down and away in the direction the tug
cap tain is facing should result in an incr ease of
movement in that direction. Turning a wheel or moving
ajoystick to the left should turn the tug in that direction,
rega rdless ot"whether the direction of movement is
ahead or as tern. Any illogical way of control or
complexity in control easily leads to human control
failures, particularly when under tension.
It is clear that the wheelhouse layout and the number,
location and orientation of manoeuvring pan els depend
largely on the type of tug and the usual assisting method
and should be carefully considered, also taking into
account the optimum vi ew needed fr om the
manoeuvring station when coming alongside a ship or
berth. Modern tugs some times have one cent ral
manoeuv ri ng panel in an opti mal designed small
wheelhouse, like a kind of cockpit.
At the manoeuvring stations the captain should also
have a good view of his instruments, including the radar.
Communication and quick release systems, which will
be di scussed later on, should be within hand reach at
all manoeuvring panels. Towing winch control from the
wheelhouse is also recommended for harbour tugs. The
Figure 2.3 Plan of tlu navigationbrit!t,e deck andviewof the
wheelhouse of a modern HongKongpusher tug. Thecaptainis
handlingthepropellercontrols andthe mate thetowing wind!
towline length ca n th en alway s be adjusted when
requir ed without calling a man to the towing winch.
The number of crew members on modern harbour tugs
is very limited nowadays.
Good co-operation between the pilot and tug captain
is a basic requireme nt for safe and efficient shiphandling
with tugs. Such co-operation is only possible with good
procedures and efficiently working communication
systems. Radio communication systems on board tugs
sho uld the refor e be reli abl e. A double VHF set is
2.2.3 'lUg superstructure and underwater design
Tugs regularly have to work near a ship's bow or
stern, whe re the flar e and overhang are often fairly
pronounced. It is necessary, ther efore, that the tug' s
superstructure is located well inboard of the deck edge,
so that risk of tug damage can be avoided as much as
possible when working near the ship's bow or stem or
when the vessel or tug is rolling when alongside a ship.
Underwater design of the tug should be such that
the propulsion units will not hit the ship's hull when
the tug is rolling alongside. In thi s regard harbour tugs
have to assist all kind of vessels, including submarines
in some ports. Tug propellers may hit the submarine
hull whe n a tug is required to come alongs ide for
assistance or for bringing the pilot on board. In that
case Single screw harbour tugs were usually best.
2.2.4 Fendering
Tugs should be equippe d with good fendering.
Appropriate fendering protects both the assisted ship
and tug from damage and decreases the tendency to
slide along the ship' s hull when the tug is pushing at an
angle to the ship' s hull. Fenders are constructed of
rubber or synthetic rubber products. Beyond th e
mechanical requirements ofload versus deflection and
energy absorption, which is given in curves, attachment
methods and structural limits, consideration should also
be given to the material used in the fender. The material
used should have good resistance to pollut ed wat er,
ozone, UV radiation and high and low temperatures.
The following factors are of importance in the choice
of a tug' s bow and/or stem fendering:
The way the tug is assisting vessels, for instance
towing on a line or push-pull, and whether the tug
will push by the stern andlor by the bow.
The size and engine power of the tug which are
important factors for the horizontal load and kinetic
energy transmitted during contact and pushing.
Size of contact area.
The type and size of vessels to be handled e.g. ships
with large bow flare and/or overhangin g stem. Tugs
pushing near the bow or stem of these ships may
need extra fendering on top of the bow to pr event
damage to tug or ship.
The environmental conditions such as waves and
swell. Th ese conditions will give rise to addi tional
forces in the fendering, for which it must be able to
compensate .
The tug' s bow and stem construct ion.
Tug fendering varies enormously. One frequently
used fen der sys tem is the extru de d profil e typ e.
Extruded fend ers are produced in differ ent lengths and
in a wide variety of profiles and sizes. They can have a
hollow D-shape profil e, can be rectangular, cylindrical
or solid, can be pr ecurved to fit the tug bow or stern, be
chamfered or drill ed. Extruded fenders are very flexibl e
fr om the point of vi ew of design. Extrusion is a
manufacturing method whe re by un cur ed rubber is
forced through a die to produce the required profil e
and then the lengths offormed rubber are vulcanised.
Moulded modul ar or block fend er systems offer
many of the advantages of extruded fenders and, in
addition, allow for secure attachment and ease of repair
since with this type individual blocks can be repl aced.
Photo: Schuyler Rubber Co. l nc., USA
Figure 2.5 Bowfender made ofreinforced truck tyres
specific size and compressed onto steel supporting rods.
This fender type, made in the USA, is suitable for bow
fend ers, stern fenders and side fend ers. There is one
specific type which has a large absorption ability and is
very soft, thus having a lar ge contact ar ea and 'sticking
ability' when under load.
The following is an indication of some permissible
hull pressures, whi ch vary by ship' s type and size:
Tugs may also be fitted with foam-filled or pneumatic
fenders, especially when working in exposed ar eas.
Sometimes 'non-marking' fenders are required, for
instance when ships with white or grey hulls have to be
handled, such as cruise or navy vessels. In that case
manilla rop e fend ers, in addition to the standard tug
fendering, may still be used or the tugs may b e equipped
with grey rubber fendering.
Bow fend ers should have a large contact area and
radius to reduce the pressure on the ship's hull . The
same applies to the stern fend ers of tractor-tugs since
these tugs ar e pushing with the ir stern. Tyr es are often
used in additi on to bow and stern fenders to protect the
fenders and enlarge the contact area and ar e often used
along tug sides since they can easily be replaced when
<200 kNlm'
< 350 kN/m'
<300 kNlm'
<250 kNlm'
150-200 kNlm'
400-700 kNlm'
Oil tankers of more than
60,000 dwt
Container ships:
3rd gener ation
4th generation
5th and 6th generati on
(Superpos t Panamax)
General cargo ships of
20,000 dwt and less
RoyalBakkerRuM", TheNetherlands
Figure 2.4 1jpicalfi nder arrangement f or a tugpushing
underswellconditionsand/or atflaringparts of a vessel, consistingof
vertically instal/ed moulded blocks and horizontal hollowcylinders of
. . - extrudedrubber
A tug' s bow andlor stern can be equipped with
horizontal fendering, for instance extruded fenders of
cylindrical profile, or with verti cal block fendering. A
combination of these types is often used. Block fenders
can easily be replaced when damaged, and for fenders
on bow and stern which are intensively used, basic
verti cal block fendering is very suitable.
Weldable fenders with steel backings are yet another
fender type, used when very secure attachment is
Other types of fendering include tho se made of
reinforced truck or aircraft tyres which are cut to a
Figure 2.6 Trw usedinadditiontot mtical bowfendmng
Fender mat er ial should have a large coefficient of
friction in order to keep the bow or stern in position
when the tug is pushing under an angle to the ship's
hull. Sliding along the ship's hull , tug berth or alongside
other tugs, and rolling and pitching along the ship's side
due to waves will easily damage tug fenders. To avoid
earl y damage of the fend ering, as for instance the side
fend ering, or where no grip is required, fenders can be
used with a low friction coefficient or can have a top
layer of UHMWpolyethylene, which has an extremely
Further relevant information for harbour tug design
in general and for ASD-tug design in particular can be
found in 'Designers' Che cklist No 1. Azimuth St ern
Dri ve Tugs (ASD)' (see References).
Harbour tugs assisting submarines may also have
underwater fendering to avoid contact damage to the
submarine' s hull. In addition, an ASD or reverse-tractor
tug's hull may be expanded with fender ed steel sponsons
on the quart ers to ensure that the nozzles of the tug's
azimuth propellers never come in contact with the
submarine being assisted, the so-called 'propulsion uni t
protective sponsons'.
The height of a tug's fendering above water level is
a factor to be considered. When pushing under an angle
at a ship's side while the ship has headway or sternway,
the hydrodynamic forces on the tug create a list. It is
evident that the higher the bow fender above the wat er
the larger the resulting heeling moment will be.
Specific types of fenders can be provided with water
lubricati on to reduce the friction between tug and ship
and so prevent damage and wear, especially when
pushing against a slab-sided ship in swell conditions.
Thi s type of fendering can, for instance, be found on
tugs in the port of Hong Kong (see photo of the reverse-
tract or tug Lam Tong- figure 2.2).
< 200 kN/m'
Gas carriers (LNG/LPG)
and Bulk ca rriers
low friction coefficient. The coefficient of friction of
rubber to steel is approximately 08. The friction force
F = c x P, where P is the impact force of the tug and c
the fricti on coefficient. UHMW polyethylene has a
friction coefficient of 015.
Suitable and reliable towing equi pment is also
important for good harbour tug performance and safe
working. This is dealt with in Chapter 7.
Damm Shipyards. 17u NttJurlmuis
Frgure 2.7 Consentional twinscrew tug - type Stan Tng 2909. L.a. 29-6m, beam 9-3m, bp depending oninstalled engint power: 3D-60tons
2.3 Conventional types of tug
2.3.1 General
The largest number of tugs still belong to this type. They
can be seen all over the world and are still built in large
numbers. Conventional tugs are used for push-pull
assistance, alongside towing and in part icular, in
European ports, for towing on a line.
There is a large variety of convent ional tugs. The
most simple one is a single screw tug with a single plate
rudder. Mainly due to the location of the towing point,
the tugs have limit ations regarding performance and
safety. When towing on a line the main risk is of girting.
A towing winch with a quick release mechanism lowers
this risk. The same applies to a qui ck release towing
hook, if it works under the extreme condition of girting,
which is not always the case. The astern power of
conventional tugs is generally low. Wh en making fast
near the bow of a ship, interaction for ces between the
ship and the tug shoul d be allowed for, which can better
be done with tugs that can produce good side thrust,
such as tractor-tugs. Girting and interaction are dealt
with in Chapters 4 and 6.
The towing point of these tugs generally lies about
045 x LWL from aft, although shorter distances may
b e found. The aft towing point on American
conventional tugs lies further aft, which all ows the
opportunity to extend the deckhouse further aft. A more
aft placed towing point limits the tug' s effectiveness
when towing on a line at spee d but this way of towing is
not normal pr actice in the USA.
In USA ports whe re tugs ar e used for towing on a
lin e, conventional tugs can be found with a more
forward lying towing point.
Experience is an important fact or in handling
conventional tugs safely while assisting ships under
.speed and with a well qualified captain these tugs can
be very effective while rendering assistance. To increase
the tug' s effectiveness and/or manoeuvring capabilities
ther e are several possibilities, as explained below.
2.3.2 Propulsion and rudders
Propulsion andpropeller control
Nearly all tugs are equipped with diesel engines
though an occasi onal old harbour tug with a steam
engine may still be found somewhere outside a maritime
museum. Diesel engi nes on harbour tugs are high or
medium speed engines. The high engine revolutions
have to be brought down by reduction gearing to the
required propeller revolutions. To reverse the propeller
thrust, different systems are in use. .
The direct-reversing system is the oldest and can still
be found on some conventional tugs. The engine has to
be started on ahead and on astern. On some tugs engines
can be controlled from the wheelhouse, while on others
it still has to be done by an engineer. The number of
manoeuvres is limited by the volume of starting air
. available. The response time from ahead to astern and
back differs by tug and by the dir ect-reversing handling
system fitted.
Diesel-electric propulsion systems can still be found
in some harbour tugs. The diesel engine(s) drives electric
generators \vhich in turn drive electri c motors. These
electric motors drive the propeller. This system is easily
controllable from the wheelhouse. It has th e large
advantage that it can deliver any propeller shaft speed
ahead and astern without delay. The system is exp ensive,
though. It has high initial costs and higher maintenance
expenses compared to other systems .
Most common nowadays on harbour tugs ar e high
and medium speed diesel engines with reduction gears
and pneumatic-hydraulic couplings. (See References for
' Operational benefi ts of hi gh-speed electronic diesel
engines'). Other types of couplings can be used. On
tugs with fixed propellers the propeller thrust is reversed
by means of a reverse-reduction gear, while on tugs with
cont rollable pit ch propellers (cpp) thrust is re versed by
changing the propeller pitch. Torque problems may arise
when a fixed pitch propeller is reve rsed at high tug
speeds. These problems can be reduce d or overcome
by proper design (= the correct combination of engi ne,
prop eller and gear) and tuning ofthe whole propulsion
system. Shaft brakes are used, depending on engine and
propeller type.
Engine revolutions and propeller pitch are remotely
cont r olled fr om the wheelhouse. Manoeuvri ng,
especially with a cpp, is very smooth. When the cpp
control system is equipped with a combinator control,
prop eller revolutions are regul ated in accordance with
propeller pitch . The pit ch of a cpp js regulated by a
hydraulic system. Cpp control systems, including remote
control systems, the hydrauli c system and emergency
stop require regular checkup s and goo d maintenance .
Failure in the hydrauli c or remote control system can
cause serious damage to tug, ships or berths. Modem
cpp systems have reliable backup systems.
Propeller effidency and manoeuvrability
The propellers of conve ntional tugs can be fitted in
open frames or fitted in nozzles. Going full astern, an
open fixed pitch propeller will - in general - deve lop
about 60% of its maximum ahead thrust. An open cpp
going astern develops some 40 to 45% of maximum
ahead thrust. The lesser efficiency astern of a cpp has
to do with the specific design and working of a cPl' .
Propellers are designed for maximum efficiency going
ahead. A fixed pit ch propeller will turn, when astern
thrust is required, with the same pi tch in the reverse
direction as on ahead. The propeller blades of a standard
cpp have a smaller width near the hub and the refore,
when the blades are set for ahead, a larger forward pitch
angle than near the tip of the propeller. When the blades
are turned for astern thrust, the lower part of the blades
will consequently have a smaller pitch than the top of
the blades, which results in less efficiency going astern
compared to a fixed pitch propeller.
Nozzlesincrease thrust and consequentlybollard pull
significantly. Mr. Ludwig Kort, an aerodynamicist,
designed the first nozzles as far back as 1927. The first
one was introduced into service in 1932 and was
originally designed to protect canal banks from propeller
wash. The effect of a nozzle is most pronounced with
high propeller loads at low speeds. Harbour tugs have
to perform in that way. Nozzles increase thrust by 15-
25%in towing and pushing conditions.
propellers and the same type of nozzles. With a specific
propeller design a much higher value can be reached
for astern performance of controllable pit ch propellers,
but then ahead efficiency will be lower.
The 19A nozzle, and several variations more or less
on this design, are used for azimuth thrusters, either
with fixed or with controllable pitch propellers, because
astern thrust is achieved by turning the nozzle.
A nozzle seen on several tugs with azi muth
propulsion is the Nautican nozzle, which is the same as
the Lips HR(=high efficiency) nozzle. Ahead efficiency
of this nozzle is higher than of nozzle type 19Aand 37,
approximately 8% in bollard pull conditions, while
astern performance of the Nautican nozzle is better than
of nozzle type 19A, but not better than of nozzle type
37. As said, astern performance is not relevant for tugs
with azimuth thrusters.
Conventional tugs with controllable pit ch propellers
.n nozzles (nozzle type 37) achieve, when pulling astern,
tbout 45% of maximum ahead ballard pull, while this
gure is about 65% for tugs equipped with fixed pitch
Various types of nozzles (figure 2.8) have been
developed while research is still going on. Nozzle type
19A is very common because of its cost-effective design
and is typical for ahead thrust requirements. Nozzle type
37, a 'backing nozzle' , has been developed to give better
efficiency going astern, which results in onl y a little less
efficiency going ahead. The same applies to the Hannan
Ring Nozzle, which is a normal type 19A nozzle with
slots cut in at the after end giving good astern thrust -
about 70%of the ahead value with-fixed pitch propellers
and special blades and 60-65% with ordinary blades.
Nozzle type 37 is a type of nozzle often used for
conventional harbour tugs.
Some twin screw tugs have two indepe ndently
contr olled steerable no zzles, so increasing the tug's
manoeuvrahility furth er.
Nozzles can be also be steerable. Their manoeuvring
performance is superior to normal rudder arrangements.
Rudder angles of no more than 25 - 30 are used due
to the greater side thrust. A tug's manoeuvrability when
going astern with a nozzle rudder system is very good.
When going astern the tug will swing to port or starboard
depending on the direction of the steering nozzle. A
vertical fin or a movable flap may be fitted at the end of
the steering nozzle. (see figures 2.g and 2.10).
Willi &&n. Iogrn;"";;", . G<rnum)
Figure 2.10 Construction ofa suemble nozzk with moteableflap
Nozzles increase the efficiency of the propeller but
decrease steering capabilities. The fItting of a nozzle is
equivalent to increasing the lateral area of skegs. Special
rudder systems are therefore often used.
Figure 2.9
noales, one
with a
1M other with
Figure 2.8
usednoz:;:k typtJ
79A and 37
o. p
+ - j + - + - ~
FlgUTe 2.72
Schilling rudder
Figure 2.73 Slwturrudder
lJsfmlwithafixed Male
Flanking rudders
Flanking rudders are installed in front of the tug's
propeller and both single screw and twin screw tugs
may be so fitted. Flanking rudders are often installed in
conjunction with other rudder systems, such as a single
rudder behind the propeller or a Towmaster rudder
system and are especially used in conjunction withfixed
nozzles. In general there
are two flanking rudders
situated before the
propeller nozzle. The
flanking rudders are
operated by separate
controls and enhance
steering performance
when moving astern or
when towing astern on a
towline from the tug's bow.
When going ahead they
are kept amidships.
newtug Sayya/at Abu Dhabi. Schilling Monovecrudders
have no movable parts. Horizontal slipstreamguideplates
are fitted at the top and bottom of the rudder. The rudder
itselfhas a high liftblade profile with a wedgeprofile, so-
called 'fishtail', at the end of the rudder blade. The rudder
develops 30-40% more lift compared to a conventional
rudder and maximum lift is obtained at a rudder angle of
approximately 40. The
rudder canbeusedup to 70
angle and at this angle the
propeller slipstreamis thus
deflected 90 and works
more like a side thruster.
When moving astern the
rudder is more effective
than normal rudders. With
a Schilling Monovec
rudder, turning on the spot
is almost possible while
speed is dropping very fast.
1bwmaste1' system
The Towmaster rudder system is a shutter rudder
type used in conjunction with fixed nozzles. It consists
of several rudders mounted behind and sometimes also
ahead (flanking rudders) of each nozzle. Behind the
nozzle are normally three and ahead of the nozzle two
Two Schilling rudders, called SchillingVecTwin, can
be used behind a propeller and make the vessel very
manoeuvrable. Eachrudder has a separate steeringgear.
The rudders can be turned by joystick a maximum of
105 outboard and 40 inboard. Amaximum side thrust
of 70% of ahead thrust can be achieved. Depending on
the two rudder angles, it allows the degree of thrust from
a conventionally mounted propeller to be controlled
and the thrust direction vectored through 360. Thus
the need to reverse the shaft direction or propeller pitch
is eliminated.
Conventional tugs can be single screw, twin screw
and even triple screw, e.g, the USA harbour tug Scott T.
Slatten. Manoeuvrability of twin and triple screw tugs
will, in general, be better than of single screw tugs.
There are several types of
movable flap rudders, such as
Becker, Barke, U1stein,]astram
and Promac Stuwa. At the end
of the rudder blade is a
movable flap, controlled by
linkage, comprising about 20-
30% of the total rudder area.
Maximum helm angle differs
by type and is about 40-50.
Each type of flap rudder has its
own specific characteristics.
The flap angle is a function of
the helm angle and with a
Becker rudder, for instance, it
will be about three times the
l'/w1D..H",,<H..... G<muml main rudder angle for the
Figure 2./1 lower range and decreasing to
Fixed nome with a factor of two for the upper
a moveable flap rudder range rudder angles.
Maximum lift, which is achieved at a rudder angle of
approximately 30, is increased by 60-70% compared
with a conventional rudder of the same shape, size and
area. Sideways thrust ranges up to 50% of ahead thrust.
At maximum rudder angle the propeller stream will,
depending on rudder size and balance, be diverted
approximately 90. At speed the vessel can turn very
quickly and speed willdrop fast. When dead in the water
the vessel can nearly turn on the spot. Performance of
the rudder when the tug has speed astern is about the
same as that of an unflapped rudder. Tugs may have
more than one movable flap rudder behind a nozzle.
The manoeuvrability of conventional tugs can be
increased by the use of specific rudder types or rudder
systems. Several different rudder systems are in use,
often in combination with nozzles, such as:
Schilling rudders
Schilling rudders can also be found on tugs e.g. the
In general tugs are equipped with balanced, semi-
balanced or spade rudders. By far most tugs have
balanced rudders. Single plate rudders are alsostill used.
With the spade, balanced or semi-balanced rudder the
leading edge of the rudder extends forward of the rudder
shaft. This, together with the shape of the rudder, results
in higher propeller efficiency and a lower steering
couple, so a smaller steering gear can be used. Spade
rudders are hanging free, are not attached to a heel,
and are consequently more stoutly constructed than a
balanced rudder. Single plate rudders decrease propeller
efficiency, need a higher st eer ing couple and
consequently a larger steering gear.
rudders. Rudder angles are possible up to 60. The
Towmaster system provides good thrust and steering
characteristics ahead and astern at the expense of
increased complexity. Astern thrust can be more than
70% of ahead thrust. Even recentl y built tugs are still
equipped with this system, such as tugs of the Kuwait
Oil Company, the tug AI-Hawtah of the Saudi Arabian
Oil Co., tug Pegasus of the Mobil Refinery, Port Stanvac,
Australia and the tug Neeltje P and her sister tugs of
Terminales Maracaibo, Venezuela. The Michigan Vane
Wheel used on some tugs in the USA is a comparable
system, with several high aspect ratio rudders, e.g. three,
behind a fixed nozzle; the same applies to the Nautican
High Aspect Ratio Triple Rudder system.
Plwt4: DammShJ.jJyo.uu, VIt Nttlterlands
Figure 2.14 Towmaster rudder sysUm oftug'Hamm'. L.o.a. 38m,
beam 11m, Bp 70 tonsahead and50 tans astern
Other systems
Besides the rudder systems mentione d above, many
other systems exist, such as different types of fishtail
rudders and the pr eviously mentioned triple screw tug
Scott T.Allenwi th her thr ee rudders, of which the centre
rudder can be ope rated in dependently from th e
outboard rudders.
Bow thruster
Conventional harbour tugs are sometimes equipped
with a tunnel bow thruster. The effectiveness of a tunnel
thruster is not high when the tug has speed ahead. With
only two knots speed the effectiveness of the bow
thruster may already be reduced by 50%. Seagoing
harbour tugs operating in port areas as well as at sea for
offshore work often have a bow thruste r, which enables
them to keep position better near oil platforms.
Conv entional tu gs may be equipped wit h a
(retractable) 360 steerable bow thruster. Th ese bow
thrusters are much more effecti ve and can operate in
any dir ection. Tugs with thi s kind of bow thruster are
the previously menti oned combi-tugs.
2.3.3 Manoe uvri ng conve nti onal tugs
Single screw tugs
Three aspects are important in manoeuvring a
norma l single screw conventional tug:
The aft location of the rudder and propul sion.
The transverse effect of the propeller when turning
for astern.
The low astern po\\'er.
When ahead thrust is appli ed with port or starboard
helm, the tug's stern moves in a direction opposite to
the intended direction of turn due to the aft location of
the propeller and rudder. This contrasts with tractor tugs
where the steering forces are applied in the direction of
turn. Thi s is a subject further dealt with in Chapter 6
when discussing interaction effects between tug and ship.
Turning on the spot, or nearly on the spot, is only
possible with the previously mentioned high lift rudders.
No sideways movement of a single screw tugis pos sible,
not even wi th high lift rudders, though sideways
movement is possibl e with high lift rudders in
conjunction with a bow thruster.
Th e tr ansver se effect or ' paddle whee l effect' is
caused by the propeller wash hitting the stem at right
angles when the propeller is turning for astern. Nearly
all single screw tugs have a right handed propeller, which
means a clockwise turning propeller going ahead in case
of a fixed pitch propeller and an anti-clockwise turning
propeller in case of a controllable pitch propeller. When
the propeller is set for astern, propeller wash hits the
tug's stern on the starboard side and the stem moves to
port - consequentl y the bow turns to starboard. The
more sternway the tug has the more effective the rudder
is and it may even be possibl e to bring the tug onto a
straight course by applying rudder. The paddle whee l
effect together wi th the low astern power results in poor
performance going astern in single screw tugs.
When moving astern a tug's stern can be controlled
when the tug is equi pped with a steering nozzle or with
Towmas ter or flanking rudders. Steering nozzles or
flanking rudders can be set for the direction the stern
has to move.
Twin screw tugs
Twin (or triple) sc re w tugs are much more
manoeuvrable than single screw tugs. They can turn on
the spo t without making headway and can easily
manoeuvr e straight astern. Turning can be done by
reversing one propeller and setting the other for ahead
while applying helm in the intended direction.
Propellers of twin screw tugs, whether controllable
or fixed pitch, are often inward turning except on tugs
designed to operate in ice conditions. The advantage of
in-turning propellers is higher propeller efficiency. A
disadvantage with fixed pitch propellers is the larger
turning diameter, because the starboard propeller is left
handed and the port.one is right handed. When using
the propellers as a couple, the transverse effect of the
screws opposes the turn .
Figure 2.15 Twin screw tugmoving sidewaystostarboard,
also calledflanking, by sating 1Mport engineonahead andstarboard
engine onas/ern while applyingport htlm. In tIucase of in-turning
fixedpit<h propellers the transverse thrust ofthe innerpropeller will
enlarge the side thrust tostarboard
With inward turning fixed pit ch propellers a tug can
move sideways (see figure 2.15), so-called ' flanking' .
When the tug has to move sideways to starboard, one
would think of sett ing the starboard propeller to ahead
and the port propeller to astern. This works only when
the tug is equipped with a bow thruster. However,
without a bow thruster this propeller setting does not
move the whole tug sideways, bu t only the stern to
starboard. By setting the propellers in the opposite way,
with the starboard propeller astern, the port propeller
ahead and the rudder to port, the tug w:ill move sideways
to starboard without gathering headway, depending on
trim, wind and current influence . The transverse effect
of the inner propeller will enhance the side thrust.
2.3.4 Conventional tugs in shiphandling
Conventional tugs are used for all methods of tug
assistance but are not equally suitable for all methods.
When assisting a vessel under speed a conventional tug
is effective when towing on a line but as a stern tug,
owing to the location of the towing poin t, it has sever e
limitations. When the ship has more than approximately
thr ee knots headway the after tug can only assist at one
side ofthe ship and cannot shift to the other side nor is
it able to control the speed of the assisted ship. The
towing point being near midships implies a risk of girting.
When towing on a line, conventional tugs are not
suitable to changi ng over, while the towline is still
fastened, to pushing at the ship's side. Thi s might be
desirable, for instance, on arrival at a berth. For a quick
change-over from pulling to pushing and vice versa while
the towline is still fastened the convent ional tug would
have to push with the stern . The manoeuvre itself is
already difficult unless the tug is equipped with a bow
thruster or if it is a twin screw tug. However, when
pushing with the stern the tug' s propellers are so close
to the ship' s hull that the interrupted water flow towards
the propellers will result in low prop eller efficiency. In
addition, the stern fend ering of convent ional tugs are
normally not designed for pushing with the stern. In such
a situation it is better to release the tug from the bow or
stern in order to be able to push at the ship's side.
For tug operations at th e ship's side a normal
conventional tug can push but it is not the most efficient
one for pulling on a tug's bow line, due to the limi ted
astern power. Specific rudder configurations, such as
the Towmast er system for example, will increase astern
thrust. Normal single screw conventional tugs can
neither pull at right angles because of the transver se
effect of the propeller, nor can a single screw tug pull at
right angles with a cross current or strong cross winds.
The same kind of problem arises when the assisted ship
is moving ahead or astern while the tugs are pulling. It
will then be imp ossibl e to stay pulling at right angles.
Additional measur es should then be taken, such as a
line from the stern of the tug to the ship to keep the tug
in the best pulling dir ection. A bow thruster does not .
improve the situation as the conve ntional tug operates
while pulling with the tug's bow headed towards the
ship's hull. Steering nozzles, Towmaster and nanking
rudders make it easier to keep the tug at right angles
when pulling. Twin screw conve ntional tugs can make
use of their propellers to keep the tug at right angl es,
alt hough this will be at the expense of los s of
Figure 2.16 Some assisting methods with conventional tugs
The capabilities and limitations of conventional tugs
in relation to other tug types are discussed in Chapter 4.
Some assisting methods with conventional tugs are
shown in figure 2.16.
with a special rudder and/ or propell er arrangement
which increases propeller efficiency.
Figure2.17 Camhi-tug 'Petronella], Goedkoop' ofWijsmulhr
Harbour TowageAmsterdam. Lio.a. 285m, beam 69m. Main engine
900 bhp. Omepp infixed nowe andtwin rudders. Retractable 361J'
steeroblebowthruster of 420bhp, typeAquamaster UL 316/2600.
Bollardpull ofmain engine 15t. Bollardpull main engim +bow
thruster2Ot. Maximumspeedahead 119 knots, astern 102 knots
whenusingboth mainengineand bow thruster: The tug is equipped
witha specialfairleadat the stern anda towing winch. Line '1'
shows the tow linein its (normal' positon and '2' the towline passing
through thefairlead .
- - .../'
,; --------
----- -------
- - - - - - . : : ~
As an example, an azimuth bow thrus ter of 400 hp
can increase the top speed of a tug of 27 metr es length
and engine power of 1500 bhp by half a knot. With just
the bow thruster working a speed of about five knots
can be achieved. The towing force of the tug is increased
by five tonnes if the main propulsion and the bow
thruster work in the same direction. This is all in addition
to better manoeuvrability.
By installing a conventional single screw tug with a
steerable bow thruster, also called azimuth bow
thruster, these disadvantages can be overcome. Tugs
equippe d with such a bow thruster are the so-called
combi-tugs. The first combi-tugs app ear ed in the early
1960s. A tug equipped with this type of bow thruster
can, with the aid of the main propulsion and the bow
thruster, turn on the spot, sail straight astern at a fair
speed and move sideways as well (see figure 2.(8).
Setting this type of bow thruster in the same direction
as the propulsion also gives additional bollard pull ahead
and astern and increases maximumspeed. Inmost cases
this type of bow thruster is equipped with a nozzle and
can be of retr actabl e or fixed type. An azimuth bow
thruster with a nozzle pr opell er below the keel , in
contrast to a tu nnel bow thruster, achieves high
efficiency in any dir ection even when the tug is moving
quickly. This provides an additional increase in the tug' s
man oeuvrability,
I _ ' ~ ..
-- -,-- -
.(---- -1- ---
For older tugs this is a satisfactory and inexpensive
way of improving manoeuvrability and bollard pull. As
examples of converted tug s, at Amsterdam, The
Netherlands, some older tugs have been converted to
combi-tugs and at San Pedro, California, USA, the tug
SanPedro(now Pacific Combl) has been converted into a
combi-tug with a similar conversion to the tug Point
Gilbert and Flying Phantom of Cory Towage (now
Wijsmuller Marine) in the UK. The San Pedrohas been
equipped with a 600 bhp bow thruster, which has
increased the tug's bollard pull by 400/0, from 25 to 35
tons and has improved the manoeuvring capabilities.
Moran Towing Company, USA, revitalised its fleet of
single screw tugs by installing retractable azimuth bow
thrusters and a large fairlead aft. New tugs are also
equipped with azimuth bowthrusters, all of them of the
retractable type.
2.4.1 Designing and manoeuvring combi-tugs
Figure 2.18 Free sailing manoeuvres witha ccmbi-tug
Side stepping
Turningonthe spot
2.4 Combi-Tugs
As discussed above, the manoeuvrability of single
Screw conventional tugs can be improved by the use of
high lift rudders. However, the disadvantage of many
single screw tugs without steerable nozzles, Towmaster
system and/or flanking rudders, is that moving straight
astern is hardly possible and no single screw tug can
move sideways unless fitted with a tunnel bow thruster
in combination with high lift rudders. The astern power
of single screw tugs is also low, unless the tug is equipped
If the azimuth bow thruster is not in use it causes
extra resistance. This is one of the reasons for making
the bow thruster retractable. In shallow waters a
retractable type is necessary_ Care is required in using
the azimuth bow thruster when underkeel clearance is
small and it should be retracted in good time . A good
working alarm system when the wat er depth is not
sufficient for safe working of the bow thruster is strongly
2.4.2 Combi-tugs in shiphandling
Combi-tugs can tow on a line forward as well as aft.
As a forward tug th e combi-tug operates like a
conventional tug, but has the advantage of increased
maximum speed, manoeuvrability and ballard pull.
Also, the risk of girting is reduced and response time is
less due to the higher manoeuvrability.
As a ste rn tug combi -tugs can"ope ra te as a
conve ntional tug at low speeds and can easily work over
the tug' s stern at higher speeds because of the azimuth
bow thruster. However, since conventional tugs have
their towing point approximat ely 045 x LWL from aft,
working over the tug' s stern nee ds an additional towing
point near the stern to prevent girting, especial ly when
the assisted ship has a higher speed. On conve ntional
tugs the towing point can be moved aft by a gob rope,
and on some tugs by a gob rope from a gob rope winch.
The gob rope is then led from the winch through an
eyelet or swivel fairlead at the tug's stern. At the free
end of the wire is a large shackle which can be put
around the towline. By heaving on the gob rope winch
the towing point can thus be brought as far as
possible aft.
This system is further explained in paragraph 7. 2. A
gob rope arrangement normal ly needs two persons on
deck. With the reduced numbers in tug's crews a handier
Combltug pushing
Figure2.19 Some assisting methods witha camhi-tug
and safer sys te m wa s developed b y the former
Goedkoop H arb our Towage Company of The
Netherlands (n ow Wij smuller Harb our Towag e
Amsterdam). A strong fairlead has been attached to the
deck close to the tug' s stern. This fairlead can be opened
at one side so that the towline can easily be put in or
taken out. \ Vith thi s additional towing point at the tug' s
after end the combi-tug can operate similarly to a tractor-
tug, that is with the stern towards the assisted ship .
To show the capabilities of a combi-tug consider an
arriving ship. The combi-tug makes fast aft an d
approa ches stern first to the stern of the ship to pass the
towline (see figure 2.19 position 1). The ship to be
assisted may still have rathe r a high speed, e.g. about
seven to eight knots. As soon as the towline has been
secured and the aft towi ng point is in use by means of a
gob rope or fairlead, the combi-tug can control the
vessel' s speed (position 5) or assist in steering (positions
2 and 3). To reduce ship's speed, the tug' s propulsion
and the bow thruster will be set in the same direction to
increase the tug's pulling force. Assisting steering is
achieved by the tug sheering out to port or starboard
with the main propulsion going astern and the bow
thruster working sideways. In positions 2 and 3 the
incoming water flow creates lift forces on the tug and
consequently a force in the towline. When the ship's
speed reduces, the effect of the tug in position 2 and 3
will become less due to the reduced lift forces. The gob
rope is then rel eased or the towline take n out of the
fairlead. The original towing point is then in use again
and the tug can operate again as a normal conventional
tug (position 4).
In circumstances where there are strong cross wi nds
and/or currents, and much effort is requi red from the
tug to compensate for those forces, the tug is more
effective when it proceeds with the assisted ship as a
normal conventi onal tug (position 4) and thus can use
its full ahe ad power. When required, the bow thruster
can be used to incr ease bollard pull. The lift forces on
the tug caused by the wat er flow increase the force in
the towline.
If so required thetug can, even when the assisted
ship has forward speed, shift to a position behind the
shi p's stern by using the gob rope or fairl ead, bow
thruster and main propulsion (position 4 --7 5). This
can be done faster compared to a normal conventional
tug. Conversely, moving from a position abaft the stern
to a po sition moving with the assisted ship is, because
of the bow thrus ter, possible at a somewhat higher speed
than with a normal conventional tug.
It has been made clear that the advantages of a
combi-tug are greatest when the tug operat es as a stern
tug on a line. For that reason thi s type of tug often assists
during quite long passages as a stern tug for speed and
steering control. The cornbi-tug can also be used at the
ship's side, such as for push-pull operations.
The towing winch (6) is located aft of
midships. It may also be just a towing hook.
The towing point, a large fairlead or towing
staple (7), through which the towing line
The large skeg is typical for tractor tugs
and in particular for VS tractor tugs. It gives
course stability and bri ngs- the centre of
hydrodynamic pressure further aft, which
is advantageous to both safety and towing
performance when towing on a line,
especially towing performance when oper-
ating as an after tug at higher speeds.
University of Washington in Seattle, USA. Tugs with
Voith Schneider propulsion system appeared in the
1920s and 1930s. In the 1950s Wolfgang Bear of the
Voith Company designed a shiphandling tug with the
cycloidal propulsion under the tug's forebody and the
towing gear on the aft deck. Many limitations of
conventional tugs were overcome by the introduction
of this totally new concept, which was called a Voith
Water Tractor.
Figure 2.21
J M. VO>lh GmbH.
The cycloi dal propulsion system is, in fact, a kind of
controllable pitch propeller (see the side-view of Voith
tractor tug, figure 2.20). The engine works at constant
rpm and magnitude of thrust and the thrust
direction is regulated from the wheelhouse.
Different engine rpm settings can be
selected. Full engine rpm is required when
full towing or pushing power is required or
a t high free sailing speeds. In other
situations lower rpm settings can be used.
The VS propulsion system for tugs consists
of two units with vertical propeller blades
whose pitch and thrust direction can be
regulated uniformly through 360 without
delay. The protection plate (2) protects the
propeller blades and works like a nozzle,
thus increasing propeller efficiency. During
docking,the tug stands on these protection
plates and on the skeg (4).
8 Second towing
5 Ferukr
6 10wingunndi
3 J'oith turbo
Figurt 2.20
VOith traaor tug
7 Towing staple
9 WheelJwwe
2.5.1 Design
2.5 Tractor-tugs 'with cycloidal propellers
Note: A second
towingpoint is
only fitt ed in a
small numberof
VStugs, andis
discussedfurther in
Chapters 4 and9
1 VoithSchneidn
When operating at the ship's side, a combi-tug has
many of the disadvantages of a normal conventional
tug. The combi-tug can either push with the bow or
with the stern . When pushing with the bow while the
ship has some speed, the how thruster can be helpful to
keep the tug's bow in position and prevent sliding along
the ship's hull. The bow thruster will also give an
additional transverse pushing force [see figure 2.19).
When pushing with the stern, the effectiveness of the
tug is reduced due to the restricted water flow towards
the propeller and it is mo re difficult to bring or hold the
tug at right angles to the ship's hull when the shi p has
some speed, due to the low power of the bow thruster.
In particular, when working over the tug' s bow, pulling
effectiveness at speed is low.
2 Proptl ur guard
Tractor tugs have their propulsion under the
forebody. Those wit h a verti cal blade system, or
cycloidal propulsion system, are the so-called Veith-
Schneider or Voith tugs (VS tugs). The first vertical axis
propeller, simil ar to the Voith Schn eider propulsion
system, was developed in the early 1920s by Professor
Kirsten of the Aeronautical Engineering Faculty at the
j. M. Thith. GmbH, Gn many

~ .

>0 "" "" 10

"It """'""",, '
,o . , . r. , ... ..
"' ,,' '' ' ,,'''' ,,, ,,,
pllch..-. f\AI'tl ..e ("11m)
.... h.... appro",. 5 por'l (Il a/board)
enu.. aheld (lttllfTl !
apptox. 80 %
lI1ln........ " 1U'1.pplOX. 50 %
pI1cto ...Uw-cl (IsIem)
........ 11 porl (NrboIrd)
1hr' ......ad (litem)
nr-fIII ..... 1011 ...
pItCh...... u ar-.s or ~
~ -.s lhWnl- 11)0'"
"-...s. l/YUIt 0
j. M. VoilAGmhH, GmMny
Figure 2.23 Propea.r control ofVS tug'
2.5.2 Propeller control
The direction and magnitude of propeller thrust is
remotely controlled from the wheelhouse. The remote
control may be mechanically operated bya push-pull
rod gear. This is a ver y reliable system for tugs and best
when the distance between wheelhouse and propeller
is short. With long distances between the bridge/
wheelhouse and propeller and whe n several
manoeuvring stands are installed other remote control
systems are recommended. Hydrauli c, pneumatic,
electric and even computerised remote controls, even
with joystick control, are alternative solutions. How
propeller thrust is regulated can be seen in figure 2.23.
Transverse thrus t is controlled by the wheel and
longitudinal thrust is controlled by pitch levers. So thrust
setting is a combination of transverse and longitudinal
thrust. Transverse direction has pri ority. When full
transverse thrust is used (wheel hard to port or starboard)
no longitudinal thrust will be available, even when the
pitch levers are set in pitch position. It can be seen that
the full 100% thrust cannot be applied in any direction.
The two units of a VS tug can be contr oll ed
independendy or together for longitudinal thrust but
onl y controlled together for transverse thrust.
forward. The towing point lies 0 ' - 02 x LWL from
aft, although this may differ by tug depending on
operational requirements.
The maximum draft,
including the propulsion
units, of a VS tug is
relatively larger than that
of conventional tugs, due
to the weight of the
propulsion units, the
propell er location and
dimensions. The location
of the propulsion units is
approximatel y 025 -
030 x LWL from
J M. Vil ith GmbH, GmruJ7I]
Figure 2.22 Princi pk of
Voith propulsion
Most modem tugs have small wheelhouses
with optimal visibility. The same applies to
modem VS-tugs, like the one shown in figure
2.20. The small and optimum wheelhouse (9)
often has one central manoeuvring panel for
propeller control.
passes, lies far aft and usually exactl y above the
middle of the skeg. The hull is relati vely wide
and flat to provide sufficient space for the two
propulsion units. VS tugs have heavy duty
fendering (5), especially at the stem, because
when pushing, the tugs push with the stem.
The principle of a cycloidal VS propeller is
shown in figure 2.22. Links leading to the
steering centre N are fitted to th e vertical
propeller blades. The steering centre N can be
moved out of the centre a by two hydraulic
cylinders. One hydraulic cylinder wor ks in the
longitudinal dir ection and the other one in the
transverse direction. The propeller blades create
a thrustin a direction depending on the location
of the steering centre N. In sketch I there is no
thrust; the propellers are ' idling' . In sketch 2
the steering centre is moved by one hydraulic
cylinder to port. This offset location of the
steering centre N results in forward thrust. In
sketch 3 the steering point
N is moved by the two
hyd rauli c cylinders to
port and forward, which
gi ves thrus t in the
indicated dir ection S. So,
the thrust can be
regulated for any
directi on by moving N.
The nominal direction of
thrust is perpendicular to
the line O-N and the
magnitude of thrust is
proportional to the
distance O-N. In tugs,
there are always two VS
propeller units, which are
installed side by side.
2.5.3 Manoeuvring
VS tractor-tugs are highly manoeuvrable, can turn
on the spot, deliver a high amount of thrust in any
dir ection and sail straight astern at high speed. Astern
thrust is nearly equal to ahead thrust. Many of the
disadvantages of conventional - especially single screw
- tugs, such as low astern power, no or low side thrust
and in some situations transverse effect of the propell er,
do not apply to VS tugs. Because it is possible to apply
side thrust tractor tugs are also safer when maki ng fast
near the ship's bow and interaction forces can be better
Sailing ahead as well as astern is easily achieved by
use of the wheel, as shown in figure 2.24. Turning on
the spot can be done by setti ng the wheel hard to port
j. M. JIOithGmbH, Gmno.ny
Figure 2.24 A VS tug sailiug ahead andastern
or starboard. A VS tug can be moved sideways e.g. to
port. The port pitch lever is set for ahead and the
starboard for astern, while turning the wheel to port.
The turning moment of the propellers is eliminated by
the action of the wheel and the tug moves sideways .
Propeller effectiveness is less on astern therefore ahead
pitch should be set somewhat lower than astern pitch.
VS tug propulsion produces little wash, which is
invaluable when skimming oil and, for example, when
working with full thrust close to deep loaded lighters as
can be the case in narrow harbour basins.
The full bow of tractor-tugs and the flat and wide
hull bottoms which are nece ssary to create sufficient
room for the propulsion units adversel y affect their sea
keeping behaviour. According to the experience of some
VS tug captains, so do the bottom plates of the VS
propulsion units in rough sea conditions.
A number of VS-tugs, parti cul ar ly those used for
escorting, are designed such that they better meet the
demands of operating ' skeg-first'. This, however, does
not alter the basic principles of the tractor tug.
2.5.4 VS tugs in shi phandling
VS tugs are used for towing on a line and for
operations like push-pull (see figure 2.25). For towing
and pushing operations the maximumlongitudinal pitch
is limited (to approximatel y pitch 8 for towing/pulling
and pitch 9 for pushing) to avoid overloading the engine .
In push -pull ope r ations the disadvantages of
conve ntional tugs of having low astern power and/or
not being able to pull at right angles to the ship do not
,apply to VS tugs. As already mentioned, VS tugs have
nearly equal power astern and ahead and can apply
thrust in any direction.
While towing on a line a VS tug forward or aft can
change to pushing without releasing the towline, which
is very handy while approaching the berth (see figure
2.25, situation 3). The forward tug can change to a
= = = = 1 ~ .
Figure 2.25 SOTM assistiugmethods witha traaortug
pushing position at a ship' s speed up to approximately
two knots. A towing winch is always useful with this
kind of operation in order to control the length of the
towline and to enhance safety.
VS tugs can also make fast directly to a ship's side as
push-pull tugs (see figure 2.25, situation 4) approaching
the ship either stern or bow first. Ship's speed should
then not be more than about five knots. Although VS
tugs are not the most effective type of tug as.a forward
tug towing on a line for a ship under speed, due to
performance restrictions imposed by the location of the
towing point, they are very suitable as after tug for course
and speed control. Course control can then be carried
out with ships having headway and, cont rary to what is
possible with conventional tugs, to starboard as well as
to port.
Extremely usefull
Course control is carried out at higher speeds by the
indirect me thod (see figure 2.25, situation 2), making
use of the hydrodynamic forces on the tug' s hull, or at
lower speeds by the direct method (see figur e 2.25,
situation I). Forces in the indirect method can be far
highe r than the tug' s ballard pull . When braking forces
are required, pitch levers should be adjusted to ship's
speed to avoi d overloading the engine and a minimum
of wheel should be used. The different manoeuvres that
can be carried out with a VS tug are shown in the
manoeuvring manual ofJ. M. Voith GmbH.
2.6 Tractor tugs with azimuth propellers
2.6.1 Design
Tractor tugs with azimuth propellers have two 360
steerable thrusters under the forebody. There are several
manufactur er s of az imuth thrusters, in cl uding
Aquamaster, Schottel, KaMe Wa, Niigata, Kawasaki,
Vlstei n and Brunvoll. So me of the Eu ropean
manufacturers mentioned have merged. Differ ent
names are used for azimuth thrusters, such as Z-pellers,
Rexpellers and Duckpellers, amongst others. Although
th e thruster systems are gene rally similar, each
manufacturing comp any has its own speci fic design.
The first azimuth propellers were introduced into
service in the \960s. The first tug fitted with azimuth
propellers was the German harbour tug]anus (1967).
Azimuth propellers can be fixed pitch, e.g. mostly with
Niigata, or cont rollable pitch. Fixed pitch propeller
revolutions can be regulated by a speed modulating
Schout/wtlft, Gnmany
Figure 2.27 Integrated Sdiouel ;'o<.des withopen protectioe frames,
decreasinga tug's maximum draft byapproXimately 0-5m
without affecting the tug's performame
clutch, which enables the pro peller spe ed to be
controlle d in a stepless manner from ze ro up to
maximum. This more or less eliminates the need for
controllable pitch propellers and is much less expensive.
Azimuth propellers are fitted in nozzles to increase
propeller efficiency, (for nozzle types, see par. 2.3.2) In
the event of grounding, propeller protection is provided
either by protection or docking plates. Docki ng plates
are fitted underneath or in front of the propeller and
give only limited prot ecti on for the propellers.
Protection plates serve also when docking.
S c h o t t e ~ 1MNetMrlands
Figure 2.26 Azimuth tractortug 'Fairplay V'. L.o.a. 267m, beam 88m, bp2!!t. Infront
of the thrusters is thedoclringplate
The basic design of the tug itself does not
differ much from VS tr actor tu gs. The
displacement of a VS tug is more than that
of a comparable azimuth tractor tug of the
same engine power, du e to the hi gher
weight of the VS propulsion systems and
to the requirements for more stiffening due
to the wider hull openings for the VS units.
.An azimuth t ractor tug of the same
dimensions and engine power will
therefor e have less hull draft.
Towing point location is generally similar
to that in VS tugs. The skeg is sometimes
smaller and the location of the towing point
is often less strictly related to the location of
the skeg as with VS tractor tugs. The towing
point lies approximately 01 x LWLfrom aft
and the propellers are fitted at 030 - 035 x
LWL from forward. A smaller distance is
found, 025 x LWL for instance, on some
Italian tractor-tugs at Genoa, Italy. Thrusters
Photo: Author
Figure 2.28 Joy,tUkfor combined control ofboth thrusters. The
direction oflug's motemmt is indicated around thej oy'tidc. Speed
control is carriedout by separate loxn
Plwto: StorJ:KwaJlJ, T1u Nethtrl.zruls
Figure 2.29 Thruster control unitfor combined control of thrust and
thrust direction. The unitsare asailableforfixed pitrh and
conlrollablepitrh propellers
o Clutchoff
and! Of!
_ Oi..CIlonof
Niigata Engineering Co. UrI.Japan
Figure 2.:jOManocuvringdiagramfor reuerse-tracior tug. When the tug has a Uni-leter type manoouaingpansl; theUni-lever is usedin
combination withthe dual speed control handles. When the tug has the standard typc manoeuvring
manoeuvring is t/Q1Jl by thesteering the dualahead-astern handles anddualspeed control handles.
A comparable system, :4quaduo' ofAquamasterlKilMeJ#z is installed inASD-Iug'of Adsteam Towage, UK
placed further forward increase a tug' s effec tiveness while
assisting. The thrustersdeliver practically the same amount
of thrust in any direction, though astern thrust might be
about 5% less. \'!hen the thrusters int eract, as when
producing side thrust, total thrust efficiency will be less.
Thrusters should then be set at a small angle to each other.
2.6.2 Propell er control
Thrusters can be controlled by a single device for
each thruster separately in respect of the amount of
thrust (propeller pitch for cpp or prop eller revolutions
for fpp) and thrust direction or controlled together by a
joystick. Alternatively, by a control system consisting
of two steering levers (ahead-astern handles), a steering
wheel to give angle adjustment to both thrusters and
two speed control lever s. For the latt er two methods
sec the manoeuvring diagram (figure 2.30) of Niigata
for joystick, steering wheel and control handle positions
and the resulting tug movements for a tug with azimuth
thrusters at the stern.
When combined thruster control is by joystick (also
called a Uni -lever, Combi-lever, master pilot, or similar
names), the thrusters are automatically set for the most
suitabl e direction in order to manoeuvre the tug as
indicated at the joystick control. Some azimuth thruster
types have joystick control for the direction of tug's
movement while the amount of thrust has to be
regulated separately. Others have combined control of
thrust force and direction.
Tugs with combinedjoystick control can also control
each thruster separately, but on some tugs this may be
too complicated due to the number of handles to be
operated. Combined joystick control of both units is
limit ed to pre-programmed tug manoeuvres, so separate
control of the thrusters has some advantages owing to
the large number of possibilities, especiall y when ship
handling manoeuvr es arc complicated. It should then
be possible that thrust and direction for each thruster
can be regulated in a simple and logical way.
Azimuth thrusters with controllable pitch propellers
have the advantage that pitch can quickly be reversed
for astern thrust However, when full power astern is
required thrusters should be turned for astern.
2.6.3 Manoeuvring
The manoeuvring characteri stics of azimuth tractor-
tugs are more or less comparable to those ofVS tractor-
tugs. They are also safe working tugs and highly
manoeuvrable, canturn on the spot, move sideways
and have nearly the same ballard pull ahead as astern.
Because of the relatively shallower draft, sometimes
another skeg design and almost 100% thrust in any
direction, the manoeuvring characteristics of thes e tugs
may be somewhat different compared to VS tugs.
2.6.4 Azimuth tractor tugs in ship handling
The assisting capabilities of azimuth tractor tugs are
comparable to those ofVS tractor tugs. They ar e suitable
either for operati ng at the ship' s side or for towing on a
line (see figure 2.25). Azimuth tractor tugs fitted with a
smaller skeg and!or a towing point not located at the
correct position are less effective as a stern tug compared
to the VS tractor tugs, when ope rating in the indirect
towing method at highe r speeds. On the other hand,
because of their 100"ver underwater resistance - mainly
due to the relatively shallowe r draft - and the ability to
pr ovide nearly 100% thrust in any direction, azimuth
tractor tugs will be mor e effective at spee d when direct
towing as a stern tug and as a forward tug when towing
on a line, again dep ending on a proper location ofthe
towing point . The influence of the location of the towing
point on the performance of tr actor tugs is furt her
discussed in Chapter 4.
2.7 Reverse-tractor tugs
2.7.1 Design
Reverse-tractor tugs, also called pusher tugs, are tugs
with two azimuth propellers under the stern. They are
more or less specifi cally de signed for the assisting
method used, for instance, in a large number of ''\Test
Pacific ports - assisting over the tug's bow. These tugs
have a large towing winch forward and only smaller
towing equipment aft e.g. a towing hook. The towing
point aft often lies too far aft to be effective if these tugs
were to tow on a line at speed like a conventional tug.
Sometimes the towing point lies nearl y above the
thrusters aft.
Azimuth propeller systems in use are J apanese or
European made and can b e fi tte d with fixe d or
controllable pitch propellers in nozzles. In the case of
fixed pitch propellers, revolutions can be regulate d by
a speed modulating clutch, which controls the propeller
spe ed in a stepless manner from zero. Because the
thrusters are fitted under the stem the maximum draft
of reverse-tractor tugs is less than that of comparable
real tractor tugs. Hull draft is less than the hull dr aft of
a similar VS tractor tug, for reasons already explained
when discussing azimuth tractor tugs.
The propulsion units are located approxi mately 0 [
x LWL from aft. The pushing point and forward towing
point is at the forward part of the bow. Wheelhouse
construction is complet ely adju sted to the assisting
method. The manoeuvring station is designed in such a
way that the tug captain has an un obstructed view of
the forepart of the tug, the towline and the assisted ship
while seated behind the manoeuvring panel and the
assorted instrumentation and control handles around
tractor tugs do the same but are then heading in the
reverse direction. That's why these tugs are call ed
reverse-tractor tugs.
What has been mentioned about azimuth tractor tugs
with respect to manoeuvring also appli es to a large
extent to reverse-tractor tugs. They can be used for
towing on a line or for assisting at the ship's side as
shown in figure 2.33. They can easily change, when
towing over the tug's bow, to a pushing position at the
o 0
....... ......
. ~
1MHongKongSalvagt & Towage Co. Ltd
Figure 2.31 Reverse-tractor orpushertug 'LamTong', l.o.a.
26 1m, beam 85m, hp 431
C. H Caus & Sf11/.1 Limi.ttd, Qll'u.4a
Frgure 2.32 Thrusters ofCates' reome-traaor tugs
2.7.2 Propeller control, manoeuvring capabilities
and shiphandling
Propeller control with rever se tract or tugs is the same
as with azimuth tractor tugs. Because of the two azimuth
thrusters and the forward lying towing point reverse-
tractor tugs ar e highly manoeuvrable and safe working
tugs. They can tum on the 'spot and move sideways,
(see fig. 2.35) The astern power of these tugs is generally
about 10% less than ahead power, due to the shape of
the after hull. The name reverse-tractor tug implies that
the tugs operate similarly to tractor tugs but in the
opposite way. Tractor tugs always operate with the
towing point towards the assi sted ship and th e
pr opulsion uni ts away from the assisted ship. Reverse-
Figure 2.33 Assisting methods with a reverse-tractor tug
ship's side or for push-pull while berthing. A towing
winch is useful to enable the towing line always to be a
suitable length or to pick up any slack in the line.
When operating at the ships side these tugs are very
effective at speed.
Although this type of tug is also used for towing on
a line, as a forward tug it will not be effective in steering
ships having headway. The tug has to move astern and
its towing point lies at the forwardmost end of the tug,
giving a similar decrease in steering efficiency when
speed increases as with a tractor tug.
As a stern tug, reverse-tractor tugs are very suitable
for steering and speed control for ships at speed, whether
making use of the indirect or direct method. In the
indirect method reverse-tr act or tugs are in ge ner al
somewhat less effective in steering compared to a similar
VS tug in the same situation, but in the direct method
rever se-tractor tug s might be some mor e effective
because of the lesser draft The effectiveness of tugs is
dealt with in more detail in Chapter 4.
2.8 Azimuth Stern Drive (ASD) tugs
2.8.1 Design
Conventional tugs have certain advantages and so
do reverse-tractor tugs. ASD-tugs are nearly the same
as reverse-tractor tugs but are desigrled in such a way
that they can operate like a reverse-tractor tug as well
as a conventional tug, thus combining the advantages
Mas o ASD tem essa capacidade!
ShipyardDamen; 'I1le Netherltmds
Figure 2.34 ASD-tug type 3110. L.o.a. 307m, beam 706m, bpdepending oninstalled enginepower 37-57tons (ahead)
Note:: Underusuer body design ofthis ASD-tug type has been optimised during recent years, which includes a large skeg extendingfrom
approximately 0.3 x water lengthfrom aft till theftrefoot, withthe deepest part aft.
of both types. ASD-tugs have a towing winch forward
and a towing winch or towing hook aft. The aft towing
point is at a suitable location for towing on a line, viz.
035 - 04 x LWL from the stern. Like reverse-tractor
tugs, they have two azimuth propellers fitted under the
stern at roughly the same location, about 01 x LWL
from the stern.
The azimuth thrusters of ASD-tugs are made by the
same manufacturers as the azimuth thrusters of tractor
tugs. In addition, Holland Roer Propeller (HRP) can
be mentioned. Their maximum draft is less than that of
comparable tractor tugs, as mentioned when discussing
reverse-tractor tugs. They may be equipped with a
tunnel bow thruster, especially when used for offshore
operations. Tunnel bow thrusters are not very effective
when a tug has speed ahead, but are very useful for
position keeping. Interest in this typ e of tug is still
growing because of their manoeuvrability and multi-
purpose capabilities. The latest development is installing
an azimuth bow thruster. This has been the case with
the 4000 hp ASD-tug Z-Two of towing company Tugz
International LLC (USA). A retractable azimuth bow
thruster of approximately 1000 hp was installed, so
increasing the tug's manoeuvrability, its position keeping
abilities, maximum ballard pull ahead and astern and
maximum achievable sideways thrust.
2.8.2 Propeller control, manoeuvring capabilities
and ship handling .
Propeller control is the same as with azimuth tractor
tugs. The manoeuvring capabilities of free sailing ASD-
tugs and reverse-tractor tugs are shown in figure 2.35.
These tugs can deliver thrust in any direction, though
maximum stem thrust is some 5 to 10%lessthan on ahead.
Conventional tugs are effective as forward tugs
towing on a line, while reverse-tractor tugs are effective
aft and are also very suitable for push-pull operations.
ASD-tugs are very effective and suitable for all kinds of
shiphandling, owing to their ability to assist like both a
reverse-tractor tug and a conventional tug. When towing
forward on a line like a conventional tug (see figure
2.36, 1) the ASD-tug is very effective, although the risk
of girting exists. The risk is minimised when the tug is
equipped with a reliable quick release system.
As a stem tug on a line an ASD-tug works over the
bow (situation I and 2). This is effective for speed control
and course control to both sides. Effectiveness when
assisting in indir ect mode (situation 2) is generally
somewhat less when compared to VS tractor tugs, but
ASD-tugs may be somewhat more effective when direct
pulling (situation I), because of their relatively shallower
Figure 2.35
- ~
FTU sailing
of an
{ ~
1 .
~ I ~ ~
C2 : . ~
'lJ . lJ
<1Q.! . ~
Figure 2.36 Some assisting methods withanASD-tug
Like reverse-tractor tugs, ASD-tugs can also easily
change from towing on a line to push-pull without
releasing or changing the towline position (situation 3).
The forward ASD-tug should then assist like a reverse-
tr actor tug (sit uation 2). A bow thruster is, as for a
reverse-tractor tug, useful for bringing and keeping the
tug's bow in position at the ship's side. For thi s kind of
ope ration a towing winch is very useful in order to
control the length of the towline and to pick up the slack
when necessary. ASD-tugs are also very suitable for
assisting at the ship's side, because of their high reversing
power and their 360
steerable thrusters.
If an ASD-tug is equipped with an azimuth bow
thruster as mentioned in par. 2.8.1, then the manoeuvres
discussed can be execute d faster and more effective.
2.9 Tug performance
With r espect to tug performance it is goo d to
understand some basic principles. The first item deals
with performance at speed, which is discussed in detail
in Chapter 4, and the second mainly with ballard
pull conditions.
I) When the tug's propeller wash is more or less with
the direction of the water flow, the propeller is said
to be operating in positive flow conditions. This is,
for instance, when a bow tug is pulling a ship having
headway. When the tug' s propeller wash is more or
less against the direction of the water flow, it is said
to be operating in negative flow conditions. This is,
for instance, when a stem tug is braking a ship's speed.
Although greater thrust is produced when operating
in a negative flow, torque loadings on the propeller
and engine increase considerably, particularly with
increasing speed of the water flow. As the negative
flow may also result in an unstable flow trough the
propeller, it may produce fluctuating loads and
2) The line pull is essentially dependent on the square
of the propeller revolutions, and the engine power is
dependent on the cube of the revolutions.This means
that if propeller revolutions are doubled, the force
will increase with a factor of four , while the requir ed
engine power increases by a factor of eight. This
re lationship not only applies to ballard pull
conditions, but approximately to most tug operations
in port.
The efficiency of an open propeller - as already
mentioned - can be increased by fitting a nozzl e. Tugs
with the same BHP may have a different bollard pull
depending on whether the propellers are fitted in a
nozzle or no t. Also, th e type of prope ller fitted is
impor tant. To determine the towing force of a tug,
bollard pull tests are carried out at different engine
ratings, particularly at the manufacturer's recommended
continuous rating (MCR). Tests can also be carr ied out
at engine overload condi tions , for instance with a
maximum rating that can be maintained for a mi nimum
of one hour , and also with just one propeller working.
Figure2.38 !IJlnges inrelationshipbetween brakehorsepower
andbollardpullfOr different tug types
Relationshipbetween brake horse powerandbollardpull
fOr different propulsionsystems (see' text}
Brake HorsePower (BHP) is measured at theflywheel
ShaftHorsePower (SHP) is measured at thepropellershaft
Voith propeller ] ] 5 ]55
Open fixed pitch propeller ] 3 ] 8
Azimuth prope llers in
nozzles (ahead) ] 35 ] 8
Fixed/controllable pitch
propell ers in nozzles ] 5 20
[conve ntional tugs)
] 7 - 20
] 55- ]8
] 35 - 155
ASD tugs 1 ]5 - 135
VS tugs 10 - 115
Conventional twin screw
tugs with fixed/controllable 125 - 15
pitch propellors in nozzles
Propeller performanc e is also shown in so-called
thrust vector diagrams. Several kinds of these diagrams
exist, all of them giving different information. Thrust
vector di agrams give informati on on pr opuls io n
performance with zero speed in different directions,
which is also important information to-assess the tug's
assisting performance. An example of thru st vector
diagrams with an indication of thrust forces is given in
Classification societies issue regulations for ballard
pull tests. For instance, according to the rul es of Det
Norske Veritas (DNV) , the towline length should not
be less than 300 metr es, the water depth not less than
20 metres within a radius of 100metres around the tug,
wind speed not more than 5m/ sec and current not more
than one knot. An instrument giving a continuous read-
out and a recording instrument representing ballard pull
graphically as a functi on of time should, according to
DNV, be connected to the load cell. The figure certified
as the tug's continuous bollard pull will then be the
towing force recorded as being maintained without any
tendency to decline for a duration of not less than ten
Although conditions menti oned in the DNV
regulations do meet the requirements, unfortunately
several other regulations for ballard pull testing do not
sufficiently take into account the conditions required
for accurate and reliable ballard pull testing of modern
powerful tugs. In the report called 'Bollard Pull' (see
References) a new ballard pull trial code is proposed
that ensures obje ctive results and repeatability as well
as comparability for trial s performed at different
locations andlor with different tugs.
Bollard pull tests are carried out with engines ahe ad
and increasingly, especially for azimuth tugs, on astern.
Bollard pull tests should be carried out with sufficient
underkeel clearance, no current and waves and not too
much wind. The tug should pull straight ahead, or
straight astern when astern ballard pull is measured.
The towline should be of sufficient length to avoid the
tug's propeller wash having any influence on the towline
force. Bollard pull is measured by a device insert ed in
the towline. It can be a measuring device based on an
ordinary spring system, the 'clock', or an electronic
Figure 2.37 gives an indication of the ratio BHP -
Bollard Pull for different propeller configur ations. The
values shown in the tabl e are more or less the maximum
values. Because the relati on between bollard pull and
engine power depends on several factors, such as hull
form, nozzle typ e and propeller load, the values may
vary as shown in figure 2.38.
The relationship between engine power and bollard
pull vari es considerably with the extent of engine power
and in such a way that a conventional tug with 700 BHP
and a fixed propeller can attain two tons/IOO BHP, whilst
for conventional tugs with about 6000 BHP with nozzles,
towing force may even be less than 1.3 tons / 100 BHP.
figure 2.39. It gives propulsion performance at zero
speed for equal installed power. Side thrust and the
influence of int eraction of propellers on side thrust are
clearly shown in the diagram.
In this thrust vector diagram the ahead values given
are also more or less maximum values. The astern thrust
of ASD-tugs may vary between 90% and 95% of ahead
thrust. In the diagram the astern thrust of conve ntional
tugs with controllable pitch pr opellers is given. The
astern thrust of conventional tugs .with fixed pitch
pr opellers is higher and around 65%of maximum ahead
thrust, but it dep ends strongly on th e nozzle type,
propeller/rudder desigu and configuration. For example,
the Towmaster system may improve ahead thrust to even
more than 150 tons BP/IOO BHP, whil e a very good
.. f----
----..t: -
- .. - . -_'-- .- -(j"t . _.: -.. . t-
r ,


..... ..r. .. .; .. . .
, . . +-:
+ -l
1l0 'llo of .".,d 6" iol
, ,
, i
I -I

Figure2.39 ExampleofThrust v"ctor Diagrams
Legend a) Tractor tug: Voith h) Itaaor tug: azimuth: prapelkr in naw es c) Stemdrivetug: admuthpropeller in naaJ<s
d) Conuetuinoal tug: twin screw (cpp) nowes and bow thruster e) Conventional tug: twin screw (epp) with noa,les
These diagramsshow the achiruable thrust at zero spud in diffirent directions f or a numberof tugtypes with equal power installed. The
athieuable ahead thrust per 100 BHP installed power as shown in du diagrams is 1-1 tons for a VS tug, 1-4 tonsfor tugs withasimuth
thrustersand 15 tonsfor cont entional tugswith propellers in noWes
astern thrust of more than 70"10 of maximum ahead thrust
' an be achieved.
Note: Particularly for the mor e sideways thrust it is
ffi cult to say how accur ate the thrust vector diagrams
e. Simulated or calculated performance diagrams
ould therefor e, as far as possible, be validated in full
Ie trials,
Official full scale trials by Clyde Consultants UK
with a VS tug have shown that thrust in the more
athwartships direction may be much less than indicated
in the thrust vector diagram. The athwar tships thrust
measure d was less than 40% of the ahead thrust while
developing over 80% of the shaft horsepower.
On the other hand the athwartships thrust of tractor
tugs with azimuth thrusters can be higher tban indicated
when thrusters ar e set at a small angle to each other.
onal with
Ewrgrtm Marine Corp. (Taiwan) Ltd. tJrUi plwto:J Plug, Ltkko ITES
Figure 2.40 An assisting method asused in some USA ports. TIu container shipisassisted in the portofLosAngeles by twoconventional tugs. The
stern tug operates lih a rudder tug. The smaller photograph shows howthestern tug 'Pointe Vi'enle' ('Q1lven!ional tug, twinscrew, length 32m,
bollardpull ahead 465 tons, astern 28-5 tons) pushes the s h i p ~ stern towards theberth. The assisting method issimilar totha: used ina "'rge
number ofmst Pacifi<ports, such astkose in]apan, Taiwan andHong Kong. However, in those ports reverse-tractor tugs are used andoperate in the
push-pull mode while mooring
Chapter THREE
3.1 Introduction
discussed. In these ports tugs may render one of the
following services:
Tug assistance during a transit to or from a berth,
including assistance during mooring and unmooring
Tug assista nce mainly du ring mooring and
unmooring operati ons onl y.
To what extent tug assistance is considered to be
necessary depends on parti cular s of:
The ship - including type, size, dr aft, length/width
ratio, loadi ng co ndition, windage and
The berth and nearby manoeuvring area - including
type and size of berth, alignment, berthing space,
manoeuvring space near the berth, size of turning
circle, water depth,. influence of current and wind,
and availability of mooring boats.
The transit route - such as width, length and depth,
the bends in that route, maximum allowable speed,
traffic to be expected and whether moored ships have
to be passed, plus the influence of current, wind,
waves , shallow water and banks.
The important difference between tug assistance
during mooring/unmooring operations and during a
transit lies in the difference in ship's speed, which is a
maj or factor of importance for selecting the mo st
appropriate type of tug and method of tug assistance .
The vari ous methods of tug assistance employed in ports
around the world are reviewed in this chapter, including
the types of tugs used. In the next chapter the large
influence of ship's speed on the performance of the
differ ent tug types in relation to the assisting methods is
considered. Tug assistanc e as may be required in ports
is first addressed in more detail to obtain a better insight
int o what tugs should be capable of doing.
Tug assistance during a transit may comprise:
Passage through a river or channel.
Entry manoeuvres into a harbour or turning basin
from river, channel or sea.
Passage through narrow harbour basins.
Passing narrow bridges or locks.
Over the larger part of a transit route the speed of a
vessel is mostly within the range of about thr ee to six
knots and sometimes even higher. Atthese rel atively
low ship's speeds the influence of wind, current and
waves is more pronounced, affecting the required path
width adversely due to the larger drift angle. Steering
ability is less at lower speeds, and is adversely influenced
by wind and current. On the other hand, spee ds up to
six knots become rather high for effective tug assistance.
When port configuration is such that tugs are mainly
used for mooring and unmooring operations, then tug
assistance may comprise:
The approach phase towards turning basin or berth.
Turning in a turning basin.
Mooring and unmooring operations.
Contrary to transit speeds, ship's speed during these
manoeuvres is normally very low or zero. Although tugs
should be capable of controlling a ship's heading and
speed and compensating for the influence of wind and
current whil e approaching the turning circle or berth,
the influence of ship's spee d on the performance of
different tug types is less predominant.
Tugs assisting during transits, taking into account the
assisting method applied, should be capable of:
Giving steering assistance and controlling shiP's speed
Steering assistance whil e the ship has headway may
be necessary in narrow passages, when passing bridges
or negotiating sharp and!or narrowbends in the fairway,
river or channel, or when entering harbour or turning
basins under the varying influence of current and wind
conditions. Controlling ship' s heading and speed may
be required when approaching the harbour or turning
basin or when entering a lock.
Compensatingfor wind and current during transit while
a ship has speed
While transiting a channel, river or harbour basin a
ship under the influence of wind and!or current may
experience drift. This can be compensated for by
steering a drift angle or by a hi gher speed. A higher
speed is normally not possible in confined port areas
and due to the limited width in narr ow passages only
small drift angles are acceptable. Tug assistance is then
Tugs assisting ships during a transit normally also
assist during mooring/unmooring operations and the
final approach and departure manoeuvres as tugs used
for mooring/unmooring operations onl y. All these tugs
should, with the assistance method appli ed, be capable
of effectively: .
Air resistance
Higher the speed more directional stability it has
Controlling transverse speed towards a berth while
compensating for wind and current during mooring/
unmooring operations
Duri ng moo ring operations a ship's longitudin al
ground speed is practically zero and, when there is no
current, the ship has hardly any speed through the water.
The same applies when a ship has to be turned in a
turning basin. Mainly crosswise pushing and!or pulling
forces have to be applied by the tugs.
The tug assistance requi red as outlined above has
been somewhat simplified. In any particul ar case the
complete tug assistance procedure may consist more of
a combi nation of the separate aspects that have been
described . Envir onmental conditions have a lar ge
influence . For instance, when tugs are used mainly for
mo oring/unmooring, the influence of currents can be
such that although ship's ground speed is low, say two
knots, the speed through the water can be rather high.
With a bow curre nt of two knots, the speed through the
water is already four knots. Situations then become
comparable to tug assistance during a transit with the
higher ship's speeds and the associated requirements
for the assisting tugs.
Additional services such as mooring boats also affect
the extent and method of tug assistance. When no
mooring boats ar e available the tugs must be stationed
and operated in such a way that the ship cao be pushed
up to a berth.
It cao be concluded that the port configuration, the
influ ence of the environmental conditions and port
services have a prominent bearing on the requirements
for tugs aod the method of tug assistaoce, while ship'S
speed is an essential fact or.
3.2 Assisting methods
3.2.1 Assisting methods in use
The different ways ships are handled by tugs in
various areas and ports ar ound the world can indeed
mainly be traced back to large differ ences in local
circumstances. Methods of assistance that different tug
types are used for have alrea dy been mentioned bri efly
whil e discussing the various types.
Assessment of assisting methods in use all over the
world shows onl y two markedly differ ent methods:
Tugs towing on a line.
Tugs operating at a ship's side.
In Europeao ports towing on a line .is mainly used,
whil e in the USA and West Pacific ports tugs usually
operate "at a ship's side , although in differ ent ways
dep ending on th e type of tug used. Parti cularly in
Europe and in the USA there is a tendency towards the
use of more flexibl e types of tug. Thi s tendency has an
impact on the assisting methods used in Europe as well
as in the USA, which should be kept in mind when
reading thi s paragraph.
In some ports combinations of methods are used,
depending on the local situation. For specific situations
or circumstances, assisting methods are appli ed other
than those in normal use. So it is possible that in ports
wh ere tugs normally work alongside, th ey will
occasionally assist while towing on a line, for example
when narrow bridges have to be passed or when ships
have to enter a dry dock. Changing the assisting method
can b.ecome necessary at seas ide terminals, where tug
assistance is affected by wav es. If in calm weather it is
normal practice to assist alongside a vessel, it may be
considered safer to tow on a line when weather and
sea conditions deteriorate in order to avoid parting
towlines aod losing control of the vessel.
According to resear ch carried out in 1996 into
assisting methods in use in ports around the world, the
two methods are generally applied in the following ways,
assuming two tugs assist a vessel:
Tugsalongside during approachto the berth andpushing
or push-pull while mooring
This method is normall y used in the majority of ports
in the USA, Caoada, Australia, Malaysia, South Afri ca
and also at large oil terminals in Norway. While the
method used in these ports is similar, the type of tug
differs. The way tugs are secure d using this method
depends mainly on the type of tug. When using tugs
with omnidirectional propulsion they are made fast at
the forward and aft shoulder, generally with one bow
line from the tug in case of ASD/reverse-tractor tugs
and with a line from the tug's stern when tr actor tugs
are used (see figur e 3.1) .
In the USA tugs may be secured alongside a ship by
one, two or three lines, depending on the type of tug,

4 r::
Figure3.1 Tugs alongside at approach andpush-pull
while mooring/unmooring
Mas rebocador amarrado no o mtodo europeu?
No! O Metodo europeu
opera puxando e o
americano no costado
Figure 3.3 Alongside towing (USA)
Tug'l bow to S'tafbQ8Jd.
ship Win00 to port.
Tug's boWto port...nIp wtR
90 to starboard .
Figure 3.4 Forward tugsecured akmgside. Asshown the ship can
tum on the spot andwhen the tugapplitS hardport rudder and
engine ahead; the ship mootS crosswise. Ship'S aIlendpower tobe
equal totug's aheadpower
Tug's engil1l!l astern, ship's
speed will decrease.
Tug may be fastened with ona or two linea.
Figure 3.5 Alongsid< towing in Cape Town for a 'dead ship'
up to 700metres in kngth
Figure 3.6 Rudder orsteering tug
In some ports in the USA and in the Panama Canal
a stern tug is used as shown in figure 3.6. A rudder tug
can control a ship's spee d and a conventional tug can
steer a ship in the required direction by giving forward
thrust and applying starboard or port rudder. Other
types of tug such as VS tugs also use this method. A
similar metho d is some times used on Dutch inland
astern can be steered by a tug pushing at the ship's bow.
Pushing at the port side of the bow will give the ship a
swing to starboard, pushing at the starboard side of the
bow will give the ship a swing to port.
Figure 3.2 Conoentional USAtug secured withbacking, spring and
stern lines. Insituation 2 theshipmczesastem:Ifshipmoves ahead
the stemline will leadforward. Depending onthe assistance required
andlocal situation, ont, twoorthree lines may he required
the local situation an d the assistance re quired.
Conventional tugs normally operate with two or three
lines made fast, though in some cases only one line is
deemed sufficient (see figure 3.2). The forward line is a
tug's backing line to be made fast to the ship. The spring
may come from the forward winch through a tug's most
forward bow chock or fairlead. On other tugs both lines
may come from a winch. The third line, the stern line,
is nee ded when a tug has to work at right angles to a
ship to pr event the tug from falling alongside when the
ship has forward or astern movement thr ough the water,
or to compensate for the transverse effect of a tug' s
propeller when going astern . This line may come from
a winch or be fastened on a bitt. It also compensates for
the influence of the ship's propeller wash when the ship's
propeller is going astern. A forward as well as an aft tug
may be secured in this way.
In the USA other methods are also used by tugs
operating at the ship's side. When breasted or alongside
towing, also called 'on the hip' or ' hippe d up', tugs
forward andlor aft are lashed up solidly alongside a
vessel (see figure 3.3). This alongside towi ng is also
operate d in many other ports in the world, but mainly
when handling barges. When a tug is lashed up, tug
and ship wo rk lik e a twin screw shi p with two
independent rudders. When lashed up forward to a ship
with the tug's bow facing aft, the tug's engine and rudder
combined act like a kind of steerable bow thruste r (see
figure 3.4). A ship can.then turn on the spot or move
sideways. Alongside towing is also used in USA ports
to handle a 'dead ship', and occasionally applied in a
similar way in some other ports - for instance in the
port of Cape Town ships up to 100 metres in length are
sometimes handled as a 'dead ship' by a VS tug lashed
up alongside (see figur e 3.5).
Owing to their better manoeuvrability, twin screw
tugs or tugs with steerable nozzles normally operate with
fewer lines whe n assisting at a ship's side. Usually one
or two lines will then be sufficient.
In USA ports methods are also used that differ from
those discussed above. For example, in certain situations
tugs may work stem to stem with a vessel. A ship moving
Para o
no sair de
ON THE HIP -bacaas
, ,
Apart from the count ries mentioned above this
method is applied in some other ports around the world
either with reverse-tractor tugs or with tractor tugs.
Furthermore, conventional tugs are sometimes used for
this method, as is the case in some USA ports whereby
the stern tug ope rates like a rudder tug. While berthing
this tug stays close behind the ship's stern and pushes it
towards the berth on the tug' s bow line.
Figure 3.9 At approach, forward tuga/Qngside andstemtugon a
line; push-pull while berthing
tugs have to assist while towing on a line, for example
when assisting ships to ente r dry docks or floating docks.
Photo: Moran Towing, USA
Fz"gure3.7 Conventz"onal tugworking stem tostem
witha largepassengershz"p
Forward tug alongside and aft tug on a line during
approach towards a berth andpush-pull while mooring
Thi s method, which does not differ much from that
mentione d above, is mainly found in the ports of]apan,
Taiwan and Hong Kong (see figure 3.9). The after tug is
made fast by a tug' s bow line amidships or at th e
starboard or port quarter aft and follows the ship. The
forward tug is made fast at the forward shoulder, also
with a bow line. The after tug is used for steering and
speed control. During berthing manoeuvres the tugs
change over to the push-pull method. Tugs in these ports
are all of similar design, specifically constructe d for thi s
typ e of operation. They are rever se-tr actor tugs or
sometimes ASD -tugs, with 360' steerable thrusters
under the stern and made fast with a line from the tug's
forward winch. For certain specific manoeuvres these
Photo: A. Jv. &mpt
Figure 3.8 Conventional twinscrew tug 'Espera1l</l' (l.o.a. 30m,
beam 92m, bp ahead 401, bpastern 32t) operating as asteering tug in
the Panama Canal. The tug has fixed pitch propellers in no<.:dM with
three rudders behind andtwo fUlnking rudders infrontofeach noale
Tugs towing on a line during transit towards a berth and
while mooring
This is the assisting method used spe cifically in
Europe, most often when conventional tugs are assisting
vessels, but other typ es of. tugs are also used for this
method. The method is also applied in many other ports
of the wo rl d, es pecially in p ort s working with
conventional tugs (see figur e 3.10). In many of these
ports, ships are assisted by tugs during transit towards
the berth, e.g. on the river, from the river into the
harbour and thr ough harbour basins up to a berth. The
advant age of thi s method of assistance is that it can be
used in narrow waters. Thi s method is also used,
therefore, when passing narrowbridges or entering locks
and dr y-docks. In such situations the forward tug
sometimes has two towlines, so-called cross lines or gate
lines or both lines may come from a double winch at
the tug's bowas can be the case on some reverse-tractor
tugs. The tug can then react very qui ckly and only a
little manoeuvring space is required (see figure 3.11).
The typ e of tugs used were originally conventional
tugs with a small engine and a streamlined underwater
body. These were very effective when a ship had some
speed, by maki ng use of th e tu g' s mass and the
hydrodynamic forces on the tug' s hull. The increasing
size of ships required the introduction ofmore powerful
tugs. Modern conventional tugs are more manoeuvrable
and have more engine power and generally a smaller
the better the capabilities are applied to shiphandling.
The method is, for instance, practised in the Europoort
area of Rotterdam and at the port of Coteborg, where
mainly tractor reverse-tractor or ASDtugs are used.
- '
3 , "-
2 \
"----EJ J
' /
Al a Vert10.... speeod a
e.,_poslllon1 &2 for$pHd
eontrcl and Sl-w.g or10
J:0:llaon3 Ill!'st_rIo;.
Figure 3.72 Towing on a line at the approiUh
andpwh-pullwhik mooring
Figure3.10 Towingon a lineat tk approiUh andwhik mooring
Combinations ofthe above systems
In many ports various tug typ es are operated and to
assist larger ships more than two tugs are often requir ed.
Moreover, port entry or berthing manoeuvres can be
so complicated that not just one assistingmethod is used
but a combinati on. As an example of a combined
method the assisting method applied in an Australian
port for large bulk carriers entering the harbour is shown
in figure 3.13.
Figure3.11 Shipispassing a narrow bridgeanda omxentional tug
forward is assistingwithtwocrossed towlines. The tug can react
quickly and only little manoeuvring space is required
length/width ratio. These tugs are still effective when a
ship has speed. Due to the limitation in capabilities of
conventional tugs, new tug typ es have been introduced
such as tugs with azimuth propulsion. Also, VS tugs have '
for many years been used for towing on a line.
Figure 3.73 Combination of different assisting methods. Raxrse-
tractor tugs orASD-tugs awngside andona lineaft. A conventional
tugforward. A good configurationJor steering and, inparticular,
when only ashort stoppingdistance is available. Nearer the berth: one
ofthetugs alongside hastoshift totheother side topwh
When more than two tugs are used during berthing
the forward and aft tug will usually stay on the towing
line to control approach speed towards a berth while
the other tugs .push at the ship's side.
Tugs tawing on a line during approach towards a berth
andpush-pull while mooring
Thi s assisting method is becoming common practice
in ports where towing on a line is carri ed out with highl y
manoeuvrable tugs such as tractor, rever se-tractor or
ASD-tugs (see figur e 3.12).The more familiar pilots and
tug captains become with the capabilities of these tugs,
3.2.2 Relationship between type of tug and
assisting method
. As can be seen, there is a relationship between type
of tug and assisting method used. An essential factor is
whether a tug should be suitable to operate at a ship's
side, tow on a line, or both. For the attentive reader it
will also be clear that the most suitable tugs are not
always available or used.
In the ports ofJapan, Taiwan and Hong Kong there
is one assisting method and mainl y one type of tug.The
Canal do panama
reverse-tractor tug with its omnidirectional propulsion
at the stern is well suited to operate the assistingmethod
in use - on a line at a ship's stern and alongside at the
forward shoulder. ASD-tugs are, however, also used for
this inethod. It is anticipated that for these ports the
reverse-tractor tug is the type that will usuallybe ordered
in the future.
There is often a steady development towards a
particular tug type. For instance, twenty years ago there
were still several VS tugs in the Port of Yokohama. This
type has now almost totally been replaced by the
reverse-tractor type.
In Europe towing on a line is general practice,
Originallyjust with conventional tugs but now for many
years with VS tractor tugs too. Due to the limitations of
conventional tugs, various tug types with omni-
directional propulsion are increasingly being used,
resulting in a change to more flexible assisting methods.
This is the case in many other ports where originally
mainly conventional tugs were used.
In the USA tugs operate at a ship's side most of the
time, and for many years the conventional tug was
practically the only type to be found. The limited
manoeuvrability and low astern power of these tugs is
partly compensated for by the use of extra towlines,
installation of high engine power, specific propeller/
rudder configurations and/or specific assistingmethods.
In many ports of the USA and Canada there is a
tendency towards the use of more flexible tug types -
tractor tugs as well as reverse-tractor or A S D ~ t u g s .. As
in many ports elsewhere, conventional tugs will
nevertheless continue to be built in the future.
InAustralian, NewZealand and South African ports
tugs mainly operate at a ship's side. The majority of the
tug fleet already consists of those with omnidirectional
propulsion and new buildings will mainly comprise this
type. .
The increasing variation in tug types offers an
opportunity to select the .most suitable tug for a port,
taking into account port particulars, existing assisting
methods and future developments in port and shipping.
(see also section 4.3.4: Towing on a line compared
with operating at a ship's side).
3.3 Tug assistance in ice
3.3.1 Introduction
During winter months, shipping traffic to and from
several ports in the world is impeded by ice. Ports are
kept open as long as possible by icebreakers so that
ships can be berthed. When ice is not too thick, ships
themselves may be able to break it. In other cases an
icebreaker, if available, or tugs otherwise, are required
to do so. But all an icebreaker and tugs can do before a
ship's arrival is to break the ice. They cannot completely
remove ice from a berth, so certain procedures have to
be followed for berthing and unberthing. Depending
on a ship's size, strength and engine power, berth
location and ice conditions, ships may berth or unberth
with or without tug assistance. How tugs can be used
during berthing and unberthing in ice is considered in
this section. Further information about types of ice and
pilotage in ice can be found in books mentioned in the
Mooring in icy conditions is usually time consuming.
Each port has its own method of assistance in ice
conditions. The methods discussed here are based on
experience in one of the larger Baltic ports, where
shipping is impeded by ice for several months each year.
Methods in other ice ports may not differ greatly.
3.3.2 'IYPes of ship for manoeuvring in ice
As mentioned before, ships may berth or unberth in
ice with or without tug assistance. It depends on the
size of ships, strength and engine power, berth location
and ice conditions. Regardless of a ship's size, strength
and engine power, not all vessels can pass independently
through ice owing to their construction and/or loading
condition. A vessel operating in ice should be so
ballasted and trimmed that the propeller and rudder
are completely submerged. If this cannot be done and
the propeller blades are exposed above the water or
are just under the surface, the risk of damage due to
propellers striking the ice is greatly increased. Such
vessels and other vessels which may damage their
propellers or rudders when they have sternway and/or
when a ship's engine is working astern and light draft
vessels with bronze propellers which cannot be ballasted
or trimmed sufficiently require tug assistance.
With respect to berthing procedures ships can be
divided into two main groups:
Ships that can work with their engines on Dead Slow
on a spring line, without the danger of parting: e.g.
small vessels and ships with controllable pitch
Ships with large engines, high starting power and high
propeller thrust at minimum propeller revolutions,
not able to work at Dead Slow without parting the
spring line, even when a double line is used.
3.3.3 Preparation before berthing or unberthing
Before mooring, a berth should be prepared by an
icebreaker or by tugs when ice is too thick for the ship
itself. Ice should be broken near the berth and an
approach route towards the berth should be made. Prior
to departure ice should be broken around a ship and a
departure route should be made.
3.3.4 Tugs and tug assistance
The way ships are handl ed by tugs in ice conditions
depends largely on the type of tug. Tugs need to he
adapted to work in ice conditions. Those with light draft
and prope llers fitted in no zzles have very limited
capabilities, because whe n they are moving astern the
nozzles immediat ely fill with ice. Even with tug engines
on ahead ice can fill the nozzles. Wh en this happens
the tug should immediat ely be stopped and the nozzles
cleared by repeatedly reversing propeller thrust. That
is why this type of tug, and other tugs having prohl ems
in ice, should not tow on a line. The assisted vessel might
not react fast enough and/ or not be abl e to stop
immediately to avoid danger of collision or worse.
For these tugs in part icul ar, but also in general,
towing on a line in ice conditions is not wi thout risk, as
explained later. Towing on a line is only acceptable when
a ship is moving at a very controlled low speed on a
straight course or when taking easy bends in a channel
or river and during berthing or unb erthing operations.
Assistance in ice conditions during arrival and departur e
is then carried out mainl y by pushing and includes
br eaking the ice and swee ping away the ice from
between ship and berth. Without the help of tugs it is
almost impossi ble, in most cases, to remove ice from
between a ship and berth.
Whil e pr eparing a berth location, tugs often work
very close to the dockside. Some objects may stick out
or overhang, so tug sides should be clear of overhanging
fend ers, et c. Tugs should, of course, always be very
careful when working between a ship and the dockside.
With respect to tug towi ng wires or ropes, the y
should retain their strength in low temperatures but
should never be allowed int o icy wat er because it will
then be very hard to handle them.
The most reliable tugs in ice conditions are nonmal
ice strengthened conventional tugswith open propellers.
Twin screw tugs ar e pr eferable because of their better
manoeuvring properties.
Propellers and rudders may have ice protection and
nozzles may be fitted with protection bars or ice kni ves
fore and aft of the nozzle. Although nozzle construction
itself may be adapted to ice conditions, in particular
shallow draft tugs with nozzles are very limited in their
performance when operating in ice, due to the fact that
nozzles ar e often blocked with ice. This does not mean
however that thi s type of tug is worthless in those
conditions . They can create an effective surface stream
for moving ice in situations as explained later. Deep
draft tugs are more reliable during towing operations.
Based on experience gained in some of the larger
ice ports, the following tug types are not very suitable
for service in ice conditions:
VS tugs.
Tugs with pr opellers in nozzles.
In addition, full scale trials were carried out in 1984
in Finland with two ice-going tugs, one fitted with an
ope n pr opeller and the other with a steerable nozzle, to
investigate thei r performance in ice conditions. During
a twenty hour test the nozzle of the latter tug was blocked
twelve times and the tug had to be stopped each time.
Having said that, some tugs with azimuth propellers
in nozzles that have to operate in ice conditions have
been built recently e.g. for Finni sh and Danish owner s.
Performance in ice of tugs with azimuth thrusters in
nozzles can be improved by a proper design such as
adequate clearance between the hull and the thr usters
and by short reaction times for pitch changes or for
turning the thrusters adequately to get the ice out as
quickly as possible when they are bl ocked.
3.4.4 Berthing in ice
A berth should be approache d at a small angle. As
soon as the forward spring is secured the engine should
be set to Dead Slow Ahead. Propeller revolutions or
pr opeller pitch should be incr eased gradually, j us t
avoi ding breaki ng the spri ng. It is best to double the
spring and the rudder should be used to swing the stern
of a vessel in and out and away from the dockside. Th e
water flow caused by the propeller will force ice out
from between the ship and the dockside and wash it
away astern of the ship. The engine should be kept
runninguntil the propeller wash has swept away all loose
ice. The ship can then be berthed. In this way, provided
it is weak ice, it can be removed completely from
between the ship and berth. In the case of dense and
thick ice the assistance of tugs is requi red.
In some cases berth location could be such that a
berth can be approached parallel to the dock (see figure
3.14)_In this case ice may be pushed away by the bow.
If there is unbroken ice on the starb oard side it will
push the ship towards the berth and pr event her
swinging out. Care should be taken to avoid any ice
getting between ship and dock. It may be necessary to
Figure 3.14 Shipapproad!es the herth nearly parallel to tk dock. Ice
ispushedaway by tk how. TMship ;, pressed towards tlu herth by
unlrrokeniceonthe starboardside
move the ship forward and astern a few times to move
the ice out or to press the ice together between ship and
dock. This can only be done in the case of young and
weak ice.
Sometimes, approaching parallel to the dock may
not be possible due to the presence oflarge pans of ice
or dense, thick ice directly in the ship's track. Other
methods should then be adop ted such as the use of tugs.
Several procedures for the use of tugs in ice during an
approach towards a berth while berthing or unberthing
are now considered.
In general, while approaching a berth in ice, the bow
of the vessel should be kept as close as possible to the
berth with the assistance of a tug pushing at the bow
(see figure 3.15A, B). Th e ice between the bow and the
dock will tend to push the bow aside. After the forward
spring has been secured the tug can break the ice outside
the ship and then wash the ice away from between the
ship and the dock (see figure 3. 15C, D). The ship itself
can swing its stern in and out by rudder action and use
of the engine, as explained.
Figure 3.75 Tugassistance in ice duringapproach to the berth
Sweeping ice away from round the bow area can
also be done effectively by a tug just ahea d of the ship
(seefigure 3.16). With its stern directed towards the ship's
bow, the tug can sweep ice away by putting its engines
ahead. In this case the ship should not pass any head
lines, which would prevent the tug working in this way.
Since ice at the bow is usually squeezed between
bow and dock, getting it out is very difficult, Good results
can be achieved when there are 20-30 metres of free
berth ahead of a ship's planned position. The ship should
approach its berth ahead of th e planned position
(position I of figure 3.17) . Breaking ice at the out er side
of the ship and sweeping ice away from between the
ship and dock are then carried out. The ship can then
be brought alongside and moved astern while the tug is
constantly pushing the bow towards the dock.
Figure 3.76 Tug sweeping ice awayfrom between ship anddock
. - ---- .,.. .
Figure3. 77 Mooring in icewhen some 30mfreeoerth is
availahlt infron t of the bowposition
Figure 3.t8 Combination oftugandbow thruster whilt mooring
Abowthruster can also be very effective in sweeping
ice away (see figure 3.18). A ship should approach the
berth at an angle. After the forward springs and head
lines are ashore, the stern is taken as far as possible out
by rudder and ship's engi ne. The bow thruster should
then be set to take the bow off in order to create a water
flow between ship and dock. The bow should be held
to the dockside by the ship's ropes and by the pushing
tug. Th e water flow of the bow thruster will sweep ice
away from between the ship and dock.
Another method by which good results are obtained
is moving the ship astern towards the berth to moor
with its starboard side alongside (see figure 3.19). After
approaching the berth at a smal l angle and securing the
back spring, the engine should be set for astern. Th e
propeller stream is normally very strong and will move
the ice be tween the ship and dock quickly in the
direction of the bow. The bow should be swung in and
out by tug or bow thruster. Thi s method is used and
suitable for large r vessels, as prop eller thrust astern is
lower than on ahead and consequently the tension in
the spring line(s) will be less.
Figure 3.19 Good results when approaching the berth altern
and mooringstarboard side alongside
These be rthing pr ocedures wher eby a ship uses
engine and spring lines is not suitable for ships with
large engines and high starting power and!or high power
on Dead Slow. All operations in ice with these ships are
normally carried out by tugs. After approaching the
berth at a small angle, a spring line and head line are
made fast forward (see figure 3.20). One stern tug on a
line is used to take the stern from the berth and a second
tug is used for pushing the stern towards the berth. Thi s
tug will also clear the ice. Propeller wash is not used.
Berthing will, in general, take a long time.
Figure 3.20 1Ug assistance when mooring in ice with
ships and powerful engines
In some cases, when possible.ft is better to appr oach
the berth astern with a stern tug towing on a line (see
figure 3.21). By giving short ' kicks ahead' on the ship's
engine to stop the vessel, ice will be pushed away from
the dock in the dir ection of ship's movement
Figure 3.27 Ship approachingtheberth altern. OMaft tug secured.
Occasional bursts ahead onthe engine blow away the ice
With large ships, good results in removing ice from
between ship and berth are someti mes obtained with
two tugs working stem to stem. These two tugs, moving
togethe r forward and astern between the ship and berth,
sweep ice away. The safety of these tugs is ensured by
an additional three tugs keeping the ship in position as
shown in figure 3.22. Obviously, a large number of tugs
is required in this case.
Figure3.22 Two tugs stem to sumdearing ice betwem shipand
berthwhit. ather tugs keep theshipin position
3.4.5 . Unberthing in ice
Before unberthing, tugs shoul d br eak ice around the
ship and in areas of about 2040 metres distance from
the bow and stern.
Some vessels can be taken off the berth by the stern
with the assistance of a stem tug towing on a line (see
figur e 3.23). At the bow the ice between bow and dock
will pr event the ship from coming too close to the berth.
In addition, the stem tug "ill drift the ice between the
ship and dock, which again prevents the ship from
coming too close to the dock when moving astern.
Sometimes it may be necessary to unberth the ship
bow first (see figure 3.24). A second tug may then be
needed to br eak ice near the stern and to prevent the
stern from coming too close to the berth. Someti mes
even the assistance of a third tug may be requir ed to
crush ice at the outer side of the ship.
Figure 3.23 Ship ofmedium sb.e departing. Before departure tugs
havebroken ice around he.' inareas some 20-4Omfrom bowandstem
Figure3.24 Unmooring howfirst. A stem tugis required when ice
near the stemneeds tohe hroken andwhen the stern may touchthe
berth when thsbow ispulled off Sometimes a third tugis required to
break ice alongside the vessel
When a departing ship has to be swung around after
being unberthed this should be carried out in a pr epared
area or channel in the ice. Thi s area or channel should
b e prepar ed by large tugs or icebreakers pri or to
Figure 3.25 Channel through the ice prepared by ice breakers or
strong tugs. A ship moving astern through the iceis safis t. M en the
stern tngisstopped in orby ice theship can immediately be stoppedby
departur e. Tugs handling the ship can assist the ship in
swinging and break ice when necessary.
3.4.6 Safety of tugs in ice
Tugs are at great risk when towing on a line through
a channel in ice. As previously mentioned, when a tug
has to stop due to nozzle blockage with ice, the ship
should also be stopped immedi ately. The tug may also
enter dens e ice and consequently lose speed very
quickly. The assisted ship, therefore, should always use
engines with utmost care. Even the n the safety of the
tug is still at risk. It is for these reasons that the safest
method of towing on a line is moving a ship astern (see
figure 3.25). The engine should at all times be ready to
go ahead. When necessary, the ship can be stopped
imme diately.
Further practical and useful information regar ding
navigating and manoeuvring in ice can be found in
' Marine Towing in Ice-cover ed Waters' by Peter E.
Dunderdal e and in ' Ice Seamanship' by George Q
Parnell (see References).
Chapter FOUR
4.1 Introduction
Now THAT VARIOUS ASSISTING ~ l E T H O D S and types of tug
have been introduced 10 the reader the more practical
subject - effective shiphandhngwith tugs - is addressed.
When a ship is stopped in the water, meaning she
has no speed through the water, the effect of, let us say,
a 30 tons bp tug is the same irr espective of type ,
assuming that the tug operates in the most effective way.
Differences in tug performance mainly become apparent
when a ship has spee d through the water. Th e emphasis
in thi s chapter, therefore, is on tug performance while
assisting ships under way.
When considering effective shiphandling with tugs
there are, apart from the essential issue of bollard pull,
two very imp ortant aspects to be considered:
Correct tug positioning.
The right type of tug.
Differ ent tug operating positions are considered in
relation to their effect on a ship. The performance of
different tug types are discussed, taking into account
both the vari ous assisting methods and the different tug
positions relative to the ship. With respect to type of
tug, specific aspects of various tug types are necessarily
discussed in a fairly general way, since ther e are so many
variations in design within each type. Reviewing them
all individually goes far beyond the scope of this book.
4.2 Basic pr inciples and definitions
For a good understanding of tug performance and
shiphandling with tugs some basic principl es and
definitions are first considered. These include the pivot
point, towi ng point, pushing point and lateral centr e of
pressure, direct and indirect towing and tug stability.
4.2.1 Pivot p oint
The pivot point is an imaginary floating point,
situated somewhe re in the verti cal plane through stem
and stern, around which a vessel turns wlren forced into
a directional change. The form of the submerged body,
rud der size and type, trim, underkeel clearance and
direction of movement all affect the position of the pivot
point of a vessel. The exact location of the pivot point
is ther efore not stationary but variable.
For effective tug assistance the location of the pivot
point of the vessel to be assisted is very important. It
affects the choice of operating positions for the assisting
tugs. When a ship is dead in the water and forward thrust
is applied with port or starboard rudder, the pivot point
lies far forward. As soon as a ship gathers speed the
pivot poin t moves aft. Once a ship is in a stea dy turn
with rudder hard over the pivot point settles in a position
approximately one third of the ship's length from the
bow (see figure 4.IA).
Figure 4.1 Location of 1Mpivotpoint for aship at speed
SituationA: Ship turning with starboard rudder. The pivotpoint lies
between howand midships
SituationB: A tug ir pushingforward. Althaughthepivot point lies
further aft, theeffidforwardis la becauseof theopposing
hydrodynamuforces also centredforward. When stasboard rudder ir
also applied thepivotpoint movesfUrlkrforward
Situation C: A tugir pushing aft. The Iaural resistanceforward
contributes to1Mswing. Thepivotpoint liesfarforward,partieu"'rly
when starboard rudder ir also applied
For a good understanding, figure 4.1 requir es a little
expl anation . In this figure three ships ar e shown with
differ ent forces working on the ships. A force applied
to a ship, for instance a tug force or a rudder force,
gives a transverse force and a turning moment, resulting
in a lateral velocity and a rate of turn. The arr ow V is
the direction ship's centre of gravity (G) may move as a
result of the lateral velocity caused by the rudder force
or tug force, and the forward velocity of the ship. The
lat eral movement of th e ship is oppos ed by th e
hydrodynamic forces centred forward on the ship
having headway, which also creates a turning moment.
Thi s turning moment opposes (situation B) or assists
(situation C) the turning moments created by the tugs.
The location of the pivot point (PPj results from the
motio n of th e ship cansed by the vari ou s forces
mentioned working on the ship.
A ship moving astern has its pivot point somewhere
between stern and midships when turning, e.g. by use
of a bow thruster. The exact position of the pivot point,
therefore, is different for each individual ship and ship
moderate speed ahead. In addition, the tug's underwater
resistance counteracts the turn.
Other forces of externalorigin that affect the position
of the pivot point ar e wind and current. In port areas,
wind and current may var y in speed and direction
depending on locati on. Relative wind and curr ent
directi ons may also vary during a transit to or from a
berth due to changes in a ship's heading. For instance,
when entering a harbour basin from a river the current
gradually decreases but als o changes in rel ative
direction. As a result, the influence of wind and current
on a ship fluctuate . Dep ending on the angl e of attack
and point of appli cation, wind and cur rent may decrease
or 'increase the rate of turn, moving the pivot point
furth er forward or aft, or may have onl y a sideways
A ship dead in the water (see figure 4.2A) with one
tug pushing (or pulling) forward and one with the same
bollard pull, pushing (or pulling) aft, pivots around its
midships when on even keel. For the same size of vessel
and same conditi ons, rate of turn depends on the tug's
bollard pull and on the lever arms between tugs. The
longer the lever arm the larger the turning effect of the
tugs. When a tug pushes at the bow or stern of a ship
that is stopped in the water, the ship turns around a
point locat ed approximately a shi p's width from the
stern or bow respectively (see figure 4.2B).
When a tug starts pushing a ship underway at a
position aft, the pivot point shifts forward. The pushing
force has a long lever arm and the lateral resistance
forward then contributes to the swing (see figur e 4.1C).
It is evident that the further forward and/ or aft of the
pivot poi nt that tug forces are exerted on a ship, the
longer the lever arm and hence the more effective the
assistance will be.
It should however be noti ced that the effect of the
forward tug differs with ship's hull form, dr aft and trim.
For conventional ship forms, on even keel in deep or
shallow water, the opposing hydrodynamic force is
indeed centre d forward, as menti oned in 'Performanc e
and effectiveness of omni-direc tional stern drive tugs'
(see References). When, for instance, taking a tanker in
b all ast an d trimmed by the stern, the opposing
hydrodynamic force is centred much more aft, resulting
in a much larger effect of the pushing tug forward.
The pi vot point also changes position when, in
addition to rudder for ce, othe r forces such as bow
thruster or push/pull forces from an external origin, such
as tugs, are appli ed. When, in order to assist a ship under
speed and in a turn, a tug starts pushing at the bow in
the direction of the turn, the pivot point moves aft. This
is because the ship tends to turn around a point which
lies further aft than when only rudder force is applied.
Although the lever arm of tug force would be rather
long the effect is not very pronounced, so there is
another aspect to be considered. As explained earlier,
a tug pushing for ward tri es to move the bow to
starboard, say. This creates an opposing hydrodynamic
force, also centred forward (see figure 4.1B). The
hydrodynamic moment counteracts the turning moment
exercised by the tug. The effect of the pushing tug is
very small. This is also one of the reasons why the effect
of a bow thruster is small on a ship making slow to
Turning diameter is independent of ship's spee d as
long as engine pr opeller revoluti ons or propeller pi tch
match a ship' s spee d but is dependent on rudder angle
applied. When in shallow water, such as in most port
areas, turning diameter increases considerably, due to
the larger hydrodynamic forces oppos ing the turn .
Beamy full bodied ships have a smaller turning
diameter and a further aft pivot point than slender ships.
When a ship is down by the head turning diameter is
also less and the pivot point lies further aft than when
on an even keel.
4.2.2 Towing point, pushing point and lateral
centre of pressure. Direct towing and
indirect towing. Skegs
Figure 4.2 Location of the pivotpointinaship with$0 speed
Situation A: Tugsof equal powerpushinglpullingforward andaft.
The pivotpoint lies amidships. The tugs towing on a line have a
longer lever andso a larger effict
SituationB: Forward tugpushing; the pivot point lies far aft.
When an aftertugispushing, thepivotpoint lies farforward
The relative positions of the centres of thr ee different
resultant forces ar e mainly respon sible for a tug' s
performance. These are centre of thrust, the tow or
pushing point and the lateral centre of pressure of the
in coming water flow. In particul ar, th e mutual
relationships between towing or pushing point, centre
Com grande boca
Tem a ver com a estabilidade direcional
of thrust and centre of pressure affect not onl y the
effectiveness but also the safety of a tug.
The towingpoint
. For tugs towing on a line, the towing hook or towing
"linch is not necessarily the tov..i ng point. The towing
poi nt is that point from where the line goes in a straight
line from the tug towards the ship. For tugs pushing at a
ship's side the contact point or pushing point is of
impor tance. Before discussing the cap abiliti es and
limitations of different tug types the towing and pushing
point in relation to the location of propulsion and centre
of pressure are considered.
The lateral centre ofpressure
The lateral centre of pressure is a non stationary
point. Its location depends on the underwater hull form
including appendages such as rudder and propellers,
on the trim of the tug and the angl e of attack of the
incoming water flow. The influ enc e of rudder and
propellers on the location of the centre of pressure seems
to be rather high.
Tractor tugs and especially VS tugs have a large skeg
aft, resulting in an aft lying location of the centre of
Incoming water flow exerts a force on the tug. The
point of application of this force is the lateral centre of
pressure. The dir ection and magnitude of the for ce
depends on the underwater lateral plane and shape, the
angle of attack, the under keel clearance and on the
speed squared. Speed, therefore, is a dominant factor.
The exact location of the lateral centre of pr essure
and the magnitude and dir ecti on of the resultant force
created by the incoming water flow for different angles
of attack and speeds can best be det ermin ed in a towing
tank. The locations of the centre of pr essure mentioned
l ater are merel y an indicati on and are based on
observations and information e.g. from Voith.
Wh en water flow towards a tug comes from abeam,
caused either by crosswise movement of a tug through
the water or by a current at right angles, the cent re of
pressure generally lies behind midships in a positi on
about 03 to 04 x LW1. from aft. For conventional tugs
it is probably more often in the vicinity of 03 x LW1.
from aft and for tractor tugs closer to 04 x 1.WL from
aft. Reverse-tractor tugs and ASDtugs may have a more
forward lyi ng centre of pr essure, depending on the hull
When a tug turns with its bow into the direction of
wate r flow, the centre of pressure moves forward, The
smaller the angle between incoming water flowand tug' s
heading the more forward the centre of pressure lies.
For conventi onal and tractor tugs the centre of pressur e
does not generally move forward of amidships (0.5 x
1.W1.). Reverse-tract or tugs and ASD-tugs may
experience a position of centre of pressure forward of
midships with a forward incoming water flow. When a
tug is turnIng with the stem into the water flowthe centre
of pressure moves aft and with an acute angle of
incoming water flow will lie far aft.
Figure 4.3 shows a tug moving ahead, towing on a
line, assisting a ship under speed. The resultant for ce
created by incoming water flow is force F, assumed to
be centred approximately near ami dships . Force F can
be r esolved into lift force 1. and drag force D,
comparable with the lift and dr ag forces on rudders or
aeroplane wings. Lift force 1. gives an additi onal force
on the towline and drag force D has to be overcome by
the tug' s thrust. Towing point T lies a little behind the
ce ntre of pressure. Th e for ce in th e towline in
combination with force L creates a counte r-clockwise
turning moment.
F "" Resultant hydrodynunic force, on tugbulland appendages
L = Lift Icece
D = Drag force
C = Lateral centre of pressure
T - Towing point
Ps = Location of propulsionat stem
Pt ...Locencn of propulsionfot ltact ,n tuV
Figure 4.3 Forces createdonassistingtug, moving ahead
Consider two locations of propulsion -
position Ps for stern driven tugs, a conventional
tug for example, and position Pt for tractor tugs.
The smaller the distance between T and C the
smaller is the turning moment. Thus less steering
power, by eit her rudder defl ecti on or
omnidirectional pr op ellers, is ne ede d t o
counteract that turning moment. Consequently,
more engine power is avai lable for towing. If
propulsion is located aft at Ps, starboard rudder
is needed, giving a little more drag but also an
additi onal force in the towline. If propulsion is
located forward (Pt) then sideways steering power
is ne eded, but in the opposite dir ection. This
consequently decreases the towline force.
With increasing speed, force F increases
and consequently lift force 1.. The higher the
sp eed th e mor e steer ing effor t is needed.
Therefore, the higher the speed the larger the
, F
Figure 4.4 Forces createdonassisting tug; moving astern
difference in towline forces between a conventional and
tractor tug. As a forward tug the tractor tug is more
effective if it is possible to operate stern first.
Towline forces also create list. Considering the
direction of steering forces it is evident that with the
propulsion located in position Ps the sideways steering
forces increase the tug's list, while with propulsion
located in Pt steering forces counteract the list caused
by the towline force. When an ASD-tug is operating
like a conventional tug its high steering forces result in
larger heeling forces. This is also due to the fact that the
centre of pressure of this tug type lies generally
somewhat further forward, resulting in a larger turning
moment to overcome. The larger heeling moment is
more or less compensated for by 'the large beam of this
tug type .
Although the towline position discussed here is the
most effective for both conventional and tractor tugs
when operating as a forward tug on a line, the towing
point on tractor tugs is located further aft for safety
reasons and for better performance as stern tug. This is
explained later. The consequence of the further aft
towing point on a tractor tug is an even less effective
tug as forward tug. More sideways steering power is
needed to counteract the larger anticlockwise turning
moment, resulting in a further decrease in towline force.
By giving more engine power in order to achieve the
same towline force as a conventional tugwould exert,
the tug comes more in line with the towline, resulting
in higher turning moment and drag force to be
overcome. At higher speeds drag force may become so
large that a tug is unable to react SUfficiently to the force .
and swings around.
The consequence is that when working forward a
conventional tug is more effective when towing on a
line than a tractor tug. The better the omnidirectional
thrust performance of a tractor tug the more effective it
will be. Reducing the underwater resistance of a tractor
tug would increase its effectiveness as a forward
tug, However, this would have consequences
for its effectiveness as stern tug when operating
.in the indirect mode whereby use is made of
the hydrodynamic forces on the tug ' s hull.
Ther efore a compromise has often to be found
for the location of the towing point and also
for the underwater profile of a tug.
In figur e 4.4 th e tu g is moving astern
through the water. The centre of pressur e lies
much furth er aft e. g. at l ocation C for
conventi onal tugs as well as for tractor tugs.
Tractor tugs are considered first. The towing
point T is very dangerous, not only because of
the large heeling moment caused by the
hydrodynamic force on the tug' s hull, but also
because large crosswise steering forc es (at Pt)
have to be exerted by the tug in order to
compensate for the turning moment created by the
incoming water flow, giving additional forc es in the
towline and additional heeling forces. At higher speeds
and/or too large angl es of attack of incoming water flow
the resulting heeling forces may cause capsizing of the
tug. The large vertical distance between the propulsion
units and towing point also contributes to the high
he eling moment. Therefore although towline forces are
high for tractor tugs it is much safer to locate the towing
point aft at a small di stance abaft C, the centre of
pressure for smaller angles of attack. (In VS tractor tugs
the towing point lies generally just above the middle of ,
the skeg.) The tug then comes in line with the towline
when its engine s are stopped and very little steering
power is needed to keep the tug in the most effective
position when the indirect towing method is applied.
Neither do conventional tugs operate as shown in
figure 4.4 because with higher speeds it is almost
impossible to steer the tug safely and is therefore very
dangerous. If the angle of attack increases, the increase
in towline forces might cause the tug to capsize. At very
low speeds conventional tugs often operat e broadside,
for instance as a forward tug steering a ship whi ch is
moving astern or as a stem tug steering a ship moving
ahead. Especially on singl e screw tugs, this can only be
done with a gob rope or by passing the towline through
a fairlead situated aft, as is the case on some cornbi-
tugs. The gob rope system is dealt with in more detail
in Chapter 7. Using a gob rope the towing point can be
shifted to a position somewhere between the after end
of the tug and the towing bitt or winch. By shifting the
towing point from TI to T2 (see figure 4.5), the tug can
stay broadside on and steer the ship by moving ahead
or astern using the tug' s engine. By shifting the towing
point to a position at the stern of the tug, the tug can be
pulled astern by a vessel without the danger of capsizing.
The tug can then use its engin e to control the ship' s
speed. Twin screw tugs often use the propellers instead
of a gob rope to keep the tug in the position as indicated
in figure 4.5.
Heel inclinao
FrguTt 4.5 Tug WIlTking onagob rope
Ship has a"try lowspeedahead: Tug can steer the .,,,,1bygoing ahead
orastern. on the engine. Corwentional twinSCTtW tugs don't always need a
gob rope; they can mate a (l)Uple bythe prop,llm tostay broadside
Direct and indirect towing method
The direct and indirect towing methods are
explained in figure 4.8 (overleaf). P is the location of
the propulsion, C of the centre of pressure and T is the
towing point.
The direct towing method is carried out by an after
tug on a line at low ship speeds . The tug pulls in the
required direction, either to give steering assistance and!
or to control the ship's speed. Tractor tugs assist with
their stem directed towards the sterJof the assisted ship
and ASD/reverse-tractor types of tug assist with their
bow towards the stem. Whether tractor tugs or ASDI
reverse-tractor tugs are more effective in steering control
depends on the relation between the distance P'T and
CoT, the tug's engine power and thrust performance in
the pulling direction, but also on the tug's underwater
plane. The smaller the distance CT in relation to PT the
better the tug's performance in the direct towing mode.
The indirect towing method is applied by an after
tug at speeds higher than five to six knots. With the
indirect towing method, the tug makes use of the
hydrodynamic forces created by incoming water flow
on the tug's skeg and/or underwater body. The aft lying
towing point of the tractor tug, and consequently the
small distance between towing point (T) and centre of
pressure (C), implies that only a little crosswise steering
power of a tug is needed to keep the tug in the most
effective position to exert the highest steering forces to
the assisted ship.
The ASD-tug/reverse-tractor tug has a larger
distance between the towing point (T) and centre of
pressure (C). Consequently, more crosswise power is
needed to keep the tug in the most effective position,
thus decreasing towline force.
In the indirect towing mode tugs can give high initial
steering forces to a ship underway at speed, as can be
seen in some performance diagrams in section 4.3.2.
As soon as a ship starts turning she gets a drift angle
and speed of ship's stem, being at the outside of the
tum, increases initially, so tug's speed has to increase,
resulting in even higher steering forces. The indirect
towing method is further dealt with in
Chapter 9 - Escorting.
From this brief explanation of direct and indirect
towing it is apparent that the locations of the centre of
pressure and towing point are very critical. A more
forward lying towing point in a tractor tug results in
higher towline forces, but the safety of operations and
Plwro: SJutland Islo.nd.r Caunci1
FiguTt 4.6 Swivel fairlead on the afier endofa tug's d,,*
for the gob rope
Figur 4.7 The 11Jrg' fairlead isthe oft lying towingpoint
on a VStractor tug
a) The skeg on tractor tugs. This type of skeg provides
better course stability when free-sailing ahead (with
skeg aft). It generates additional towing forces when
operating as stern tug in the indirect towing mode
because it increas es the tug' s lateral underwater area
and brings the centre of pr essure more aft, closer to
the towing point. The skeg may have a specific form
to generate the highest possible lift forces.
b) An aft skeg on tugs not being tractor tugs: A vertical
fin attache d to the tug' s underwater hull in the
centreline of the after section at some distance before
As can be seen a skeg may be effective for one task,
but ineffective for other tasks. With regard to skegs it
should therefore be well cons idered what is expected
from a tug. Ther e is a large variety of skegs. Mainly the
following skegs can be found on tugs, of which some
have already been mentioned when discussing tug
types :
S1cgs and their ejfed
The tug' s underwater fonn should be such that
the tug can perform in the best possible way. Skegs
can contribute to a tug' s perfonnance and tugs are
often designed with some sort of skeg.
A pure harbour tug should in general be most
effective at ship speeds below six to seven knots,
when the assisted ship is slowing down and has to
stop its mai n engine, losing its controllability to a
lar ge extent and during turning, berthing and
unberthing operations when hardly any use can
be made of the ship's own manoeuvring devices,
except for bow and stern thrusters (see paragraph
5.1). Such a har bour tug should be able to apply
the high est possible towing forces in all the
required directions and with a short response time.
High pushing forces may be needed with the tug
operating at right angles to the ship still having
speed. A low underwater resistance is therefore
bulbous bow, can be found on a number of ASD-
tugs, which also brings the centre of pressure more
forward .
When pushing at a ship' s side, the larger the
distance between the pr opul sion unit(s) (P) and
the pushing point (Pu) in relation to the distance
between the centre of pr essure (C)and the pushing
poi nt (Pu), the bett er the tug can work at right
angles (see figure 4.17).
On the other hand, a tug may have to operate at
higher speeds, and escorting of ships may be one of the
tug tasks. Then a well designed under water body, which
may include a skeg, plays an important role in generating
high towing forces in the indi rect mode by making use
of the hydrodynamic forces working on the tug's hull.

I I ,
I I I i
\)' ~ I I .
~ "
~ , I '
IT-- ..., J
. --.:...1_
. ~
- ,/
-- ::==_.
- -=:::::
Figure 4.8 Direct andindirect towing methods

: I l I i ........,;;:.-
"' ''J. I I I
J.l I
J. I _
!'. ~ - -
'.--- --
Top: Direct TowingMetJwd - A: Tractor tug
B: ASDIReverse-tractortug
Position 1.' Steeringand retarding Position 2: Retarding
i IIi r I I iI'
~ H H
Bottom: Indirect TowingMetlwd - A: Tractor tug
B: ASDIRevtrsetraclor tug
Position 7: Steering and retarding Position 2: Retarding
as a result performance decreases. A more forward lying
centre of pressure in ASD/reverse-tractor tugs does not
affect tug,safety but increases the tug's performance as
a stern tug. To minimise steering effort in keeping a VS
tug in line with an escorted vessel when no assistance is
required, a second towing point is installed at the after
end of some VS tugs, which pins the tug under the
towline and reduces the steering effort required. When
steering assistance is,:required then the original towing
point more forward' is used again, whi ch should be
possible without releasing th.e towline.
In ASD-tugs, specific designs are used to bring the
centre of pressure more forward e.g. in the USA ASD-
tug Kinsman Hawk. This tug is designed with a deep
forefoot which results in a more forward position of the
centre of pressure and the stern is cut away significantly
to provide a clean flow to the azimuth propellers and to
push the tug' s centre of pressure forward as well.
Forward skegs at the bow, or in combination with a
Photo:]M. Voith GmbH, Gmruzny
Figure 4.9 VStugoperating inthe indirect towing mode
the propellers, to give the tug a better course stability
when free-sailing ahead.
c} A flat vertical skeg, or box keel, in the centreline of
several ASD-tugs and reverse-tractor tugs, which
extends for some distance before the propellers to
the forefoot. It provides better course stability when
free-sailingahead and often, depending on skeg fonn,
particularly astern. It generates additional towing
forces when operating as stern tug in the indirect
towing mode and when ASD-tugs operate as
conventional tugs at a ship having speed.
d) Skeg at the bow of an ASD or reverse-tractor tug.
Such a skeg improves the 'course stability when free-
sailing astern (not ahead) and increases a tug's
perfonnance when operating as stern tug in the
indirect mode and to some extent as bow tug when
operating bow-to-bow at a ship having headway.
Combinations of the skegs mentioned can be found
as well, for instance of skeg types c and d.
When reading the following paragraphs and the
capabilities of the various tug types in the different
situations it is good to consider at the same time the
possible skegs and their effects.
4.2.3 Stability
Operational stability, one of the basic design
requirements, is of great importance for harbour tugs
due to the nature of their work. Conventional tugs, when
towing on a line as a forward or after tug, can experience
very large athwartships towline forces. The same applies
to ASDtugs when towing on a line as a conventional
tug. High towline forces can also occur when
conventional tugs are operating in the way shown in
figure 4.5.
Tractor tugs and ASD/reverse-tractor tugs also
experience high athwartships towline forces when
indirect towing. At high speeds these forces can be far
in excess of a tug's bollard pull. Towline forces can
increase even further due to dynamic forces caused,
amongst other things, by irregular engine performance
and/or tug control, tug movements due to waves, and
when towlines are used with too little stretch, such as
steel wires.
Tugs with azimuth propellers may heel over
appreciably if thrust is suddenly applied
athwartships. These tugs tend to be powerful
with respect to their size and the deeply
immersed point of application of thrust,
implying a long heeling lever, results in a large
heeling moment. Whether the indirect or direct
towing mode is applied this heeling moment
counteracts the heeling moment created by
towline force. When conventional tugs tow on
a line the heeling moment caused by transverse
steering thrust enlarges the heeling moment
created by towline force, as explained when
discussing lateral centre of pressure. The same
happens when ASD-tugs operate like conventional tugs
while towing on a line. In figure 4.10heeling forces due
to towline force, lateral resistance and steering force are
shown for a conventional tug.
All these aspects should be taken into account when
tug stability requirements are considered. Means of
increasing stability and reducing the heeling effects of
external forces on a tug include the following:
High GM andgood dynamic stability
Good static and dynamic stability is required because
of the high dynamic forces a tug experiences. A tug
needs considerable residual dynamic stabilitywhen, due
to a sudden force, she heels over considerably. The tug's
beam has a large influence on its GM (IuitialMetacentric
Height). Making a tug beamier results in a larger GM
and righting moment, assuming all other factors
influencing its stability are unchanged. The length/width
ratio of harbour tugs is decreasing and many modern
tugshave a length/width ratio of between approximately
28:1 and 3:1. Several harbour tugs with even lower
length/width ratios have also been built, such as the USA
tractor tug Sroward(l.o.a, 30m, bp 53 tons) with a length/
width ratio of 25: 1 or the Canadian reverse-tractor tug
Tiger Sun [l.o.a. 217m, beam 1O7m, bp 70 tons) with a
51 ngloroe
"it"""-""'_lateral -reslstance
Figure 4.70 Heelingftrc<s working ona conventional tug when
towing on a line
M= InitialMetacentre COP= Centre ofPressure
COB = Centre ofBouyancy CG= Centre ofGravity
V= Transverse Speed
Stability curve for tug
1,2 - ----- - - - - ---- "B'-- -------------
1,0 cen.!.:_ _ _

E 0,8
L 0, 6
0, 4
l.:) 0,2
a 10 20 30 40
Angle of' h eel (deg)
Figurt 4.72 Tlu <jfict ofa radial hook on stability
HeelingItvercentre 'E' resultiugfrom anathwartships lowlint forct
applitd 10 a lowingpoimal the centre lint of tlu lug. Thetmolitu
forct causes a hulinganghof37.
Htdingleoer radial hook :4' resultingfromtht samtforce hUIincast
ofa radial hook. Thelowlintfora caUStS now a huling anghof 78'.
How a radial hook, or a similar system, increases a
tug' s safety and consequently safety of operat ions is also
shown in figure 4.12. The situation is for a specific
conventional tug and a radial hook with a radius equal
to half tug's width. A cert ain athwart ships towline force
is applied to the towing point near the centre of the tug.
The towline force is such th at it almost results in
capsizing the tug, because the maximum stability lever
is only a little more than heeling lever ' B'. No safety
margin is left. With a constant towline for ce, heeling
angle is approximately 31. In case of a radi al hook, the
same towline force is appli ed initially at the same height
above the lateral centre of pressure. Th e heeling lever
'A'resultingfromthisforce decreases fast with increasing
heeling angle, and in this specific case maximum heel
ang le caus ed by a constant towline for ce is
approximately 18, with a.large safety margin left. The
system itself is further discussed in paragraph 7. 2.
: ---_.

. d c
:, a.
Reducing the transverse resistance ofthe hull
Making the lateral area smaller allows a tug to be
pulled more easily through the water instead of rolling
over. Low transve rse resistance of a tug's hull also
increases its capability of workiog at right angles to a
ship's side with a ship underway and reduces its heeling
moment. For tugs maki ng use of the underwater body,
like conventional tugs towing on a line and tugs using
the indirect towing method, this is contradictory to their
required performance.
For a good performance these tugs need a high lateral
resistance in order to be able to generate high towline
forces. A skeg may be added to increase lateral area
(which also lowers the centre of pressure) and lateral
resistan ce. The higher towline for ces that can b e
generated and the lower centre of pressure, result in
larger heeling angles and consequently in higher stability
requirements. A radial hook, as shown in figure 4.11,
reduces the heeling angl e considerably.
Tugs are some times designed with sponsons, which
create larger righting moments at smaller heeling angles.
Fig. 4.1/ Tlu <jfict ofa radialMok
WlIha radial hook tht h"ling leoerarm c isshoner than withths
lowingpoim in tht anne lint oftlu lug(leoerarm d). With a radial
hook tht righting leoerarm b ismuch wnger than without (leoerarm
a). Withan equalforu in tht lowline asshawn inthisfigurt, tht list
wiDbemuch less incast ofa radial lwok. A radial hook isa
substantial improvement
Reducing the height ofthe pushingpoint
The vertical distance between the pushing point and
lateral centre of pr essure should be as small as possible
io order to reduce the heeling moment created by lateral
resistance when a tug is pushing at a large angle to a
ship's side.
Reducing the height ofthe towing point
The height of the towing point above the lateral
centre of pressuse should be as small as possible in order
to reduce the heeling moment created by towline forces.
If a tug is equipped with a towing winch the lead of the
towline may be such that either it goes straight from the
winch towards the ship or it passes first through a towing
bitt or fairlead. In either case the height of the fixed
points from where the towline leaves the tug should be
as low as possibl e above the lateral centre of resistance .
Using a towing arm or radial hook (see figure 4.11) or
similar gear, a tug heels until the heeling moment is
counteracted by the larger induced righting moment.
A radial hook is a substantial improvement for tug safety
and performance.
A towline with good shock absorption characteristics
This is required to reduce sudden heeling moments
caused by hi gh peak forces in the towline: Towing
winches can be equipped with load reducing systems,
although these are not suitable for narrow port areas,
when such a system would slacken the towline at high
load s, for instance, when the tug is close to a dock wall.
Tug freeboard being such that the deck edge is not
immersed at too small a heeling angle
According to the former Briti sh Department of
Transport, Merchant Shipping Notice No. M.1531 ofJune
1993, thi s angle should not be less than 10 (see
Appendix 2). Openings in superstructures, deckhouses
and exposed machinery casings situated on the weather
Projees laterais
Z ponto ??
Questo de prova
r =
C =
deck, which provide access to spaces below deck, should
be fitted with watertight doors . Such doors should be kept
. closed during towingoperations. Air pipes, vents, exhausts
should be designed to be as high up as possible and/or
should be fitted with an automatic means of closure.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has
establishe d recommendations regar ding static stability
curve requirements. These recommendations apply to
ships in international trade over 24 metre s in length. In
addition , recommendations on weather criteria have
been established for ships of 24 metres in length and
over. These apply to reserve stability with respect to
wind, wind gu sts and waves. No specific
recommendations for the stability of tugs, which take
into account towline forces) are given.
The IMO stabil ity criteria and all related aspects are
speci fied in the 2002 IMO publication "Code on Intact
Stability for All Types of Ships Covered by I MO
Instruments". The publi cation consists of the text of
Resoluti on A.749 (18) as amended by resolution MSC.
National authorities or classification societies often
have their own specific regulations or guidelines. For
example, the stability requirements of the United States
Coast Guard (USCG) for towing vessels are much the
same as the static stability curve requirements of the
IMO. In addition, USCG requires that tugs shall either
meet the static towline pull criteria or the dynamic
towline pull cr iteria. The static towline pull criteria
include a required minimum GM by which no deck-
edge immersion will occur due to the heeling effect of
deflected propeller thrust at full helm, taking into
account the tow hook height above the centre of the
propeller shaft. The dynamic towline pull criteria require
a certain residual righti ng ene rgy at the point of
equilibrium of the righting and heeling arm curves. The
heeling arm curve should be calculated on a given
formula which takes into account the deflected propeller
thrust and height of towing point.
The American Bu r eau of Shipping gives
recommendations for resi dual dynamic stability based
on a towline pull at 90 of 50% of bollard pull for twin
screw tugs with normal propellers and 70% of bollard
pull for tugs with azimuth or cycloidal propell ers.
Heeling arm should be taken from the top of the towing
bitt to the centre of buoyancy or for an approximation
to half the mean draft.
Other semi-static methods are used, allowing for a
constant athwartships towline force acting on the hull ,
causing it to be dragged bodily through the water. The
r equi rements of the previously menti on ed British
Shipping Notice are such that the minimum GM of a ,
tug should be sufficient to limit the heel to an angle of
deck immersion when being towed transversely through
the water at a speed of four knots. This results in the
following simple rel ationship. The GM in the worst
anticipated condition should not be less than:
K = 1524 +0081. - 0-45r
L Length of vessel between perpendiculars
(in metres)
Length nf radial arm of towing hook (metres)
Freeboard (metres)
Block coeffici ent
The effect of a rad ial towing hook is included in this
formula. The same kind of requirement can be seen in
Norway where a five knot transverse speed with a tow
of 65% of the bollard pull should be possible without
deck immersion.
Unfortunately, in a tug' s working environment large
dynamic forces far in excess of static and semi-static
val ues may be developed and these are almost
impossibl e to estimate accurately. When designing tugs,
therefore, stabili ty and in particular reserve stability
should be considered very carefully, taking into account
all relevant factors including type of tug, required
assisting methods, propulsion system and working
conditions. It is clear that good stability not only
improves a tug's safety but to a large extent a tug's
capabilities and performance. With respect to escort
tugs, stability requirements are further discussed in
paragraph 9.5.1.
4.3 Capabilities and limitations
The capabilities and limitations of different tug types
are now considered, based on the two principal methods
of tug assistance:
Tugs towing on a line.
Tugs operating at a ship's side.
Fur thermore, the performance of different tug types
and the effect of tug assistance on a ship's behaviour is
highlighted. Rudder tugs, more or less comparable to
tugs operating at a ship's side but able to assist in steering
to port as well as to starboard, are mainly dealt with in
Chapter 9, while discussing escorting with no rmal
harbour tugs.
4.3.1 Capabilities and limitations of tug types
Good cooperation between pilot and tug captai n is
indispensable for smooth, safe shiphandling with tugs.
Safety applies both to the ship concerned and to the tug
and her crew. Good cooperation is based on a good
understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the
attended ship and, in particular, of the assisting tugs.
Figure 4.73 Basicdijfimu;e betweentugtypes
The main difference hetween types of tugwithrespect toperftrmance
when towing on a line:
Conventionol types of tug.,. lowingpointlocaudforward of
Iiaaor types of lug- rowingpointIocaud aft ofpropulsion
Tugs towing on a line
The capabilities and limitations of tugs towing on a
line are closely related to the location of the towing point
and the propulsion uni ts, as explained in section 4.2.2.
That's why, in Chapter 2, tugs were classified according
to these locations. Of course, a tug's manoeuvrability
and stability are also factors of major importance when
considering capabilities and limitations, but that applies
to any situation and to any type of tug.
In figure 4.13 a conventional tug is shown with its
propulsion aft and towing point near midships. It could
also be an ASD-tug when towing on a line and using
the after winch or towing hook in the way conventional
tugs do. The other tug shown in figure 4.13is a VS tractor
tug. It may also be a tractor tug with azimuth propellers
or even a reverse-tractor tug. As can be see n, the location
of the propulsion and the towing point in a tractor tug
are opposite to those in a conventi onal tug. The
consequences of this are discussed now.
Forward tugstowing ona line
Forward tugs towing on a line are dealt with first
(see figure 4.l4A, B). Irrespective of the type of tug, a
forward tug towing on a line can give steering assistance
or deli ver crosswise forces to an assisted ship to
starboard as well as to port. However, the re is a
difference in response times between the performance
of tractor and conventional tugs. When required, a
tractor tug can move easily and quickly from one side
to the other e.g. from starboard bow to port bow to
deliver steering assistance or to keep the bow up into
the current or wind. This is due to its ability to deliver
side thrust from the forward located propulsion units.
A conventional tug takes a little longer. In addition, to
manoeuvr e a tug from one side to the other, captains of
conve ntional tugs often tum their tug
at the beginning of the manoeuvre
round the towing point on a tight
towline. It speeds up the manoeuvr e
but is not neces sary and not
advocated, because it results in a short
pull in the wrong direction which may
adve rsely affec t the man oeuvr e,
especially for light ships.
A tractor tug (see figure 4.14A) is
less ef fec tive in giving steering
assistance or creating sideways forces
on a ship h aving speed than a
conventional tug. As explai ned in
section 4.2.2, a tractor tug lies more
in line with the t owline and
consequently a relatively higher sideways resistance has
to be overcome at the expense of effective towline pull.
A conve ntional tug (see figure 4.l4B) can tum the
tug arou nd the towing point, has a lower resistance to
over come owing to the smaller angle of attack of the
incoming water flow and can make bett er use of the
hydrodynamic forces, all of which contribute to a more
effective towline pull .
The effectiveness of a conventional tug increases,
depending on the angle (b),and of a tractor tug decreases
with increasing ship' s spee d. The higher a shi p's speed
the larger the difference in effectiveness between tractor
and conve ntional tugs. The lower th e unde rwater
r esi stan ce of a tr act or tug and th e b ett er the
omnidirect ional thrust performance the high er the
effectiven ess . With r espect: to thi s, it h as b een
experienced that for the same ship' s spee d an azimuth
tractor tug can operate at a larger towing angl e (a) than
a VS tractor tug and consequently can apply higher
sideways and steering forces on a ship, owing to a beller
thrust performance in directions other than ahead or
With a tractor tug care should be taken that, with
increas ing speed, angle (a) is not getting too lar ge
otherwise the tugcannot overcome sideways resistance
any mor e and will swing around on the towlin e secured
at the aft towing point and will come alongside the
vessel. If the towline is on a quick'release towing hook
or on the winch, the line can be released by the quick
release mechanism. It can be concluded that a tractor
tug forward is very limited by a ship's speed.
For a conventional tug angl e (b) can be very lar ge
without any problem. A conventional tug can create
large force s in the towline, even with a large towing
angle (b), by increasing angle (c). With increasing ship's
speed due att enti on should be given to a tug's heading.
Wh en angl e (c) between a tug' s heading and incoming
water flow becomes too large the tug might not be able
to come back in line with the assisted ship and, as a
When forward tugs towing on a line give
steering assistance, this generally results in a
force vector tending to increase ship's speed.
There is another important aspect to be aware
of when tugs operate on a line - they often
have a tendency to keep towlines tight when
no assistance is required. This also has an
unwanted speed increasing effect on th e
assisted vessel and should be avoided as much
as possible. Pilots therefore often order tugs
to keep the towline slack when no assistance
is required.
the tum as shown in figure 4.15. The effect
is gr eatest at low ship's speed with not too
heavy ships. A simil ar method - rudd er
hard over towards the berth, engine on dead
slow ahead and the for ward tug pulling off
the berth - can be applied when unberthing
with just one tug. Care should be taken not
to overtake the tug.
In figure 4.14C a tractor tug is shown again. At lower
speeds a trac tor tug can give steering assistance by th e
direct towing meth od (see position I a, Ib). Giving
steering assistance in position Ib will not increase the
ship's speed. On the contrary, in thi s position braking
force s are also applied. A speed increasing force vector
is applied in position 10. In position la a tractor tug is
less effective than the conventional tug of figure 4.14D
(position I). This situation is comparable to ' that of
forward tugs towi ng on a line, as previously di scussed.
If required, a tractor tug can easily change from posit ions
I to posi tion 2 for speed control or to a position to give
steering assistance to port. Even at higher speeds (e.g.
seven knots) a tug can safely swing around from position
la to position 2 owing to the aft location of th e towing
point. In some ports position l a, instead of position 2,
is also used as a standby position.
Stern tugs towingona line
For tugs operating as a stem tug on a line the situation
is totally different. It depends entirely on the type of
tug and ship's speed whether steering assistance can be
given to bo th sides. From the point of view of assistance
it is also very impor tant whe ther a stern tug can control
a ship's speed. Whether this is possible or not depends
also on the type of tug and shi p's spee d.
With a good conventional tug forward on a line,
sideways forces on a ship can be exe rted by applying
rudder whilst at th e same time the tug is counteracting
When a ship's speed is very Iowa conventional tug
can give very effective steering as sistance when
operating as shown in positio n Ib (see also the photo
of the tug Smit Siberie - figure 8.9). A tug's resistance
creates high steering forces wi thout increas ing ship's
speed. The tug itself uses most of its engine power to
stay free from a ship's hull and this results in additional
towline force .
It often happens that quick release hooks canno t be
opened in case of emerge ncy, especially when towline
forces are ver y high and the towline, if fastened dir ectly
to the towing hook, has a lar ge vertical angle with the
plane of the tug deck. Towing winches with quick release
syste ms are safer. Nevertheless, ship's speed should
always be carefully controlled when tugs are towing on
a line forward and, as far as possible, the pilot should
closely observe the behaviour of the tugs.
When reverse-tractor tugs, and ASD-
tugs operating as reverse-tractor tugs , assist
as a forward tug on a line they operate in a
Figure 4.74 Comparison between tractor type tugs andconventional tugs when towing similar way to a tractor tug but with the tug's
on a line withaship having headway bow directed towards the ship's bow. These
A: Tractor type oftug madefast asforward tug B: Conventional tug (or ASD-tug) tugs have a comparable performance to
asjorwaDrd;,:g , , t ra ct or tugs and the d iffer ence in
C: Traclor type of tugasafter tug : "011oenl,,,,= typeoftug asafUr tug effectiveness depends on the same factors
consequence, athwartships towline forces may get too as mentioned earlier when discussing the dir ect towing
high. TIlls may also be the case with an ASD-tug when me thod. See also paragraph 6.3.12, section operating
operating like a conventional tug. The high athwartships bow-to-bow.
towline forces might overturn th e tug if the towline
cannot be released in time. This is called girting, which
also happens when a ship's speed is too high in relation
to the tug's speed or position.
Because of
1c -Indirect method
for high speed
above 7kn
Para velocidade acima de 3
kn: pode emborcar a
memos que use a gob rope
quetransferir o towing point
To aft
At higher speeds the indirect towing method is
normally used for steering control' (see position Ic).
Steering assistance at higher speeds can be given to port
as well as to starboard. At the same time the tug is able
to control the ship's speed.
ASD-tugs and reverse-tractor type tugs perform in a
similar way, but with the tug's bow now directed to the
ship's stern. An ASD/reverse-tractor tug will generally
be somewhat less effective than a tractor tug when using
the indirect towing method for steering assistance. The
factors influencing performance and effectiveness of
these tugs in comparison to tractor tugs have already
been mentioned when discussing the indi rect and direct
towing methods.
A conventional tug can only give steering assistance
to one side; in figure 4.l4D this is only to starboard.
When giving steering assistance a conventional tug
delivers longitudinal forces which may increase a ship's
speed. Moving to a position to starboard of the ship's
stern, for instance, to give steering assistance to port or
to compensate for wind or current forces at that side is
impossible at speeds higher than one to two knots .
At speeds over about three knots, it is dangerous to
manoeuvre fromposition I to position2in order to control
the ship's speed. A tug may come broadside on with too
high towline forces and may capsize unless the towline is
released in time by the quick release mechanism. When a
tugis equipped with a gob rope winch, by which the towing
point can be transferred to a position at the after end of
the tug, the tug can swing around from position I to
position 2 at somewhat higher speed.
At very low speeds, of not more than about thr ee
knots, conventio nal tugs can move from position 1to a
position broadside astern the ship as shown in figure
4.5 (see also figure 7.5). The tug then lyin g broadside
on can give stee ring assistance to both sides. Twin screw
tugs often don't need a gob rope to operate in a similar
way, owing to their higher manoeuvrability.
It is clear that at speeds above about three kno ts,
only steering assistance can be given and only to one
side. At very low speeds steeri ng assistance can be given
to both sides and a ship's speed can be controlled. A
conventi onal tug is ve ry restricted in its movements as
a stern tug owing to the location of the towing point.
When a conventional tug is working close to or
behind a ship' s stern, a ship should be very careful in
using its propeller or the tug migh t be overturned by
propeller wash. A tractor tug and ASD/reverse-tractor
tug, on the other hand, will in general not be hinder ed
by ship's propeller wash due to the location of the towing
point near the tug' s stern or bow. If working on a short
towline, however, excessive vibration of the azimuth
propellers may be experienced, due to the turbulence
from the ship' s propeller. Lengthening the towline will
reduce this effect.
A tractor tug, approaching a ship stern wa r ds ,
experiences the influence of a ship's propeller washon the
skeg. Careful steering is then required to keep the tug on a
straight course. This is also the case when the tug is secured
and has to stay straight behind the vessel, as mentioned
while discussingdirect and indirect towing methods.
From the above it is clear that prior to secur ing tugs
forward or aft the position of the different tug types in
general and of conventional stern tugs in particular
should be well considered, taking into account the forces
of wind and current to be compensated, bends to be
taken, etc.
Each type of tug has several versions with varying
capabilities, which should be regarded as well when
positioning tugs. A twin screw conventional tug, for
instance , will generally perform better than a single
screw tug. The same applies to a conventional tug
equipped with a radial towing arm. This will increase a
tug's capabilities and safety compared to the same tug
without such 'an arrangement. In addition to what has
been discussed already, therefore, performance and
safety of a conventional tug depend lar gely on good
manoeuvrability and appropriate towing equipment.
Also, combi-tugs with their azimuth bow thruster have
better capabilities than ordinary conventional tugs,
especially when a combi-tug's towing point can be
shifted to an alternative position far aft. The capabilitie s
of these tugs wer e explained in paragraph 2.4.
Tugs operating at a ship's side
Tugs operating at a ship's side while the ship has
some speed are shown in figure 4.16. Three types are
shown - a tractor tug (which can be a VS tug or one
with azimuth propulsion), an ASD/ reverse-tractor tug
and a conventional tug.
Pushing mode
Wh ether one type of tug is more efficient in pushing
than another depend s on how well a tug can push
effectively without incteasing ship's speed. The bet ter a
tug can work at right angles to the hull of a vessel
und erway, the more effective it is. It depends largely
on the ratio a:b (see figure 4. l6A): the relati onship
between the lever of propulsion {P- PU}and the lever of
hydrodynamic forces {C-PU}. The better a tug can
overcome the turning mome nt resulting from
hydr odynamic force by the moment created by sideways
thrust of the propulsion, the better a tug can work at
right angles to the ship and the more power is available
for pushing. In addition, the vertical location of the
centre of pressure, stability and freeboard are important
factors. Tug fendering should prevent a tug sliding along
a ship's hul l, otherwise one or MO towlines are required.
Owing to its aft lying centre of pres sure a
conventional tug may find it difficult to come to or
remain at right angles when a ship has spee d through
the water. Conventional tugs generally have a large
underwater plane and an important consideration for
effective pushing is steering performance, which is less
tha n that of tugs wit h omnidi rection al pr opulsion
systems. Depending on the situat ion conventional tugs
use stern lines to stay at right angles to a ship's hull
when the ship gathers speed, as shown in figure 3.2.
However, excessive speed impairs safety as the line may
part or resul t in capsizing the tug. Devices increasing
the steering performance of conventional tugs, such as
high lift rudders and Towmaster systems, increase their
pushing capabilities.
The ASD/reverse-tractor tug with its highly efficient
steering propellers and the far aft lying propulsion in
combination with a generally more forward lying centre
of pressure is very effective at pushing. Tug company
C.H. Cates & Sons of Vancouver claims that their
reverse-tractor tugs can deli ver a 90 side push at ship
speeds up to eight knots instead of the usual four knots
for conventional tugs. Three to four knots is generally
the maximum sp eed for effective pushing by
conventional tugs, although it depends on their engine
power and prop eller/ rudder configuration. Tractor tugs
are also much more effec tive than conventional tugs
due to their omnidirectional propulsion.
i b i
f- - - - >;
:< :
I :
a I
Fig. 4.16 Comparison ofperftrmance oftugtypes when pushing or pulling
Comparison of different tugtypes when pushingor pulling at aship"side. The ship has headway. Locations ofthe lateral centre ofpressure are
approximaud. Apartfrom the underwater resistance tugperformance depends on: a) maximum heel; b)propulrionperformance - omnidirectional
propulsion systems are very suitahl. owing to1Mpossibility ofapplyingforces in any required direction; c) ratio a:b (a= distance between propulsion
andpushing ortowing point, b= distance between lateral centre ofpressure andpushing ortounngpoint. The kzrger the leoer a in relation tolsoerb
1M less side thrust required tok epposition and1M morethrust avaikzblefor effective pushingorpuUing
Fig. 4.17 Pushingforce createdby hydrodJ1lfl micforce
on a tug's hull
A tuglaepingposition at an angle withtheship'shull may also exert
rather highpushingforces caused by thewaterflow, depending on the
ship's speed andthetug's undenoater hull form
I Incomingwaterflow
Conventional tugs, due to their lar ge underwater
plane, experience heeling moments which are more
difficult to compensate for by their lower steering forces.
Wide beam tractor tugs and ASD/reverse-tractor tugs
with their effective and - for tractor tugs - deep set
steering power, are in a much bett er position to
compensate for ' heeling moments. As said, they are
capable of remaining at right angles to a ship's hull at
much higher speeds than conventional tugs. At high ship
speeds, tugs can push at a smaller angle. Lift forces also
create pushing forces, which can be rather high (see
figure 4.17) . This effect can be seen in graphical format
in figure 4.20.
Whether tractor tugs are mare or less effective than ASD
reverse-tractor tugs depends on the ratio a:b as shown
in figur e 4.16A, the tug' s under water body, its engine
power and thrust performance in the requir ed direction.
There is another aspect which determines a tug' s
capability for operating at th e shi p's side, viz. th e
maxi mum heeling angle. In this respect the height of
the pushing point is important. The heeling moment
caused hy hydrodynami c forces incr eases by the spee d
squared. This is counteracted by sideways steering forces
and by a tug's stability. The higher the pushing point
the larger the heeling moment and the less it can be
compensated for.
Pulli ng mode
Tugs operating at a ship's side need good astern
power, which sho uld be about the same as their ahead
power. Tugs wi th omnidirectional propulsi on are
ther efore very suitable for push-pull work. In figure
the same thr ee types of tug are pulling, secur ed
with one line. The ship is und erway thr ough the water.
The situation does not differ very much from situations
when stern tugs are towing on a line in the direct mode,
as discussed earlier. Only for conventional tugs is the
situation rather different.
The longer tugs can pull effectively with increasing
ship speed the better. It is obvious that the conventional
tug will swing around. The tug needs a stern line leading
forward to be able to pull at right angles. For the situation
shown, the paddle-wheel effect of the tug' s propeller
also adds to the swinging motion. Tugswith twin screws,
steering nozzles, a Towmaster system or flanking rudders
perform b ett er. The maximum shi p's speed with
conventional tugs pulling, even using a stern line, can
only be low.
Tractor and ASD/reverse-tractor tugs perform much
bett er, because while pulling they can apply forces in the
direction of ship' s movement. That is a big advantage of
omnidirectional propulsion systems engaged in push-pull
operations. Whether one of these types is more effective
than another depends on the same factors mentioned
when discussing the direct towing method, namely the
ratio a:b, a tug's underwater size and profile, its engi ne
power and thrust performance in the pulling dir ection.
An imp ortant aspect to take into account is loss of
pulling efficiency due to a tug' s propeller wash hitting a
ship' s hull. This for ce can be as lar ge as its ball ard pull,
some times even larger. The effect is far less if the
di stance between tug propeller and ship' s hull is
increased. Tractor tugs therefore push and pull with their
stern so as to keep their propellers as far away as possible
from a ship' s hull. In addition, tractor tugs with azimuth
propellers, when pulling, can set their propeller thrusters
at an angle, thus diverting the propeller wash. The same
applies to ASD/reversetractor tugs. Hi gh er pulling
effectivenes s can also be achi eved using a longer towline.
This can only be don e when onl y pulling is requi red,
not pulling and pushing, otherwise it lengthens response
time. The effect of propeller wash is furth er di scussed
in Chapter 6.
When changing from pulling to pushing tug captains
should be aware of the dynamic forces in a towline.
Particularly with a steep towline angle and in wave
conditions these forces may draw the tug quickl y in the
direction of the ship when its engine is suddenly stopped.
When stern thrust is also applied a tug may hit a ship' s
hull with force (see figure 4.18). See also the note at the
end of paragraph 6.3.2 regarding damage to ships caused
by tugs.
Stopping assistance
From the foregoing it is also clear that ASD-tugs,
reverse-tractor tugs and tractor tugs operating at a ship's
side have better performance when braking assistance
is required than normal conventional tugs. This is due
to omnidirectional propulsion, which provides almost
the same bollard pull astern as ahead.
Many differences in performance, capabilities and
limitations of different tug types have been reviewed.
For the reader's convenience a brief summary follows
of the most important aspects . It is assumed that all tugs
discussed are suitable for their tasks and have the
required stability, sufficient freeboard, proper towing
equipment and manoeuvrability.
Conventional tugs
Conventional tugs can be very effectivewhen towing
on a line a ship having speed through the water. They
can assist in steering and in compensating wind and
current forces, but often also deliver an unwanted force
which increases a ship's speed.
fu forward tug on a line a conventional tug can assist
in steering to both sides 'but as stern tug it has its
limitations . At higher speeds, steering assistance can only
be given to one side. Only at very low speeds is steering
control to both sides and control of ship'Sspeed possible.
As both a forward and a stern tug, capsizing (girting)
is possible as a result of the position of the towing point
in combination with induced strong transverse forces.
To minimise risk of girting a completely reliable quick
release system should be used. A radial towing hook or
equivalent system also decreases the risk of capsizing.
Figure 4.18 Effict ofdynamic fOrces in the towline
Pulling withashort andsteep towline creates highfOrces in the
towline, which are very much enlarged hy waves andswelL As soon as
tugengines are stopped, the tugwill immediately be pulled backwards
towards the ship by force F caused by stored energy in the elastic
towline. So, when thetugcaptain isasked tostop pulling heshould be
aware ofthis effiet andwhen ordered tochange overfrom puUing to
pushing, astern thrust should be applied very carefUlly
The ability to provide stopping assistance is nil for
forward tugs towing on a line and limited to very low
speeds for stern tugs towing on a line. Ship's engines
should be handled with care when conventional tugs
are close to the stern. Due to these limitations as a stem
tug, tug positions should be carefully pl anned in
The pushing effectiveness of conventional tugs
decreases quickly with increasing ship' s speed; pulling is
only possibleat zero or lowspeeds, depending on whether
a stern line is used. Ship's speed should be carefully
controlled so as to take account of the limited capabilities
of a conventional tug operating at a ship's side.
Tractor and reverse- tractor tugs
Tractor and reverse-tractor tugs towing on a line as
forward tug are able to render assistance to both sides.
As forward tugs only steering assistance can be given,
and these tugs may also deliver an unwanted force which
increases a ship's speed. As forward tug these tugs are
not as effective as conventional tugs for a ship underway
at speed.
As stern tug, reverse-tractor and tractor tugs perform
very well. They can provide steering assistance to both
sides and control a ship's speed even at rather high
speeds, although a reverse-tractor tug is generally
somewhat less effective than (VS) tractor tugs in
providing steering assistance at higher speeds (indirect
mode) . Risk of capsizing hardly exists during normal
port operations and when operating as stern tug, they
are hardly affected by a ship's propeller movements.
Tractor and reverse-tractor tugs operating at the side
of a ship at speed through the water are effective in pushing
and pulling and in applying braking forces. It should be
noted that tractor tugs have a relatively large maximum
draft, which can be a disadvantage in shallow waters.
ASD-tugs are multi-functional and can be effective
as a forward tug on a line when operating as
conventional tug. As forward tug, ASD-tugs can also
operate as a reverse-tractor tug. As stern tug on a line
ASD-tugs generally operate as a reverse-tractor tug with
the same high performance. When pushing and pulling
at the side of a ship at speed, ASD-tugs are very effective,
also in applying braking forces.
4.3.2 Effectiveness of tug types
Model testing and full scale trials have been used to
determine tug capabilities. Most tests focus on the
abilities of one specific tug or tug type. Voith has done,
and still does, considerahle work regarding VS tractor
tugs . Aquamaster has carried out several studies
regarding tugs with azimuth propellers. Recent studies
and full scale trials that have been undertaken mainly
assess specific tugs and tug type escorting capabilities.
Fig 4.14
Figure 4.79 Performance and behaviour ofa 40m conventional tug
increase very quickly at speeds above four knots. These
longitudinal forces increase ship speed.
According to the same study, the effectiveness of
conventional tugs with inferior rudder performance
decreases quickly at ship speeds of about four knots.
When no bow line is used the longitudinal forces but
also the transverse forces exerted at speeds higher than
five knots are less, so tug perfonnance is less. In waves
of approximately six feet high, tug performance drops
quickly at speeds higher than three knots .
8 5
Pushlllll Angle
PlIshlng Forces (with bow 111\8)
- ..
.' " - ' -

,- -
' .
- .,
... Transverse Force


.... longitudinal Force


.-- .. -.-- -
' -
Simulation programs don't normally take into
account all factors influencing tug performance, such
as ship-tug interaction, flowfield around a ship, influence
of water depth and confinement on the flow field, and
the influence of ship's wake on a tug's braking
performance, which are discussed in Chapters 6 and 8.
There may, therefore, be some inaccuracy in simulation
results, depending on the situation.
Desktop computer simulation programs exist, based
on a steady situation - equilibrium of forces - by which
the performance of different tugs and tug types can be
determined. With these simulation programs capabilities
produced by different variations of tug design can be
Simulation programs provide the possibilityof gaining
insight into a more extensive range of a tug's ability using,
for example, a full mission bridge simulator. When these
programs are carried out in close cooperation with pilots
and tug captains and are, as far as possible, verified in
full scale sea trials, the results give quite high reliability.
Simulations are mainly carried out for one specific tug or
for a very limited number of tugs of which all details of
rudder, propulsion, stability, maximum list,
hydrodynamic coefficients and so on are known.
Most of these studies and trials, therefore, only involve
some specific aspects of ship assisting manoeuvres
required during daily tug handling. Of course, several
variations in the design of a specific type of tug exist.
Figure 4.20 Poformance andbehauiour ofa30mASD-tugfirpushing
Tug Force P tlonnesl
60 .-
Pro pe lle r
_..... ....-L: C.. ...
" ,
'" Pushlnll.....g1.
b; DfftAnllla
c: Propeller A"II1ft
Drill Angle and Propell er Angle .
' ..
Speed V {knots)
........ Propellar Anlll
- R Drllt Angle
........ Tug Force
----.------ -.-. --._-
40 --
Real capabilities and in particular limitations are, of
course, experienced during daily shiphandling only, but
the results of simulation programs can verify some of
what is explained in this book.
As indicated in the graph, the pushing angle becomes
smaller as soon as the ship gathers speed. The transverse
pushing forces exerted by this tug decrease with ship's
speed higher than five knots, but longitudinal forces
Performance diagrams
Performance ofa conventional and an ASD-tug when
pushingat a shipunderway at speed
The graphs in figures 4.19 and 4.20 are based on
simulation studies and provide an insight into the
capabilities of a conventional tug and an ASD-tug when
The conventional tug has twin screws and three
rudders, length overall of 40m, beam lim, 5750 BHP
(open propellers), SOt bollard pull and draft 17ft. The
maximum pushing forces of this tug were determined
at various ship's speeds taking into account, amongst
other things, maximum heel at deck edge immersion.
The graph shows maximum transverse pushing forces
and the longitudinal forces exerted at the same time. It
also shows the tug's pushing angle. The tug is pushing
with a bow line.
." .' . ' "
! CO
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!<om 1 .1.
- tyCSIMdiog'.m lor OI>.MEN S..".vo'll1 H IO
3"11"\ boll.,d pun . ...;on (2 ' 1 SODbtlpl
V. 4' ' no.,"
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.' .....
\..</ll'h 0.'. 30.'0
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'. ,TUGS IM-</ilgrl m l ot DAMHI ASO-Tui 3 11 0
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....... ... . -.
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..\.. \ .
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\ ......, /
.. .. ... ..\\ ..
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... ....... .. <,
TUCSIM-<l ll g, am ' 0' DAMEN .lSD_Tug 31 10
4'll ton boHa, d p.,ll ..",'0" 12"1S00 bll pl
V . ..
100 21:0 3eD
. . \ .. '
.. .\ ' .
... ..'
, .
..........- ...
........ ..... ,'
"', " I
,--- .... I
" :
Figure 4.21 Petfbrmana graphs forfour andsixknots speed
In practice a speed of five or even four knots is a
rather high limit for conventional tugs to exert transverse
forces effectively. The study results may be affected
because not all factors influenci ng tug performance
could be taken into account. Naturally, differences in
pe rformance exist be tween various types of
conventi onal tugs. In general, however, the upper limit
at which effective sideways pushing for ces can be
exerted is found to be about three knots. This is also
proven by full scale trials in the USA in 1982 with a
1700 HP twin screw tug with nozzles, two steering
rudders, four flanking rudders and without the use of
auxi liary towlines. The length of the tug was 30m. In
addition, effective pulling forces were po ssible at
maxi mum speeds ofless than one knot.
The main conclusion is that at ship speeds higher than
around four knots, and for less manoeuvrable tugs three
knots, the performance of conventional tugs is very poor.
At these higher speeds transverse pushing forces are
minimal, but longitudinal forces increase very quickly,
thus increasing ship's speed, which is not desirable.
Next the performance of an ASD-tug when pushing
is considered. Particulars of the tug are: 31m length
ove rall, beam 107m, 3600 BHP, SOt bollard pull ,
maximum allowable heel 6'.
As can be seen in the graph this tug performs very well.
The tug exerts only transverse forces and no speed
increasing longitudinal forces. The higher the speed the
larger the hydrodynamic forces on the tug' s hull and
the larger the lift forces create d by the hull. At about
eight and a half knots, 80% of the transverse pushing
force is developed by the lift force.
Tug stability, freeboard and height of the pushing
point have a large influence on maximum achievable
pushing forces. Limiting factors are maximum engine
revolutions, engine torque and excessive heel.
The two graphs show a large difference in pushing
effectiveness between ASD and convent ional tugs. An
ASD-tug is still effective at a much highe r spe ed while
no ship's speed increasing l ongitudinal forces are
exerted on the ship.
Performance ofan ASD and VS tug while towing on a line
These diagrams (figures 4.21 and 4.22) have been
produced by the TUGSIM simulation progr am of
Damen Shipyards, The Netherlands. Tug performance
in the diagrams is limited by a tug's maximum list -
deck edge immersion, and maximum engine load is
accounted for.
.. /
:-- ,

2,00 )!XI ,po see 'PO 700
..... ..
.. /7) .
. e .
400 '" ' .
' 00
" ..,. ..... , D"MlN S, ....v.. ... 211 0
36 Id.. p'".. ....... 121 '00 ","pI
: "$'"'
! 100
'. yY.Gs lM-O; O>g. ..... I.. O""'!N IoSD-T"g 3110
40 ' ." 1.,,, pul ... ";"n 11"U OOb""

. '<:'/
.... ,,' .
. .. . .... ........... ".","
-' 00
.. .. -
' 00
00 . .. . ... . . .
' 00
' 00
FiguTt 4.22 Ptiformanet grapbsfortiglu knots speed
Fig 4.20
The TUGSIMprogram operator actually steers the tug,
controlling the rudder and/or thrust angles and thrust
magnitude. This prevents theoretical solutions being
calculated in which a steady situation exists, but
situations in which the tug could never be manoeuvred.
The graphs show an ASD and a VS tug towing on a
line at different speeds - four , six and eight knots.
Particulars of the tugs are given at the top of the graphs.
The main obj ective of the graphs is to show the
maximum steering and braking forces which can be
The ship is at the centre a of the graph, sailing in
the direction indicated by the arrow. The ASDtug is
operating as forward tug up to a towing angle of 90
conventional tug and as stemtug the ASD-tug operates
as a reverse-tractor tug. As stem tugs the ASD and VS
tugs operate in the direct or indirect mode, whichever
is the most effective.
The following general characteristics can be seen in
the graphs. The performance of the VS tug in giving
steering assistance as forward tug towing on a line
decreases quickly with increasing speed, while up to a
speed of about six knots the performance of the ASD
tug in giving steering assistance is decreasing much less
at small towing angles and is even increasing at large
towing angles. At eight knots the ASDtug can still
produce high steering forces in contrast to the VS tug.
Normal conventional tugs often perform in a similar
way, but are generally limited more by the tug's stability.
At four knots the tugs operate as stern tugs in the
direct mode and are both effective.
At sixknots the ASDtug performs better in the direct
mode, while the VS tug starts to perform better in the
indirect mode in applying steering forces. The braking
performance of both tugs in the direct mode is high.
At eight knots and in the indirect mode high steering
forces can be applied by .both tugs . The VS tug is
somewhat more effective, although it is less powerful
than the ASDtug.
Highest braking forces are achievable at speeds of
eight knots by both tugs operating in the direct mode
and towing at a small angle (lowest part of the curve).
Both tugs perform about the same when taking into
account the difference in bollard pull.
Thus the following generalities can be observed. As
a forward tug towing on a line the ASD-tug performs
better. As a stem tug on a line and at higher speeds the
VS tug performs rather better in giving steering
assistance and the ASDtug and VS tug perform about
the same in applying braking forces . Another aspect is
clearly shown in the graphs: the speed increasing force
vector of forward tugs towing on a line. For example,
take the ASDtug of the six knots graph while towing
on a line as forward tug. The tug as shown in the
indicated position develops a steeringforce to starboard
of 35 tons, but at the same time a force in the direction
of ship's movement of about 15tons. This force increases
the ship's speed, which is in most cases not welcome.
On the other hand, all the stern tugs as shown in the
graphs when applying steering forces also develop
braking forces. This normally has a large positive effect.
It keeps the ship's speed low and, in addition, enables
the ship to apply additional engine power for steering,
without increasing the ship's speed. All this is in line
with the capabilities and limitations of tugs as discussed.
Speedcontrol - brakingassistance
Tractor, ASD and reverse-tractor tugs perform very
. well as stern tugs for steering assistance and speed
control. This has resulted in competition between the
designers of cycloidal propellers (VS) and azimuth
propellers (Aquamaster) about which type of tug, VS
or ASD, performs best as stern tug at higher speeds.
This is mainly due to the discussions with respect to
escorting, dealt with in Chapter 9. However, one aspect
is briefly discussed here, the braking performance of
tugs equipped with azimuth thrusters, because it is
important for daily assistance in ports. In this respect
some new terms have been introduced by Aquamaster.
It should be noted that when stopping assistance is
required by a VS tractor tug or ASD/reversetractor
tug, for instance at speeds of more than five knots, the
braking force that can be applied is higher when the
tug is pulling at a small angle with the ship's centre line
rather than pulling straight astern, as can be seen in the
TUGSIM performance graphs.
When braking assistance is required at high speeds
by a conventional tug operating over the bow as stem
tug, it may not be possible to reverse fixed pitch
propellers due to the high propeller load which has to
be overcome by the engine, although the effect of it can
be reduced by proper design and tuning of the engine.
For the same reason, at a crash stop VS pitch levers
should be set in accordance with the ship's speed and
azimuth thrusters have to be rotated to astern but can
be set, with independently controlled thrusters, at an
angle with the tug's centre line to avoid stalling. In the
case of azimuth thrusters with control1able pitch
propellers, astern pitch should be applied in accordance
with ship's speed when a ship having a rather high speed
has to be stopped. Because of the low performance of
controllable pitch propellers going astern, turning the
thrusters like thrusters with fixed pitch propellers is more
effective in applying braking assistance.
In the direct assisting method, Aquamaster claims
that at speeds of up to eight knots braking forces can
reach values up to one and a half times the bol1ard pull
astern with azimuth thrusters (of ASD/reversetractor
as well as tractor tugs) rotated 180, the thrusters thus
working in line with the tug's centre line in negative
flow. At spee ds higher than eight knots braking forces
drop off dramatically, regardless of the power applied.
Engine load then also increases rapid ly to an overload
condition. This braking meth od is called the Rever se
Arr est Mode by Aquamaster.
A second way of applying braking force in the direct
assisting method is the so-called Tran sverse Arrest
Mode. Lar ge arresti ng forces can be created by pointing
the thrusters outward at an angle of approximately 90'.
These forces result from momentum drag and are
ge nerated when the propellers accelerate the
athwar tships component of the was h. The forces
increase with speed and excee d the astern bollar d pull
at speeds higher than eight knots without overloading
the engine.
So, be low eight knots the Reverse Arrest Mode can
be used (thrusters rotated 180' in line with the tug's
centre line) and at speeds higher than eight knots the
Transverse Arr est Mode (thrusters at an angle of 90'
with tug' s centre line) can be applied. See figur es 9.5
and 9.7 for the different terms used and the achievable
braking forces.
Although eight knots is a high speed for tug assistance
in port areas, it is good to know how thrusters can be
use d to deliver high re tarding forces. This way of
applying br aking forces can be utilised by all types of
steerable thrusters, but is most efficient whe n using
propellers in nozzles.
4.3.3 Effective tug position
Positioning tugs depends on several factors. Firstly,
ship's' particulars such as type, size, draft, windage,
man oeuvrability have to be cons idered. Second ly,
fact or s such as the in flu ence of envi ronmental
conditions, particulars of the passage or fairway towards
the berth, available stopping distance, size of turning
circle, berth location, and so on have to be taken into
account. Together these factors determine what should
be expecte d fro m tugs - steeri ng ass is tance,
compensating external forces of wind and current,
assistance in stopping the ship or a combination thereof.
Ship's berthing side is also an important factor to be
tak en into account whe n pos itioning tugs. And, of
course , it is very important to know the number, type
and bollard pull of available tugs-,
In figure 4.23 differ ent tug positions are given. A
ship has headway and has to make a turn to starb oard.
Tugs have to assist. Whether a particular type of tug is
more or less effective in one or more of the positions
shown has been discussed already and is summarised
in paragraph 4.6. Atten tion now turns to the effect on a
ship when tugs are ope rating in one of these positions.
The location of the pivot point is taken into account.
Forward tug no. I, towing on a line , is capable of
exerting quite high crosswise steering forces on a ship .
The effect can be limited because of the transver se forces
near a ship's bow to be overcome, as expl aine d when
discussing the pivot point. It is clear that for a par ticular
ship these transverse forces ar e proportional to the draft
and underkeel clear anc e. Also, the more th e tug is
pulling in line with a ship's heading the more the tug
will increase a ship's speed.
Position of tug no . 2 is not so good for the steering
assistance required. The tug has to over come the same
transverse forces as tugno. 1, but the lever of crosswi se
steering forces exerted by the tug is much shorter and
the tug's underwater resistance opposes the turn. Also,
when a tug is unable to push at right angles to a ship' s
hull it will increase a ship's speed.
Regarding tug no. 2 it should be kept in mind that
this tug might even have an opposite effect. Simulation
studies carried ou t by, amongst others, Dr. Paul
Brandner and descri be d in his thesis 'Performance and
effectiveness of omni-directional stern drive tugs
References) show that a tug pushing at the bow of a
loaded tanker on a steady course, with an initial speed
of four knots, the engine on Dead Slow Ahead and
rudder amidshi ps, has a tendency to turn against the
Figure 4.23 Different tugpositions
Of that
pushing direction of the tug. The tests were carried out
with a depth/dr aft ratio of 1.2. This effect has also been
experience d during full scale trials. During these trials
a loaded tanker was on a steady course at five knots
speed, the rudder amids hips, and the engine was
stopped. A conventional tug started to push on the port
shoulder.After an initial tumto starboard the ship started
to turn to port , while speed increased.
It does in no way say tbat for other ship types or
oth er loading conditions, th e same effect might be
experienced. The opposing transverse force at the bow
differs by ship type, draft, trim and under keel clearance
(see above for tug no. 1). In the report mentioned above,
test results of other loading conditions are given. If the
same tug is pushi ng at the sho ulder of the tanker when
in deep water, in hal last condition and trimmed by the
stern, the tug does turn the tanker in the requir ed
directi on and the effect does not differ much from a tug
pushing at the quar ter (tug no. 4).
Apart from what hasjust been mentioned, the positions
of tugs no. 1 and 2 are not always inadequate. It depends
on the situation and circumstances, because the tugs are
in a good position to compensate for drift forces caused
by wind and/or current from starboard. If required, tug
no. 1can easilycompensate for thewind and current forces
from port as well. This flexibility in operation is an
advantage of the forward tug towing on a line.
Tug no. 3 can assist the starboard turn by going
astern. In doing so, an additional starboard turning
couple is created by the tug' s and ship's engines working
in opposite directions. By going astern the tug is slowing
down ship's speed, and thus increasing the effect of the
ship's engi ne on the rudder. The tug' s underwater
resistance contributes to the starboar d swing. If tug no. 2
had a bow line, both tugs 2 and 3 are in a good posi tion
to take off ship's headway, if required.
Tug no. 4 is in an effective position to assist the
starboard turn by pushing, because of the 10J;lg lever
and forward centred lateral resistance, which contribute
to the swing. The tug's underwater resistance gives
additional turning effect to starboard. When tug no. 4
cannot work at right angles, ship' s speed increases, but
as a result of the high er rate of tum caused by the
pushing tug and consequently the higher drift angle,
ship's speed is hardly affected. If the tug has a bowline
secured, it coul d also assist in the starboard swing by
going astern, in the same way as tug no. 3. In that case
the whole tug has to be pull ed crosswise through the
water by the ship's stern and hence opposes the turn.
Tug no. 5 is in a very effective position. The longest
possible lever for steering for ces and the transverse
forces centred forward contribute to the swing. Also,
the tug does not increase ship's speed. On the contrary,
the tug also provides retarding forces while applying
steeri ng assistance.
Tug no. 6 is in a similarly effective position to tug
no. 5, but has the disadvantage that this tug increases
ship's speed. The same would be the case with a rudder
tug (not shown in figur e 4.23).
The difference in effectiveness between a forwar d
pushing and aft pushing tug can also be seen when a
ship gathers speed. For instance, assume that tug no. 3
and no. 4 are of same typ e and bollard pull and both
pushing at right angles. At zero speed the ship, on even
keel, moves crosswise. For reasons explained, as soon
as ship's speed increases, the effect of tug no. 3 is smaller
than that of tug no. 4 and the ship starts turning to
starboard. The same applies to tugs of similar capabilities
when towing on a line forwar d and aft.
For swinging, e.g. when the ship is stopped in the
turning circle, tugs no. 1 and 5 or 6 are in the best
position due to the long lever of exer ted tug for ces.
The most effective tug positions have now been
revi ewed. Which position s should be used during
passage towards a berth and while mooring/unmooring
depends on what is required from the tugs and this
depends on the ship, local situation, circumstances and
ship's berthing side.
If steeri ng assistance to starboard is required during
passage towards a berth then tugs no. 3, 4, 5 and 6 are
in a good position. Tug no. 5 can even give steering
Pho/.(; :Author
Figure 4.24 Two amoetuional tugs assisting a tanker ha.ing headway in
mal<ing astarboard turn. The tugs are notinaneffiai.e puslUngpas/tion
andare also inereasing 1Mship's speeddue totJuir smallpushing angle
O CP se desloca para frente
assistance to both sides. The same would be the case
with a rudder tug. If crosswise drift forces from port
have to be compensated for in a narrow fairway, tugs
no. 3 and 4 are in a good position and also tugs no. I
(when this tug shifts to port), 5 and 6. In case stopping
assistance is required tugs no. 2 and 3 (with bow lines)
and 5 will assist effectively.
If tug assistance is required dur ing mooring/
unmooring operations then several combinations are
possible, also depending on tug type. For mooring of
large ships even four tugs may be used. Oft en tugs nos.
3 and 4 are used for pushing and I and 5/6 for
controlling the approach speed towards the be rth.
If tug no.! is a tractor tug, reverse-tractor tug or ASD-
tug ope rating as a revers e-tractor' tug, then tug no .l
together with tug no.5 can easily push as well as control
the ship' s approach speed towards the berth during
Whether the required tug forces can be delivered
effective ly, depends on a correct assessment of the
required bollard pull and the right choice of the type of
tugs with respect to the tugs' positions and assisting
4.3.4 Towing on a line compared with operating at a
ship's side
In paragraph 3.2, different assisting met hods were
discussed. Which assisting method is most appr opriate
for a parti cular port depends on the local situation and
circumstances. Nevertheless, it is good to have an idea
about the advantages and disadvantages of the two basic
methods. In paragraph 3.2 the small manoeuvring lane
withi n which tugs towing on a line are able to operate
and the limitati ons of tugs operating at a ship's side due
to waves were mentioned. Taking into account the
capabilities and limitati ons of tugs, th e foll owin g
additional comments are given.
Different types of tug can be used for towing on a
line, some more effective than othe rs. In a fairway
passage towards a berth tugs are normally positioned
so that the influence of wind and/or curre nt can be
compe nsated as mu ch as possible and changes in
heading can be made in a safe, efficient way. A ship can
also berth either side. using this system.
Towing on a line, therefore, has the advant age that
tugs are normally positioned at the safe side of the ship
and are flexibl e regarding berthing side. Even in the
worst case, when wind and/or current are getting too
strong, tugs on a line can assist up to the last moment,
minimising the risk of severe damage.
When omnidirectional propulsio n tugs are used for
towing on a line they are able to change over to the
push-pull method during berthing without the need to
release the towline. This shortens berthing time, because
no time is wasted in retrieving towli nes or repositioning
tugs. In addition, a ship can be kept under better control
because towlines stay fastened while tugs eithe r push
or pull.
Tugs at a ship's side are positioned according to
berthing side, to the forces of wind or current to be
compensated for and/or the changes of heading to be
made dur ing transit toward s a berth. When pos itioned
to compensate for wind and/or current forces this may
be the wrong position for berthing. Tugs the n have to
be shifted before mooring takes place - common
practice in some ports. However, this means that a ship
has no or little assistance during shifting of the tugs and
may start drifting.
When positioned to compensate for wind and/ or
current forces, risk is involved for both tugs and ship
when these forces are underestimated and a ship star ts
drifting. Wh en it becomes too dangerous for the tugs
they may try to get .out from between the ship and the
leeward or downstream fairway or cha nnel banks,
leaving the ship without any assistance.
4.4 Operational limits
Harbour tugs can operate in all conditions of cur rent
and wind. However, during fog the situation is differ ent.
Fog in confined port areas makes tug assistance very
risky. In good visibility a tug captain assesses his position
and speed in relation to the speed and heading of the
attended ship, and also in relation to the surrounding
area, such as buoys, beacons, river banks and quays .
Compared to ship movements, tug movements are
much faster, making it difficult to manoeuvre from the
tug's radar. In addition, tugs often operate close to a
ship's side, resulting in a distorted or partly blank radar
picture. Furthermor e, during fog a tug captain may lose
a good view of his towline. Altogether this makes tug
assistance during fog much more difficult than when
Visibility is good. For this reason restrictions on tug
assistance under poor visibility conditions exist in a
number of ports.
Several ports lie close to open sea and jetties may be
situated in open waters. Consequently, tug assistance
may also be required in open sea. For harbour tugs,
passing towlines in wave conditions can be difficult.
Harbour tugs ope rating at a ship' s side have short and
often rather steep towlines. Wh en tugs operate on a wave
exposed ship's side, dynamic forces in the towline may
reach high va lues and lines are liabl e to part in
deteriorating wave conditions. So, very strong and
sometimes double fibre lines of high stretch properties
are often used.
However, if circumstances permit, tugs can also
change over to towing on a line, allowing them to handle
a ship more safely since if towlines are longer tbey can
In spite of that
Questo de prova
better absorb dynami c forces. When tugs are equipped
with lowing winches line can then be paid out as deemed
necessary and be shortened when conditions improve
or when entering port.
On tbe other hand, in wave conditions harbour tugs
can, instead of towing on a line, operate more effectively
and at higher wave hei ghts at the ship's leeside,if
circumstances and ship manoeuvres allow. It all depends
on the local situation.
In wave conditions the risk of girting for conventional
tugs towing on a line is higher than in calm water and
passing towlines can be carried out more safely with
more highly manoeuvrable tugs. Tractor tugs will in
general, therefore, operate more safely and can provide
assistance in somewhat larger wave heights. It has been
reported that the movements of VS tractor tugs may be
more violent in wave conditions. Anyway, waves limit
the oper ating effectiveness of harbour tugs when towing
on a line as well as operating at a ship's side when
exposed to waves . Performance decreases wit h
increasing wave height An indication of the upper limits
for operations by harb our tugs is:
Maximum significant wave height:
Conventional tug types :15 - 18 m
Tractor types of tugs (incl.
reverse-tractor tugs), ASD tugs : 20 m
In several por ts a visibility of 05 mile is found to be
the limit.
4.5 Design consequences
What has been discussed wi th resp ect to the
performance of differ ent types of tug has resulted in an
alternative design for some new VS tractor tugs. The
reason why is clear. A tractor tug is very effective as a
stern tug on a line . It operates with the stern dir ected
towards the ship and the tug captain facing aft. Thi s is
also the dir ection of the assisted shi p's movement. When
operating at a ship's side a tug captain is also usually
facing aft and the same applies during mooring and
unmooring operations.
So wh at can be seen nowad ays is a totall y new
concept VS tractor tug, as for instance in the Norwegian/
Swedi sh Bess and Boss- the wheelhouse is turned 180.
The stern is high er to give better protection against
incoming waves (see figure 9.16). These tugs will be
considered when discussing escorting. Similar changes
to VS tug design can be found, amongst others, in the
VS tug Redhridge of Adsteam Towage, UK, where the
tug funn els are placed forward of the wheelhouse, giving
an optimum view aft for the captain. The stern in this
design is also raised. In addition, alternative towing
points can be used, as mentioned in section 4.2.2.
Photo:Boh DoJ1tJUSQTt., Soutllampton, UK
Figure 4.25 VS tug 'Redbridge' ofAdsteam Towage, Southampton,
UK. (/.0.0. 33m, beam 112 m, hp43 tons). A newdesign, meeting
several operational requirements, it has anoptimum vew of the after
ded: from thewheelhouse, unobstructedbyfimnels anda much higher
sheer at thestern tokeep theaft duk: clear of water when running
astern at speed. particularly inwaveconditions andwhen esC()fting
4.6 Conclusions regarding tug types
Assuming normal port operations with maximum
ship speeds of six to seven knots, it can be concluded -
with some reservations - that the suitability of different
tug types can broadl y be ranked as follows:
As forward tug towing on a line:
ASD- tugs
Conventional tugs
Tractor tugs/ Reverse-tractor tugs
As stern tug towing on a line:
Tractor tugs/ASD-tugs/Reverse- tractor tugs
Conventional tugs
When operating at a ship's side:
ASD-tugs/ Reverse-tractor tugslTractor tugs
Conventional tugs
The above ranking is, of course, a general one.
Differences in design of a particular type can change
the ranking, especially tug types with more or less similar
characteristics such as tractor, ASD and reverse-tractor
tugs. Conventional tugs will never reach the high
manoeuvrability of omnidirectional tugs. Bu t
conventional tugs also have many differences in design
and manoeuvring devi ces, making one much more
manoeuvrable than another. Wen chosen deck
equipment can improv e a tug's performance. For
instance, installation of a radial hook in a conventional
To achieve or to execute
tug can make that tug supe rior to a similar conventional
tug without such an arrangement. The same applies to
ASD-tugs, when they operate as a conventional tug.
It should be borne in mind, too, that the above broad
ranking refers to a tug's effectiveness. When safety of
operations is the major requirement, then tractor and
reverse-tractor tugs are recommended. Although fire
figh ting is no t discussed in thi s book it is also an
important factor to be considered with respect to a tug' s
manoeuvrability. Finally, the maximum dr aft of a tug,
e.g. of tractor tugs, can make them unaccept able for
certain ports regardl ess of their high manoeuvrability.
4.7 Some other practical aspects
There are other aspects whi ch are important for safe
and efficient shiphandling by tugs.
As stated in section 4.3.1 pilots, ship masters and
t ug captains should know each others capabilities and
limitations regarding ship and tug manoeuvres. This
knowl edge is the basis of good coo peration and
under st anding bet ween them. Only th en will
manoeuvr es go smoothly and a ship be handled safely
and efficiently. When manoeuvring, the pilot should
keep, as far as is possible, a close eye on the assisting
tugs. He will then see how the tugs are performing, can
take action when they don't act as expected, or when a
tug' s safety is at risk.
Communications between pilots and tug captains
For good cooperation between pilots and tug captains
a good communication system is indispensable. Portable
radio-communication sets have been used for years by
pilots. When of a good make these sets are very handy
and work satisfactorily. Radio sets should be tested prior
to a pilot boarding a ship and it is best that every pilot
has his own set.
Tug orders should be given clearly and be open to
: onl y one interpret ation. Tugs should be addressed by
name or by operating position. Tug captains should
co nfirm and repeat the orders given, stating their tug's
name or position. Any possibility of misunderstandi ng
should be avoided.
Many ports prefer to use a standard system in
English, but it will take years before such a system could
be introduce d worldwide (see also paragraph 9.5.1
Communi cations and Information).
In near ly all ports the language between pilots and tug
captains is a kind of slang and is therefore not always
comprehensible to the master of a ship. Although pilots
and tug captains understand each other well enough, it
is a strange situat ion because the ship master is still
responsible. It would therefore be bet ter if tug orders
were given in English, according to an int ernationally
agreed standard vocabulary. Using und er standable
English is fine in English speaking countries, but it does
cause pr obl ems in man y non-Engli sh speaki ng
countries. In parti cular, tug captains often speak only
the local language. An international standard vocabulary
is, for that reason, hardly feasible. In addition, a standard
vocabulary cannot cover non-standard situations. In
critical situations pilots and tug captains should be able
immediately to understand what is wanted. A change
i n communication procedures migh t re su lt in
mi sunderstandings. This should be avoided.
Nevertheless, tug captains should always be informed
by pilots about the intended ship and tug manoeuvr es.
Furthermore, the use of a basic system for tug orders in
a port is necessary, even though only a local system,
but should be standard for all local pilot s an d tug
captains .
Tug use
Harbour tugs handling a ship should have a reserve
of power, be able to react fast and to handl e a ship in
such a way that a minimum of space is.required for the
ship and assisting tugs. The slower tugs react, the longer
the towlines and the smaller the tug power, the more
manoeuvring space is required for a ship and assisting
tugs. However, manoeuvring space i s usuall y very
limited in port areas .
Tug size and power should be relative to ship size.
Large and powerful tugs should normally not handle
small ships. Tug actions in that case could induce too
large moveme nts of the att ended ship, resulting in
inefficient shiphandling and in a worst case damage to
the ship. In additi on, bollard pull of the separate tugs
handling a ship should not mutually differ too mu ch,
Tug configurat ion should be planned we ll in
advance, taking int o accoun t avail able tu gs, the
capabilities and limitations of different tugs, manoeuvres
to be carried out, the influence of wind, current, and so
on. A nice example of tug configuration can be seen in
the photo of the bulk carrier at page xiii. Three different
tug types are used in an appropriate configuration. The
ship has to round a starboard bend. One conventional
tug is assisting the ship, positioned starboard forward
wher e it can be effective in applying steering assistance.
In addition, thi s tug can tow with a larger towing angle
than a VS tug. One VS tug is therefor e positioned at
the port bow. At the port quarter aft is a powerful ASD-
tug, in the be st positi on for assisting in a turn to
starboard. The ASD-tug can assist in the turn in the
direct mode without increasing ship's speed and the tug
can, if required, control the ship' s speed. The second
VS tug with less boll ard pull than the ASD-tug'is
therefore positioned on the starboard quarter aft.
Repositioning of tugs may sometimes be considered
necessary during a trip, but should be avoided as far as
possible, part icul arl y if shifti ng the tugs in vol ves
releasing and refastening towlines. This takes time,
especially with the limited number of crew .members
on board nowadays. During the time of shifting a tug,
the ship has less or no tug assistance and in the worst
case towlines may foul ship's or tug' s propeller.
Ship' s speed sho uld be car efully controlle d in
relation to the limit ations of the tugs involved. Thi s
gene rally means that speed should be low, taking into
account the effect of current and wind . In any case, the
lower a ship's speed the mor e effectively tugs can
operate. Also, other factors playa role with regard to
ship's speed, factors which can affect the tug assistance
required and tug safety, such as interaction and shallow
water effects, which 'are discussed in Chapter 6,
Decreasingeffectivenessoftugs when aship gathersspeed
The difference in pulling effectiveness that arises
between a forward tug and stem tug when a ship gathers
speed has been mentioned earli er. In addition, an effect
to keep in mind is the decreasing effectiveness of tugs
in general when a ship, initially stopped in the water,
gathers speed. This has sometimes resulted in waiting
time for ships.
Example: A container ship has to depart from a
harbour basin with strong onshore winds. Tugs are
ordered. Total bollard pull available seems sufficient to
pull the ship off the berth. So far, no problem. However,
as soon as the ship's engines are started and she starts
moving, the tugs towing on a line take position to be
able to keep pace with the ship, so their effectiveness
decreases. The ship may dri ft alongside the berth again
and addi tional or stronger tugs have to be ordered,
which takes time. When moor ed po rt side to and
departing astern out of the harbour basin with an
onshore wind the effect is worse due to the transverse
effect of the ship's propeller.
Shippulled orpushedaround by a bowtuggathersspeed.
A tug pulling at right angles to the bow of a ship
stopped in the water will give the ship a lateral velocity
and a rate of tum, causing the ship to pivot around a
poi nt somewhere near the stem (see for instance figur e
4.2B ). As a consequence the ship' s lat eral centre of
gravity follows a curved path. A body following a
circular path experiences a 'centrifugal force' , and such
a force also acts on the ship's centre of gravit y moving
along the curved path. A 'centrifugal force' is always
directed outward and perp endicul ar to the curved path.
This 'force' originally acts almost in line with the ship,
thus causes the ship to gather headway. The fluid forces
also contribute to thi s effect.
Entangle or jam
Chapter FIVE
5.1 Introducti on
ballard pull used are normally based on a pil ot ' s
experience and may vary depending on port conditions
and circumstances. In general this system works well.
However, with increasing ship size it is more difficult to
determine what exactly is needed to handle a ship safely.
Experienc e alone in such a case is too narrow a basis
and may not cover all situations and conditi ons which
might be expected. Information on wind, current and
wave forces may be essential. This could be particularly
the case when large container ships, car carriers, deep
dr aught tankers or bulk carriers have to be handled in
unfavourable environmental conditions and in confined
port areas.
Another consideration is that, because of economic
pressure, shipping companies often try to minimise tug
assistance costs. Thi s can easily lead to a dispute between
the pilot, master or shipping agency about the minimum
number of tugs to be used. Ships equippe d with bow
thrusters and/or stern thrusters often use one or two
tugs less. Side thrusters, however, have limitati ons to
their maximum power and effectiveness , which
decreases very rapidly when a ship gathers headway.
The tug assistance required is, therefore, often subject
to discussion about acceptable limits of safety. Pilot and
master, if well prepared, can avoid these discussions
and are in a bett er position to take the right deci sion.
Depending on the local situation, tug assistance on
arrival or departure generally comprises three phases:
The phase whereby a shiphas reasonable speed
The ship can still use her engines and rudder to
compe nsate for drift forces caused by wind, current .
and!or waves, by steering a drift angle. Depending
on the situation, tugs may assist.
The intermediatephase
W"hen a ship has to reduce speed, entering a dock,
harbour basin, turning circle or approaching a berth.
The ship also has to be stopped within a certain
distance. When reducing speed, a ship's steering
perfor mance also decreases. The pr opeller has to be
stopped, the influence of wind and current increases
and tug assistance is needed more frequently and to
a larger extent.
The phase involvingthefinal part ofthearrival
The ship is practically dead in the water, such as in
the turni ng circle and!or when berthing. The ship is
very restricted in manoeuvri ng performance and not
abl e to compensate for wind and current forces. Tugs
have to assist fully.
For ships influenced bywind, current and waves this
last phase, when a ship is stopped in the water, is most
important for assessment of ba llard pull requir ed. It is
this phase which will mainl y be consider ed, ther efore.
In considering ballard pull required, the availability
of side thrusters i s sometimes taken into account,
be cause a side thruster may replace part of the ballard
pull required. Whether this is the case depends on the
ship, the local situation, the circumstances and por t
regulat ions.
5.2 Factors influencing total ballard
pull required
The following main factors influence tug assistan ce:
Portparticulars, includi ng:
Restrictions in the fairway, port entrance, passage to
a berth, turning circle, manoeuvring space at a berth
or harbour basin, available stopping distance, locks,
br idges, moored ve ssel s, water depths, speed
restrictions, and so on.
Berthconstruction, including:
Type of ber th: open, e.g. j etty, or solid.
Theship, including:
Type, size, draft and underke el cl earance, trim,
Windage, and factors such as engine power ahead!
astern, propeller type, manoeuvring performance,
and availability of side thrusters and specific rudders.
Environmental conditions, including:
Wind, current, waves, visibility, ice.
Method oftugassistance, including:
Towing on a line, ope rating at a ship's side or a
combination of methods.
The port is more or less a constant factor. Parti cular s
of port layout, such as fairway, port entrance, passage
to the berth, turning circle and berth location, determine
a basic number, type and total tug ballard pull for a
particular class of ship. This is based on local experience
and sometimes, for more difficult situations, on simulator
resear ch. An indi cation of ba llard pull required for
tankers, bulk carriers and container ve ssels is given
below. Berth construction has to do with the transverse
approach speed towar ds a berth, which is also dealt with
in this chapter.
In addition to tug assistance requirements following
from port layout and berth construction, the varying
factors influencing the required total bollard pull for a
particular shi p are:
Wind .
. Waves.
These factor s have to be considered in relation to
ship details such as size, draft, underkeel clearance, etc.
The manoeuvring performance of a ship may influence
required. tug assistance in a positive or negative '''lay.
The towmg method should also be taken into account.
Reduced visibility is also considered a factor of
regarding tug assistance. This is true, but it
mai nly concerns specific safety procedures for tug
assistance during fog. Reduced visibility, therefore, is
not di scussed further in this chapter. Tug assistance in
ice conditions was dealt with in Chapter 3.
The total force acting on a ship could, in theory, be
compensated for by tugs when bollard pull equals the
total forces of wind, current and waves. However, there
are some important factors to be taken into account:
Tugs must have sufficient reser ve power to push or
pull a ship up against wind and curre nt or to stop a
dr ifting ship quickly enough.
Tugs are not always pulling or pushing at right angles
to a ship. For instance, during arrival or departure
manoeuvres, a ship may have some forward or astern
movement. Tugs try to keep pace with a ship, and
thus use engi ne power in the direction of ship' s
movement at the expense of pull or push forces. The
same happens in situations where there is a current
and a ship has relative speed through the water.
Bollard pull actuall y available may, due to wear and
fouling, no longer be a full 100% compared to the
original bollard pull tests .
Forward and after tugs often cannot pull or push at
full power simultaneously, even when the required
bollard pull forward and aft is carefully considered ,
taking into account possible yaw moments caused
by wind and/or current or trim. A ship may start to
swing. At one end of the ship the tug then has to
reduce power in or der to stop the swing.
The propeller wash of tugs towing on a line may hit
a ship's hull and decrease pulling effectiveness. This
can be infl uenced to a certain extent by correct
towline length and towing angle, as exp lained later.
So, when calculating the for ces of wind, current and
waves on a ship, a specified safety factor should be taken
into for bollard pull required. In the graphs
showing bollard pull required to keep a ship up against
a beam wind, cross current and beam waves, a safety
?f 20% is included. For tugs pulling at a ship's
SIde this safety factor is not sufficient due to the large
loss of pulling efficiency, which is separately considered.
5.2.1 Wind forces
The forces on a ship ca used by wind can be
calculated by the formulae:
Lateral force:
= 05 C
Longitudinal for ce:
Fx- 05 C
PV' Newton
Yaw moment:
Mxyw = 05 C
P V' Ac L.pNewtonmetres
Lateral wind force coefficient.
Longitudinal wind force coefficient.
'Vinci yaw moment coefficie nt.
p Density of air in kg/m' .
V \Vind ve locity in m/ sec.
A,. Longitudinal (broadside) wind area in m' .
Transverse (head-on) wind area in m
Length between perpendiculars in m. .
The lateral force, longitudinal force and yaw moment
coefficients depend on a ship's form, draft and trim,
superstructure such as bridge, deckhouses, masts and
ramp, and angle of attack of the wind. It should also be
noted that deck cargo, as on container vessels, should
be included in calculati ng wind areas. The coefficients
and C
differ by ship and can be determined
by means of model tests in wind tunnels.
For several ship types the wind coefficients are
for all angles of attack and cer tain loading
conditions. For tan kers they can be found in 'Prediction
of Wind and Current loads on VLeCs' . Lateral forces
are largest and most important for calculating ballard
pull required. C
varies between approximately 08
and 10 for beam winds, depending on ship' s type and
loading condition, but lies mostly between 0.9 and 1.0.
With value 10 for C
128 kg/m! for density of air
and calculating the outcome in kilograms instead of
Newtons, the formula for beam wind forces can be
simplified to: FYw= 0065V'A
To allow a safety margin of 20%, 25% should be
added to the previous formula, resulting in the following
handy formula for estimating ballard pull required for
beam winds:
F = 008 V' A kgf
The graph in figure 5.1 is based on this formula,
whereby I mlsec = 2 knots' The calculated required
ballard pull i n t he wi nd graph of figure 5. 1 is
approximately 5%higher when, for wind speed in knots,
a more accurate equivale nce in m/sec is taken. The
safety factor of 20% included is in some cases eve n
higher, because for a lateral wind for ce coefficient the
value 10 is allowe d, which is sometimes only 0.8 or
0.85, although difficult to assess in daily practice. The
Figure 5.1
for beamwinds
Note 1:
17m is equal to
(= 98 leN) .
Nou 2:
For ltzrge gascarriers
see note in text
original data from
UKNational Ports
Council 1977
450 400 150 200 250 300 . 350
Required BollardPull in Tons
Longitudinal (broadside)Wind Area (Square Meters)
1000 2 3000 4000 5000 6000
8 ~
Figure 5.2 Windheighl velocity ratio
0.5 0.6 0 .7 0.6 0 .9 1.0 1.1 1.2
Ralio Wind V . l o ~ U y al IH) to V,loolty _t 10 M Haight
3 5
vw V w (1O/h)'/1
. Haigh t IH) .bov. S.. Left' ln M. t r..
vw wind velocityat 10metres height (mls).
v. the wind velocityat elevation h (m/s).
h elevation above ground/water surface (metres).
For calculating wind force in the equations, its
velocity at 10 metres height should be used. For wind
velocities obtained at a different elevation, adjustments
to the equivalent 10 metre velocity can be made with
this formula. On the other hand, wind indicati ons given
Wind velocity also varies by height, as shown in the
graph in figure 5.2. The graph is based on the following
formula: Note:
For loaded tankers the outcome is too high, because
the lateral wind coefficient of fully loaded tankers is
approximately O 7. For fully loaded tankers, however, it
is generally more the mass that counts . Care should be
taken when calculating the required ballard pull for large
liquefied gas carriers. The lateral wind coefficient for
these ships varies between 105 for gas carri ers with
pri smatic tanks and 12 for gas carriers with spherical
tanks (see References for 'Prediction of Wind Loads on
Large Liquefied Gas Carriers' ). Therefore, for gas
carriers with prismatic tanks 5%and for gas carri ers with
spherical tanks, 20% should be added to the outcome
calculated by the formula or indicated by the graph in
figure 5.1.
graph is only valid for tugs towing on a line or pulling
at a ship' s side on a rather long towline .
For winds not coming from abeam the total ballard
pull required can roughly be derived from the ballard
pull required for beam winds. It can then be seen that
when the angle of attack of the wind is between abeam
and up to approximately 30 degrees each side of abeam,
the ballard pull required is nearly the same as for beam
Winds. In general , yaw moment is maximum for
quartering winds but depends, amongst other things,
on type of ship, loaded condition, trim and deck cargo .
Wind does not blow constantly with the same force -
wind velocity fluctuates continuously. Therefore not just
mean wind velocity should be accounted for, but wind
that may be experienced in gusts and squalls. A wind
meter, properly installed with a recording device at a pilot
station, gives the best information. Ifconsidered necessary
gust factors, e.g. from PIANC, can be applied tentatively
to find the relationship between mean wind speed and
associated maximum speeds for shorter periods.
Lateral current force coefficient.
Longitudinal current force coefficient.
Current yaw moment coeffi cient.
Density of water kg/ m"
Current vel ocity in m/ sec.
Length betwee n perpendicul ars in m.
Longitudinal force:
Fxe = 05 CX, PV' r... T Newt on
Lateral force :
F 0 5 C
'" T T Newton y, . y, y - .....
Yaw moment:
, = 05 e
, PV' L.iT Newtonmetres
, =
C", =
The current coe fficients, CYe' C Xt and C
differ by a ship's underwater shape, draft, trim
and angle of attack, and are also affected by
underkeel clearance which has a very strong
effec t on the coefficients . These are
determined by using ship models in test tank
studies .
Current velocity is taken in metres /second, the
outcome in kilograms. This formula is only valid for
deep water, i .e, more than six times ship's draft
The lateral force coefficient for cross currents in deep
water is around 06 . Thi s is, amongst others, the
OCIMF-coefficient for loaded tankers. When C
, equals
06, density of salt water is 1025 kg/m", adding 25% for
loss of tug' s effectiveness and giving the outcome in
kilograms instead of Newtons, the following simplified
formula for calculating the approximate bollard pull
required for cross currents in deep water can be used:
For the bollard pull required the maximum
transv ers e forces exerted by a cross wise
current are important. The transverse force is calculated
using the formula: Fy, = 05 C
, PV' r...T.
.,. ----- -
I 3.0 .,g
--'------ -- .:
1.5 a
4 "
__ _ _ _ _ 1 _
___ _ _ _ L _
-- -1-------
_ _ _ ,.J. _
_ _ L _
- r
- --1---- -- -
, 2
01 _
Un derwater Late ral Area (Square Metu . )
1000 2000 3000 4000
- - 1 -
, ,
_ _ __ L ~ _
, ,
, ,
, ,
___ _ __ L ~ _
___ '- _ _ J. _
, ,
- - - - - - ~ - - - - - - T - - - -
, ,
, ,
, r ,
- - - - - - T - - - - - - T - - - - - - ~ - - - -- r
1 I I I
I 1 I I
- - - - - - ~ - - - - - - T - - - - - - r - - - - - - T - - -
I 1 I I
I 1 I r





FIgure5.3 Bollardpull requiredina ooss-current
Note: Ton is'qual to l000kgforct (= 98 kN)
Original datafrom UK National Ports Council 1977
by a wind meter on top of a shi p's mast give safe
approximations for evaluation of the lateral wind force
and bollard pull required .
A ship drifts under the influence of wind when the
wind forces acting on her are not compensated for by
tugs. A factor influencing drift vel ocity is underkeel
clearance. A drifting ship has a relative spee d through
the water, as wi th curre nt. The drift spee d of a ship
decreases with underkeel clearance, because the forces
create d by the opposing water increase when underkeel
clear ance gets smaller. This is considered later when
. discussing current forces.
Of course, a smaller drift speed does not imply that
less bollard pull is needed. A drifting vessel has to be
stopped and pulled back through the water. Stopping a
ship from drifting and pulling back also needs more
power in shallow water than in deep water. The amount
of water moving with a ship when drifting, the .added
mass, also increases wit h decreasing underkeel
. clearance, requiring additional bollard pull to stop and
pull back a drifting vess el in shallow water.
5.2.2 Current forces
Since und erkeel clearance in port areas can be small,
the current forces in these conditions are at least as
important as they are in deep water. With underkeel
clearance decreased to 15 x ship' s draft , bollard pull
required increases conside rably to approximately:
r, = 110 V r... T kgf
With an under keel clearance of 20% of ship's draft,
the bollard pull requi red is roughl y:
Fe = 150 V' LB, T kgf
The current force s acting on a ship can be calculated
in th e same wa y as wind forces . For th e sake of
co mple te n ess, th e formulae used in OCIMF
publications are given:
When underkeel clear ance is further reduced to 10%,
the bollard pull required is nearly five times as high as
in deep water, approxi mately:
= 185 V' L
T kgf
25%has in all cases been included for safety reasons.
The graph in figure 5.3gives an indication of ballard
pull required for cross curre nts and is based on the
afor ementioned formulae and OCIMF coefficients for
loaded tankers. The outcome includes a 20% safety
mar gin. The graph is only valid for tugs towing on a
line or pulling at a ship's side on a not too short towline .
Th e effect of reduce d underkeel clearance on current
force is also clearly shown in figure 5.4. Starting with a
current force of 10tons, the same current velocity causes
a strongly increasing force on the same ship whe n
underkeel clearance decreases. .
With a smal l underkeel clearance, current forces
decrease quickl y when the angle of attack of the cur rent
b ecomes less th an 90 to a shi p' s centr e line.
Longitudinal for ces then incr ease. The effect of the
current forces on a ship may then even be in the opposite
dir ection to that expected, in particular when with a
small underkeel clearance the current is coming in at
about 20-30 on the bow. When, e.g. after unmooring,
turning with the assistance of tugs a deep loaded bulk
carrier with a small underkeel clearance in a river with
current, the ship may gather headway and move against
the cur re nt directi on coming in from th e port or
starboard bow. Pilots have experienced such effects and
whil e turning have constantly to apply astern power to
check the ship's headway.
Not only do current forces increase considerably with
decr easing underkeel cl earance. Small underkeel
clearance also results in a larger turning diameter, a
decrease in rudder effectiveness and an increase in
stopping distan ce. To compensate for these effects, the
assis ta n ce of tu gs mi ght b e welcome for sa fe
shiphandling. Underkeel clear ance also conside rably
affects the duration of swinging round a ship. The
transverse forces tobe overcome fore and aft of midships
increase with de cr easin g underke el clearance .
Consequently, the duration of swinging round increases,
unless more ball ard pull is used.
5.2.3 Wave forces
Depending on environmental conditio ns in and
around a port, wave forces may also be a factor to be
considered when establishing the ball ard pull required.
Harbour tugs can only operate effectively up to a certai n
maximum wave height (see Chapter 4), so only short
beam seas are considered. It is difficult to calculate wave
forces exactly. It is assumed that a ship's dr aft is lar ge
enough to reflect the waves completely. Because of the
relatively short wave peri od it is further assumed that
waves do not cause any ship motion. In pr actical terms
it means we are considering conditions such as those
found in windy but sheltered areas. The waves are sho rt
and steep and the wave length is small relative to the
length of the ship. We are not considering ope n areas,
wher e ocean waves or swell might impinge upon the
ship and cause it to heave, roll and pit ch. The for ces
per metre of ship' s length due to these short period
waves then amounts to approximately:
F = 05 Pg r' Newton
wave 'e,
Because a ship's hull is not flat over its wh ole length
and draft, the total force on a ship caused by short period
waves is roughly:
. .. = 035 Pg L 1;.' Newton
p Density of seawater in kg/m

L Length of waterline; assume length between

perpendi culars.
~ a Wave amplitude, equal to 05 x wave height
H, Significant wave height from trough to crest,
as indicated by an experienced observer when
estimating visually.
A 25%safety margin is agai n added, and converting
to kilograms instead of Newton and wave amplitude in
0.5 x Draft
40 Ton
.2 .7.? z. ;.z ,z,z.:z ,
0.2 x Draft
Figure 5.4 Effi etof underkeel clearanu on current force
F = 112 LH
' kgf
Figure 5.5 Bollardpull requiredfor beam waves
significant wave height, the simplified formula for
roughly calculat ing the bollard pull required to hold a:
ship up against short period beam waves reads:
On the basis of this formula the bollard pull requir ed
is represented in the graph in figure 5.5. An example:
A sbip has a length between perpendiculars of 200m,
and estimated wave height is 1m. The force of the beam
waves on the ship is then (see formula):
112 x 200 x 1 x 1 = 22400 kgf = 22 tons
-++1- I I

- 1f--
1--- ---
- - - -----

-1--->-- ---
--- - ---
- 7

- -
- '----
./ I
I---- I
The larger a ship' s displacement the more bollard
pull is needed to stop sideways movement, Not only
the displacement but also the water mass moving with
a ship influences bollard pull required. This is called
(added' or 'hydrodynamic' mass. Virtual mass is the sum
of displacement and added mass. The exact amount of
added mass is difficult to determine. The added mass
increases with decreas ing underkeel cl e arance .
Furthermore, it depends on a ship'Sunderwater shape
and is very lar ge with a sideways motion. It then
normally varies be tween 25% to 100% of a ship' s
displaceme nt. Many for mulae used for calculating
virtual mass of a berthing ship, especially for fender
design, indicate values ranging from 13 up to more than
20 times the displacement.
As menti oned earlier, tugs should have sufficient
reserve power to stop a drifting ship. A comparable
situation exists during berthing. An arr iving ship is
stopped parallel to a berth or jetty and is then pushed,
pulled or heaved alongside. Wind, current and even
waves may also push a ship towards a berth . Due to
these forces a ship gains transverse speed which should
be slowed down by tugs to 'dead in the water ' or to a
safe berthing speed at the moment a ship touches the
fenders . So, tugs have to oppose the forces of wind,
current and waves, and in addition have to reduce the
transverse approach speed of a ship towards a berth,
which requires additional bollard pull. Of course, the
wind may blow offshore and tugs may need full power
to push or pull a shi p alongside. But even when there is
no wind, current or waves, bollard pull is needed to
control a ship's transverse speed.
5.2.4 The effect of ship's mass and berth
constructi on
Kil og ram Force per M length between PP
o 0.2 0 .4 0.6 0 .8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2
Sign i fi cant Wave Height (M)
(Olll y valid for .hort per iod wavu!
Photo:PorIof Glatlsto1U, AlLIualia
Figure 5.6 Open berthconstructionfor bullc carriers
Berth construction also affects approach speed. Solid
berths reduce a ship's approach speed because a water
cushion buil ds up between ship and berth. Open berths
or j etties do not reduce approach speed as the wat er
can flow away in any direction.
For fender calculat ions it is gene rally recommended
to apply for a water depth of 15 times ship' s draft as
virtual mass 15 times the displacement and for a water
depth of 11 times ship' s draft as virtual mass 18 times
the displacement.
Load ed tanker s and bulk carrie rs wit h large
displacement nee d the largest tug power for controlling
transverse speed. These ships are less affected by wind.
When ther e is any current, ber th construction should
be such that the cur rent runs in line with the berth or
jetty, though unfortunately this is not always so. In any
case, tugs should have sufficient reserve power to
compensate for any current and /or wind effect. In
general, when handling heavy ships , tugs use a
substantial part of thei r power to control tr ansverse
approach spee d towards a berth.
As virtual mass 18 times displacement is taken and
be rth construc tion is then accounted for. A rough
indication can thus be made of tug forces required to
stop sideways movement:
For open berths:
For solid ber ths:
009 D x V'
--- tons
007 D x V'
---- - - tons
As draft decr eases the ball ard pull required for
controlling transverse spee d becomes less, as indicated
in the examples for a loaded and ballasted tanker. Lateral
wind area increases and consequently available bollar d
pull can be used to keep the ship up into wind, current
and/or waves, if necessary.
Newer tugs are ahl e to operate for a limited time at
l lOOfo MCR. This means that for a short peri od these
tugs can deliver additional bollard pull, an advantage
in critical situations.
This formula is based on zero final speed and the
calculat ed force is in ton s. Final safe approa ch speeds
for VLCCs are gene rally a maximum of 6-8 em/sec.
S =
Initial speed in metres/ sec
Stopping distance in metres
For ships affected by wind, current and!or waves a
safety margin is included in the graphs, also for the
purpose of controJling transverse speed. For loaded
vessels, tankers and bulk carriers, ballard pull required
for controJling tr ansverse speed is included in the
formula in section 5.3.1.
In the following thr ee examples an initial speed of
05 knots (025 rn/sec) is assumed and tugs start pulling
when a ship is 30m away from a berth. Transverse speed
should be zero when a ship touches a j etty or berth.
A 250,000 dun ballastedlanker
Length overall 340m, beam 38m, draft 9m (295ft)
and displacement 124,000 tons. She has to be berthed
alongside an open j etty. According to the. formul a
the total tug power required to stop the ship in 30
metres is approximately 23 tons.
A 250,000 dun loaded tanker
Draft 204m (67ft) and displacement nearly 300,000
tons - much mor e power, almost 60 tons, is needed.
A container ship
Length overall 294m, beam 322m and draft 122m
(40ft), displ acement 80, 000 tons. She has to be
berthed at a solid berth. Based on the assumptions
above the boll ard pull re quired to stop her in
approximately a shi p's width i ~ 12 tons.
These calculations give an indication of the forces
required. In line with experience they show that large
di spl acement ships requite large stopping forces.
Furthermore, berth construction is a factor influencing
approach speed.
5.2.5 Thg wash effects
In certain pull ing situations, a tug' s propeller wash
impinges on a ship's side, bowor stern, reducing pulling
effectiveness. The smaller a ship's underkeel clearance
Figure 5.7 A tug', propelkr wash hillingaship hull,
the larger the negative effect of propeller wash hitting
the hull. Increasing propeJler rev olutions or thrust
worsens' the situation bec ause counter effec t also
inc reases , caused by a larger, more co nc ent rated
prop eller wash. Proper towline length and towi ng angle
Por que menor ?
Figure 5.9 'Coa7lJ1Jl ' <ffict
reduce thi s adver se effect. The less the underkeel
clearance and the more power needed, the longer a
towline should be.
In figor e 5.8, several towing positions are given for
a ship stopped in the wate r. In posi tions If (f=forward)
and l a (a=aft) there is a fair possibility that the pulling
tugs experience loss of pulli ng effectiveness due to
propeller wash hill ing the bow and stern almost at right
angles . A ship's hull form, shape of bow and stem and
whether she has a large bulbous bow, influence loss of
effectiveness. For the pulling tugs, e.g. tug If, it might
even be possible that the tug' s wash effect causes a
turning moment on the ship in an opposite direction to
that expected from the orientation of the tug. Such an
effect is shown in figore'5.9. The ship is loaded, has a
bluff bow and a small underkeel cl ear an ce . A
conventional tug is pulling at right angles to the ship' s
hull on a short towline . The consequence is an almost
total loss of towing effectiveness by the reaction force R
of the propeller wash hi tting the ship's hull. In addition,
the bulk of the accelerated water flow goes around the
bow of the ship and remains allached around the curved
surface. This is called the 'Coanda Effect'. The flow
So, loss of pulling effectiveness of forward and aft
tugs towing on a line can be minimised by appropriate
towline length, towline angle and/or thruster selling. A
towing winch is very useful for adjusting towline length
in accordance with circumstances. For tugs operating
at a ship' s side, when pulling, the larger the distance
between propellers and ship' s hull the beller.
Compared to positions If and l a of figur e 5.8,
positions 2f and 2a may show' less loss of effectiveness.
Regarding loss in effectiveness due to propeller wash
towing positions and towing dir ections 3f and 3a are
considered the most effective. Tugs operating at a ship's
side , in positions 4f and 4a, have a large loss of
effectiveness when pulling. When operating in the push-
pull mode towline lengt hs are short and pulling
effectiveness can even be less than 50%, depending on
how close the tug' s propellers are to a ship's hull.
In the following assessments of required bollard pull
it is assumed that equal tug powe r is required forward
and aft, which is not always the case. Yaw moments can
be caused by wind and depend on the wind force, angle
5.3.1 Bollard pull required based on
environmental conditions an d displacement
5.3 Bollard pull required
For tugs operating at a ship's side and holding her
up into the wind, current or waves on short towlines,
the required pull in the graphs in figores 5.1, 5.3 and
5.5 should be increased by, say, at least 20%, resulting
in a total safety margin of 50%.
Tug propellers should be as far as possible away from
a ship's hull. Conventional tugs, towing on a line, have
their propell ers closer to a shi p's hull compared with
tractor, reverse-tractor and ASD-tugs. The latter two
types, when towing or pulling over the bow, have their
propellers furthest away from the ship's hull. Thi s is of
special import ance for tugs operating at a ship's side or
in narrow harbour basins where they often have to work
on short towlines due to limited manoeuvring space.
VS tugs have less pronounced propeller wash compared
with conventional tugs and tugs with azimuth thrusters,
in particular tho se wit h propell er s in nozzles.
Consequently, the negative effect of VS propeller wash
hitting a ship's side is less. Tugs with azimuth thrusters
can set their thrusters at a small angle, at least with
independently controlled thrusters, thus deflecting the
creates a low pressure resulting in a force F. This has to
do with the Bernoulli effect, which is explained in the
next chapter. The result is that the pulling force T is
opposed by the reaction force R and the only force left
is force F, givingthe ship a forward and starboard instead
of port turning movement.
Force due to OoandeEffect
Figure 5.8 DifJerrnl lowingposilions
of attack and on the ship's profile above the water, which
varies with draft, trim and deck cargo. In addition,
current may cause a yaw moment, depending on the
current velocity, angle of attack and ship' s underwater
profile which varies with draft and trim. Although with
beam winds or currents a ship may experience a,yaw
moment, they are generally largest with quart ering
winds and currents. Yaw moments cause d by currents
even increase with decreasing underkeel clearance. Yaw
moments caused by wind and! or current may result in
a higher ballard pull requirement forward or aft.
There is another aspect to be taken into account.
When for example pulling a ship offthe berth, the lateral
underwater resistance becomes effective. On a ship
having a large stern trim, the centre of pressure of the
lateral resistance lies aft of midships. When forward and
aft the same amount of ballard pull is used, the after
tug(s) have to use more power than the forward tug(s) to
pull the ship parallel off the berth. A ship down by the
head may require more ballard pull forward than aft.
It is because these turning moments vary so much,
only the required total ballard pull is considered. How
much ballard pull or how many tugs forward and aft
are required should be carefully considered each time,
based on an assessment of the actual situation and
The onshore wind (figure 5.1) 117 tons
The crosswise current (figure 5.3) 42 tons
The waves 281 m x 30 kg (figure 5.5) = 8 tons
Total ballard pull required = 167 tons
To compe nsate for wind, current and waves, four
tugs with at least 40 tons ballard pull are needed. In the
total ballard pull required for wind, current and waves
a safety factor of at least 20% = 33 tons is included.
Thi s reserv e power i s also, amongst other things,
sufficient to control approach speed towards the berth.
Without an y curren t or waves, four tugs of
approximately 30 ton s ballard pull would be needed
Of, when available, two of 60 tons, to compe nsate for
wind forces.
1\I105t container ships, car carriers, ro-ro ships and
so on are equipped with bow thrusters or bow and stern
thrusters. 100 HP of a bow thruster is about 11 tons
force, 100 kWabout 15 tons force, for a ship ' dead in
the water'. The effectiveness of stern thru sters is
generally somewhat less. If th e above mentioned
container vessel is equipped with a bowthruster of 2500
HP (1840 kW) then 28 tons less ballard pull is required
forward . If just the influence of wind is to be
compensated for, thi s would lead to a reduction in the
number of tugs of 30 tons from four to three, i.e. one
forward and two aft.
When towing on a line or pulling at a ship' s side on
not too short a towline, the following compensatory total
ballard pull is required:
Therefore, experience is an indispensable factor. As
mentioned earli er, master and pilot are in a better
position to assess requirements for tug assistance and
unwanted effects to be avoided if they have a good
understanding of the forces and other factors influencing
a ship and of tug performance.
Shipsafficted by current, wind and/or waves
The graphs in figures 5.1, 5.3 and 5.5 give an
indication of the ballard pull required by ships affected
by wind, current and! or waves. As an example for using
the graphs:
Container ship: length overall 294m, length between
perpendiculars 281m, beam 32m, draught 125m, water
depth 138m. Top of containers to waterline
approximately 22m. Onshore wind at right angles to
the berth. Wind speed 30 knots (7 Bft). The location of
the container berth is not too good, with a cross current
of 05 knots. Short period waves of 05m height are also
coming from a direction perpendicular to the berth.
Ratio draft/water depth 138: -125
Area above water, approx. 294 x 22
Underwater area, approx_281 x 125
= [1
= 6500 m'
=3500 m'
= 75,000 t
It is clear that whether a bow thruster can repl ace a
tug depends on the forces to be compensated for and
the ballard pull of the available tugs. It also depends on
the local situation, circumstances and port regulations
as to whether side thrusters can repl ace one or more
tugs. For certain situations, for example whe n passing
narrow bridges wher e tug assistance is required, it is
preferable to have a forward tug on a line. Regardless
of the fact that a ship is equipped with a bo;'" thruster,
its effectiveness decr eases very quickly as a ship gathers
forward speed. At a speed of two knots through the
water, effectiveness is usually reduced by 50%compared
to zero speed. At four knots the effectiveness of a bow
thruster is reduced almost to nothing. At such speeds a
bow thruster cannot replace a forward tug.
It should also be noted that the effect of a bow
thruster on a ship becomes less with decreasing
underkeel clearance, due to the higher force s needed
to turn a ship, to move a ship sideways or to stop a
sideways movement and to compensate for the influence
of currents. Therefore a ship equipped with a bow
thruster, which normally uses no tugs, may require tug
assistance in shallow water conditions .
When tugs operate in push-pull mode and have to
hold a ship on short towlines up into wind, current and!
or waves, the required pull in the graphs in figures 5.1,
5.3 and 5.5 should be increased by at least 20%. In the
case of the container ship with a bow thruster and an
Numberof Tugs TotalBollard Pull
4 200
3 150
AverageNumber of Tugs
Avcrage Bollard Pull
300 rn. Length o.a.
Figure 5.10 lbtal bollardpull in Ionsand averagenumber of tugsfor containerandgeneral cargo vessels asusedin a number ofportsaround the
world. Dependingontheport andlocal circumstances less tugs mo.y beusedwhenships are equipped withsidethrusters
Number of Tugs
TotalBollard Pull
- 200
2 -
150 200 250 300 350 m. Lengtho.a.
Figure 5.11 Total bollardpull in tons andaveragenumber oftugs for tankers andbulle carriers as usedin a number ofports around the world
(based onlength overall)
Number of Tugs Total Bollard Pull
4 200
100,ODO 200,000
300,000 Deadweight Tonnage
Figure 5.72 IbtalballardpuUin tons andaverage number oftugs1Mtankers andbulk carriers as used in a number ofports around the world
(based ondeadweight)
onshore wind of 30 knots, a total ballard pull would
then be needed of about 140 (117 tons +20%) - 28 (bow
thruster) = 112 tons: roughly a 40 ton tug at the forward
shoulder and two of 35 tons at the after shoulder.
ships, container vessels, tankers and bulk carriers in a
number of ports is shown. With regard to these graphs,
on departure and for ships partly loaded or in ball ast,
fewer tugs or less ballard pull than indicated is
sometimes used.
5.3.2 Number and total ballard pull of tugs as
used in a number of ports
There is no uniform system in use in ports around
the world giving a relationship between size of ship and
number and power of tugs required. Calculations are
mostly based on len gth overall, but deadweight,
displacement or gross tonnage are also used as factors.
Ships with large displacements
Loaded tankers and bulk carri ers have lar ge
displacements. For these type of ships the following
formula can be used, based on the displacement of the
Some times tugs have to assist in station keeping at
offshor e install ations, such as SPMs and F(P)SOs.
Although required ballard pull as discussed generally
also applies to these tugs, the reader is further referred
to the information included in the OCIMF publication
' Recommendat ions for ships' fittings for use with tugs'
(see References).
The same applies to ships equipped with bow and/
or stern thrusters. Sometimes, if equipped with a bow
thruster, though not in every port, one tug less is used
than indicated in the graph and when equipped with
both bow and stern thrusters two tugs less than indicated
may sometimes be allowe d. Furthermore, ports or
terminals may have a limited number of tugs available
to assist ships varying in type and size.
When assessing ballard pull required, the assisting
mode - whether on a line or operating at a ship's side -
should be taken into account. For tugs operating at a
ship's side on short towlines the results of the wind,
curren t and wave graphs should be increased, roughly
estimated, by 20% when pulling.
The average bollard pull used shown in figures 5.11
and 5.12 for bulk carriers and tankers is more or less
compara ble with the ou tcome of the p r eviously
mentioned formula based on displacement for ships of
deadweight up to about 230,000 tons.
For ships affected by wind, such as container vessels,
ro-r o vessels, car carriers, gas carriers, tankers and bulk
carriers in ballast, the ballard pull required can be
approximated using the wind graph for cross winds. The
influence of current and waves can be accounted for
using the current and wave graphs.
5.3.3 Summary
The graphs in figures 5.10, 5. 11, and 5.12 give the
minimum, maximumand average total bollard pull used
in a number of ports, including the average number of
tugs. For ballard pull used the upper line of th e graph is
assumed as the requirement for more difficult situations
and the lower line for normal and easier situations.
displacement )
--- -x60 ) +40
100,000 )
Required ballard pull =
Decisions on the number of tugs to be used in ports
and the ba llard pull required are mainly based on
experience. For the majority of ships and situations a
more or less standard number and/or ballard pull is
used. Large ships and mor e specific situations or
circumstances are generally assessed separately by the
pil ot and/or port authorities to det er mine the tug
assistance required and if necessary and possible this is
done in consultation with the master. Simulation studies
are sometimes needed to assess requirements for spe cific
situations or specific ships .
In most ports shipmasters or pilots are free to order
the numb er of tugs and/or ballard pull they consider
necessary to handle a ship safely. In some ports it is
compulsory to use a fixed number and power of tugs,
depending on the type, size and draft of the ship,
environmental conditions and location of the berth. It
.may also depend on whether a ship is to berth port or
starboard side to.
This obligation, though gene ra lly a mi nimum
requirement, exists in a numbe r of Far East and
Australian ports and at some large oil terminals. For
ships equipped with side thrusters, a reducti on in the
number of tugs or required power is sometimes allowed.
For ships with large di splacements, ballard pull
required can be approximated using the formula based
on displacement. The graphs showing ballard pull used
in a number of ports give an indication of the ballard
pull require d for more difficult and more normal
Ships with side thrusters, partly loaded or departing
may use less ballard pull than indicated. However, this
depends on the local situation, circumstances and port
Control of tr ansver se spee d towards a berth is
included in the graphs and formulas. For a rough check
the formula as shown in section 5.2.4 can be used.
In figures 5.10,5.11 and 5.12 tug use for general cargo
5.3.4 Influence of tariffs on availability and
number of tugs used
Shipping comp anies have to pay for the use of tugs,
though in some ports tug tariffs are included in port
dues . Tug tariffs are usually based on the size of ship
and number of tugs or total ball ard pull used. In many
ports ships are charged extra for tug assistance during
adve rse weat her conditions such as strong wi nds, ice or
fog. Th e same applies to tug services duri ng night hours,
at weekends and when tug assistance takes longer than
a specific basic time period.
Tug tariffs often affect the number or ball ard pull of
tugs used. That is why some attention is paid to this
subject, bearing in mind that circumstances and tariffs
differ by por t.
Ship arrivals and departures have an irregular pattern
and may be influenced, amongst other thi ngs, by the
working hours of dock labour and tidal restrictions. This
means that ships may arrive dur ing peak hour s, for
example during hours of slack or high tide. The number
of tngs in a po rt is to some extent determined by
shipping traffic during these peak hour s. A numb er of
tugs rendering assistance during busy hours will be
unemployed outside those hours, so peaks in shipping
traffic affect efficient employment of a tug fleet in a
negative way.
To run a fleet more efficiently and to reduce costs a
tug company could consider reducing the number of
tugs. However, this automatically affects the availability
of tugs during peak hours, caus ing waiting time or
resulting in fewer tugs being used for a parti cular ship
movement, thus affecting safety.
A category of ship with an irregular pattern of tug
use is those with side thrusters, twin screws and high lift
rudders, such as large container vessels, cruise vessels,
ferries, car carriers and fo-ro vessels having a large
windage. These ships often don't use tugs, or only a
minimum number, except when the wind is increasing.
This can happen after weeks of calm weather. These
ships affect the availability of tugs, especially during
adverse weather co nditions, resulting in a further
decrease in tug fleet efficiency.
In addition, ships are getting larger and consequently
tug power has increase d considerabl y in recent years.
Port dimensions have ofte n no t expan de d
proportionately to the increase in ship sizes so large
ships in restricted manoeuvring ar eas plac e a heavi er
demand on towing assistance. More powerful tugs also
mean higher costs for towing companies.
Due to the high costs of tugs and.their crews the
inefficiency of tug fleet use may result in the availability
of tugs coming under pressure, which is the case in a
number of ports. However, the availability of a sufficient
number and ballard pull of tugs, especially during peak
hours, is an essential factor in good service to the
shippi ng industry and to running a port efficiently. But
considering the po sit ion of towing compani es ,
. availability alone does not pay. Neither does increased
tug power, unl ess tug tariffs are also base d on total
ballard pull used.
Depending on shipping traffic in a port, a mor e
efficient tug fleet - without affecting the availability of
tug assistance - can be achieved by the use of less uni ts
but of higher power. Less tugs can thus be used per
ship, for example, for large tankers or bulk carriers.
These types of ship normally use a standard number of
tugs of certain ballard pull. Beyond peak hours less tugs
will then be unused.
In ports whe re pr oblems eme rge regarding the
availability of tugs and tug power a review of the existing
tug fleet may be necessary including a review of tug
tariffs. Thi s may result in less units of higher power, as
mentioned above.
Regular meetings between port authorities, towing .
companies, shipping compani es and pilot organisations
i s nec essary, in ord er to keep port se rvi ces at an
acceptable level without raising tug tariffs too much. It
might be 'wort h considering whether a basic tug tariff
could be included in a port tariff to ens ure minimum
avail ability of tugs.
As indicated, in certain ports tug tariffsmay influence
the availability of tugs and consequently a pilot's work.
Pilots should be permitted to assess the minimum tug
requirement to handle a ship safely. On the othe r hand,
it is quite reasonable that the cost of tug assistance is a
factor taken int o account by a shipping company when
ordering tugs, although economy should never have
priority above safety. The cost of tugs is frequently the
background of discussions between masters and pilots,
when the number required is discussed, except for ports
where the use of tugs is compulsory or strictly regulated.
A good contrac t between shipping companies and
tug owners, stating the numb er and ball ard pull of tugs
to be used, and covering circumstances when additional
tug power might be neede d, e.g. adverse weathe r
conditi ons, is stro ngly recommended. When tug
assistance is necessary it can then be expected that the
required number and b all ard pull of tugs will be
available without additi onal cost.
Chapter SIX
6.1 Introduction
effectiveness of various types of harbour tug. Anot her
very important aspect, sometimes mentioned in those
chapters, is the risks harbour tugs may encounter when
renderin g assistance. It i s an essential point wh en
engaged in shiphandling operations. Essent ial, because
it is not only the safety of a tug and her crew that could
be at risk but also the safety of a vessel. When rendering
assistance tug captai ns and pil ots should be fully aware
of the risks invol ved. Since a number of unsafe situations
can be traced back to interaction effects, attention is
first paid to this subject and also the influence of shallow
water on several interaction effectsand the tug assistance
requi red,
6.2 Interaction and shallow water effects
6.2.1 Interaction effects infl uencing tug
p erformance
There ar e different kinds of inter action. Some
influence tug performance, others affect tug safety, some
both. Interactions influencing tug performance are:
Tugpropeller - tughull interaction
For example, the astern thrust of a reverse-tractor tug/
ASD-tug is 5-10%less than ahead thrust, as a result of
propeller wash hitting the afterbody of the tug and so
reducing bollard pull when astern thrust is applied.
Interaction oftugpropellers
Thi s is especially the case with azimuth thrusters and
VS propellers. Depending on thrust direction, the
two propellers of tractor and ASD/reverse-tractoi
tugs interact to a certain ext ent and affect a tug's
Tug - ship interaction due to tugfendering
Fender characteristics such as energy absorption
capabilities and friction coefficients influence the
interaction of forces between tug and ship and also
tug performance.
Tug - towline interaction
Tug reactions such as tug list and consequently tug
performance are in fluenced by towline
characteristics, especially by its dynamic load
absorption capabilities.
Tug propeller - ship hull i n t e r a ~ t i o n
The reduction in pulling performance due to tug
propeller wash hitting a ship's hull has been dealt
with in a pr evious chapter. In the case of small
underkeel clearance this effect is more pronounced.
Pushing tugs are al so affec ted by thi s type of
interaction when prop ellers are close to a ship's hull,
due to interrupted water flowtowards the propellers.
Tug hull - shiphull interaction
The influence of this effect on tug performance is
particularly marked when a tug operates at a ship's
side. This kind of interaction is also influenced by
shallow and narrow waters and in parti cular by ship' s
speed, affecting tug safety as well.
Shippropeller/ship hull - luginteraction
These interactions affect performance when operating
as stern tug in the propeller slipstream or ship's wake.
The effect of ship's wake increases in shallow and
narrow waters.
The points above show that there are several kinds
of interaction affecting tug performance. Tug hull - ship
hull interaction affects tug safety as well. This effect and
ship propeller/ship hull - tug interactions are dealt with
in this chapter. The others have been discussed in
previous chapters. Sma ll underkeel clearance affects
some of the interaction effects, as indicated. It is worth
considering some other effects of shallow water.
6.2.2 Shallow wate r effects with respect to tug
Some effects of shallow water have already been
dealt with when discussing the bollard pull required in
relation to current forces and a ship's displacement. The
relationship between decreasing underkeel clearance
and increasing bollard pull required to hold a ship up
into a current or to stop a sideways moving ship has
been mentioned previously.
There are other shallow water effects necessitating
tug assistance and requiring the full attention of pilots
and tug captains. There are situations where these effects
occur and tug assistance is then very welcome: Shallow
water, meaning small under ke el cl earance, has the
following effects amongst others:
Increase of banksuction and bow cushion effects
A ship proceeding to one side of a river or channel
and close to a bank experiences suction forces
towar ds the bank. These forces are not uniformly
distributed over a ship'S length. Their resultant acts
somewhere abaft of midships. The overall effect is a
bodily attraction towards the bank - bank suction -
and a yawi ng effect away - bow cushion. A ship can
proceed in a stable situation parallel to the bank by
applying rudder towards the bank. But as soon as
this stable situation is disturbed e.g. by an irregular
profil e of the bank, even a submerged bank, or by
careless steering, a ship may sheer away from the
bank. If thi s happens it is difficult to control the ship
and she may even sheer to the other side of the river
or channeL
The smaller the underkeel clearance the more
pronounced bank suction and bow cushion effects
are. They can be kept under control by keeping away
from banks as far as possible and by adjusting ship's
speed. Bank suction and bowcushion effects increase
proportionately with ship' s speed, viz. by the square
of the speed. At a speed of four knots attraction
towards a bank and yawing moment away from it
are four times as high as at two knots. Also, the lower
a ship's speed the more reserve power is available to
give a ' kick ahead' with rudder hard over to
counteract a sheer. In shallow waters and when close
to banks tugs should be on the alert to counteract an
unexpected sheer. Bank suction and bow cushion
effects have all to do with a Mr. Bernoulli, which is
explained in the next section.
Decrease of rudder effict
Possible increment of transverseeffict of thepropeller
Increase of turning circle radius
The turning circle radius in shallow water is much
lar ger than in deep water. The initial rate of turn is
much smaller. Manoeuvring a bend in really shallow
water is therefore more difficult than in deep water.
Tug assistance may be. required to take a bend
properly. The lower,a ship's spee d, the more reserve
power is available to control movement and the more
effectively tugs can operate.
Increase ofstopping distance due tolargervirtualmass
In shallowwater a ship drags a large amount of water
along with her, increasing to as much as 40% of her
displacement when keel clearance reduces to 20'/0
of the draft. When underkeel clearance is small, more
astern power and consequently more tug power are
needed to stop a ship than in deep water.
When passing through a channel with little underkeel
clearance the large amount of water following a ship
occasionally leads to another int eresting effect. When a
ship comes to an abrupt stop in a basin at the end of a
channel the following mass of water needs time to slow
down and overtakes the shi p. It may push her ahead,
may increase the rate of turn, or push her sideways when
she is turni ng. One has explained that this effect is
caused by the so-called 'added mass' . However, it is
more likely to be the water flow in the channel following
the ship and filling the gap behind which causes the
delayed effect when a ship comes to an abrupt stop.
This effect has been experienced, for example, with large
tanke rs in a Caribbean port (see figure 6.1). The extent
of the effect is directly related to ship's speed.
It is clear that low ship 's speed is very important
whe n proceeding in shallow waters. Shallow wat er
effects also enlarge int eraction effects between ships .
From the point of view of safety duri ng tug operations
one should always be aware of the possible occurrence
of these effects.
Following warerfrom
channel turns and
moves shipaside
~ Wa G following snipup channel
Figurt 6.1 Effictoffollowing waltr whrn p=ing throngh adumnel
witha dttp loaded ship andcoming to a stop at theend ofthe dumnsl
6.2.3 Interaction effects influencing tug safety
Flowpattern around a ship
The interactions which most endanger tug safety are
those happeni ng when ships are sailing or manoeuvring
close to one other. It is the water flow around a ship
which produces int eraction effects. Wh ether a ship is
moving through the water or water is moving along a
ship does not make any difference; water speed relative
to the ship is the same.
For furth er explanation see figure 6.2, where the
actua l flow pattern that could be experienced, for
inslance, by a tug stopped in the water is shown. In figure
6.3 the water flow relative to the ship' s speed is given.
If a ship underway through the water had no beam
or draft, the water round the ship would have constant
speed relative to the ship - the relative speed of the
water would be the same as the ship's speed. Naturally,
however, a ship does have beam and draft, so water is
pushed sideways and downwards by the ship and still
has to pass along the ship from bow to stern in the same
time but on a path that is longer than the length of the
ship. Hence most of the time during its passage along
the ship the r el at ive velocity of the water
flow is increased.
(nautical) breadth amidships
Reducedpres sure
- - --- -------- - ---- - ----- - - - - - - -
--- -------
, \
I \
I \
I \ \
I , ,
: , I
! II '''\ ; ;
\ \ \ / \ I / /
BQweree outgoing flow /---- -------,Stern 'areaJlncoming flow
'. \ \ ', / '1/ / /
' '. particle velocity \ / / // I I
"<, .' " (. o---?- 8rnJn -r--> , I /./ ./ /
-, , ..
- --- . - WMt1'iOri :
+-++ +- , - - --1
-, rv v: " \! V;
+ + "
Increasedpressure + . + + +
Ina eesed pressure
Figure 6.2 Schematicfl ow- unsteady flowfieldasfelt by an observerin astationary tugseeing a ship approaching

Retarded flow
+2+++_ --1
Increasedpressure +

uce pressure
FIgUre 6.3 Pressure pattern andrelativeflowfieldaround a bulkcarrier
This is where Mr. Daniel Bernoulli comes into the
picture. An 18th century Swiss philosopher, he
established the relationship between water speed and
water pressure. He showed that an increase in water
speed results in a decrease in water pressure and vi ce
versa, whereby the change in pressure is proportional
to the square of the speed change. So, when water speed
is doubled pressur e reduces to a quarter.
Following Bernoulli' s theory the re are reduced
pressure areas round a ship where the relative velocity
of water flow is increased. If stream lines wer e parallel
aroun d a ship the reduction in pr essure would be
uniform. Well ahead of a ship the stream lines are equally
spaced, but at a certain point they ar e wedged apart
and as they go round the body of the ship they are
compressed. At the stern the stream lines tend to spread
again in an effort to fill the gap astern of the ship.
When stream lines diverge the speed of the water
reduces and, according to Bernoulli, pressure increases.
'When stream lines converge, water speed increases and
water pressure reduces. This boils down to conservation
of energy in fluid flow. At low speeds a ship' s wave
making resistance i s minimal. Th e wave pattern
generated by a ship travelling at higher speeds causes
wave making and wave br aking (at the bow) resistance.
The wave length found in such a wave patt ern is a
funct ion of the speed of the ship. Pressure fields caused
by the Bernoulli effect are the main cause of the wave
pattern arou nd a ship at low speeds.
It means that at the bow ther e is a high pressure area,
a bow wave, followed by a low pressure field around
the midsection while at the stern there is again a high
pr essure area, altbough lower than that at the bow.
Due to viscous resistance or skin friction water is
dragged along with a ship, a little at the bow but mor e
and more towards the stern. It forms a fairly dead layer
of wat er, called th e boundary layer , incr easing in
th ickness from bow to ste rn. Abaft the stern the
boundary layer forms the frictional wake. This boundary
layer and wake astern of a ship result in a less marked
spreading of stream lines, resulting in a smaller high
pr essure field near the stern than at the bow. Particularly
in the case of wide bodi ed ships, water speeds up round
the forward but less round the aft shoulders, causing a
local wave trough.
In shallow wat er the flow underneath a ship is
restricted and mor e water has to pass along the sbip
sides than in deep water. Consequently along the ship
sides the water has a higher speed and the reduction in
pressure is larger, while high pressure near bow and
stem increase, assuming the same ship's speed as in deep
and open waters. When in shallow and in narrow waters,
the water flow between a ship and the banks is much
mor e confined, causing an even higher water speed and
a much larger reduction in pressur e along a ship side
and a further increased pressure near bow and stern,
with the highest pr essure near the bow.
Thi s also explains bank suction and bow cushion
effect A ship proceeding on one side of a channel has a
more confine d water flow at the side nearest the bank,
causing highe r water speed and lower pressure at that
side. The ship is forced towards the low pressure side.
Due to the boundary laye r, also formed along the bank,
the space between bank and ship narr ows towards the
ship's stem, causing the resultant force to act somewhat
abaft of midships, giving the ship a yaw moment away
from the bank. In addition, the high pressure near the
bow close to the bank increases and forms a pressure
cushion, causing the bow cushion effect. The effect of a
steep bank is bigger than that of a sloping bank, because
with a sloping bank some sideways inflow of water is
possible causing a smaller reduction in pressure.
The most relevant pr essure fields around a ship have
now been explained. The imp ortant role that the ship' s
speed plays is clear. Besides the importanc e of an
appro priately low speed, it is also important to keep in
mind that interaction effects will increase when
underkeel clearance is small and when close to banks.
Inter action effects between ships or between a ship
and a tug are generated in the same way as between a
ship and a bank. It is again the distance off and the
relative spee d of the water between the ship and the
tug which causes the degre e of interaction.
Tug - ship interaction with respect to tug safety
In figure 6.4, a tug is slowly overtaking a bulk carrie r
and tr avelling past th e ship. The most r el ev ant
int eraction effects on the tug are now considered. The
approximate stream lines around the ship ar e shown.
When the tug approaches the stern from a position
behind tug no . I, it experiences an increase of speed
due to the relatively low wat er speed. The tug may be
pushed sideways to starboard as well by the incoming
waterflow (see also figure 6.2).
When coming nearly abeam of the stern (position I)
the tug is sucked towards the ship because the speed of
water increases between tug and ship's hull causing a
low pressure field and consequently a sucti on force
towards the ship. Since the tug's forepart is closer to the
ship than the stem the tug expe riences a starboard
turning moment. A lift force caused by a cross flow on
the tug also pushes the tug towards the ship.
As it proceeds the tug' s bow reaches the trough near
the aft shoulder of the ship, causing an increased turni ng
effect to starboard and the tug needs more power in
order to maintain speed due to the higher water speed
When abeam of the aft shoulder the tug is sucked
mor e towards the ship, due to the local wave trough. In
addition, there may still be some lift force experienced
due to cross flow. As soon as the tug moves further
forward and parall el with the ship' s hull it experiences
a sudden outward turni ng moment , caused by the tug' s
bow cushion. In addition, the tug's stem is near the wave
trou gh at the aft shoulder (position 2) where the water
speed between the tug's stern and ship' s hull is high. As
a consequence the stern is sucked towards the ship. The
tug is also sucked bodil y towards the ship.
Near the ship's midship section the tug is still sucked
towards the ship with an outward turni ng moment
(position 3), all caused by effects identical to bank suction
and bow cushion effects. Near the bow the situation
changes quickly. When the tug reaches the forward
shoulder, due to the higher wate r speed and the local
wave trough the tug needs more power to proceed at
the sarne speed. When passing the forward shoulder
suction forces increase rapidly due to increased local
flowvelocities. Assoon as the after end of the tug reaches
the wave trough the outward turning moment increases
again (position 4).
Figure 6.4 Itueraaioneffects on a tug whenproce,ding along a ship
When moving a littl e further forward (be twee n
positions 4 and 5) the outward turning moment suddenly
changes into an inward turning moment. This is due to
the cross flow near the bow of the ship acting on the
tug's rudder or skeg as a steeri ng force. Due to the lift
force caused by the cross flow the tug drifts sideways
away from the ship.
Manoeuvres to pass safely past a ship, including the
positions where towlines are passed, are now considered
for two main types of tug. Conventional tugs with
propulsion and steering aft and ASD/reverse-tractor
tugs with steerable propulsion aft are all considered
conventional tugs. Tractor tugs with steerable propulsion
forward are the other main type. The steerable bow
thruster of combi-tugs tends to give a similar effect to the
propulsionof tractor tugs, but thepower ofthebow thruster
is low compared to the propulsion of tractor tugs.
Tugs approaching the stern to pass or pi ck up a
towlin e should be well aware of the increased speed
and possibly sideways movement to avoid a collision
with the ship's stem.
A conventional tug when in position I should apply
port rudder to counte rac t the turning moment.
However, port rudder also creates a sideways force in
the same direction as the suction forces. Therefore when
near this position conventional tugs should keep well
away from th e shi p. Tractor tugs can direct thei r
propulsion away from the ship, thus counteracting the
starboard turn and the suction force, whichis safer. Position
I is also a position where towlinesare passed. Conventional
tugs should be particularly careful because of the turning
moments and suction forces in this position.
Between position I and 2 the situation changes. A
conventional tug should, within a short space of time,
change from port to star board rudder. In doing so, the
sideways steering force created now points away from
the ship. Tractor tugs have to set their propulsion in the
direction of the ship's hull to counteract the turning
moment but at the same time a sideways force is
introduced in the direction of the suction force, which
is not safe.
At position 3 and 4 the rudder of conventional tugs
is still to star board counterac ting the suction force.
Tractor tugs have to keep their propul sion to starboar d
to compensate for the bow-out turning moment, and
still in the same direction as the suction forces. Especially
near po sition 4, suction force s and turning moments to
star boar d may be marked.
A littl e furth er on, between positions 4 and 5, a
conventional tug should abruptly change from starboard
to port rudder. If not aware of the turning moment the tug
might swing to starboard and end up under the bowof the
ship. A tractor tug should change the propulsion from
starboard to port to avoid coming under the ship's bow.
Between positions 4 and 5 tug power can be red uced
to keep the same spee d since the relative wate r speed
reduces. Tugs not aware of the change in turn ing
moment and maintaining their power setting run with
increasing speed to starboard and possibly dramatic
consequences . Attention should also be given to the fact
that the cross flow acting on the underwater body of
the tug causes a decrease in effective stability.
Positions 4 and 5 are also positions where towlines
are passed. A conve ntional tug can keep a steadier
position, because the application of rudder to counteract
turning moment also involves counteraction of the
suction and lift forces. A tractor tug when counteracting
turning mo me nts sets the pr opulsion in the same
direction as the suction and lift forces and at the positions
where suction forces occur the tug may come too cl ose
to the ship's bow. For a tractor tug it is more difficul t to
keep a steady position close to the ship's bow to pass a
towline. Nevertheless, a tractor tug is safer because when
coming too close to the ship's hull the stee ring for ces
with a tractor tug are dir ected away from the ship.
From position 4 a tug generally steers somewhat
inwards to come closer to the bow to pick up or pass
the towline. It is evident that thi s should be done with
utmost care, due to the changing influences on the tug
near the bow.
The inter action effects described here only give an
indication of the influences on a tug. The effects differ
by ship type and loading condition. For instanc e, the
diversion of stream lines ahe ad of a ship is less with a
fine formed ship, resulting in lower high pressure near
the bow and consequently a smaller bow wave. The
change in turning moment experienced on a tug near
the ship's bow occurs further aft at slender ships. These
ships also have less pronounced shoulders, so effects in
these regions are less pronounced . There is also a
shorter, flat area around the mi dsection, so changes in
interaction effects qui ckly follow each othe r whe n
passing along a slender ship , e.g. a containe r vessel.
A tug's underwater body and appendages have their
influences as well, especially on the turni ng moments.
Although interaction effects differ by ship and tug, these
do exist and one should be aware of them. The smal ler
the dist ance between tug and ship the lar ger int eracti on
effects are. Shallow water and narrow waters have an
increasing effect on inter action between tug and ship.
Most imp ortant to keep in mind is that the influence of
all interaction effects increases sharply with speed and
are most dangerous near a ship's bow.
Ship speeds can be rather high when tugs are coming
alongside or making fast. Speeds up to five knots are
quite normal for tugs taking or passing a towline near a
ship's bow or stern. Higher speeds are not uncommon,
even up to nine or 10 knots. The int er action effects ar e
then large, especially for tugs taking a line at the bow.
With such high speeds highly manoeuvrable tugs with
a high, free sailing speed are required and, of course ,
very experienced tug captai ns.
6.2.4 Thg- ship interaction with respect to tug
p erformance
The flow pattern aro und a ship affect s tug
performance when operating close to a ship' s hull,
although it is difficult to say to what extent due to the
int eraction between flowpatterns generated by both ship
and tug. To make it even more difficult, with changes in
tug position the situation may change rapidly.
It has been explained that the relative speed of water
along a ship' s hull between bow and stem increases in
speed compared to a free stream. With wide body ships
the water speed near the forward and aft shoulders might
be even mor e than at the ship's midsection. A ship
stearning at, say, three knots through the water may have
a speed of four knots relative to the water flow along
the ship and relative ship's speed at the shoulders may
be higher still. A tug pushing at a ship' s side i ~ affected
by this increased water speed and tug performance is
adversely affected, particularly when operating near the
shoulders (see figure 6.5 positions I and 2). As already
explained, shallow and narrow waters increase water
flow spee d along the ship sides, further decr easing a
tug's effectiveness.
For tugs towing on a line the si tuation is more
complicated. Firstly, tugs are operating in areas where
they are under the influence of different interaction
effects as mentioned in section 6.2.3. Secondl y, tugs -
when in positions 3 and 4 and rendering assistance -
frequently change position and heading. Thirdly,
interaction effects differ by ship's hull form, loading
condition and speed. So it is hard to say whe the r
int er action effects affect the performance of a tug or tug
type whe n towing on a line in positions such as 3 and 4.
Apart from speed, an important aspect is towline
length and the distance to a ship's hull. With respec t to
tug no'. 3 the shorte r the towlin e and the closer to the
ship' s hull, the larger the int eracti on effects are. The
towing effectiveness of tug no . 4 decreases with a short
towline due to the reducing effect of propeller wash
impinging on the ship' s hu ll. The effect is larger in tugs
with propulsion aft.
It is advisable for tugs towing on a line, like tugs
nos. 3 and 4, to use a somewhat longer towline length
and operate at a farth er distance from the ship's hull,
which is also safer. This reduces interaction effects and
the negative effect of the tug' s propeller wash impinging
on the ship's hull.
In position 5 a tractor tug, which could also be an
ASD/reversetractor tug, is operating in a ship's wake
as well as in the prop eller slipstream. The wake and
propeller slipstream have opposite directions. It depends
totally on the assistance required whether or how wake
and/or propeller slipstream influence tug performance.
For instance, when retarding force s are required, a ship's
propeller is normally stopped or astern thrust applied.
Compared to a free stream situation the wake causes a
decrease in the tug's underwater resistance and propeller
braking performance, assuming the same amount of
engine power is used, resulting in a smaller towline force.
Th e wake is a combined influence of potential wake
and frictional wake. In figure 6.2 the frictional wake
behind the ship's stern and the incoming water flow
near the stern, which causes the potential wake, are
shown. As rela tive water speed in the ship' s wake
decreases in shallow and narrow waters, the negative
effect of the wake on a tug' s braking performance
increases. The effect of the propeller slipstream
is opposite.
It can be concluded, as int eraction effects differ by ship,
that so does the influence on tug performance when
tugs are operating close to a ship and in the wake or
propeller slipstream. It is difficult to assess what the
influence is on tug performance . The most marked
influence is experienced by tugs pushing at a ship's side
and tugs applying braking forces in a ship's wake.
, ." ---=-
Acce/8ratedflow Accel eratedflow
Figure 6.5 EfJict offlow pauem aroundaship ontugperfrrrmo.na
6.3 Tug safety
6.3.1 Introducti on
The explanat ion of various interaction effects on a
tug when close to a ship underway at speed has already
showed some of the risks involved for the tug. Th ere
are, however, various other situations which involve risk
for an assisting tug.
Not all of the following situations are related to the
same kind of interaction as discussed earlier. Interaction
between ship's propeller and tug is considere d along
with several other situations related to tug safety. Some
have already be en addressed while discussing the
capabilities and limit ations of various tug types, but are
also mentioned here for the sake of completeness. Most
situations are well known to experienced pilots and tug
captains. Still, it is worth paying attention to the risks in
which harbour tugs are often involved, because many
serious accidents have been reported. The more one
knows about these risks, the better one can anticipate
and take the right meas ures . Besides, pilots often have
only a limited viewfrom the bridge on the assisting tugs.
They are not always aware of the critical situations a
tug may find itself in.
The following ri sky situations are just a few
examples; it is impossible to cover all situations. What
is mentioned here may be representative for similar
situations encountered by pilots and tug captains.
Several of the situations to be discussed are related to
the method of tugs towing on a line . This is
understandable, because with this method of assistance
tugs often operate close to the bow or stem of a ship
underway at speed, locations where interaction forces
can have large and alternating effects. On the othe r
hand, in ports where tugs normally operate at a ship's
side, it is also possible that in specific situations these
tugs tow on a line as, for instance, in confined areas, in
dry docks or when passing bridges.
It goes without saying that readers could probably
name other critical situations from their own experience.
Critical situations a tug may be involved in can simply
be divided as follows:
While passing a towline.
While the towline is secured.
Next, attent ion is first paid to the manoeuvre of a
tug coming alongs ide a ship at speed. This is a practical
example of interaction.
6.3.2 Coming alongside and dep arting fro m a
ship's side
Whe n considering tug-ship interaction it is safest,
when coming alongside a ship underway at speed, to
approach near the midsection where a more uniform
flow pattern exists. At positions furthe r forwar d or aft
the int eraction effects are larger and less pr edi ctabl e.
Departing from a ship's side can some times be
problematic, as the following example shows, In some
ports the pilot boards a ship from a harbour tug that is
to assist a ship. The ship has headway and the tug is
coming alongside near the pilot ladder. After boarding
the pilot it can be difficult to manoeuvre the tug free
from the ship' s hull. This can happen with twin screw
tugs having an underwater body which is rather flat at
the sides. Trying to get free from a ship's hull by moving
to a far forward or far aft position along the hull does
not help. Thi s can be explained by the earlier di scussion
on flow patt erns around a ship. Tug captains note from
experience that when they apply astern thrust with the
inner propell er, complet el y against th e expected
manoeuvring procedure, the tug comes free from the
ship's hull . The explanation is that the wat er speed
between ship and tug hull decrea ses and consequently
pressure rises. The increased water pressure between
the two hulls, in combination with bow cushion effect,
force the tug to come off. A nice example of Bernoulli' s
law!Another solution is to decrease ship' s speed, because
the higher a ship's speed the larger the suction for ces.
Tugs with azimuth propellers controlled in the way
shown in figur e 2.30 have the thrusters pointed
somewhat outwards when proc eeding at low speeds.
When coming alongside a ship having a low speed the
wash of the inward propeller causes an increase in water
speed between tug and ship and the tug may be sucked
violently towards the ship .
This becomes more pr obl ematic for tugs with fixed
pitch azimuth prop ell ers not equippe d with speed
modulating clut ches. Such tugs have a relatively high
minimum propeller speed, causing much prop eller wash
at minimum tug speeds. This has resulted in much
contact damage while landing alongside a stationary or
moving vessel and during berthing and unberthing,
which, however, can be avoided by proper tug handling.
The same may happen when the clutch-on/clutch-off
system of the separate azimuth propellers of tugs with a
single lever control are not in complete balance.
Operating close to a ship and coming alongside a
stationary or moving vessel should always be done with
care and in a controlled way. Approaching a ship with
an inappropriate speed has resulted in dents in ship hull s
and damage to tugs and even oil spills have occurred
on several occasions caused by mooring ass ist tugs
penetrating bunker spaces_
6.3.3 Passing a towline near th e b ow
The most risky situations for a tug when ope rating
close to a ship's bow have already been discussed while
conside ring interaction effects . Some other situations
Figure 6.6 A: Tug is wailingjiJr the approadlingship tocom, do", 10
passthe towline. TMr, is riskofan untxpteted sheer 10 partdut tothe
s h i p ~ howpressure wavt. B: Conomtionol tugpreparing totake the tow
lineat ship's bow. Due tointeraction effects andinadequate reactions from
the tug captain, the tug .comes underthe ship's how
are now highlighted [see figure 6.6A and 6.2). A tug has
to make fast at the bow of an approaching ship and is
steaming at some distance ahead. Tug speed is less than
the speed of the ship to be attended and the tug iswaiting
till the ship gets close enough to pass a towline. However,
due to the changes in the stream pattern caused by the
overtaking ship the tug may experience a turning
moment. When the tug captain is aware of this effect in
time he can, irrespective of the type of tug, take measures
to counteract the turning moment.
A large turning moment can be experienced,
particularly when attending loaded ships with a full-
shaped bow and still having reasonable speed. With this
type of ship the bow wave may also have another
specific effect ontugs awaiti ng the approaching ship. It
has been experienced by tug captains that when
attending VLCCs or large ore-carriers having a speed
of about four to five knots and a small underkeel
clearance, the bow pr essure wave may be such that the
tug is pushed forward and the tug captain may even be
forced to reverse thrust in order to come closer to the
ship'S bow.
Another example of interaction is shown in figure 6.6B.
A conventional tug approaches a ship under speed to
take a towline at the bow. At a particular moment the
tug captain considers his tug too close to the ship's hull
and tri es to clear the ship's side using engines full ahea d
while steering to port. Due to this action the tug is pushed
against the ship by the steering forces and moves steadily
forward along the ship's bow, unsuccessfully trying to
get free. Finally the tug comes broadside under the bow
and is run down. The only satisfactory manoeuvre in
such circumstances is to go full astern. Some damage
might then occur to the tug, but the situation is not
di sastrous. A tractor typ e of tug is safer in such a
situation, because the steering forces are directed away
from the ship.
Taking or passing a towline at the bow oflarge loaded
wide bodied ships is not so dangerous. When abeam of
the fore part of the bow the tug is pushed aside by the
earlier menti oned cross flow. Tug captains leam from
experience that when near the for e part of the bow and
steering a little inwards towards the bow, the tug does
not get closer. However, when the tug is moving further
forward it experiences the earli er mentioned turning
moment towards the ship . This effect will probably be '
largest with a small underkeel clearance.
Without going into further detail, it can be concluded
from the foregoing that operating a tug near the bow of
a ship under speed involves risks. These vary depending
on the typ e and loading condition of the ship and
increase with a higher ship's speed. As alr eady
mentioned, ship's speed can be rather high when tugs
are making fast. Therefore when approaching the bow
of a ship to pass or take a towline careful attention and
quick reaction is needed from a tug captain in order to
avoid dangerous situations developi ng. Skilful tug
captains know the interaction effects and related risks
near the bow by experience. Therefore, not just good
tug manoeuvr ability but ex peri ence too is an
indispensable factor.
It isnot the tug captain alone who masters the situation
near the bowor is solely responsible for the extent of risk
into which his tug gets involved. As already stated, an
important factor is ship's speed which isunder the control
of the pilot or master. An experienced ship's crewstanding
by forward in good time and keeping sufficient heaving
lines of the proper length and strength ready available is
important This can help to avoid a tug captain being
forced to come too close to a ship' s bow. Sometimes quite
thick lines of insufficient length are lowered from the
forecastle, forcing a tug captain to come very close to a
ship's bow and involving increased risk.
On the other hand, when a tug is pushed away from
a ship and a too short messenger line is used by the tug
itself, this line may break during transfer of the towline
from the winch. The towline then drops into the water
and may foul a tug's propeller which brings about
another dangerous situation. When a tug has to make
fast on a ship's line, the line should be hung at a suitable
height above the water, ready to be paid out as soon as
the tug has got hold of the line.
6.3.4 Passing a towline at the stern
Whe n making fast, after tugs are often very close
astern of a ship - sometimesjust abeam of the after end
of the stern in order to pick up or pass a towline. The
interaction forces at these locations are not so large or
dangerous. However, when approaching a ship having
headway from astern, the tug captain should be aware
that when coming close to the ship's stern, the tug is
pushed towards the stern, as has been explained earlier.
One should always be aware of the ship's propeller.
When a tug is making fast at the stern a ship's propeller
should always be stoppe d in case of a fixed pit ch
propeller. A controllabl e pitch propeller should be set
for minimum pitch. A propeller turning ahead disturbs
the water and makes it more difficult for a tug to keep a
steady position behind the stern. This effect is also
experienced by tugs making fast near the aft shoulder.
An unsteady tug position affects smooth handling of a
towline and in the worst case an unsecured towline may
drop in the water and foul a tug' s or ship' Spropeller.
.... (
A critical situation also arises when a tug is passing
or taking a towline close behind a ship's stern, or is
preparing to do so, and suddenly the ship applies astern
thrust hy giving astern on the engine or by reversing
the 'pitch. Particularly when large ships with powerful
engines suddenly apply astern thrust a deep wave trough
is created close behind the ship's stern, sucking a tug
towards the ship. A tug may touch a ship's stern causing
damage to the ship or tug. This kind of accident has
happened occasionally. Even with smaller ships thi s
effect is noticeabl e. When, for one reason or another, a
ship's propeller has to be used for astern thrust, a tug
captain should be informed by the pilot to allow him to
manoeuvre his tug out of the dangerous area.
The conclusion is that when tugs are making fast at
or near the stern, a ship's propeller should be stopped
and in case of a controllable pitch propeller be set for
mimimum pitch. When for some reason or another the
propeller has to be used, the tug captain should be
Now some critical situations are discussed when
towlines are secured. Some situations relate to speci fic
manoeuvres as used in some large ports.
6.3.5 Overtaking a bow tug on a line -
Girting - Tripping
In figure 6.7A a tug with propulsion aft is assisting a
ship in making a tum to starboard. Ship' s speed may
become too high for the tug (position I), for instance
because the tug is pulling too much to starboard or
because the pilot has increased engine power to improve
rudder effect in order to make the jurn properly. In the
given situation it is very likely that the tug will come
abeam of the ship's bow (position 2) and even in a
position further aft with the towline coming under high
tension (position 3). It is almost impossibl e for the tug
captai n to manoeuvre hi s tug back in line with the ship
and the tug is liabl e to capsize. This may not only be
caused by the strong athwartships forces in the towline,
but while trying to bring the tug back in line with the
Figure 6.7 Girting andtripping
Twoexamples ofgirting (A & B, both witha conventional tug):
A - duetoexcessiveship1speed wi th respect to tug limitations
B - due tomisunderstanding
Exampk Cslwws tripping witha tractor lug
ship, the tug captain appli es high steering forces, adding
to the heeling forces. With a reliabl y working qui ck
release system the tug captain can rel ease the towline,
so avoiding capsizing. On the other hand, if the pil ot
recognises the dangerous situation arising in time he
may be able to reduce ship's speed. In doing so the
towline force reduces, creating the possibility for the
tug captain to come back in line with the ship.
It is obvious that the more manoeuvrable tugs are,
e.gtwin screw tugs, the less likely they are to get involved
in similarly dangerous situations. In addition, proper
stab ility, freeboard and deck equipment contribute
markedly to safe operations and enlarge the capabilities
of a tug. Doors and other openings on deck should be
closed during towing operations.
The above situation is less dangerous for a tractor
tug because of the aft lying towing point, A tractor tug
swings around on the towline and comes alongside an
attended ship unless the towline is released in time -
so-called 'tripping' (see figure 6.7C).
Similar situations can arise with a tractor tug when
the towing angle - the angle between ship's heading
and direction of the towline - is getting too large with
respect to the forward spee d of a ship. The tug is unable
to come back in line with the ship and swings around.
Although the above mentioned situations do occur,
the following comparable situations are also possible.
The danger of 'girting' or 'tripping' does not only
exist when a ship rounds a bend. Even when a ship is
proceeding on a straight course girting can OCCUI. In
that case excessive spee d of the ship is the main cause.
When a ship increases speed to a level which is rather
high for a forward tug towing on a line, the tug captain
prob ably does not keep position right ahea d of a ship's
bow, because that is too dangerous. The tug steers out
towards a position more aside in order to keep well clear
of the ship' s bow. It is understandable that if ship' s speed
fur the r increases, a comparab le girting or tripping
situation will arise for the tug as indicated before.
Although pilots should be aware of the implications
oftoo high a ship's speed for the safety of assisting tugs,
it is again an indication of the importance of good
communications between tug captains and pilots. The
pilot may not have a good view of what is happening at
the bow and the tug captain should therefore inform
the pilot in good time if he considers a speed increase
too high.
Another example of how the danger of girting can
arise is shown in figur e 6.7B. A ship is making a turn to
port, say, to enter a harbour basin. Because the tug
captain has not been informed that the ship has to enter
head first into the basin he starts pulling to starboard to
control ship'Sheading, assuming the ship is veering off
course. If the pilot is not aware of thi s, the same
dangerous situation for the tug as described above
devel ops, in parti cular when the pil ot obs erves a
decrease in rate of tum due to the tug captain's action
and incr eases engine power while applying a large
rudder angle. This is just an example, to show how
important it is for tug captains to be well informed about
a pil ot's intentions. On the other hand, of course, the
tug captain could have asked the pil ot what his
intentions were,
A further example. A tug has taken position right
ahead of a ship, waiting for the ship' Screw to release
the towline. With the small number of crew members
on board ships nowadays , this may take some time. In
the meantime the ship is already increasing speed. In
the case of beamy full-bodied ships it may happen that
the tug, with the towline still not yet released, gets
pushe d forward by the bow wave of the ship and thus
reaches a speed which can' be higher than the free
running speed of the tug. When the tug moves sideways
towards a position abeam the bow, due to the danger of
the increasing ship' s speed, the forward pushing effect
of the bowwave diminishes. The tug may not be able to
keep pace with the ship while still waiting for the towline
to be released. A dangerous girting or tripping situation
may arise. This example shows again the importance of
appropriate speed and good communications.
Figure 6.8 Some speafi c manoeuvres by conomtumal tugs towingona
lineincludingriskojgirtingor cap,i;jng when a ship" speed is too high
with respect to tuglimitations
6.3.6 Forward tug st eering broadside
In several ports, ships enter harbour basins stern first
Departure is then easier and in case of emergency most
ships are able to leave without tug assistance. Ent ering
a harbour basin stern first can be done with e.g. two
tugs of which the forward tug is a conventional tug
operating broadside as shown in figur e 6.8A. The
forward tug, acting as a drogue, steers the ship effectively
by going astern or ahea d on the engine and so applying
steering forces to port or starboar d. The tug usually uses
a gob rope, although with twin screw tugs this is not
always the case. This metho d of tug operation has
already been described in Chapter 4. For small ships
often only one forward tug is used operating in the same
way. The ship maintains sternway using its engine.
A dangerous situation arises when a tug's capabilities
and limitations are not sufficiently taken into account.
When a ship's astern speed is becoming too high, tug
heel caused by high athwartships towline for ces may
increase until the tug capsizes. This may not only be
caused by the large transverse resistance of the tug as it
is pulled bodily through the water, but also by the water
acting on the tug speeded up by the wash of the ship's
propeller. Tug stability, freeboard and deck equipment
determine the limits of safe operation.
Care should be taken when using the engine ahead.
A ship should take care not to gather headway, otherwi se
she will collide with the tug due to the small distance
between bow and tug.
6.3.7 Stern tug steering broadside
See figure 6.8B. This situation is similar to th e
pr evious one. Th e ship is now moving ahead and the
after conve ntional tug is the steering tug operating in
the same way as the forward tug discussed earlier. Th e
main difference between the two situations lies in the
close presence of the ship's propeller. Wh en operating
in thi s way the ship generally has a very low forward
speed. However, it is essential that the ship' s propeller
is handled with the utmost care. A very dangerous
situation arises if the engine is suddenly set, say, to half
ahead. The water flow on the tug together with the wild
propeller wash may cause the tug to list severely and in
the most serious case the tug may capsize. This has
happened more than once.
6.3.8 Stern tug manoeuvring from a stand by
position on starboard or port quarter
towards a position astern the ship
See figure 6.8C. During a certain phase of
manoeuvring it may be nec essary for a ship with
headway to have the port or starboard position tug
(Position 1) move astern of the ship (positions 3 or 4) to
assist in steering or for speed control. This might be
necessary when a ship has to wait in a river, swing or
b e stopped . This manoeuvre is dangerous to
conventional tugs when carried out at too high a ship's
speed. This is at speeds of more than about three knots,
and depends on tug manoeuvrability, stability and
freeboard. In situations 2 and 3 risk of girting exists due
to the high athwartships towline for ces that may occur.
If a tug capsizes it has been observed that the tug is
pulled underwat er stern first.
The manoeuvre just described is no problem for
tractor or reverse-tractor tugs, even with a fairly high
ship's speed. Conventional tugs with a gob rope system,
whereby the towing point can be transferred towards a
far aft position, can also swing around at a higher speed.
The gob rope system should be strong enough and fully
reliable otherwise such a manoeuvre becomes really
dangerous for the tug.
A conventional tug manoeuvring from a position
astern of the ship (e.g. position 3) to a position on the
starboard or port quarter can only_do this at minimum
ship's speed, otherwise risk of girting may arise.
6.3.9 Stern tug manoeuvring from starboard to
port quarter or vice versa
See figure 6.8D. Sometimes it is necessary for a
conventional after tug to move from a position on the
port to starboard quarter or vice versa. This may happen,
for instance, when assisting a departing ship. A ship has
just left her berth and has been turned around in the
turning basin by assisting tugs. Th e after tug is on the
port quarter. The ship still has to pass through a channel
and it may be necessary to have the after tug stand by
on the star board quarter to compe nsate for wind or
current forces . It may also be necessary to compensate
for the transve rse effect of the ship's pr opeller when
she uses engine astern to wait somewhere in the channel.
The tug has to manoeuvr e from port to starboard
quarter, close underneath the stern. Because of the risk
of girting this manoeuvre should be carried out while
the ship is nearl y stopped in the water. This kind of
manoeuvre also involves great risk due to the ship's
propeller. A pilot not aware of the tug manoeuvre could
go ahead on the engine or apply ahead pitch while the
tug is near position 2. The conventional tug comes into
danger. This kind of tug manoeuvr e, whenever
considered necessary, should always be carr ied out with
the utmost care.
Figure 6.9 Due toexcessivespeeda tug at a ship's side may capsize
ifthestern line cannot bereleased
6.3.10 Tug operating at ship's side
Conventional tugs operating at right angles to a ship's
side may use quarter lines or stern line s as shown in
figure 6.9 to stay in po sition'when the ship moves ahead.
When the tug is secured in that or a similar way,
excessive speed should be avoided to pr event possible
parting of the towlin e or capsi zing the tug.
6.3.11 Fog
All the situations mentioned above can cause a
critical situation for tugs. However, during dense fog
these situations may involve even more ri sk. As
mentioned in paragraph 4.4, during fogit is very difficult
for tug captains towing on a line to ori entate themselves
with respect to an attended ship and surrounding area,
in spit e of the availability of a radar. Furthermore, the
pilot loses his view of the tugs. It is absolutely necessary,
therefore, that ship' s speed is kept very low during fog
and that tug captains are kept well informed about
intended manoeuvres. Communications between pilot
and tug captains should be optimal.
It should be noted that although the use of towing
bit ts may be necessary for ce rtain specific manoeuvres,
their use is not recommended for tugstowing on a line
during fog conditions. In case of emergency it may be
almos t impossible and certainly dangerous to release
the towline under tension rap idly. Th e same applies to
quick release hooks, unless they are one hundr ed per
cent reliable. A good towing winch with a quick release
system which can be operat ed from the wheelhouse as
well as at the winch is safest in these conditions.
On the other hand, tug captains sometimes prefer
to have a ship's line on the towing bitt or towing hook
during fog conditions. The ship's line can then be
released by the tug crew as soon as the tug captain thinks
the situation is becoming critical. If he has to wait for
the ship's crew to release his towline in a developing
critical situation, it could well be too late.
6.3.12 Some other practical aspects
Bulbour bows
Although there is a mark on a ship's bow indi cating
that she has a bulbous bow, tug captains cannot see the
bulbous bow when it is underwat er. Even when only
partly submerged the exact positi on is difficult to
determine. This is a problem for forward tugs when
taking position to pass or take a towline or when they
are assisting using a very short towline. It is most '
dangerous when the stemof the tug touches the bulbous
bow, and the ship has a rather high forward speed. The
tug may be severely damaged and lives may be lost.
Tug captains have to be parti cul arl y careful whe n
operating close to a bulbous bow, especi ally during fog
and darkness.
Releasing towlines
If a crew on board ship is not able to release a tug' s
towline when requir ed, problems may arise if a ship is
alr eady increasing speed. This is particularly the case
with heavy steel wire towlines on powerful tugs. The
towline has to be slacked off by a tug in order to make it
possible for a ship's crew to release it. The slack towline
is then dragged through the water. When ship's speed
increases the resistance of the towline also increases,
creating more tensi on in the line. Releasing it then
becomes almost impossible. Chain stoppers, when used,
may br eak. It is a difficult situation which can onl y be
avo i ded by pr oper co ntro l of ship 's speed, an
expe rienced ship's crew, sufficient crew members on
station and good cooperation between ship and tug crew.
The aforementioned situation can get very critical
for the tug when the ship is furth er increasing her speed
and as a result overtakes the tug. Th e risks stemming
from these situati ons have been di scussed already.
Finally, a tug's towlines should not be dr opped into
the water but preferabl y be lowered onto the tug' s deck
gui ded by the tug's crew. When applicable, Norman
pins should be raised on board the tug to prevent the
towline slipping along the sides. This avoids the towline
fouling the ship or tug propeller. In the case of a fixed
pitch propeller the ship's propeller should be stopped
when the ship's stern towlines are released.
Underestimating wind and current fo rces
Underestimating wind and current forces can create
risky situations for a ship and have resulted in accidents.
Tugs operating at a ship's side can also be endangered
(see figure 6.10). Tugs can be jammed between ship and
shore when they don't get out in time. The situation is
particularly danger ous when tugs are secured by
towlines. The bollard pull of tugs to compensate for wind
and current forces should be more than sufficient to
avoid such situations.
Sudden changes i n a ship sheading and speed
While passing or taking a towline, tugs are very close
to a ship's hull and a tug captain's attention is fully
focused on keeping in position and on line handling. It
should be understood that during these operations
sudden changes in ship's heading or spee d without
warning can create critical situations for a tug.
Engine starts of the large hi gh powered container
ships may seriously affect the controllability of a tug
operating behind the ship's stern.
It is necessary, therefore, as already menti oned
earli er, to inform assisting tugs about intended ship's
engine/ propeller and course changing manoeuvres. This
applies too for tugs operating at a ship's side. In that
way tugs can antici pate expected manoeuvres.
( '"
Fzgure 6.10 DUl tolot powered tugs andastrong beam wind,
a contain" shipisdrifting andthetugs are gettingjammed
betuum theshipandthegeneral cargo b"th
Ship design consequences
Due to the use of tension winches on board ships
the number of bollards at their forecastle and stern may
be reduced. The location of the remaining bollards is
not always optimal for towlines. This may affect proper
securing of towlines and lengthen the time for securing
tugs, especial ly when more than one tug is used forward
and aft.
Th ere are specific ship types, such as submarines
and aircraft carriers, whe re it can be probl ematic to pass
or secure towlines, due to the underwater form of the
hull or overhanging structures. With modern merchant
ships such as fa-r o vessels it can sometimes be awkward
to secure a towline in such a position that a tug can
operate effecti vely. Ship designers should take into
account that, eve n when ships are very mano euvrable,
there will always be situations during a ship' s life when
the assistance of one or more tugs is necessary. On the
other hand tugs should meet, as far as possible, the
requirements of ships calling at the port regarding safe
and effective towline handling.
Apart from the nee d to have sufficient and properly
located bollards and fairleads available for securing the
number of tugs that may be needed, it is furthermore
necessar y that bollar ds and fairl eads are in good
condition and suitable for the towlines to be used, and
strong enough to withstand the forces that can be applied
by the modern powerfu l tugs. Not meeting this
requirement has resulted in failures.
Regarding this important subject, recommendations are
given in the OCIMF publication ' Recommendations
for ships' fittings for use with tugs' (see References);
recommendations that apply to tankers, but which are
also relevant for other ship types, particularly large gas
carriers, bulk carri ers and container ships. Additional
recommendations are included for escort tugs and tugs
engaged in station keeping at offshore installations, such
as SPMs and F(P)SOs.
Information exchange pilot- ship master - tug captain
Informing the ship captain about tug manoeuvres
by the use of tug orders in understandable English has
been addressed in paragraph 4.7, while at other locations
in this book, and particularly in this chapter, several
arguments are given why tug captains should be
properly informed by the pilot about the int ended ship
manoeuvres. A proper information exchange between
pilot, ship captain and tug master is needed for a safe
and smooth handling of the ship by the attending tugs.
Information for the ship captain to be provided by the
pilot may include the number, type and bollard pull of
tugs to be used (including, if necessary, the reason why
the specific number and/or total bollard pull of tugs
has been advised], the rendezvo us position and time of
the tug(s); whe re at the ship and how tug(s) to be
fastened; when tug(s) to be released and howto be done;
transit speeds and intended manoeuvr es. If the ship has
special manoeuvring devices or limitations regarding
mano euvring, tug securing, mooring and anchoring
equipment, the ship captain should inform the pilot.
With respect to the information exchange the reader is
al so r eferr ed to th e earlier mentioned OCIMF
publication 'Recommendations for ship's fittings for use
with tugs'.
Operating bow-to-bow
The r elati vely low effectiveness of tractor tug s,
reverse-tractor tugs and ASD-tugs (when operating as
reverse-tractor) as bow tug towing on a line with a ship
having headway, including the reasons why and the risks
involved, have been discussed in par. 4.3.1.
For reverse-tractor tugs and ASD-tugs th is way of
op erating is generally called ' bow-to-bow' . When
operating in this way with a ship having headway t h ~
tugs are sailing astern . Directional stability of these tug
typ es when sailing astern is gen er all y rather low,
particularly at higher speeds. Pulling straight astern at a
relative high spee d might not immediately present a
problem, but as soon as the tug deviates from the straight
line, for instance, to give steeri ng assistance to the ship,
position keeping becomes difficult. It may easily result
in a loss of control. The reader is with respect to thi s
referred to the report ' Performance and effectiveness of
omni-directional stern drive tugs' (see References).
A high underwater resistance, e.g. a large skeg,
worsens the situation, while a bow skeg may improve
the situation to some extent. The restriction in
movement of the bow by the tow rope increases the
difficulties in maintaining a safe position and direction
relative to the ship under tow. Furthermore, if the tug is
working on a short towline, tug-ship int eraction effects
may playa role, destabili sing the tug's position (see par.
6.2.4), while time left to react is minimal. A comparable
situation has led to accidents, amongst others in a severe
collision between ship and tug. See the investigati on
report of the collisi on between River Yarra and tug
WJ Trotter(see References). This incid ent resulted in a
speed restriction for bow-to-bow oper ations . A
maximum speed of five knots was introduced.
6.4 Summary and conclusions
Several interactions exi st, some influ encing tug
performance, others tug safety or even both. Interaction
effects influencing tug safety are the kind of int er actions
which occur be tween ships when close to each other.
The se interaction effects are more pro nounced in
shallow and narr ow waters and when a tug is in the
rela tively close Vicinity of a ship and increase sharply
with increasing ship's speed.
Because tugs have to ope rate close to ships which
are often underway at speed these effects should always
source: Foto & Video Produlcties . an der K W t ~ theNetherlands
Figure 6.11ASD-tug'Smit Marne- ol Smit HarhourTowage,
Rotterdam, assistinga omtainervessel having headwaywhile
operating ' boui-to-bmo", TheSmit Mam' (l.o.a. 30.6m, beam
70.6m, draught 5m, bollordpull ahead67.2 tons, astern 56.4 tons} is
huilt hy Damen Shipyards, theNetherlands.
be taken into account Considering the interaction effects
and all other risky situations that have been discussed,
it is clear that the following aspects are essential for safe
shiphandling with tugs:
Experience in recognising risky situations and
knowing how to deal with them.
Good knowledge of the limitations of tugs.
Appropriate ship's speed taking account of interaction
effects and tug limitations.
Careful use of ship's propellers when tugs are
op erating close to the stern or when passing or
releasing towlines at the stern. Tug captains should
be informed in good time about the intended use of
ship's propellers.
Optimal communication, information exchange and
cooperation between pilots, ship masters and tug
captains. Pilots should inform tug captains well in
advance of intended manoeuvres and should, as far
as possible, keep an eye on assisting tugs. Tug captains
should inform pilots about devel oping or suspected
risky situations and contact the pilot whenever in
doubt. Ship masters should inform the pilot about
the manoeuvring capabilities of the ship, and relevant
aspects of ship's mooring, anchoring and t ov..line
securing equipment. The pilot should inform the ship
master about the tug assistance and manoeuvres to
be executed.
Tugs should be fully appropriate for the assistance
required and should comply wit h the following
minimum requirements: sufficient bollard pull , high
manoeuvrability and free running speed, good
stability and sufficient freeboard, suitable towing
equipment with a properly working quick release
system and an optimal horizontal and vertical angle
of view from the wheelhouse.
Tugs operating at a ship's side should be sufficiently
powerful and secured so that the risk of becoming
jammed between ship and shore due to wind, current
and/ or wave forces can be avoided.
Sufficient ship crewmembers should be available and
well prepared on station to secure tugswith minimum
Ship's crews should not drop a tug's towline into the
water but lower it gently ont o the tug' s deck.
Ships should be designed so that sufficient towlines
can safely and pr operly be secured for effective
Finally, openings in superstructures, deckhouses and
exposed machinery casings situated on the weather deck
of tugs, providing access to spaces below deck, should
be fitted with wat ertight doors, These openings should
be kept closed during towing operations, so enhancing
tug safety. If these openings are not closed, water can
easily flow into a tug when she is forced into a list.
Earlier in this book the importance of good towing
equipment in relati on to tug performance has been
mentioned a number of times, In thi s chapter the
importance of proper towing equipment and quick
release mechanism in relation to tug safety is
emphasised. In the next chapter attention is paid to the
deck equipment of harbour tugs.
Chapter SEVEN
7.1 Introduction
importance of the location of the towing point in
relation to safety and performance of a tug was
mentioned. The strong relationship between safety and
performance was emphasised because the more safely
a tug can operate under different circumstances the
smaller its limitations are. For instance, the higher the
towing point of a conventional tug the larger the list
when towing on a line. This is due to the athwartships
forces and increases the risk of girting. Consequently a
high towing point limits towing performance which is
particularly the case for conventional tugs but for other
tug types as well.
There are ways to enhance tug performance and
safety, such as:
Making the towing point transferable or having more
than one fixed towing point, which affects tug
performance as well as safety.
Fitting a quick release system, which is an emergency
safety system.
Another important aspect mentioned in previous
chapters is the need to be able to vary the length ofthe
towline when assisting a ship. For example, when
dynamic forces due to waves are high, to reduce the
counteracting effect of a tug's propeller wash on a ship's
hull, or when tug manoeuvring space is limited.
In this chapter ways of varying the towing point and
towline length by means of deck equipment is discussed.
The importance of good deck arrangement in relation
to performance and safety is dealt with , as well as
whether and how a towline can be released in case of
emergency - a quick release system. Of course, attention
is also paid to the towline itself, being the crucial
connection between tug and ship.
7.2 Additional towing points and gob
The possibility of varying towing point location
particularly enhances the performance and safety of
conventional tugs. Transferable towing point systems
can be distinguished by facilities which can move the
towing point:
Along a semi-circular track.
Along the centre line of the tug in a longitudinal
Radial system
Moving the towing point along a semi -circular track,
in particular using the radial towing hook, has already
been addressed in section 4.2.3. An example is shown
in figure 7.1. A radial system can also be used with a
towing winch. In that case the lead of the towline goes
from the winch via a fixed fairlead and then a second
fairlead which moves along a circular rail on the tug's
deck. The principle is similar to the radial towing hook
(see figure 7.3). Radial systems cause smaller heeling
angles so higher athwartships towline for ces can be
applied, resulting in an increase in tug performance. It
is currently only used by conventional tugs , though the
int ention is to use a similar system in other tugs types as
well, see for instance 'The Towliner '-concept di scussed
in par. 9.5.1and the Carrousel tug discussed in par. 10.1.2
Additional fixed towingpoints
Moving the towing point along the centre line of the
tug can be achieved, firstly by making use of more than
Figure 7. 7 Radial towinghook with rail track
Photo: Author
Figure 7.2 Radial towing hook ofconventional twin screw tug 'Saona
Dominican Republic (l.o.a26m, beam 78m, bollardpull3Ot).
Photo: Author
Figure 7.3 Afterdeckof a conventional twinscrew tugwitha towing
winch withradialsystem
one fixed towing point. This provision is found on board
some combi-tugs, as mentioned when discussingthis type
of tug. The additional towing point enhances the
capabilities of the tug as stern tug to a large extent and
enables it to perform almost as a tractor tug. On the
photographthe additional towingpoint can clearly be seen.
Some VS tractor tugs designed for escorting have
an additional towing point far aft to minimise the
steering effort required to keep the tug in line with the
escorted ship. When required to deliver steering forces
the original towing point has to be used.
PlwUJ: Alltlwr
Figure 7. 4 Additional[airkadJtowingpoint near the stern of comhi-
tug 'HeadriJc P. Goedlwop: Amsterdam, Holland. The[airkadcan he
opened topvl thetowline in or takei l out.
Particulars ufthetugare given in Chapter 2
Gob rope systems
A second method, used only on conventional tugs,
is the use of a gob rope to vary towing point location in
a longitudinal dir ection. This can be done in two ways.
Firstly, by using a certain length of wire, one end secured
to a side bollard, the other passing through a fairlead or
small H-shaped bollard situated on the centreline of the
work deck. This end of the wire holds a large shackle
which can be attached around the towline as shown in
figure 7.5A. The large shackle is free to slide along the
~ W ' - -


Flf,UTt 7. 5 Twodifferent gohrope systems
towline. When the towline moves into a more abeam
position the gob rope tightens and relocates the towing
pointbetween the original fixed towing point and the
position of the fairlead or H-bollard. The shackle of the
gob rope should always be large enough to allow the
towline to slip through it if the towline breaks or has to
be released in an emergency. As well as wire gob ropes,
fibre lines are sometimes used and different gob rope
arrangements can be found. By using a gob rope a
conventional tug, at low ship's speeds, can operate in
the way shown in figure 7.5B for steering control to
starboard or port by going ahead or astern on the engine.
An improved arrangement is to have a separate gob
rope winch (see figure 7.5C), controlled from the
wheelhouse if possible, with the gob rope wire led
through a central swivel fairlead at the utmost end of
the stern. A large shackle is attached to the wire, which
again can slide along the towline (see also figure 7.6 -
PIw",.. SmitHarhour 7lwago.1ID_ Holkmd
FtgUre 7. 7 Afterdeck ofASD-tug'Maasbank' (1.o.a. 374m, beam
11m, bollardpull 62tons) showing the rowingpins
pull has been measured. The gob rope arrangement
must be able to withstand these high forces.
tr. __
The gob rope is used by a conventional tug when
operating as stern tug on a line and the ship is moving
ahead. When a ship is moving astern and the tug acts as
forward tug a conventional tug, when required, can
operate in the same way as described.
Photo: A'Uthor
Figure 7.6 Cotuentional single screm tug'Adelallr' (l.o.a. 266m,
beam 81m, bo/lardpull 30 tons) o/fOrmer rowing company]..
Kooren Towing, Rotterdam, Holland, using agob TOP' tosteer a ship
entering a barbour basin sternfirst
the tug Adelaar). By varying the length of the gob rope
the towing point can be shifted, even to the after end of
the tug. The system enhances tug capability and is, for
instance, compulsory in German ports. At low ship's
speeds, conventional tugs fitted with this arrangement
can operate in the way shown in figure 7.5Dfor steering
control (position 2) or speed.control (position 3) simply
by shifting the towing point location. Byheaving on the
gob rope and bringing the towing point to the tug's after
end, the tug can swing around from position I towards
position 2 or 3 at somewhat higher ship's speed than
without this arrangement. This is comparable to a tractor
tug having its towing point near the stern as well.
It should be borne in mind that high peak forces
can occur in the gob rope; 70% or more of the ballard
Several ASD-tugs are equipped with hydraulically
operated towing pins (see figure 7.7), which have more
or less the same function as the gob rope system, viz.
shifting the towing point to aft. However, these towing
pins are principally used when towing at sea.
7.3 Towing bitts, hooks and winches
7.3.1 Method of towing and varying towline
It is not always easy, or may even be impossible, to
vary a towline's length when this would be the best
option. This largely depends on the way the towline is
secured on board the tug and this in turn depends on
the tug's deck equipment, the assistance required and
whether ship lines or tug towlines are used.
In tugs not provided with a towing winch, towing
bitts, bollards and/or quick release hooks are used. Even
when equipped with a towing winch, towing bitts and
bollards are used when more than one line has to be
fastened aboard.
When ship lines are used they are often secured to
the towing hook. In this case the crew of the assisted
ship have to vary the line's length if so required and
this may take some time with the shortage of manpower
Even though not equipped with a towing winch, tugs
often use their own towlines. For tugs towing on a line,
these are usually affixed length with an eye spliced at
each end. One eye is secured to the ship's ballard and
the other to the tug's towing hook. The length of such
lines cannot be varied. These tugs often have two (or
more) towlines of different fixed lengths.
The length of a towline secured to a tug's bollard or
towing bilt can be changed, although it takes time and
manpower to do so and can only be done when the line
is slack. In an eme rgency it is almost impossible to
release a towline secured to a towing bitt, whereas when
secured to a quick release towing hook, release should
not be problematic.
So, although different methods of towline usage and
securing exist, they hardly allow towline length to be
varied efficiently unless a towing winch is used. It should
be noted carefully that operational safety is involved if
towlines cannot be slac ke ned or rel eased in an
eme rgency.
7.3.2 Towing hooks
Di fferent types of hook in addition to the radial
towing hook are on the market and in use. There are
two basic systems - the normal standard towing hook
and the disc t o \ ~ n g hook (see fIgure 7.8). The disc towing
MampaEJ, Dordru.nt, HolIo. nd
Figute 7.8 Standard !wok anda disc-hookwitA springshock
absorbers anddiffirmt quick ukasesysl<ms
hook has been developed to absorb the energy stored
in a towli ne unde r tension when being released.
Particularly when using fibre towlines with large stretch
a lot of energy can build up in the line. When towlines
under tension are released they have a large impact on
the hook and deck construction when normal standard
hooks are used. Some of these have rubber buffers to
absorb, as much as possible, the impact energy of the
hook itself. With disc towing hooks the hook is a round
plate with a hook shaped opening for the towline. As
soon as a line under tension is released, the stored energy
causes an enormous accel eration of this disc but avoids
the large impact on hook and deck construction.
Towing hooks can be equipped with spring shock
absor bers to reduce high dynami c peak forces in the
towline. Load monitoring systems for towing hooks also
Towing hooks are normally equipped with a quick
release system, operat ed locally and by remote cont rol
from the wheelhouse. Systems vary from a simple one,
manually operated by a steel wire up to electric-
pneumatic or electric-hydraulic remote control systems.
7.3.3 Towing winches
Installing a towing winch allows adjustments to be
made to the length of the towline at any time to fIt the
circ umstances . On modern tugs the winch can be
controlled from the wheelhouse. The advantage is that
normall y no additional manpower is needed for
adj usting towline length. A towing winch allows faster
and easier handling of the towline, especially whe n
heavy ones are used.
At the winch control panels one should have a good
view of the towi ng winch because, for instance, the line
can be trapped between lower layers preventing it from
being paid out freely. If not noticed the towline is, instead
of being paid out, automatically heave d in again with
all its conseque nces. When the towing winc h is
controlled locally at the winch the tug captain should
have a good visual contact with the person handling
the winch.
Figure 7.9 Singkdrum towing winch ofazimuth tractor tug
Texelhank' (I.o.a.279m, beam97m, holl.ard puU45 tons) ofSmit
Harhour Towage Company, Rotterdam
TJpes oftowing winch
Different types of towing winch exist. The most
common is the single or double drumwinch. In case of a
double drum, one drum is generally used for harbour
towage and the other for a towline used at sea.
Waterfall uiinches can be found on sea going tugs and
on some harbour tugs that are also are used at offshore
locations e.g oil rigs They have two or three drums.
Each drum is located a bit higher and further back than
the other, like a waterfall. They are mainly used on
anchor handling tugs. A waterfall winch with two drums
can be used as follows: the top drum holds the main
tow wire, while the lower drum holds a working wire
for anchor handling. On some harbour tugs the top
drum holds the sea towing line, while on the lower
drums the towlines for harbour work are stored.
Figure Z70 Wat'rfall winch on board 'RTSpirit' (see paragraph
70.7.7) of towingcompany KOTUG, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
17ze winch has one upper drumand two lower drums.
Flf,Ure Z77 17zefriction drums of a tractionwinch
Another type is the friction ortraction winch. Basically
it consists of a towage section and a separate storage
section. The to' ...age section consists of two grooved
drums lying parallel to each othe r and driven in uni son.
The towline passes ar ound both drums about five or
six times and is then led to a separate storage drum,
which can be situated below deck. The storage drum is
driven in such a way that it keeps the towline under
slight tension. This is usually about 2% of the nominal
pulling capacity of the winch. This type of winch,
originall y used on sea going tugs, offshore work boats
and even on ships such as LPG carriers, is occas ionally
used on harbour tugs though in very limited numbers.
The winch is very suitable for fibre ropes, espe cially on
recovery, since the line is always under slight tension
and easily spooled onto the storage drum. When the
towline is under high load it is not pulled down onto
the storage drum, beco ming trapped and crushed . The
disadvantage is the large deck space required, whi ch is
limited on harbour tugs and the lack of flexibility in
choice and type of higher strength fibr e towlines that
are avai lable tod ay, since the profile of the grooves on
the winch drums are designed to suit a speci fic diameter
of rope. The use of an incompatible diameter of rope
compared to the winch groove profil e results in rop e
deformation, increased wear and shorter rope life.
Phow: Damm ShipytlTtfs. Holltmd
Flf,Ure Z12 Splitdrumwind! oftJuASD-tug \14elton' (I. o.a. 327m,
beam 12m, bollardpull ahead 60 tons, astern 566 tons) ofAdsteam
Towage, UK, built by Damen Shipyard, Holland. Accordingtothe
yardthe application ofthissplit drum winch is different. Each part of
the winch carries a separate towline. Consequently, each drum part
hOJ afairlead at the forward H-hitt. The[airleads are ofstainless
suel, reducing thewear on modernfibre towlines
A type of winch very suitable for fibre towlines is
the split drum winch. With undivided drums the outer
layers of the towline tighten excessively when high
bollard pull is applied. This causes crushing and damage
to the layers of the rope nearer the centre of the drum.
The split drum winch has a single drum comprising a
tension section and a lirie storage section. On the tension
section the amount of rope for normal use is avai lable.
Photo: Bildsennce, GotJimhorg, Swtdm
Figure 7. 13 Double winchforwardonthe tmerse tractor tugJolm'
(/.0.0. 329... beam 1(}2m, hollardpull ahead 53 tons, astern 51
tons) of rowing company Buksir og Berging, Norway
When more rope is needed, the split pr ovided in
the separation disc enables any length of rope to be
taken from the storage section. It has the advantage that
the fibre line has only a few layers on the tension drum,
so wear is less. In practice, however, even withthis type
of winch, it sometimes happens that a synthetic line
becomes trapped b etween a slacke r lower layer,
pr eventing the line from bei ng further freely deployed
without manual assistance. A disadvantage of the split
drum is that it is somewhat more difficult to operate.
However with good training and some experience that
shoul d not cause a problem.
Some harbour tugs, e.g. several Japanese built
reverse-tractor tugs, are equipped with a doublewinchat
the bow. Two bow lines can be used independently at
the same time.
Towi ng winches used on har bour tugs ca n be
equipped with a self rendering or tension device, which
is a towline load reducing system. The rendering facility
is in case the shock load on the towing gear should
exceed preset parameters. The winch automatically
heaves whe n line tension is below a certain val ue.
Towline length can be presel ected. The facility can be
adj usted by means of a tension control, allowing the
winch to render more easily when working in difficult
conditions such as waves or swell. Such systems are not
suitable for oper ation in narrow port areas . Harbour
tugs can simply be equipped with a device measuring
towline tension and rope payout with a display in the
wheelhouse . Most harbour tugs don' t have such devices
at all.
Automatic spooling gears , which spool the towline
properly around the towing drum, can be found on
harbour towing winches. However, because of the short
tov...lines used in harbour towage in relation to the long
towlines at sea, many harbour towing winches are not
equipped with a spooling gear. When so equipped they
are not always used, particularly when a steel wire
towline with stretcher and pendant is used. The spooling
gear is then of little use for the short part of the main
Towing winches are dri ven through reduction gears
by a mot or which may be powered by hydraulic
pressure or electricity. Most harbour tug towing winches
have hydraulic drives. Electric controls are sens itive to
moisture and corrosi on and the relatively simple AC
pole changing motor is inferior to hydr aulic drives in
pull/ speed characteristics. The reasons are that speed
is variable in steps only, the high starting torque and
on/off control only. The AC/ DC (\'lard-Leonard) drive
has excellent drive characteristics, but is expensive and
more sensitive to moisture, corrosion and overheating
than any other type.
However, there are many variations in elect ric and
hydr aulic drive types that may significantly influence
performance, reliability and costs. One example is the
frequency-controlled towing winch. Compared to a
hydr auli cally driven winch, a frequency-controlled
winch has a number of advantages, such as a smooth
and stepless control, easier installation, space savings
(no hydrauli c power package required) and immedi ate
readiness for use. The control system can be arranged
under deck, so avoi ding corrosion and moisture. Costs
are slightly higher than those of a hydraulic winch .
Towing winch characteristics
For ship assistance by harbour tugs, the following
aspects of a towing winch are important:
Brake holding power
Maximum pulling capacity
Rated pull or pull/ speed char acteristics
Slack line speed
Brake holding capocity is the holding capacity of the
brake and usually refers to the first layer. The more
layers, the lower the br aking capacity. Braking capacity
of towing winches for harbour towing is two to three
times the ballard pull of the tug, although it is often
dependent on a towing company's policy. Lower values
can be found such as a br ake holding capacity equal to
ballard pull.
There is an important relationship between brake
holding capacity and the minimum breaking strength
of a towline . Th e latter is higher than the ballard pull of
the tug, whi ch is considered later. With low br ake
holding capacity and a high safety factor in the towline,
the brake slips before the towline breaks, pr eventing
to o hi gh loads in the towli ne and conse que ntly
length ening the towline's life. However, a relatively low
brake holding capacity may limit a tug's perfo rmance
because in certain situa tions, such as stee p towline
angl es, towli ne forces can be much higher than ballard
pull and in order to avoid brake slippage tug power has
to be redu ced.
The opposite can also be the case. With a high brake
holding capacity, e.g. three times the ball ard pull, the
towli ne may br eak before the brake slips, unless quick
rel ease is used in time. On the other hand a tug's
perfor mance is less limited, which can be of impor tance
during ship assistance in adverse weather and/ or current
conditions. Therefore when building a new tug the brake
holding capacity of the towing winch is an important
fact or, to be carefully considered in relation to the
minimum breaking strength of the towline and required
performance of the tug.
It should be noted that with a steadily increasing
towline force the brake may slip at the brake holding
power of the win ch. However, in case of shock loads
the brake will mostly not slip at that stage due to the
inerti a of the braking system and the towline may break.
When a load reducing system is operational the brake
system is disengaged and the winch dri ve engaged.
Modern towing winches may have an adjustable brake
holding power, with automatic release on a preset line
tension, while winch brakes op en in case of ' dead ship'.
Other important aspec ts are the maximum pulling
capacity and pull/speed characteristics of a towing winch.
The maximum pulling capaci ty of a winch is the stall
heaving capacity or stalling load. That is the maximum
line pull the winch exerts at first layer when control is
in heave and the line is kept stationary. The maximum
achievable pull depends on the drive type and control.
A 15 tons towing winch means a maximum pulling
cap acity of 15 tons. As drum speed increases the pulling
capacity reduces. Pull/speeds characteristics or rated pull
of a winch give the pull at a nominal or rated speed.
Pull / speeds characteristics are given, for instance, in the
following way: 10 tons x 10m/ min, which means that
the winch is capabl e of pulli ng 10tons at a hauling spee d
of 10 metres per minute. .
So me h arb our towing compani es establi sh a
maximum pull for their tugs which is half the ballard
pull, though a number of harbour tugs can be found
. having a maximum pulling capacity equal to their
ballard pull.
Maximum puIli ng capacity a nd pull / speed
char acteri stics are parti cularly impor tant when towing
in narrow port areas and when influences of wind and!
or curre nt are high. For example: A large container ship
has to be berthed during high onshore winds. The tugs
towing on a line are pulling at full power. Because the
available manoeuvri ng space in the harbour basin
narrows, the tugs have to shorten towli nes. The
maximum pull of the towing winches is less than the
ballard pull, therefore the tugs reduce power to be able
to shorten the towline. Because the hauling speed of
the towing winches is also low while pulling, power is
further reduced to be able to shor ten line as quickly as
possibl e and it takes rather a long time before the line is
at the cor rect length. All the time the ship is dr ifting,
which easily results in an accident. Therefore the higher
the pull and related speed of towing win ches th e bett er.
Note: Towline length should normally be adj usted in
good time, particularly in tugs with winch types that
cannot be put in gear whil e the towline is under load.
Slack linespeedis also import ant , because when letting
go tugs the faster the towline can be retrieved the bett er,
and the risk of fouling the ship or tug propeller is less.
In por ts where tugs are towing on a line during berthing
operations they often have to change to pushing at a
ship's side. The faster the towli ne can be retrieved the
sooner tugs are available to push. Achievable slack lin e
spee ds are different for different types of dri ves and thi s
must also b e co nsidere d wh e n specif y i ng th e
performance and drive type of new equipme nt.
Towing winches are provided with quick release
systems which can be operated at the winch and from
the wheelhouse . As explained in a previous chapter
about conventional tugs, risk of girting exists. W'hen
these tugs are equipped with a towing winch with a quick
rel ease system the risk is minimi sed, because when
danger of girting arises the towline can be slacked or
sli pped enti rely by means of the quick r el ease
7.4 Quick release systems
By the nature of their work harbour tugs can easily
get involved in risky situa tions. From the poi nt of view
of safety of tug and crew, quick release systems are of
the utmost imp ortance. That is why specific atte ntion is
given here in parti cular to qui ck release towing hooks.
In case of emergency, towing li nes under hi gh
tension cannot or can only with difficulty be released
from a towing bitt. Ifrelease is absolutely necessary this
can be very dangerous for the cre w. An axe could be
used, bu t this only works with light towlines. An
altern ative emergency method sometimes used in the
USA is a qui ck release strap. It is a short line with an
eye at one end. The eye is put on the towing bitt and
the free end pas sed through the eye of the towline and
also secure d to the towin g bitt. In an emergency this
line is cast off and the towline is released with little
danger for the tug' s crew. But it is clear that, in general ,
towing on a towing bitt has consequences for safety.
As mention ed earlier, towing winches and towing
hooks are normally equipped with quick release systems.
Experience teaches that in many cases it is nearly
impossible to open the quick release hook in very critical
situations, often with dramatic consequences. When a
tug is listing caused by very high tension in the towline,
as is nearly always the case in critical situations, it is
often impossible to open the hook. One cannot rely on
such a syste m.
Quick release hooks should therefore be tested under
the most severe circumstances that may be experienced
during critical situations. They sho uld also be well
maintained. Investigations are recommended into
whether towing hooks can be const ructed in such a way
that with steep towing angl es the ultimate lead of the
towline towards the towing hook is kept parallel to the
deck pl ane, as shown in the photograph of th e tug with
a towi ng winch with radi al system (figur e 7.3).
There are modern types of qui ck rel ease hooks. One
of these is the hydrauli call y locked towing hook (by
Brusselle Marine Industries in Belgium). This looks mor e
or less like a normal standard towing hook bu t the hook
itself is kept in position by a hydrauli c cylinder. As soon
as the quick rel ease system is operated, hydrauli c
pressure falls and the hook opens. A similar but further
improved towing hook from th e same co mpany,
developed in close co-operation with the Belgi an tug
company DRS, is the hydraulically locked towing bitt,
The towing hook is a small bitt which can tumble and is
al so kept in positi on by a hydrauli c cy li nder.
Construction is such that in normal operating conditions
the towline cannot slip off the small bitt, When the quick
release sys te m is operated th e hydrauli c cylinder
tumbles the bitt and the towline slips off.
Another quick release system for towing hooks is an
automatic release system. Such a system is used on older
. Russiantugs in St, Petersburg. It is an ingenious mechanical
systemwhich basically works as follows. At a certain preset
maximum heeli ng angle an iron ball, locked when the tug
has no or only a small list, comes free and falls down. Due
to the weight of the iron ball the wire connected to the
. qui ck release is tightened and the hook opens. Modem
electronic systems which automatically release the towline
at a preset angle also exist.
Irrespective of the system used for towing hooks only
one thing is important. That is that the system must be
fully reli abl e and function trouble-free under normal and
severe circumstances. As for -wheelhouse lay-out, qui ck
release controls should be situate d so that they are always
within th e captain' s hand reach. When releasing or
cutting the towline, the line should run freely overboard
and not become jammed somewhere on deck.
The conclusion is that the method of towing, whether
by towing bitt, hook or winch is also import ant for the
safety of the tug and its crew and that towing winches
with a qui ck releas e system are safest. Th e same applies
to quick release towi ng hooks, provided those hooks
are fully reliable.
7.5 Towlines
7.5.1 Towline requirements
A towline must fulfil certain basic functions. Firstly
to function as the load carrying link between tug and
shi p and secondly to cope with dynamic loads resulting
from relative motion between tug and ship.This leads
to the following basic requirements for towlines for
harbour tugs :
A towline sho uld be of sufficient strength to cope
with th e forces th at can be experienced during
shiphandling operations.
Dynamic loads should be well compe nsated for by a
towline in order to avoid excessive loads in the line
and attachment points.
A towline should be manageabl e on board a tug as
well as on board a ship. When no towing winch is
used a towline should be flexibl e enough for easy
Wh en in use a towline should suffer a minimum of
.wear, distortion and loss of strength, providing as long
a life as possibl e,
All these aspects are conside red whil e discussing
different types ofrope .
7.5.2 Steel wire ropes and synthetic fibre ropes
Although ship lines are used in a number of ports
(see section 7. 5.6) many harbour tugs use their own
towlines. They can be of various types: st eel wire,
synthetic fibre, or partly steel and fibre. There ar e many
different types of fibr e lines, consisting of one type of
fibr e, or a combi nation of fi bres and various
constructions. It is only possible, ther efore, to give
general information on towline composition and
construction. The best information regarding a specific
ty pe of wi re or rope can b e obta i ne d fr om th e
manufacture r. Development in conventi onal as well as
modern synthetic fibre s is conti nuous, much research
is being carried out, and this will result in fur the r
improved performance of man-made fibre ropes.
Somewhere during the design stage of a tug, it should
be decided whether fibre or steel towlines are to be used,
because the typ e of towline used influences such items
as winch drum size and the type and size of fairleads.
Steel wireropes
A steel wire rope consists of a number of strands
wound around a central cor e of fibre or wire. Each strand
~ d W ' I T l
Ordinary lay:
A method of making a wire rope whe re the lay of
wires in a strand is opposite to the lay of strands in
the rope.

Figure Z14 SteelWiTt construction
in turn consists of a number of wires wound to form a
strand. Wire rop es are constructed in various ways. The
following definitions and illustrati ons (see figure 7.14)
are helpful in identifying different wire types:
The twisting of strands to form a rope, or wires to
form a strand, during manufacture.
Right handor left hand lay:
The angle or direction of strands relative to the centre
of a rop e. When looking along the line of the rope
and the direction of the strands is anti-clockwise it is
called left hand lay. If the direction is clockwise it is
called right hand lay.
Cross lay and equal lay:
Terms describing the lay of wires used to make up
strands. In a cross lay strand all wires have a different
lay length. High stress concentration at the cross-over
points leads to early internal failure. Equal lay wire
ropes tend to last longer, mainl y due to less internal
wear. They also withstand cyclic loading better and
are stronge r. There are a number of constructions
availabl e for equal lay strands: Seale, Warrington,
Filler or a combination, all depending on the number,
different dimensions and combination of wires in the
different layers of a strand. The most suitable is the
Warrington/Seale construction.
Lang's lay:
A method of making a rope where the lay of wires in
a strand is the same as the lay of strands in the rop e.
It has better wearing properties than ordinary lay but
tends to untwi st so has only limited use.
It is usual to describe wire rope in terms of strands,
number of wires and type of core e.g. 6 x 36 IWRC.
The first numbe r is the number of strands, the second
number gives the number of wires in each strand and
the letters IWRC (Independent Wir e Rope Cor e) give
the type of core .
Ropes with more wires have greater flexibility and
fatigue resistance but resistance to abras ion is less. Fibre
cores allow easier handling and are ideal for use with
smaller wire sizes and wher e wire is to be handl ed
Where steel wire ropes are used on towing winches
it is advantageous to use a steel wire core. ' Vires
constructed witha steel wire core offer greater resistance
to the crushing forces experienced on wi nches, are 7%
to 8%stronger and stretch slightly less than a fibre core
wire of the same diameter.
Wir e ropes can be supplied in different grades of
steel, usually 180 kgf/mm' (1770 N/ mm' ) or 200 kgf/
mm' (1960 N/mm' ). The latter has a higher minimum
breaking strength and gene rally better performance. In
the USA other indicatio ns used for tensile strength
include Improved Plow Steel (I PS) which has about the
same tensile strength as 180kgf/ mm' (1770 N/mm' ) steel
wire and Extra Improved Plow Steel (XIPS) which has
a higher tensile strength.
Figure 7.15 shows some typi cal minimum breaking
strengths of 6 x 36 WS (Warrington/ Seale) IWRC wire
24 241 37 41
26 283 44 48
28 328 50 56
32 428 66 73
36 542 83 92
40 669 103 114
Figure ZIS 1jpia1 minimum breakingstrength.r
Maintenance ofsteel wires
Steel wir es should be properl y maintained and
regularly inspected. Visual inspection is vital, particularly
around eyes and those shackled to stretche rs, as the
shackle tends to increase wear on the wire at thi s point.
Inspection should focus on such aspects as: broken wires
in strands, corrosion, rope deformation (kinks, flattened
areas, misplaced outer wires, etc.).
rope components

One pll1it
pil th
3's trand rope 12strand br aid Parall el strand 6-strand rope Double br aid
Source: Fihre &pe 'RchnicalManual
Figure Z76 Fibrerope componentsandconstructions
Syntheticfibre ropes
Du e to the increased bollard pull of tug s, th e
diameter and weight of steel wire towlines has increased.
Consequently they are increasingly difficult to handle ,
not only by a tug' s crew but also by the low number of
crewmembers available aboard ships to fasten or release
towlines. Escort tugs put an additional demand on
towline performance not only because of their large
bollard pull but also due to the high towline forces
experienced when operating in indirect towing mode.
Because of their strength, stretch, and weight , there is a
growing preference for fibre towlines.
The differ en t type s and cons truc tions of fibre
towlines all have their own specific charac teristics.
Depending on the rope type and its application, rope
making consists of spinning the fibres into initial yams,
initial yarns are further twisted int o final yarns. Final
yar ns ar e then twisted to form strands or plaits. Strands
or plaits are formed int o ropes. To pr event the rope
unJaying, the strands are laid up in the opposite direction
to the yarns.
As an example, the components and the way of
construction of a three-strand rope ar e shown in figure
7.16. Some definitions will be given and some of the
most common rope typ es will be revi ewed. Ther e
are several differ ent constr uction methods, also of
rope types di scu ssed below, depending on the
manufacturer and fibre type. Ne ve rtheless th e
ove rview gives an impression of rope typ es and rope
Left hand and right hand lay:
The same as with wire ropes. Left hand lay 'is also
called Slay and right hand lay Z-Iay. When holding the
rop e vertical the direction of the strands corresponds to
the diagonal line in the letter S or Z.
Three strand ropes:
The thr ee strand rope, or hawser-laid rope, is the
most common of twisted ropes. They have a tendency
to 'kink' or 'heckle' which significantly reduces strength.
Specific strand constructions can reduce the tendency
to kink. The rope has good abrasion resistance.
Six strand ropes:
Six strand ropes wi th core are twisted ropes similar
to convent ional wire ropes. It is not as prone to hockling
as a three stran d rope .
Eight strandropes:
Eight strand pl aited ropes, also called square braid,
are made up of four pairs of two strands. The pairs of
strands are alternately left hand lay and right hand lay.
The bal ance between left and right hand strands makes
them virtually unkinkable and very flexible. The rope
has a square profile, and it is more dur abl e than twisted
rop es. It has a hi gh energy absorption capability and
essentially the same strengt h as a thr ee strand rope of
the same dimensions.
Twelvestrand ropes:
Twelve strand br aid s consists of twelve twist ed
strands that have be en braided into a singl e braid
construction. A single braid construction leaves a void
in the centre. The hollow is instrumental in the easy
splice procedure. Holl ow braids are non-rotating and
ar e a very efficient way to utili se fibr e. Fibres used
include nylon, pol yester, polypropylene, composites of
pol yester and polypropylene, and HMPE fibr es. Also
other construction methods of twelve strand ropes exist.
A new type of rope of HMPEfibres is the 12 x 12 strand
rope, which consists of twelve individual 12-strand ropes
that have been braided together to form the final rope .
With this type of rop e individual strands can easily be
repaired by using traditional splicing methods. Twelve
stra nd rop es of HMPE fibre s are, amongst others,
frequently used for towlin es, including escort tug
Doublebraid or braid-on-braid:
Doubl e br aided ropes are constructed from an inner
br aided core rope and an outer braided cover rope . It
is really two ropes in one. The engineering of doubl e
braided rop es includes the use of different fibres in the
core and cover to control properties such as elongation,
specific gravity (ability to float), abrasion resistance and
coefficient of friction. In a ' standard' double braid design
the braided cover rope and core rope supplement each
other in strength and share the load almost equal ly,
which can be achieved when the fibres have a fair
amount of elongatio n. High performance fibres (e.g,
Spectra, Dyneema, Kevlar) have a very low stretch,
consequently it is very difficult to get both cover and
core to share the load if the entire rope was made of
such fibres. When, for instance, Dyneema or Spectra
fibr es are used in double br aid, the cover is merely a
prot ective jacket, often made of pol yester, and does not
cont ribute to the strength of the rop e.
If selecting a rope for a certain application, it will be
clear from the foregoing that consultation with qualified
manufacturers and/or engineering consultants is needed
in order to be able to make the most efficient and cost-
effective choice.
Description ofdifferent fibres for ropes
Firstly we will look at conventional fibres - polyester,
nylon and polypropylene and some combinations of these.
Polyester is the heaviest of the conventional fibres
and does not float. It is also the most durable. It has
high strength, both wet and dry and an exceptional
abrasion resistance. It does not lose strength rapidly due
to cyclic loading. Polyester has a low extension under
load . The low friction coefficient allows it to slide
relatively easily around bitts. Its relatively high melting
poi nt reduces the chances of fusion.
Nylon is the name for the polyamide fibr es. Nylon
does not float. Dry nylon is sligh tly stro nge r than
polyester rope and is the strongest of the man-made
fibres, except for Aramid, Dyneema and Spectra. Wet
strength is about 80-85%of dry strength. Wet nylon loses
strength much faster under cyclic loading than polyester.
Thus a heavily used nylon rope becomes weaker than a
heavily used polyester rope of the same size. Nylon has
high stretch and is more elastic than the other two fibres.
Polypropylene has about the same elasticity as
polyester but is significantly weaker than either polyester
or nylon. Polypropylene is the light est of the man-made
fibres and floats in water. It has a low me lting point and
tends to fuse under high friction. Prolonged exposure
to the sun's ultr aviol et rays can cause polypropylene
fibr es to disintegrate.
Combinations ofmaterials
Seve ral manufactur ers make ropes comprised of
mixtures of polyester and polypropylene fibres. Their
strength lies generally somewhere b et ween
corresponding ropes made only of pol yest er or
polypropylene. Depending on how fibres ar e arranged
in the yarn s, abrasion resistance and cycl ic load
performance can be almost as good as for pure polyester.
The combination of polyester and polypropylene gives
the ropes optimum resistance to internal fusion damage.
Polypropylene always fuses fi rs t, stabili sing the
temperature of the whole rope and its melting point,
consequently protecting the polyester yarn component
from any fusion damage.
Other mixtures can be found, such as combinations
of nylon, polyester and polypropylene or a melt mixture
of polyester and polypropylene. All have their own
specific charac te ristics , n ot only because of the
combination of materi als, but also as a result of the
different construction methods used.
In very cold areas the performance of ropes made
of synthetic fibre changes in different ways. A few
Strength of polyester ropes increases by about 20"10
at an extreme temperature of minus 35-40C,
although icing causes a larger int ernal abrasion,
consequently reducing the breaking strength.
Nylon loses up to 100f0 strength at th ese cold
temperatures, with an additional strength loss due
internal abrasion caused by icing.
If working in very cold areas one should be aware of
the changes in towline performance, which also may
apply to the towlines made of the modern fib res
mentioned hereafter.
Now the newer synthetic materials for ropes are
considered, viz. Aramid {with trade names such as
Kevlar (Du Pont) and Twaron (Akzo Nobe l) and the
HMPE (High Modulus PolyEthylene) and UHMPE
(Ultra Hi gh Modulus PolyEthylene) fibres which are
available for use in high-performance ropes un der the
tr ade names Spectr a (Allie d-Signal) and Dyneema
(DSM). The name HMPE will be used from now on
for both HMPE and UHMPE fibr es.
Aramid andHMPE (Dyneema, Spectra)
Aramid and HMPE fibres have a large breaking
strength and very lowstretch. The 'Fibre Rope Technical
Information and Application Manual' (see References)
shows the following differences in properties between
Aramid and HMPE fibre properties when compared
to other fibres, such as nylon, polyester, polypropylene,
polyethylene and older fibres :
Ropes made of Aramid do not float and ropes made
of HMPE do float.
Weight for weight HMPE is the strongest fibre.
The surface and internal abrasion resistance of
HMPE ropes is excellent and of Aramid ropes fair
respectively good.
Friction coefficient of HMPE fibres is very low.
HMPE fibres have a melting point of 150
C and
Aramid of 425
Aramid has a fair resistance and HMPE an excellent
resistant to ultraviolet sun rays.
HMPE has better shock load absorption abilities than
Aramid has a 5%lower strength and HMPE the same
strength when wet.
The tabl es in figur e 7. 17 and 7.18 give an indication
of some characteristics of fibres and performance of
different rope types. The extension at 50% breaking
strength mentioned in-the tabl e and as given by one
rope manufacturer are for worked ropes, as the stretch
of new ropes is higher. The stretch of nylon in wet
conditions is also higher.
When reading the tables it should be kept in mind
that rope characteristics such as stretch, minimum
breaking load, etc. also depend on the construction
method of the rope, as indicated previously.
Finishes and coatings
In creased knowledge of yarn-to-yarn friction and
abrasion within ropes under operating conditions has
led to the development of special overlay finishes that
can be applied to yarns during the fibre producing or
rope manufactur ing pro cess. The term most commonly
used for water- res ist ing overlay finishes is 'marine
Aramid 144 425 1%
HMPE 098 150 1
/ 0
Nylon 114 215250 20%
Polyester 138 250 12%
250/165 9%
Polypropylene 091 165 8%
Extension shown is at 50%breakingload of a worked
eight strand rope
Cfor Polyamide 6, 250
for Polyamide 66
.... Densitydependson thecombinationof materials, generally
about 11 g/cm'.
Figure 718 Tabl, showing some dunaaeristia of differmt fibre types
overlay fmish'. Testing has shown that these marine
over lay finishes add strength and abrasion resistance to
nylon, polyester, and aramid yarns and rope under wet
and wet/dry conditions of use.
Ropes that will be exposed to severe environmental
and mech anical stresses can b e pro tected by the '
application of exte rnal coatings . The most common
material is polyure thane, although other materials are
also used. Coatings can be app lied to protect ropes that
will be exposed to severe weather, cycling abrasion,
marine growth build up, or long exposure in water.
Coatings can furthermore be used to improve abrasion
resistance, snag resi stance, to provide protection against
ultraviolet degradation or for colouring coding.
Handling and maintenance offibre ropes, including tow lines
Consider first the danger of 'snap-back' of fibre lines.
Snap-back is common to all lines. Even long wire lines
under tension can stretch enough to snap back with
cons iderable energy. Synthetic lines are much mor e
elastic, except for Aramid and Dyneema/Spectra lines,
increasing the danger of snap-back, striking anything
in their path with tremendous force. Synthetic lines
no rmally br eak suddenly and wit hout warn ing.
40 71 11 1 99 30 121 35 72 21 98 42
44 86 133 120 36 147 41 88 25 118 50
48 103 159 142 42 175 48 104 29 141 59
52 121 186 166 49 205 55 122 33 165 69
56 141 214 193 56 238 65 142 38 191 80
64 184 276 252 72 311 83 185 49 250 103
72 232 345 319 90 393 107 234 62 316 130
80 287 424 394 110 485 130 290 76 391 158
88 344 514 477 131 587 159 351 91 473 190
Figure 717 Table giving compatati... weight. andminimum breaking loadsof8-strand ropes of differentfibres
(1) refers In Dyneemfl!Stte/itt Extra; (2) refers In Eurof/<x
Whenever possihle one should keep away from
synthetic lines under tension and when approaching
these lines it should be done with care.
Twisted ropes can be harmed by kinking, which may
form into hockles if not properly removed. 'When a kink
forms, the load must be removed and the kink gentl y
worked out.
Rop es must be kept clear of chemicals, chemical
vapours or other harmful subst ances. They should not
be stored near paint or where they may be exposed to
paint or thinner vapour s. The susceptibility of the rope
depends on its chemical structure and fibre. Nylon is,
for instance, attacked by acids and bleaching agent s.
Polyester is attacked by some alkalis.
Excessive heat can damage synthetic lines, especially
polypropylene . Pol yethylene and Aramid are
vulnerable to ultraviol et rays. Care should be taken
when dragging synthetic lines along the deck. Avoid
sharp edges, rough surface s or surfaces with a small
bending diamet er. When dirt, grit or rust particles are
allowed to cling to or penetrate into synthetic rop es,
internal abrasion will result. The rope should be cleaned
before storing. .
To distribute wear equally along all parts of the
towline, ends should be reversed periodically. A further
reason is that braided ropes, whi ch are torque-free,
develop twists when constantly used on a winch by the
direction of turn of the winch, or by rolling on the winch
drum due to uneven layers. A braided rope can also get
twisted through rep eat ed handling on a capstan. Twists
make rope handling more difficult and reduce rope
strength when not removed. If a twist develops, it should
be removed by rotating the rope in the opposite
direction when it is relaxed.
Fairleads, warping drums, roller heads, etc. should
be in good condition and damage to fibre lines by rust
and grooves in fairleads should be avoid ed (see figure
7.12 for photograph of ASD-tug Melton with stainless
steel fairleads).
It is recommended to use a pennant particularly for
fibre towlines to minimise damage at the ship's end of
the main towline. A cow hitch connection between a
fibre pennant and a fibre towline, as often used, reduces
strength of the total towing connection by approximately
15%. Splices in a rope decrease minimum breaking
strength by at least 10%. Towline, stretcher and pennant
(if used), must be inspected at regular intervals and these
inspections should include, as far as possible, inspection
of inner strands, eye s and splices.
Finally, although all aspects mentioned above for
proper rope handling and maintenance are important,
of at least equal importance is proper tug handling to
minimise as far as possible shock loads in the towline.
Damage 10 towlines
The experience of several towing companies is that
most damage to fibre towlines is the result of problems
on the ships being towed, such as corroded and deepl y
grooved fairle ads, sharp edges between fairl ead and
bollards and square stems of ships.
It should, however, be noted th at the cause of
grooved fairleads and bollards does not in all cases lies
on board the ship. Many ships have fibre mooring lines.
Groo ves in the fairleads, bollards, etc. may be caused
in ports where tugs are using steel wire towlines, or fibre
rope towlines with steel wire pennants, which then cause
pr oblems for tug s in other ports usin g fibr e ro pe
7.5.3 Composition of towlines
The composition of towlines used for harbour towage
can be as follows:
A single steel wire.
A steel wire towline, stretcher and steel wire pendant.
A fibre rope towline and steel wire pendant.
A fibre rope towline with or without a fibr e rope
Although steel wire has little stretch, only steel wire
towlines are used. Dynamic loads in the towline can be
compensated by towing hooks fitted with spri ngs or by
towing winches v'lith tension control.
Wire ropes used as towlines on towing winches are
generally 6 x 36 IWRC, tensile strength 180 kgf/mm',
wires in strands equal lay Warrington/Seale, strands
ordinary lay. On very powerful harbour tugs towlines
of tensile strength 200 kgf/mm' can be found. Usually
a steel wire towline is right hand lay, though when a
towing winch is used with a spooling device it depends
on the heaving and spooling direction of the winch
whether right hand lay or left hand lay is required. When
wire towlines are not stored on a winch the same type
of wire towline can be used, however with a fibre core .
"When a steel wire towline is used in combination
with a stretcher and pendant, the steel wire pendant
will generally be of the same.construction as the towline
but usually of rather smaller diameter or of used towline
of the same diameter. In case of extreme towline forces
the pendant will br eak first and only thi s part has to be
Nylon as well as polyester or polyester/
polypropylene is used for stretchers, for instance in eight
str and braided construction. The stretcher is often
doubled as grommet. The length of stretcher is usually
about 10 metres.
Although nylon has large stretch, it degrades in
strength and abrasion resistance when wet and is subject
to torsional damage when used in conjunction with a
steel wire towline (see also paragraph 7.5.2 ' Finishes and
coatings' ). Ther ef or e polyest er an d polye ster/
polypropylene are often preferred for stret chers. It is
recommended that stretchers have a larger breaking
streng th than the steel wir e towli n e OCIMF
recommends nylon tails have at least 37% higher
breaking stre ngth than the rope. This is because
expe rience shows that cyclic loading degrades synthetic
lines, particularly nylon, more quickly than wire under
similar load conditions. The stretcher should therefore
have a 25%higher dry br eaking strength than the wire.
As nylon has a lower br eaking strength when wet an
additional 10% should be added, giving a total 37%
allowance for reduction in strength. The same at least
will apply to nylon stretchers in relation to minimum
breaking strength of the towline.
When fibre towlines are used the type of towline
depends amongst other things on the loads and in
particular the dynamic loads that can be expected and
whe ther a towing winch is used or not. As type of tug,
ope rating methods, conditions and circumstances differ
by port, different type of fibr e towlines are used, such
as towlines made of polypropylene, nylon, polyester or
polyester/polypropyl ene. Different constructions such
as doubl e braid, 12strand, eight strand, six strand and
three strand can also be found. Th ree strand ropes are
not optimal ropes for towing winches. A pendant may
be connected to fibre towlines to pr ot ect the main
towline from abrasion. Steel wire as well as fibre rope
(including HMPE fibre rope) is used for pendants.
Nylon towlines are used particularly in wave and
swell conditions because of their hi gh stretch. One
towing company work ing primarily under these
conditions pr efers thr ee strand loose laid nylon, after
having tried out other rope types and constructions,
because of the stretch and ease of handling. The line is
belayed onto bollards/bitts on board the tug.
Modern fibres such as Dyneema and Spectra are
increasingly used for towlines for escort tugs as well as
for harb our tugs. The lines can be 12strand, eight strand
or other constructions, depending on the manufacturer
and user's need s. A tail of th e same fibre typ e,
sometimes with cover, is often connecte d to the main
towline to pr event it from early wear, while pennants
made of e.g. nylon or polyester are used as well. This is
because of the low stre tch of ropes ma de of Dyneema
or Spectra, which has consequences for dynamic load
absorption in the towline and which easily results in
high peak loads. This may be the case if no use can be
made of a load reducing system on the towing winch
(which is mostly the case on harbour tugs), but
particularly when short towlines are used. The nylon
or polyester pennants add some stretch to the towline.
A system used in e.g. several Australian ports is a
Dyn ee ma gro mmet connected to a double-braid
polyester main towline, which results in more stretch in
the towing connection. The best way found to connect
the grommet to the towline is to pass the rope of which
the grommet is made tluough the main towline's eye
and then spliced to a grommet. Th e on-board end of
the grommet may be prot ected against shaving by a
seizing. It is important to use compatible ropes,
othe rwise the penn ant may cut through the main
towline. Th e large advantage of the system is that the
grommet can be rotated over time to spread 'wear and
Experience with these modern fibre towlines is still
building up, experience that can be used for further
As already mentioned in the beginning of the former
paragraph, there is a large variety in rope types, rope
composites and construction methods, and consequently
in rope characteristics and applications. Therefore, when
selecting a rope for a towli ne of a tug, a careful
consultation with rope manufacturers and/or suppliers
is needed regarding the most suitable rope type and
recommended use, taking into account tug's capabilities,
working methods and conditions.
The reader is further referred to paragraph 9.5 where
specific information can be found on escort tug towlines,
which is also of relevance for normal harbour tugs.
7.5.4 Basic towline length
The towline length for tugs towing on a line is now
considered. However , it will be shown that some
concl usions are also applicable to other tug operating
me thods.
When towing on a line a tug captain determines the
length of the towline on the basis of his insight and
experience. This concerns tugs with towing winches and
tugs using ship lines as towline. On tugs without a towing
winch and using their own towlines the available length
is usuallylimited to a preset towline length, as mentioned
The towline length used while towing on a line
depends on factors such as type and length of tug, size
and deck height ofthe ship to be assisted, environmental
conditions and available manoeuvring space for the tug.
Ship' s speed is also important. These factors may result
in longer towline lengths in one port than in another
and may also differ depending on the tug captain' s
expe rience. Towline length al so influe nces ship
manoeuvr es, as will be explained
Towline length in relation to ship's path width
To show how t owline l ength affec ts ship' s
manoeuvres, a for ward tug towing on a line i s
considered. Fro m figure 7.19 it is clear that whe n
requir ed to change from pulling direction I to pulli ng
direction 2 tug A needs more time in
comparison to tug B owing to the
longer distance to be covered. Tug B,
with the shortest towline, can react
much faster when required, for
instance to stop a sudden sheer of the
assisted ship. So, with a short towline
faster tug reactions are possible than
with a long towline. This applies to
tugs towing on a line as well as for tugs
operating in the push-pull mode at the
ship's side. When the length of the
towline is doubled the reaction time
will also approximately double.
The manoeuvring space required
by a ship is smaller when tugs react
quickly. A ship passing through a
harbour basin with the assistance of
tugs, for example, needs a
manoeuvring lane of a certain width.
This path width is smaller when tugs
work on short towlines, because the
ship does not have much time to sheer
or drift. As soon as it happens and the
pilot or tug captains notice, tugs can
react very.quickly.
The total required manoeuvring
lane width for the combination of ship
and tugs is also narrower, because tugs
towing on short lines require less
space . So, it works to double effect.
Working on a short towline therefore
has three important advantages:
L ,
I "
I \I
I "
Figure Z20 The sffea ofdifferent lowline lengths
Some comments should be made. The advantages
of short towlines include quick reaction times of tugs
and minimum required manoeuvring space. However,
it will to some extent reduce a tug's effectiveness due to
the counteracting effect of the tug propeller wash on
the ship's hull. Tugs should therefore have sufficient
bollard pull to compensate for part of the loss in
These aspects are of particular importance when
manoeuvring space is limited as is the case in most port
areas. It all sounds very logical. However, the experience
of some ship masters is that in a number of ports long'
towlines are used too often. It then takes too long before
a tug can exert towing forces in the required direction.
In the meantime the ship is drifting or swinging in the
wrong direction.
for the
Faster reaction time of tugs.
Reduced ship's path width.
Less manoeuvring space required
combination of ship and assisting tugs.
Figure Z79 Tug reaction time andmanoeuvriug space required depending
ontowline length .
effectiveness resulting from the relatively short towlines.
In addition, the higher the bollard pull the faster tugs
can restore a ship's position or heading, for instance
when the ship starts drifting or veers off cour se. So the
available bollard pull also influences a ship' s path width .
When manoeuvring space for a ship is very limited
tug reaction time should be very high such as when
assisting in dockyards and when passing narrowbridges.
Two short towlines shoul d be considered in this case
for the forward tug as shown in figure 3.11.A tug secured
that way can react much mor e quickly,
For an explanation that no loss in effectiveness occurs
when the towline is shortened, see figure 7.20. Both tugs
are exactly the same and both are pulling ahead with
equal full power P. Thi s gives a force T in the towline.
This towline force has a vertical compone nt, which lifts
the tug a little out of the water, but is compe nsated for
by the tug' s increased apparent weight L. Force L
together with the towline force T gives a resultant force
R, equal to the pulling force P of the tug in a stale of
equilibrium. The towline force T = T' on the ship, can
be resolved in a vertical force L' and in a horizontal
force pl. The forces pi , which are the tugs' pulling effects
on the ship, are equal to the towing forces P of the tugs.
So it can be concluded that shortening the towline does
not affect a tug's effectiveness .
The effecti veness ofa tug on a short steep towlin e
Irrespective of assisting method, the vertical towline
angle can be quit e large when shor t towlines are used.
There has been a lot of discussion about whether, apart
from the interaction effects of a tug's propeller wash,
tug efficiency is otherwise affected when the towline is >
shortene d.
o ro W 30 40 50 60 70 eo
Verical towline ange
TIP (. T_W lo. c lt , p\l mn.g ro.e it 'tl.gl

Static force in towline
Figure 7. 27 Tug operatingbroadsidewhile ship is moving astern
Figure Z22 Staticforce in a a towline
Photo:F. v. Lamam
Figure Z23 Twoconventional twinscrew tugs
'Smit Ier land' and
'Smil Detumarkm' (Lo.a. 284m, beam 85m, bollardpull 28 tons)
operating broadside at 1M stemoja tanker enlering a basin at 1M
port of Rotterdam
However, there is an important aspect to be taken
into account and that is friction force L' . The figure
shows that when using a short towline this friction force
is very large, resulting in hi gh temperatures and
considerable wear so imperilling the towline's life.
Where tugs have to work with such short and steep
towlines strong pendants are recommended, if they can
be used, because they can easily be rep lace d when
Tug safety in relation to towline length
Although using a short towline has advantages, one
should carefully consider the towline length of a forward
tug assisting a ship under speed. When using a short
towline the distance between forward tug and ship's bow
is very smal l. Consequently, the time available for a tug
captain to react is very limited and when ship's speed is
high the reserve engine power of a tug to react quickly
is small. Th at is why he has constantly and closely to
observe ship's course and speed changes. On the other
hand pilots have to be careful with rudder and engine
man oeuvres and have to keep a tug captain well
informed about intended manoeuvres, because the
safety of tug and crew is involved. For thi s reason
forward tug captains don't like to tow on a short towline
in dense fog or when an attended ship has rather high
speed. Moreover, with increasing speed other effects
such as interaction effects might come int o play.
When tugs are operating broadside as shown in
figure 7.21, the steeper the towline the larger the righting
force L. A short towline in this case has a positive effect
on tug safety.
7.5.5 Strength of towline and safety factors
As stated in the introduction to this chapter, the
towli ne is the crucial connectio n between tug and ship.
It should be a reliable connection, not limiting a tug' s
performance. Th e length of towlines as well as different
types having been discussed, attention now turns to the
required strength of towlines.
Staticf orces in short and long towlines
A tug captain towing on a line may be force d in
certain situations or circumstances to use a very short
and steep towline, shorter and steeper than he would
normally use. This may happen in situations such as
when dry-docking practically empty ships with large
freeboards, when assisting high freeboard ships in
narrow basins and whe n entering locks or passi ng
narrow bridges. Such situations are quite common to
harbour tugs and towline strength should be capable of
coping with them.
For forces in the towline look at figure 7.20 again.
With an equal towing force P for the tugs the force T in
the line of the tug with the steep towline is considerably
higher than in the line of the tug with the longer towline.
How static forces increase compared to vertical towline
angle can be seen in the graph of figure 7.22. Up to a
vertical towline angle of 40 the influence is not so large.
However , when the vertical towlin e angl e further
incr eases the force in the towline increases very rapidly.
At a vertical towline angle of 60 the force is already
twice the exerted towing force of the tug. A vertical
towline angle of 45-,50 for tugs secured at a ship's side
is not too large but when towing on a line it is a large
angle, although it does happen. In this case the static
force in the towline is already 15 times as high as the
towing force of the tug. The towline force further
incr eases by the tug's underwat er resistance when the
tug is also drawn in the dire ction opposite to its pulling
dir ection. In the case in figure 7.20 the tugs would then
be pull ed backwards.
There is not always a direct relati onship between
towline force and the towing force exerted by the tug.
In situations where the tug is steering broadside to a
ship which has stemway (see figure 7.21), the force in
the towline is caused only by the tug's underwater
resistance. Tugsoperating in the indirect towing method,
particularl y at high speeds as is the case with escort tugs,
experience very high towli ne loads mainly due to high
lift forces gene rated by the tug's underwat er body and
skeg, if fitt ed . However, the main fac tors for the
maximum static forces in the towline during normal
harbour operations are the tug's bollard pull and the
towline angle .
Dynamicfor ces in a short and long towline
In addition to static forces, dynamic forces can also
occur in a towline and can reach high values. Th ey are
generated, for instance, by sudden accelerations of the
tug, wrong tug manoeuvres, waves, swell and so on,
creating shock loads in the towline. Horizontal tug
accelerations can be kept under control to some degree
by careful manoeuvring. However, this is not the case
with vertical accelerations due to waves and swell. It is
obvious that these vertical accelerations, which can even
be created by the wash of passing ships, have a large
effect on forces in a towline, especially short and steep
towlines. The longer a towline and the higher the
elasticity, the better dynamic forces can be absorbed and
the lower the peak values of towline loads are. That is
why much attenti on has to be paid to the strength and
elasticity of a towline, especially when tugs have to work
in wave and/or swell conditions with short towlines.
It can be concluded that boll ard pull and vertical
towline angle are not the only causes offorces created
in a towline, but that dynamic forces also play a very
impo rtant role. A tug's mass is an important factor in
dynami c for ces and these occur irr espective of the
method of tug assistance.
Assuming again a vertical towing angle of 45-50,
towline force certainly reaches higher values than the
previously mentioned 15 times bollard pull, due to the
dynami c forces gener ated. How large these dynamic
forces are depends, amongst other things, on length,
type and/or compos ition of the towline. But towline
forces in excess of twice the bollard pull of the tug are
not uncommon, par ticularly when towlines with little
stretch, such as steel wire, are used. It is clear that when
brake holding power is less than this value the brake of
the towing winch may slip sometimes. This is, of course,
only when th e minimum breaking strength of the
towline is sufficient to cope with the high dynamic forces.
Safetyfactors regarding towline strength
The question now is what the towline strength should
be in relation to th e bollard pull of a tug . This is
considered starting with a steel wire towline. Two aspects
ar e imp ortant when using steel wire towlines . Steel has
some elasticity. This means that under load a steel wir e
elongates and when the load is removed it returns to its
original length. This is only true up to the so-called
'elastic limit' , approximately two thirds of the minimum
breaking load of the wir e. When load exceeds this limit
it results in permanent elongation of the wire.
The so-called 'endurance limit' , approximately half
the minimum breaking load, is also of great influence
on the life of a steel wire. Tests have shO\\TI that when a
steel wire cable has several times endured a load higher
than the 'endurance limit' its life is very short and it
br eaks without ever being exposed to a load up to the
' elastic limit' . It is clear th at shock loads pl ay an
important role.
Taking into account the towline force of two times
the bollard pull of a tug, the minimum breaking strength
of asteel wire towline should then be at least four times
the bollard pull of the tug, in order to stay within the
'elastic limit' and 'endurance limit'.
Peak values in towline loads due to dynamic forces
are lower in 'conventional' fibre lines than in steel wire
ropes. These fibr e lines have better dynamic load
absorbing characteristics. According to OCIMF, due
to the lower recommended allowable loads the safety
factor for these synthetic (mooring) lines should be 10-
20% higher than for steel wire ropes, depending on the
type of fibre rope. Because of the lower peak loads
occurring in 'conventional' fibre lines in combination
with a higher safety factor, in practice approximately
the same safety factor is assumed applicable to steel and
fibr e towlines. For the time being, this will also include
towlines of harbour tugs made of the more modern
HMPE fibres. More information regarding this rope
type may become available in the near futur e, for
instance by OCIMF publication (see References) or
otherwise . See, however, also the relevant sections of
Figure Z24 VS tug 'Matchless' (l.o. a. 27m, beam 97m, bollardpuU
34 tom) oJ Port oJChennai, India, matkJast withtwoship's lines.
Ttueyes oJthe lines are ledthrough the tug'sjilirluuiandsecured on
the towing bitt
par. 9.5.1 in the escort tug chapter.
Although only an approximation, the safety factor
of at least 4 ti mes the bol lar d pull corresp onds
reasonably well with those applied by a number ofl arge
harbour tug companies , viz. 35 to four times the bollard
pull . A factor of six times the bollard pull can be found,
and also much smaller safety factors, twice the bollurd
pull for instance. Such a low safety factor affects a
towline's life.
Note: It has alr eady been indicated that the bollard
pull of a tug is not the only important factor for the
minimum breaking strength of a towline. But for harbour
tugs it can be considered the most important because
other factor s such as mass or underwater plane of a tug
generally have a close relationship with tug size and
consequently with the installed engine power and the
bollard pull of a tug.
For escort tugs the h igh towline forces that can be
gener ated in the indirect mode are much higher than
the boll ard pull and th erefore a more appropriate
criterion for the required minimum breaki ng strength
of the towline.
7.5.6 Ship' s mooring lines as towli nes
Usi ng ship's mooring lines as towlines is not
recommended. Strength and composition may not be
in accordance with tug towingforce, particularly of more
powerful tugs. Taki ng into account th e r ecomm-
endations of Classification Societies for mooring lines,
the minimum breaking strength of these lines should
be roughly 50 tons for a bulk carrier of 50,000 dwt and
70 tons for a bulk carrier of 200,000 dwt, Assumi ng a
bo llard pull of 30 tons for att end ing tugs, then the
minimum br eaking strengt h of the towlines should be
about 4 x 30 = 120 tons. A bulk carrier's mooring lines
do not meet this breaking strengt h at all, not even with
a safety factor for tug towlines of 2-25.
Ship's lines used for tugs ar e also frequently used
for mooring and ar e subject to inte nsive wear. The
qual ity of these lines may also be affected by sun, oil,
chemicals and so on. Consequentl y they usually have a
much lower br eaking strengt h and often low reliability.
7.6 Towline handling
As tug power in creases, espe cially when steel
towlines are used, the towlines become mor e difficult
to handle. Fibre towlines, particularly those ma de of
the newest fibres, have a much lower weight but ar e
only used on a limited though increasing number of
tugs. A gradual change in the use of towlines can be
On board ships the numb er of crew members is still
gradually decreasing. This is evidently without sufficient
appreciation of the wor kload and manpower
requirements associated with arrival/departure activities
such as towline and mooring line handling. For the few
remaining crew members it is a difficult job to secure
and release towlines withi n an acceptable time. The
reduction in crew size is an ince ntive for deve lopment
of alternative systems for attending towlines of harbour
tugs. There are ships where boatmen are engaged who
board the vessel together with the pilot and assist the
crew in attending a tug's towlines and when mooring.
7.6.1 Safe handling of towlines aboard shi ps
Most of the following rules for safe handling of
towlines aboard ships are listed in the OCIMF booklet
'Effective Mooring':
A sufficient number of heaving lines of proper length
and strength should be ready at mooring stations in
good time for hauling tug towlines aboard.
The condition of a tug's towlines is unknown, and
crew at mooring stations are not normally aware of
when a tug is actually towing or what load is applied
to the line. It is therefore important to stay well clear
of the towline at all times.
When a tug is being secured or let go, the person in
charge of the mooring should monitor the operation
closely to ensure that no loads come onto the line
before it is properly secured, or whilst being cast off.
Never let a tug go until instructed to do so from the
bri dge; do not respond to directions from a tug's crew.
If the towline is provided with an eye, heave this past
the bitts so that there is sufficient slack line to work
with, stopper off the line, then put the eye on the
bitts. Do not try to manhandle a line on to a bitt if
there is insufficient slack line. If the line has no eye
and is to be turned up on the bitts then it should
always be stoppered off before handling.
Do not try to hold a line in posi tion by standing on it
just because it is slack - if the tug moves away so will
the person standing on the line.
When letting go do not simply throw the line ofT the
bits and let it run out; always slack it back to the
fairlead using a messenger line and lower it as far as
possible in a controlled way onto the tug' s deck.
Photo: Author
FiguTt 726 Qyick release /wokused onferriesof NorthSeaFerries jOr
securing a low line when a tug is required
7.6.2 Some methods for passing, taking and!or
securing towlines
Cranesfor towline handling
Tugs can be equipped with a crane fitted with a
hydraulic clamp to deliver a towline to a ship to be
assiste d. Such cranes for towlin e handling can, for
instance, be found on board SOfie of the reverse-tractor
tugs of the Canadian tug company C.H Cates & Sons
Photo: C.H. Ctms & Sons LimiUd, VanlOUlitf, Canada
Figure 725 Rsoetse tractor tug 'Charles H Cates l ' (/.o.a. 22-5m, beam 85m, bollardpull ahead 38 Ions, astern 32 Ions) with linehaadling crane
Ltd. The heavier the towline the more advantageous
such a system can be. However, the increased use of
lighter , high -str engt h towli nes make these cra nes
virtual ly redundant.
Quick release hooks on boardf erries
Ferr ies do not usually use tugs, though in adverse
weather conditions it may sometimes be necessary. For
easy fastening of a towline and to be able to release it in
a minimum of time and with only one person, some
ferr ies have a quick release hook fitted on the fore and
after deck for towline conuection. see figure 7.26.
Automatic hook up system
A system that has been proposed is an automated
hook up system, the 'Aasts Autohook' of Aasts Autohook
B.V., Amsterdam. No crew is requir ed on the deck of
the ship or tug to secure or release towlines. Securing
or rel easing the towlin e can be achi eved in a minimum
of time and at a rather high ship' s speed.
At the end of the tug's towline a simple ball is fastened,
the connector. The connector is placed by a specially
designed tug' s crane, the manipulator, in a hook-up point
aboard the ship to be assisted. The crane is controlled
from the whee lhouse. The system can be used, for
instance, at terminal swhere the same ships call regulasly,
because in order to use the system the ships must be
fitte d with a number of thes e hook-up poi nts at
convenient locations for the tug assistance required. The
deckmounted and/or hull mounted hook-up points must
also be placed in such a way that the ship can be handl ed
in a loaded as well as in a ballasted condition.
There ase two types of hoo k-up points: passive and
active. Connection and disconnection to passive points
is by means of the manipulator. For disconnecting from
the active points there are two possibilities, either by
manipulator or from the ship by remote control from
the wheelhouse or locall y, activating a hydraulic
cylinder which lifts the connector out of the hook-up
The system can be fitted to any type of tug but certain
tugs have been designed specifically for this system. The
Triple A design concerns harbour and terminal tugs,
whether stern dri ven or tractor type. The Triple E type
is also equipped for escorting, emergency towing and
emergency response dutie s, such as firefighting and oil
spill control.
Co ntr olled pl acing of the co nne cto r by the
manipulator in the hook-up points of a ship having a
rather high speed could be difficult at night, in reduced
visibility or in wave and swell conditions, particularly
near the shoulders. At the stern of the ship it should be
easier. Probl ems may arise when a line breaks, though
weas will be less because the towlines do not pass
through ship's fairl eads.
Figure 727 Automatichook upsystem, Aarts Autohook
Oneof theproposed tug designs, TripI< E, with themanipulator,
the propoud hook up points on a tanker, the connector anda
passive hook uppoint for detk: mounting
I Emergency towing arrangements shall be fitted at
both ends on board every tanker of not less than
20,000 tonnes deadweight.
2. For tankers constructed on or after I July 2002:
_I The arrangements shall, at all times, be capable
Emergency towing equipment
Emergency towing equipment has less to do with
harbour towage, but is mentioned here because of its
importance in ship handling in an emerge n cy_
Emergency towing equipme nt is more of a safety
requirement for open sea, to facilitate towing the tanker
out of danger in order to pr event the risk of pollution
in case of emergency such as loss of propulsion and!
or manoeuvrability, although it may also be suitable
for connecting the towline of an escort tug (see
pas agraph 9.5.1)
Emergency towing asrangements ase required by
regulation II-I!3-4 of the 1974SaLAS Convention, of
which a new text was adopted by resolution MSC.99(73)
at MSC 73 on 5 December 2000. The amended
regul ation entere d int o for ce on I July 2002. The
following is required by regulation II- 1!3-4:

g- =
,' /
Wi !
of rapid deployment in the absence of main power
on the ship to be towed and easy connection to
the towing ship. At least one of the emergency
towing arrange ments shall be pre-rigged ready for
rapid deployment; and
2 Emergency towing arrangements at both ends
shall be of adequate strength taking into account
the size and deadweight of the ship, and the
expected forces during bad weather conditions.
The design and construction and prototype testing
of eme rgency towing arrangeme nts shall be
approved by the Administrati on, based on the
Guidelines developed by the Organization.'
3. For tankers constructed before I July 2002, the
design and construction of emergency towing
arrange ment s sh all be approved by th e
Administ r ation, based on the Gu id elines
developed by the Organization.'
* Referto theGuidelineson emergency towing arrangements
for tankers adoptedby the Maritime Safety Committeeby
resolution MSC.35(63).
IMO has ado pt ed amendments to r esoluti on
MSC.35(63) at session MSC 75 on 22 May 2002 by
resolution MSC.132(75) to bring the contents in line with
the new requirement s of regulation 11-1/3-4 of the 1974
SOLAS Convent ion.
The 'Guidelines for Emergen cy Towing
Arrangements for Tankers' apply to tankers, including
oil tankers, gas carriers and chemical tankers. According
to these guidelines the major components of towing
arrangements should include (see figure 7. 28):
Non pre- Pre- Strength
~ ~
Pick-up gear optional yes
Towing pennant optional yes yes
Fairlead yes yes yes
Strongpoint yes yes yes
Roller pedestal yes depending
on design
Forward Aft Strength
Chafinggear yes depending yes
on design
At least one of the emergency towing arrangements
should be pre-rigged and capable of being depl oyed in
a controlled manner in harbour conditions in not more
than 15 minutes. The pick-up gear for the pre-regged
towing pennant should at least be designed for manual
opera tion by one person, allowing for no power
available and the potentially adverse environme ntal
conditions that may prevail during emergency towing
The non pre-ri gged emergency towing arrangeme nt
should be capable of being deployed in h arbour
conditions in not more than one hour. The forward
emergency towing arr angeme nt should at least be
designed with a means of securing a towline to the
chafing gear using a suitably positioned pedestal roller
to facilitate connection of the towing pennant. Pre-rigged
Chafing gear
sse ow
Strongpoinls J
'------ - - --- Fairleads
Towing pennant ""
""'- Marker buoy
Figure 7.28 1j'PicalWlergmcy towingarrangement
emergency towing arrangements at hath ends of the ship
may he accepted.
More detailed requirements are given by the 1M0
and hy Classification Societi es regarding strength of
towing components, length of towing pennant (IMO:
at least twice the highest seagoing ballast freeboard at
the fairlead plus 50 metres), locations of strongpoints
and fairleads, size of fairleads, type and length of chafing
chains (if used) and so on.
Large numbers of tankers are already fitted with this
emergency towing equipment. Different systems exist
and other systems are planned. The main components,
in line with IMO requirements, are:
A strong point to which the towing conne ction on
board the tanker is secured.
A ship's fairlead. The strong point
can be integrally designed with
the fairlead.
A ship's towing connection, which
can be a chafing chain to which a
towing pennant is connected. The
pennant can be made of Dyneema
or Spectra fibre which floats. In .
addition, a nylon shock absorber t,
may he used. Instead of a chafing
chain and fibre towing pennant a
steel wire towing pennant may be
used, stored on a winch drum.
A pick up gear consisting of: ..
A messenger line (t o be)
connected to the pennant and
made of synthetic rope, often of the floating type,
or a combination of synthetic rope and steel wire.
A pick up line, connected to the messenger, with
one or two light buoys.
Or just a floating messenger line with marker
Pick up gear and towing pennant are optional for the
non pre-rigged emergency towi ng arrangement.
Deployment of emergency towing systems depends on
th eir design . Most sys tems have to be depl oyed
manually by launching the pick up gear or, locally or
remote controlled on board, by an air rifle which shoots
a pick up line away from the tanker. The salvage tug
takes the messenger on board by the pick up line and
deploys the emergency towing pennant and chafing
chain, if used, by heaving on the messenger line. The
ship' s emergency towing pennant is then connected to
the tug' s towline . One of the
available systems can, as an option,
also be remot e cont rolled when the
crew has already left the ship. A
remotely controlled air rifle shoots
a line to be picked up by a salvage
Other systems also exist for which
no crew is needed for deployment.
So, there is a large variety of
emergency towing arrangements
that have been developed, many of
which are reviewed in 'A guide for
the emergency towing arrangements'
(see References).
Figure Z2!} One oftheemergency towing systems inthree phases of deployment - Smit Saji Fast - withSmit hro.dcet, chafing chain (of such a length
thattlu end/ink reaches ahout4 metres outside thsfairlead), falTkad andtowingpennon! (about 100metres Dynterrill/Deenaf/<x hawser) and
messenger line(120metrespolypropylene - notshown)
MarintSaftty lntttna.tional ROlterdam (sinaDmmbrr 2000: Maritime SimulationROlurdam)
Figure8.1 Simulator lay-out withfivebridge manoeuvring simulators, a VTS simulator andinstruction rooms.
1M bridgemanoeuvring simulators can operat int<raaiveiy
Chapter EIGHT
8.1 Reasons for training
tug captai n. It is a continuous proc ess which does not
stop the moment pilots or tug captains ar e app ointed .
Learning continues during their whole career.
Training can include pr actical 'on-job' training and
a more theoretical phase. In several ports tug captain
training is still only carri ed out 'on the job' and the same
is true for most ports with respect to pilot training on
the subject of tugs and tug use.
Traini ng 'o n th e j ob' , gath eri ng expe rience in
pr actice, is essential to becoming a skilled pilot or tug
captain. However, if only using 'on-job training', a
system of 'trial and error', there are risks involve d
because of the 'errors'. It is time consuming and can
ther efore be expensi ve, also because of the possible
'errors'. Besides, tug captains or pil ots only pass on to a
trainee the experi ence they have built up themselves.
Thi s includes any shortcomings and accumulated bad
habi ts and may not, therefore, result in the most efficient
and safest use of tugs. This may particularl y be the case
when ' on-j ob training' is carr ied out byjust one person.
Providing pilots an d tug ca ptains wi th both
theoretical and practical background knowledge of the
capabilities and limitations of tugs, and of what can be
expected in practice when tugs render assi stance, gives
a better understanding of tugs and their performance
and results in more efficient and safer ways of building
up pr actical experience during ' training on thejob'. This
also applies to simulator training, which should not be
seen as a substitute for 'training on the job' , but as a
substantial improvement.
The importance of proper training has grown since
the appearance oftugs with different propulsion systems
such as azimuth thrusters or Voith Schneider propul sion.
Tugs are a costly investment and should therefore be
used in the most efficient way. Not only that , but port
devel opments don't always keep pace with increased
ship size or draft and a minimum of tugs is often used
due to economic pr essure. All this results in dimini shing
safety and operational margins and a more essential role
for the remaining tugs, This role can also be enhanced
by the increased power of tugs, resulting in the use of
fewer tugs per ship.
Pilots and tug captains should therefore possess the
ability to use or handle a tug to its fullest capabilities,
'which can be achieved by proper training. Experi ence
can be gained more quickly and the highest level
achieved when a tug captain handlesjust one tug or tug
type. When, as is the case in some ports, tug captains
shift between different tug types, the need for proper
basic traini ng increases.
In additi on to basic training, focused on the local
situation, there can be several othe r reasons for traini ng,
such as:
Specifi c situations, co nditions or bottle-necks in a port
requiring special attention.
Port developments, for exampl e a newharbour basin
or berth.
Specific large or deep draught ships expected to call
at a port.
A new type of tug to be introduced into a port,
It will be clear that training is not limited to new
pil ots or tug captains. In particular the four traini ng
purpos es mentioned above are for experienced tug
captains and pil ots as well.
Depending on port requirements, tug captains and
crews are often trained in fire fighting and pollution
control. Some knowl edge of these subjects would be
welcome even when not required by a port, since tugs
have to handl e all kinds of ship, some with dangerous
cargoes. Emergency tug assistance may be required and
the more knowledge about the risks involved the better.
However, this chapter only deals with trai ning in
shiphandling with tugs and th e use of simulat ors,
particularly matt ers to be considered when using full
mission simulators as a training tool for tug operations.
8.2 Different training objectives
As menti oned, there can be different reasons for
training in tugs and tug use apart from normal training
on the job. These different objectives are considered
though it depends entirely on the local situation of a
port which of the following cour ses is required, although
basic training is always very useful.
8.2.1 Basic theoretical-practi cal training
Theoretical-practical training cannot be carried out
without the knowledge of experienced pilots and tug
captains. They should have the ability to pass on their
knowl edge and exper ience in a cl ear and
understandable way. The reason the term theoretical-
practical training is used is because training should not
be purely theoretical but shoul d have a str ong
relations hip to daily practice.
Basic theoretical-practical training gives tug captains
and pilots an insight int o the most relevant aspects of
shipha nd ling with tug s. It takes into account the
capabilities and limitations of tug types used, type of
ships calling at the port, specific characteristics of the
port and environmental conditions, with the objective
of achieving efficient and safe tug use. A basic training
is intend ed for both trainee pilots and tug captains, but
can also be useful for expe rienced pil ots and tug
captains, when they have not had an earlier opportunity
to att end such training.
In a large nu mber of ports theoreti cal-pr actical
co urses i n tug ass istance are given. Training
arrangements and target groups, including the tools
used, differ between ports. Without going into too much
detail, the most important aspects of basic trai ning are
considered next. For basic training in shiphandling with
tugs the following main subjects are important:
For pilot training:
Ship handling.
Knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of tugs
while rendering assistance.
For tug captain training:
Handli ng a free sailing tug.
Knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of ships
and of tugs while rendering assistance.
It is ass umed that pilots have already ga ine d
experience in and knowledge of shiphandling and tug
captains of at least handling a free sailing tug. Other
aspects have specifically to do with shiphandling with
tugs and are discussed below in more detail.
What knowledge oftugs and tuguse is required byapilot?
The following knowledge is required to gain insight
into the performance of tugs:
Knowledge of what tug types are available in the port .
Understanding various tug types and their propulsion
and steering system functions.
Th e bollard pull of tugs, ahead as well as astern.
Knowledge of how different tug types operate when
rendering assistance, including the use of towlines
and towing equipment.
Knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of tug
types when rendering assistance and how tugs can
be used in the most advantageous way. This applies
to situations when the ship is stopped in the water as
well as when making headway or going astern.
Understanding the interaction effectsbetween tug and
ship and insight into how interaction may affect tug
performance and safety and how these influences can
be limited.
Apart from interaction effects, knowledge of the
relationship between:
a) Ship's engine and rudder manoeuvres and speed.
b) Tug performance and safety.
When a port has only one type of tug the same, but
type-related, knowledge is required by pilots. It is not
only necessary to have knowl edge of the differ ent tug
types in use in the port in general, but also of each tug
in particular. This is ne cessary because within a certain
type the design of various units may show mar ked
differe nces no t only in appearance but also in
performance and capab ilities.
In additi on to the training subj ects menti oned above,
a pilot should be trained to be able to:
Establish the required bollard pull for ships, taking
into account factors such as ship particul ars,
underkeel clearance, env ironmental conditions,
particulars of the passage to the berth and berth
Determine the most effective positi ons of th e
available tugs and tug types, taking account of when,
where and how tug assistance is required during
passage towards the berth, at the berth and when
The knowledge gained above contributes to effective
and safe tug use.
What is useful for a tug captain to know about ships?
For optimum shiphandling a pilot should have a good
insight into what a tug can do, including its limitations.
For the same reasons it is useful to provide tug captains
with knowledge about the manoeuvring capabilities of
ships they assist. The following are recommended:
Basic knowledge of manoeuvring characteri stics of
ships , especially medium and low speed
manoeuvring, including the influence of wind,
cur rent, shallow wat er and banks on a ship's
Basic knowledge of the working of different ship
propulsion and rudder types and their effect on tug
Performance of bow and stern thruste rs.
Relationship between a tug's position and ship' s
response to the forces exerted by a tug.
Basicunderstanding of the interaction effects between
tug and ship and insight into how int eracti on can
affect tug performance and safety and how these
influences can be limited.
Apart from the interaction effects, knowl edge of the
relationship between:
a) Ship's engine and rudder manoeuvres and speed.
b) Tug performance and safety.
This knowledge gives a tug captain a basic general
insight into a ship 's manoeuvring behaviour and
capabilities. Taking into account different shi ps and the
situations and circumstances in a port, the knowledge
gained may contribute to improved anticipation of a
ship's behaviour and a pilot's intentions.
A tug captain should also acquire knowledge of the
The capabilities and limitations of tug types while
rendering assistance and in particular of the tug he
has und er command, which should also include the
capabiliti es, limitations and efficient use of the
propulsion and steering control systems of the tug,
also in case of a single lever control system, and how
to respond to propulsion and steering control system
How to make use of the capabilit ies of his tug in the
safest and most advantageous way when passing or
rel easing towline s, when coming alo ngsi de or
departing from a ship's side and when rendering
assistance, taking into account all the risks involved
related to tug or tug type.
Proper towline han dling and appropriate towline
lengths .
The most effective positions for various tug types,
takin g into account when, where and how tug
assistance is required such as for compensating
influences of wind or current, and with respect to
part iculars of the passage towards a berth and berth
Safety regulations and measures, for instance the need
to maintain watertight closed condition of spaces
below when a tug is rendering assistance.
As with pilots, the knowledge gaine d contributes to
safe and efficient tug use. Some towi ng companies have
good training manuals, which include several of the
aspects mentioned above. It should be noted that
theoretical-practical training gives a basic insight, but
the requir ed experience can only be acqui red 'on the
Additional training aspects
\Vith th e exception of th e basic man oeuvr ing
characteristics of ships, all the important training aspects
have been discussed in the foregoing chapters of this
Training for pilots and tug captains has been deal t
with separately up till now, but as they should work as
a team, training should include more time together. A
very important objective of training shoul d be the
creation of good understanding and cooperation
between pilots and tug captains. Not only between pilots
and tug captains but also amongst tug captains, because
they have to coordinate manoeuvres in such a way that
the most effective tug forces are delivered to a ship.
When, for example, two tugs are assisting a ship and
one makes a mistake, the effect of the other tug may
also be spo iled. To achieve good coo pera tion it is
essenti al to include the following elements in all training
Effective communication between pil ot and tug
captain; attention to this aspect has already been paid
in paragraph 4.Z
Optimum information exchange between pilot and
tug captain and between the tug captain and his crew
reg arding tug pl acement, destination, intended
manoeuvres, propeller use, towline use, etc.
How can basic training be given?
The knowl edge of exp erienced pilots and tug
captains is a requirement for successful basic training,
which can be given as follows:
By a clas sical co urse" making use of overhead
transparencies, slides andlor videos.
By a classical course and the use of simulations .
Simulators can be used to give participants insight
into various aspects of ship handling with tugs. For
some training objectives , deskt op simulatio n
programs are appropriate, or in some cases remote
co ntrolled tug models, whe ther or not in
combination with manned ship models, otherwise
full mission bridge simulators can be used.
For junior pilots part of the tra ining should be
undertaken on board tugs, while trainee tug captains
should accompany pilots on board ships for a time.
Several of the training subjects for pilots and tug
captains are similar. Combined training is therefore very
effective, particularly when part of the training is given
on a full mission simulator. However, the contents of
basic training may differ between ports because of the
differences in level and background of pilots and tug
captains. The background of pilots may also be such
that they have already gained considerabl e experience
in tug assistance, especially in ports where pilots ar e
recruited from local tug captains. Whether completely
or partly combined training should be given for pilots
and tug captains, therefore, should be considered locally.
Regardl ess of basic tr aini ng, regular meeti ngs
between pilots and tug captains, common practice in a
lar ge number of ports, are very useful to disc uss
pr obl ems encountered daily and suggestions of ways of
solving them.
8.2.2 Training for specific situations and
This kin d of training is sometime s required for
problematic areas in the port or port approaches or for
difficultenvironmental conditions such as strong currents
or fog. Restrictions in force for certain port areas, harbour
basins or berths with respect to tidal currents or wind
are someti mes considered too stringent, especially from
an economic point of view, and relaxed regulations are
issued. For pilots and tug captains the situation then
becomes more difficult due to the greater influence of
wind and!or current and training will familiarise them
with the new and more severe conditions and smaller
margi ns. In most cases such training followsa feasibility
study, often carried out on a ship manoeuvring simulator
in close co-operation with pilots.
Training is aimed at a specific situation, and so
attention is focused on a specific location in the port,
the particulars of that location, the environmental
conditions, certain class and type of ships and the tug
assistance required. Training is then given in the right
ship and tug manoeuvring procedures invol ving the
required boll ard pull and tug pl acement with the
objective of being able to handle ships safely in the given
situation. Bollard pull and tug placement may be varied
during the cours e, trying to establish the optimum
method of tug assistance.
8.2.3 Tr aining for a planned new port, harbour
basin or berth
In most cases the training for this kind of situation is
based on the findings of a feasibili ty study of that
particular port or port area. It includes the range of
environmental conditions, the planned water depths,
the type and size of ships and tug assistance. For a
planned new por t the type of tugs may still be unknown.
This type of training does not differ much from the one
above, but is aimed at a totally new situation.
Such training provides the possibility at an early stage
to famili ari se pil ots and tug captains with the new
situation. Again, the right ship and tug manoeuvring
procedur es, the required tug ball ard pull and optimum
tug placement are subjects to be exercised .
8.2.4 Training for specific ships coming to a port
Training for specific ships is mostly training for ships
w-jth such size, windage or draft that they are marginal
regarding port dimensions, water depths and /or
env ironmental conditions . Training may follow a
previous study which determined the maximum
environmental conditions and required bollard pull. The
aim of training is to familiar ise pilots and tug captai ns
with handling the specific ships in the port, arriving and/
or depar ting procedures und er maximum allowable
conditions, whereby ship and tug manoeuvr es are
practised with the required ballard pull and correct tug
placement. '
8.2.5 Training for a new type of tug to be used
in a port
A new type of tug has consequences for tug captains
as well as pilots. Tug captains should be trained to handle
the new type of tug, in particular when the prop ulsion
system differs from the one with which the captains are
familiar. Voith , the manufacturer of the cycloidal
propulsion system, employs an instructor. However, this
is not always the case with azimuth propulsion suppliers.
It takes time before a tug captain gets used to a new
propulsion system. After sufficient experience is gained
when free sailing, the tug captain can start assisting ships.
It also takes time to become fully familiar with tug
capabilities and limitations when rendering assistance.
Accordi ng to a spokesman of a port that bought azimuth
tractor tugs, it took approximately one month under
the supervision of a capable instructor to convert an
exp erienced tug captain to be fully competent in
omnidirectional propulsion.
A new type of tug performs differently. When the
previous tug has, for instance, been a conventional tug
and the new one is a tractor tug, the capabilities of the
new tug are much greater and limitations fewer. This
influences tug assistance as pr eviously provided. The
method changes, particularly if the tug is used to its full
advantage. As a consequence, a new type of tug
influences manoeuvring pro cedures on board Ships. A
new type of tug therefore also influences a pilot's job.
Training for a new tug type should ther efore not onl y
be training in tug handling. Pilots should be involved
togethe r with the tug captains. Training should comprise
the total procedure of shiphandling based on the new
type of tug and its capab ilities and limitations, taking
into account port characteristics, ships calling at the port
and environmental con ditions.
Tr aining may also foll ow a simulator st udy, to
determine the effect of a new tug type on access ibi lity
of the port. This type of training also applies to escort
tug operations, dealt with in the nex t chapter.
8.2.6 How the specific training courses can b e
Combined training
Apart from training for a new tug type, the training
situations mentioned always concern optimum
shiphandling with tugs and mostly under more severe
conditions and!or with small margins. In practice pilots
and tug captains have to work as a team and both have
to become familiar with specific situations, conditions
and ships. It is best, therefore, that both pil ots and tug
captains who have to work in the ar ea concern ed or
have to handle specific ships participate in such training
courses . They will learn from each other through
di scussions during the course, whi ch contribute to
training objectives.
The same applies to tr aining in the sp ecifi c
shiphandling capabilities of a new tug type. A new tug
type concerns both pilots and tug captains. Such training
may include pil ots becoming familiar with the new big
itself, which can be achieve d by training 'on the job' on
board. Whether combined training of pilots and tug
captains can be arranged depends on the local situation,
as mentioned earlier.
The use ofship manoeuvring simulators
Training for shiphandling of a new tug can be carried
out cl assically, making use of overhead transparencies,
AzllTlUlhPor1: _U
Alimuth S'tbd:-I7
pOft RPM: 1.1I00
W... ttelght: 0.0 feet
_C't .,,,
PilOt l-er. ~
Stbd lnoer.-2.1
Port RPU: tOl
w.....Height: 0.. feet
Figure 8.2 Desktop annpuler program Tug.Mast", droeloped by T7u Glosten Associates, Seattle, USA. The program that calculates
equilihrium solutionsfor astemtug towing on a line, e.g. anescort tug, can he customindfir aparticular tugandhe used asa
performanceprediction program andasa training tooL
A number ofASDand VS-tugs can be simulated. T7u tugs can be controlled by keyboard andmouse. Speed, wave height andtowingpoint
(VS tugs) can hevaried. Detailed inJvrmalion onfOrm, moments, freeboard, heel andtowline augle are displayed. CTUGSIMisa similar
programforconventional tugs.
slides and videos, showing the performance of the new
tug. A desktop computer training program, such as the
one shown in figur e 8.2, if customised for the specific
tug, is a goo d tr aining tool. The same may apply to
remote-controll ed tug models if the correct tug model
is available. It all depends on what kiud of training is
needed and the availab le possibilities for training. In
most cases , however, a ship manoeuvring simulator is
most suitable, providing the simulator is appropriate
for the new type of tug and the met ho d of tug assistance.
Combined training of pilots and tug captains in a ship
manoeuvring simulator teaches them how to use the
tug in the most advantageous way for shiphandling in
the specific area of the port, taki ng into acco un t all
rel evant aspects, such as for instance ships, wind, current
and waves
Although rather expensive, a ship manoeuvr ing
simulator is a ve ry effect ive and flexibl e training tool
for such a combined tr aining of pil ots and tug captains
and therefore the most suitable also for the othe r training
objectives , viz. traini ng for specific situati ons and
conditions in the port , tr aining for a planned ne w port,
harbour basin or berth, and tr aining for specific ships
coming to the port. It is used for those purposes in a
growing numbe r of por ts.
8.3 Calculating and simulating tug
performance with desktop computers
8.3.1 Thg performance calculation programs
The real performance of tugs and different tug types
is no t always well known, which is rather peculi ar. Tugs
are built to r ender ass istance and, alt ho ugh ve ry
important, the only thing generally known is the bollard
pull of th e tug - the for ces that can be delivered when
pulling in one of two directions, ahead or astern, at full
power in a stationary situation. Tugs have to render
assistance, as far as possibl e, in all towing directions and
not just when a ship is stopped but also at differ ent
speeds. Insight into what a tug's performance reall y is at
different speeds and towing angl es is therefore required.
In dail y pra cti ce a pilot an d tu g captain will
experience a tug' s performance by the response of the
ship to the tug's efforts. But that does not say what for ces
the tug actually delivers when op erating at the ship's
side or towing on a line. The mor e tug types that come
onto the market the mor e sho uld be known about the
differences in performance. It is important for pilots and
tug captains to kn ow what tugs and different tug types
can do, but also for a tug fleet owner, especially whe n
ordering a new tug. A choice has then to be mad e
between different tug types.
Tug performance calculation progr ams have been
developed by a number of companies and simulation
institut es. To name a few, The Gl osten Associates (see
figure 8.2), USA; Damen Shipyards and Marine
Simulation Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Australian
Maritime College and Maritime Simulation Centre the
Netherlands. These simulation programs produce a
graphic representation of a tug's pe rfor mance at different
speeds and towing or pushing angles. Indirect towi ng
methods can be included and some programs account
for waves as well.
These tug performance calculation programs are
generally based on a force -equilibrium-simulati on , a
static state, taking into acco unt such characteri stics as
tug hull, skeg, rudders, propulsion devices, towing point!
pushing point locati ons, stability and tug maximum list,
maximum engine load and assisting meth ods. Not
accounted for are th e difficul t to determine interaction
effects such as tug hull/ ship hull interaction, tug
propeller / ship hull interaction and the influence of water
depth and confinement on these factors. Interaction
between tug propellers and between tug hull and tug
propell er(s) may also not be fully accounted for.
Neverthe less, th e programs give a good basic insight
into performanc e of one or more tug types in different
ope rating mod es. In the des ign stage of a tug these
programs allow a review to be made of a wide range of
options such as tug hull and skeg parameters and towing
point positions and allow rap id elimi nation of unsuitabl e
configurations to be carried out.
In addition to performance calculations of various
tu g typ es, some of these progr ams allow the most
effective tug positions and tug configurations to be
Tug performance can be rep resented in so-called
pol ar di agr ams, showing the maximum t owing or
pushing forces at different speeds and towi ng angles
and/or the most relevant pushing angles. In paragr aph
4.3, a number of these performance di agr ams were
shown whe n di scussing tug capabilities and limi tations.
These pro grams have become more i mpor tan t
because of the development of purpose built types such
as escort tugs. In parti cul ar, with high escor ting speeds,
dynami c for ces can reach high valu es and are the refore
very important.
Some progr ams also take account of the dynamic
be haviour of tugs and the influence on towline forces
and heeling moments, while towline characteristics are
also included in the program.
8.3.2 Fast-time manoeuvring simulation
A number of fast-ti me manoeuvring simulation
programs exist in which tug assistance may play a role
in one way or another. Such programs can, for instance,
be used to investigate wheth er a certain ship, following
a planned route , can enter a port under given
environmental conditions. A tug controller mode can
be selected, which merely calculates the tug forces
required. As the tugs themselves are not simulated but
onl y the forces available, limitations of tugs or
differences in tug types are not taken into account at
that stage. These programs are mainly used for initial
port design or, for instance, to approximate the limits
of environmental conditions in order to reduce the
number of runs to be executed when further research is
carried out on a full mission bridge manoeuvring
simulator. Simulator time and cost s on a bridge
manoeuvring simulator can thus be reduced.
More sophisticated fast-time manoeuvring
simulation programs generate tug forces ba sed on
available data of tug type performance , including
differences in assisting methods, tug types, speed and
environmental conditions. These programs are mainly
used for the evaluation and design of tanker escort
configurations. Together with the ship simulation
program and tug control program, which is responsible
for the assistance strategy, the total ship-escort tugs
system is simulated after an engine failure, rudder jam
or collision course. The results are evaluated with respect
to track and/or course control capabilities of the ship-
tugs system after these events occurred. Advanced
versions of these programs also take into account the
times needed for tugs to arriv e and/or become effective.
8.3.3 Real-time simulation on desktop simulators
Some real -time simulation programs on desktop
simulators, also called part task simulators, provide an
opportunity to control a ship by engine and rudder,
while several tug types can be chosen to assist. Tugs can
assist in different modes, e.g. at a ship's side or towing
on a line. These programs can be used for different
research purposes such as port lay-out, required tug
assistance or ballard pull, maximum wind and current
Pilots can make use of these simulation programs
for certain basic training objectives or to get an insight
into how to deal with a new or problematic port area or
the handling of a new type of ship. They can try out
alternative strategies or tug configurations, extreme wind
and/or current conditions. Simulations can often be
replayed in real time and fast time . The programs give
a good idea of the different possibilities in a given
situation and are much cheaper than using a ship bridge
manoeuvring simulator.
For most training objectives, manoeuvring on real-
time desktop simulators differs greatly from the real
world. Manoeuvring is done on the information from a
display, which provides a so-called bird's eye view.
Reality on board is different, particularly when
manoeuvring in confined waters . In such situations a
pilot reacts to information mainly obtained from an
outside view. This provides a pilot with actual and instant
information regarding ship's pos ition, speed, distance
off, heading and influence of current and wind. In
addition, a pilot on board a ship not only has a totally
different but a much more limited view than when
manoeuvring using a display. His perception is different,
and consequently he may react di fferently for ship
manoeuvres and tugassistance required. Furthermore,
cooperation with tug captains, an important factor when
manoeuvring in confined waters, is hardly possible.
Bridge manoeuvring simulators, which are dealt wi th
in paragraph 8.5 and following, have an outside view
and reflect reality on board ships in a better way, while
cooperation with tug captains is possible. In this chapter
most attention is therefore paid to this research and
trairting tool, and in particular to the simulation of tugs.
8.4 Simulation by remote-controll ed tug
Parti cularly in the USA there is an increasing use of
simulation by remote-contr olled models for training and
for performance studies of different tug types or various
tug designs . This has become feasibl e thro ugh the
construction of very reali stic operational models by the
model builder Ron Burchett in Canada. Existing ASD-
tugs and VS-tugs, for instance, are built in a scale of
I:24 with their specific propulsion systems, with realistic
controls, correct stability, working winches and fenders .
Models of conventional tugs, ships and barges have been
built as well. The largest problem with scale models is
the accelerated time factor. Ship or tug models behave
exactly like real ships, only much faster, viz. if the model
scale is 1:25, five times faster (square root of the scale).
A tug model approaching a ship at a certain speed will
do so at five times that speed in reality. The same applies
to wind and current speeds. A wind speed of e.g. 10
knots working on the model is in reali ty a wind speed
of 50 knots.
The control systems of the model tugs mentioned
have an adjustable built-in time delay for propeller and
steering control. This does not alter the fact, however,
that all speeds observed are five times as high as in reality
for a model scale of 1:25. Also the feeling differs from
reality, the tug captain is not on board his tug, but is
operating a model at some distance, which might affect
realism of tug handling.
When taking into account these effects, tug models
can be a tool for tug performance studies and for
trairting, such as with regard to tug manoeuvring and
ship assist capabilities and tug limitations. With respect
to this, using radio controlled tug models in combination
with manned ship models (Port Ash, Australia) is an
even better training tool. A disadvantage of trairtingwith
models, in addition to what have been mentioned, is
th e limited number and typ e of model s and the
inflexibility in conditions and circumstances
8.5 Thg simulation using bridge
manoeuvring simulators
Bridge manoeuvring simulators, also calJed fulJ
mission bridge simulators, are equipped as a ship's bridge
with all the usual instruments - control handles wheel , ,
radar, communication facilities, chart table, and so on.
The outside world is projected on a screen, normally
based on computer generated image (CGI) techniques.
The angle of outside view can be up to 360 and on
several simulators it is possible to switchbetween a view
ahead from the centre of the wheelhouse to a view from
the starboard or port wing. Simulators with a smaller
angle of outside view, say 225, can usually also switch
towards a stem view.
Ship models are often represented in three degrees
of freedom: surge, sway and yaw. Roll can also be
simulated whether by visual presentation or by a
hydraulic system. Some simulators equipped with a
hydraulic system can, in addition to roll, also simulate
pitch and heave, thus representing six degrees of
Simulator institutes may have up to three or four
full mission simulators, which can interact, as explained
in section 8.5.2. Not all these simulators are usuall y
equipped in the same way. The main bridge simulator
may have a 360 view and a hydraulic system, while
other simulators may not have a hydranlic system an,
just a 225 out-of-window view or even less.
Research projects on full mission bridge simulator:
are mainly conducted for areas of a port with limited
space and where frequent manoeuvring takes place. This
is the area of the local experts - pilots and tug captains .
Simulator institutes have accumulated a significant
amount of nautical knowledge but cannot have in-house
all the nautical experience of the local pilots and tug
captains. The experience of th ese exper ts is
indispensable for accurate simulation. In these areas
margins ~ e ofte?, so s ~ a I l that one canoot afford any
maccuracies. This practical experience is necessary in
order to assess whether the simulation is correct, the
simulated tugs operate as they do in reality, the
sunulated manoeuvres can be carr ied out in reality and
so on. Pilots and tug captains must assessthe simulation
from their point of view to get a realistic simulation and
to obtain results which are achievable in practice. The
same applies to tr.aining courses , whether basic training
is given or followmg on from a former research project
A number of training obj ecti ves have been
mentioned. They mainly concern the accessibility of
an existing or newly developed port or port area. The
accessibility or entrance criteria for a port or port area
are determined by the type and size of vessels in relation
to the port dimensions, environmental conditions, the
number and type of tugs available and on pilots' and
PIv>,., MarimSafttJ _ ....IIDtJmmn
Figure 8.3 Bridgelayout ofafiJi mission bridgesimulator: TtufieldofWw is36(f
tug captains ' experience. As larger vessels try to make
use of an existing port infrastructure, the accessibility
of a port can only be guaranteed by improvement in
manoeuvring procedures, increased experience of the
pilot and tug captains and improvements in the type ,
ba llard pull and/or number of tugs used to assist a vessel.
The opposite is also possible. By increased experience
and improvement of manoeuvring procedures or of tug
assistance, it is possibl e that larger vessels can enter a
port or a certain port area under given envi ronmental
The effects of improvement can be established by
operational research carried out on a full mi ssion bridge
simulator. In addition, improveme nts associated with
experience can be achieved by training pilots and tug
captains on full mission bridge simulators. Full mission
simulators may also be used for research and training
in es cor ting as will be mentioned when discussing
interactive tug simulation.
The whole simulation process on full mission bridge
simulators is not di scussed in detail , but attention is given
to some essential aspects of tug simulation in general
and of interactive tug simulation in particul ar in order
to achieve tug simulation which reflects the pr actical
real world situation as .much as possible.
8.5.1 Requirements for correct tug simulations
Regardless of how tug and tug assistance are actually
simulated, to ensure adequate research and training,
correct simulation of the following factors is essential:
The [orce (magnitude and direction) that the tugs can
exert on an assisted vessel under different conditions,
situations and speeds.
The space assis ting tugs nee d to oper at e under
different conditions, situations and speeds . For tugs
towing on a line the required space depends on the
tug dimensions and towline length used. This space
is in addition to the space required by the vessel.
The response timeof the tugs.
These factors must be accurately simulated and
should be considered and!or validated carefully before
a resear ch or training project starts, depending on the
specific tugs and tug assistance simulated. It is, to a large
extent, these factors that determine, for a given ve ssel
and environmental conditions, the minimum required
manoeuvring space for ship and tugs. In other words
the minimum required horizontal dimensions for a port,
harbour basin or fairway.
Tug captains and pilots with significant experience
in a port knowwhat they might expect dur ing assistance
to a vessel. They position a tug where it is needed before
the need occurs. Both tug captains and pilots ant icipate
expected situations. This anticipation, based on
experience, is also a factor of major importance and
Ftgure 8.4 Simulationtrade plot oJ a waded tanker rn1tring aport
from thesea. 'lUgpositions withtowingandpushingdirections are
shown. Tlu study war tarriedout by MarineSaftty Intmtati onal
must be taken into account in evaluating operations with
How tug simulation can best be achieved depends
on how tug assistance is simulated. Developments in
and various methods of tug simulation are reviewed,
including their limitations.
8.5.2 Development in tug simulation towards
interacti ve tugs
Tug simulation was introduced int o shiphandling
simulat ors many years ago. The pro cedures have
changed from simple vector tug models to mor e
sophisticate d models over the years as the use of tugs
has become an essential part of shiph andli ng
Simple vector tug models
In a vector tug model, the tug is simulated by a force
vector, indicating magnitude and direct ion of applied
tug force. With the most simple one, the influence of
ship's speed is disregarded. It is clear that this system
has many shortcomings: no simulation of correct speed
and towing direction dependent tug forces, no
simulation of the space required by the tug, incorrect
reaction time, and no considerations of the limitations
of the l)1gs, etc. All these factors will, in one way or
another, affect the simulation results.
Simple vector tug models combined with tug captain
Th e same simple vecto r tug model is used. However,
to comp ensate for the shortcomings, tug captains are
asked to assist during the simulation. Th ey should have
experience in the specific part of the simulated port and
practical experience in handling the type of tugs being
simulated. The tug captains introduce practical aspects
into the simulation. Based on their experience they
advise the simulator operator on which tug forces can
be applied realisticall y, on tug limitations, pr op er
towline length with regard to manoeuvring space,
reaction times and other practi cal aspects. They can also
anticipate the situation expected. This represents a
significant improvement in the use of simple vector tug
model s.
Advanced vector tug models
Applied tug forces ar e ship spee d and towing angle
dep endent: a step forward. Different tug types can be
selected. For towing and pushing forces to be appli ed,
use can be mad e of data obtained by tug performance
calculation programs, which may even include a tug's
limitations caused by waves. Other force calculating
programs are used as well. There are still shortcomings
in response times and tug limitati ons and the required
tug space may not be fully take n int o account. Tug
captains often participate to impr ove the simulation,
based on their experience.
Several simulator institutes have developed a more
sophist icated form of vector tugs, whi ch manoeuvre
automatically into stand by, connec t or assist mode,
activated by simple commands on the computer screen
of the ope rator.
Tugs simulated on a monitor (bird's eye view) and
operated by tug captains
The tug captains have their own control handles for
course and speed control of the simulated tug, so that
they directly manoeuvre the tug. They might even have
a tug wheelhouse with the required instruments and
control handles. The tugs can make fast the towline,
pull and let go the line if necessary. Thi s system comes
closer to reality. The problem is that the tugs on a
monitor are so small that slight changes in tug position
and in heading can hardl y be observed in time and the
tug captain's reaction may come too late.
Interactive tug simulation
Modern computer techniques make inter acti on
between full mission simulators possible (see figure 8.6).
Some or all tugs and the assisted ship can b e run on
. separate bridge simulators, all interacting. The limitation
on the number of interactive simulators is more a
question of the cost of the facilities than of technology.
Pho(Q: HamhurgMaritimeReutJrcJt.
Figure8.5 Simulatedship andassisting tugpassinga bridge. TJu tugiseonnolled asa vector tug by anoperator
underthe supervision of a tugcaptain
8.5.3 Important aspects for
interactive tug simulation
A pilot refers the assisted ship' s posi tion
relative to the surrounding area, such as
banks, buoys, moored vessels and othe r
conspicuous points. A tug captain refers
tug' s position and speed, heading, distances
off to the sur rounding area, and the assisted
ship's position.
For the pilot the view of the surrounding
area is important. For a tug captain the
surrounding area is important, but of equal
importance is the view of his towline . The
view of his towline gives the tug captain the
main information about the tug' s position
in relation to the assisted shi p and its
performance .
The out-of-windowview, including the view
of the tug' s fore or after deck, should always
be in accordance with the way propulsion
and rudder or thruster controls are operated.
There should be no misunderstanding
which. directio n the tug will move when
control handl es are used
Visual presentation and orientation ofcontrol
For the simulation of interactive tugs one
has to consider the following with respect to
visual pr esentation, especially for tugs towing
on a line :
The captain of tug no. 2, a conventional or an ASD/
reverse-tractor tug, can ope rate with a view of 225_ A
tractor tug, no. 3, normally operates with the stem
towards the ship. A field of view of 225 in the directi on
of the tug's stem will be sufficient. An out-of-window
view of 225 is also eno ugh for tug nos . 4 and 5.
However, when the ship also has to move astern, then
the direction of ship movement and of the towline are
opposite. The tugs will then need almost a 360 out-of-
window view. In narrow spaces and during berthing
The captain of tug no. I in figure 8.7 must look
forwar d in the direction of movement as well as aft at
his towing line and at the assisted ship. A 225 field of
view is not sufficient for him; he needs almost a 360'
field of view. He also needs it for making fast, as can be
seen when following the tug along positions a, b and c.
The tug captain will lose the ship from sight when
between position b and c. He cannot position the tug to
secure the towline.
The foregoing has consequences for the horizontal
angle of the out-of-windowview.The required minimum
angle of view depends on the type of tug and the method
of tug assistance, as will be shown by some examples in
figure 8.7. A 225 field of out-of-window view will be
assumed, which is common for many bridge simulators.
Figure8. 6 Sdumatic ditlgram ofan
Interactive Tug OperatiomSimulator
vlsual pr&5&lllation
visual plesenlelic:n
A further advantage of interactive tug simulation is
that tug captains now actively participate in study and
training proj ects, giving greater satisfaction, which will
contribut e to the study and training results.
Simulation of in terac tive tugs i s much more
complicated and handling the tugs should be as close
as possible to real world operations. This requires
attention to a number of important aspects related to
th e practica l handling of simulator tugs, which is
discussed below.
Tug captains have their own tug, with wheelhouse,
bridge instruments, propulsion and/or rudder controls,
communications and an out-of-window view. Different
tug typ es can be simulate d, all with their specific
characteristics. With a well tuned simulation system the
exerted tug forces, tug force directions and required
man oeu vring space co me clo se to reality. Th e
shortcomings of vector tugs can thus be ove rcome.
Reaction times are as in reality, because the tug captain
is running his own tug. Besides, tug captains bring their
own experience with them. They are able to see each
othe r, when not obstructed by the vessel, on the out-of-
window view for further enhancement of the operations.
When simulating a ship assisted by a number of tugs,
one or more tugs may be simulated on an interactive
tug simulator , while othe r tugs may still be simulated
by vector tugs. This can be for several reasons such as
the costs of the required number of bridge simulators
being considered too high or manning problems of the
interactive tugs.
Figure 8.7 Field ofview requiredfir interactivetugs
Thecaptain oftug 7needs analmost 36(J' out-ofwindow view. An
out-of window view of 225' forthecaptains of the pushing tugs 2
and3 issufficient. Thesame is the casefor tugs 4 and5 when theship
moves inthe indicateddirection. Men the ship would move
backwards these tugsalso need an almost 36(J' fieldofview
operations a 360
field of view is often nee ded for all
assisting tugs.
Th ere is another aspect which should be taken into
account with a 225
out-of-window view, and that is the
handling of the propeller, rudder or thruster controls.
As mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph , on
several simulators it is possible to switch between a view
ahead to a view to starboard, to port or to astern.
In figur e 8.8 the simulated tug's wheelhouse is shown
with the proj e cti on screen. When, for instance, a
conventional tug is simulated and the tug's bow is seen
on the screen the tug moves forward when forward
propeller thrust is applied. When the tug captain wants
to have a stern view, the afterdeck is projected on the
scree n, the propeller control handl es maintain their
positions and when they are moved into the direction
of the projected stern, ahead thrust is still applied and
the tug moves forward instead of what should occur,
viz. astern.
Because a tug capt ain frequently changes hi s
direction of view and sometimes for a rather long time,
particularly in the case of tugs towi ng on a line , the
control handles are often positioned in a wrong direction
which is very confusing. Cont rol handles not op erating
according to the tug as projected on the screen easily
caus e mistakes which spoil the manoeuvre. This is
another reason why a 360
out-of-window view is often
required for correct simulation of tugs towing on a line.
Furthermore, when changing the tug simulator from one
tug type to another, for instance from a stern dr ive tug
to a tractor tug, control handles should be change d
accordingly because a stern drive tug mostly assists over
the bow and a tractor tug over the stern.
It can be concluded that an almost 360
window view is essential for the tug captain in many
situations. The lack of a sufficient out-of-window view
is sometimes compensated for by using an ex tramonitor
with a bird' s eye view, giving additional information to
the tug captain about the tug's position with regard to
the surrounding area or the assisted ship' s position. The
monitor has some disadvant ages as has already been
Simulato r institutes having a full mission bridge
simulator with a 360
out-of-window view, could
cons ider using a 225
field of view for certain training
and research projects for the simulat ion of the assisted
ship and a 360
field of view for one simulated tug.
From the foregoing it can be concluded that when
using int eractive tugs the following is generally required
regarding the angle of out-of-window view:
c . n , ~ , . t b n
Figure 8.8 Relationship between direction ofview andcontrol
handlesfir a.n interactive tug witha 22SO outofwindow view.
When the tug's b07:V isprojected on the screen control hamdles are
correctly positioned. When the stemisprojected control handles are
18rY wrong. 17urefore, control hamdles should he inaccordance with
the tug's projection on the screen
Photo: Author
Heeling angle
A tug captai n reacts to visual information and also to
the tug's angle of hee l. The heeling angle is an
important factor regarding tug limitations. Heeling
angle due to towline forces as well as steering forces
should therefore be simulated as well as possible.
Engine noise
Atug captain also reacts to engine noise. For instance,
a tug captain reduces power to avoid overloading
the engine. This can occur when a tug has to brake a
shi p's speed. Engine noise should therefore be
simulated for interactive tugs.
Control handles
The handling of propeller, rudder or thruster controls
engine load, and so on, in addition to the earli er
mentioned requirements, there are a number of other
important practical aspects which should also be taken
into account, namely:
Otherpractical aspects
Apart from the requir ements for correct modelling
of the tug with regard to hydrodynamic aspects, stability,
free board, manoeuvring characteri stics, location of
towing point or pushing point, propeller thrust and
into account, simulation of tug performance in wave
conditions becomes very realistic. This is an important
factor for research and training in these conditions, for
example for escort tugs. Such simulation projects may
include studies regarding the required tug type for
escorting, necessary bollard pull, achievable towline
forces and the related training for tug captains and pilots.
Figure 8,9 Httlingangle is animportant factorin tuglimitations.
TWJ'n screwtug 'Smit Siberil '
(I.o.a. 286m, beam 87m, ballardpuU35 tons)
The assisted ship's side, bow and
stern should no t be of uniform
colour , but accentuated (textured)
to give a sense of rel ative motion
to the tug captain.
Tug movements are much faster
an d more frequent than
movements of the assisted ship.
The update frequency of the out-
of-window view should be
sufficiently high to give a smooth picture.
The towlines should be made visible in the out-of-
window view and towline forces should be clearly
displ ayed in the tug's wheelhouse since on most
simulators no visual information can be obtained by
the tug captain as to whether the towline is slack or
under tension.
An angle of view of approximately 225
is often
sufficient for tugs operating at the ship's side and for
tractor and ASD/reverse-tractor tugs when towing
on a line and the directions of towline and ship's
movement are roughly the same. In narrow spaces
and for berthing manoeuvres, however, a 360
of view is mostly needed.
An out-of-window angle of view of almost 360
required for conventional tugs towing on a line and
for other tug types when towing on a line and the
directions of towline and shi p's movement are opposite.
Ifusing a 225 angle of viewfor the tugs, an additional
moni tor can be used to compensate to a certain extent
for the lack of sufficient out-of-
window view.
Handling of controls should
always be in accordance with the
way the tug is projected on the
Tug performance in wave conditions
Although with three degrees of freedom, tug
movements due to waves arenot represented, the effects
may be taken into account with respect to the forces on
tug and ship. Limitations of the tug due to movements
and/or the high dynamic towline loads caused by waves
may not be t aken into account on all interactive
simulators . When a bridge simulator is used for
interactive tug simulation which also represents roll, or
a bridge simulator with a hydraulic system representing
heave, roll and pitch, and these limitations are taken
The captain of an interactive tug
should be able to make a go od
assessment of the tug' s speed and
position, the sh ip's speed an d
position, the towline direction and the
towline force, In addition to the
requirements for the angle of out-of-
window view, the following aspects
are important for visual presentation
of any interactive tug simulation:
of the simulated tug should be similar to the real tug.
Towlinelfi nder characteristics
Towline and! or fender characteristics should be well
simulated. The characteristics and capabilities of the
tug's towing equipment, such as a towing winch,
should also be taken into account.
Wind indicatOT
For simulations where wind plays an important role,
the tug captain should have a continuous good insight
int o the relative direction of the wind working on
the assisted ship, eithe r by an app ropria te wind
indicator or by means of a monitor showing clearly
the relative wind direction for the ship.
When all the above aspects are taken into account,
the interactive tug is the most suitable tool for research
and training projects. However, full mi ssion bridge
simulators are not yet abl e fully to reflect the real world.
Further study and improvements are necessary on such
subjects as mentioned in paragraph 8.7. Practical input
will still be necessary during the coming years.
8.5.4 Method oftug simulation to be used
Although tug simulation has some limitations and
further improvements are .required, in several training
and research projects it has been proven to be a very
suitable tool. Regarding the kind of tug simulation to
be used the objectives of the training or research project
have to be considered. Account has to be taken of the
capabilities and particularly the limitati ons of different
tug simulation possibilities. For certain situations this
could result in a deci sion to use vector tugs instead of
interactive tugs, while for other research and training
projects only interactive tugs will meet the requirements.
A full mi ssion bridge simulator is a rather expensive
tool for research and for training. Wh en, in addition to
the simulated ship, bridge simulators ar e used for
interacti ve tugs, two, three or even more simulators may
run at the same time, raising the costs considerably. So
costs may be a limiting factor in the use of
interactive tugs.
The number of simulators might be such that not all
assisting tugs can be simulated by interactive tugs. In
addition to the interactive tugs, vector tugs will then be
used. Furthermore, each interactive tug needs at least one
but usually two captains, and they may not all be available.
Some tugs then have to be simulated by vector tugs.
There is another aspect which.applies to a number
of ports. Tug captains are not always in a position to
enable th em to participate in research or training
proj ects. In these cases the only soluti on mght then be
to use vector tugs instead of interactive tugs. Tug captains
from other ports could be used for certain projects, but
they don't have the local experience required for correct
Therefore, when using full mission bri dge simulators
for research or training it depends on a number of factors
which kind of simulation is most suitable. In many cases
it may result in the use of one or more vector tugs.
When the angle of out-of-window view is a limitation
in using an interactive tug and the simulator institute
has a br idge simulator wit h a 360
angle of view,
consideration could be given to using this simulator for
a tug while the assisted ship could be simulated on a
bri dge simulator with a 225
angle of view.
Wb en the costs of bridge manoeuvring simulators
ar e found t o be too high, for ce r tai n proj ects
manoeu vring simulation progr ams on desktop
computers can be used.
8.6 Simulator training
. 8.6.1 Enhanced training possibilities
In this chapter, various training objectives have been
discussed, including the requirements for proper tug
simulation. A full mission simulator with vector tugs
and the input of experienced tug captains is a suitable
tool for training in shiphandling with tugs. Together with
the pilots, tug captains can learn, for instance, strategies
and procedures for entering a port and for be rthing and
unb erthing, the influence of wind and current, the tug
effort required and ship's response to it As mentioned,
another aspect of participating in training with pilots,
and also in research projects, is the positive effect on
pil ot/tug captain co-operation. In discussing different
mano euvr es, they learn from each other.
It is clear that tug captain training has been improved
by the use of interactive tugs. They open up much better
training possibiliti es and tug captains can, in co-
operati on with pilots, actively parti cipate by operating
their own tug. Although there are some limitations,
interacti ve tug simulation op ens up the follo wing
possibilities for active trai ning of tug captains in:
Improved strategies and proc edures for entering or
leaving a port, manoeuvring in port ar eas, berthing/
unberthing with vessels calling at the port or specific
vessels expected to call at the port.
A new port or new port area.
A new type of tug, such as an ASD or reverse-tractor
tug. They can be trained in handling of the thruster
controls and in learning new capabilities of the tug
with regard to ship handling.
New tug captains can be trained in:
Subjects suc h as communicati ons, op erati onal
procedures, co-operating with pilots and other tug
captains, basic manoeuvres and avoiding
dangerous situations.
8.6.2 Steps to be taken for a simulator training
set up
To start simulator training for pilots and/or tug
captains with interactive tugs the followi ng is an
indication of the steps to be taken as far as is relevant in
close co-operation with a simulator institute:
An accurate definition of training needs and training
A definition of training requirements.
Subj ects to be considered include: the situations and
circumstances for whichtraini ng is required, number
and experience of tug captai ns, number and
.experience of pilots, co-operation requir ed between
pilots and tug captains, type and number of tugs, type
of ship, environmental conditions, communications
and operational procedures.
An assessment of whether the simulator institute can
meet the training requirements with regard to:
simulator facilities such as the type and number
of interactive simulators, suitabi li ty of the
interactive tug simulator for the type of tug and
method of tug assistance;
ship and tug models;
simulation of particular s of the given area, such
as the outside view, aids to naviagti on, wind,
current, waves, water depths, shipping traffic and
moored ships;
communication faciliti es including, if relevant,
VTS communication;
A validation phase .
After reachi ng agreement with a simulator institute
and pr eparing the simulator the following should be
tested, amongst other items, during the validation
tug models: free sailing, and whilst interacting with
the ass iste d ship while t owing/push ing
manoeuvres are carried out at different angl es and
speeds; it should be tested whether manoeuvres
can be carried out in a realistic and anacceptable
appli ed towing and pushing forces;
ship models: manoeuvring performance and the
effect of applied tug forces on the ship;
environmental conditions, including water depths,
and their influences on ship and tug;
wheelhouse layout, including tug engine, rudder
and/or thruster controls, display of towline forces,
bri dge instruments;
simulated wind and engine sound;
out-of-window view, including the view of the
assisted ship and tugs as proj ected on the screen
and the view of the towline;
communication facilities and procedures.
A definition of training programs.
Training programs shoul d pref er abl y include
simulation parts as well as theoretical parts. For the
former the various scenarios to be simulated, required
tug assistance and related communication procedures
should be carefully specified.
Of great importance in training is the capability of
the instructor. An instructor should have extensive
practical experience regarding the training subjects, a
sound theoretical backgrou nd knowledge and be able
to pass on hi s experience in a professional way to
The steps indi cated above are, as far as is relevant,
alsoapplicable to simulator training where tug assistance
is simulated in another way than with interactive tugs.
Also, for research projects, when tug assistance is an
essential part of the study, similar steps should be taken.
8.7 Areas of tug simulation that need
further attention
Simul ated tugs should perform realistically with
regard to type capabilities, achievable towing forces,
response times and limitati ons. Tug simulat ion should
be such that no tug maooeuvres can be executed that
are not possibl e or are too dangerous in real world
operations. The shortcomi ngs of vector tugs can partly
be compe nsated for by the participation of tug captains.
For interactive tugs, which repr esent much more
sophisticated simulation, it has been indicated what is
essential from a practical point of viewregarding realistic
simulation. However, for further improvement of tug
simulation in general, and interactive tugs in particular,
the following areas need attention. Some have been
mentioned previously when discussing interactions and
tug safety. It depends on the simulated situation to what
extent the following aspects are important The reader
is also referred to the book 'Ship Bridge Simul ators. A
pr oj ect handbook' , wh ich addresses ship and tu g
simulations in detail (see References).
Tug model tests
Model testing is the only feasible method available
to obtain correc t hydrodynami c data for a tug hull
moving through the water. It can also give a good insight
into tug performance. These data are important for
simulator models, particul arly for escort tugs, which
operate at high speeds. Some of the following can be
included in the model tests.
Effect of angle of heel and trimonforces on a tug's hull and
Usually the hull force data are obtained with the tug
(model) constrained in the horizontal plane, i.e. no effect
of heel angle and trim is pr esent. In some dedicated tug
simulator models, however, the effect of heel is taken
into account through extensive model testing, or in an
approximate manner. The effect of heel angle will be
prominent in more extreme situations and conditions.
Photo: Marin, 17uNethrrlo.nds Photo: Marin, 17uNethrrlo.nds
Figures 8.70 and 8. 11 Model and model tank testJor escort tugs toobtain hydrodynamic data, optimise tug design
and evaluate performance. Study by Wifsmulkr Engineering / Marin
Influence ofwaves ontugperformarue
In several ports harbour tugs have to operate outside
breakwaters in the open sea, as do escort tugs. Waves
limit tug performance due to the high dynamic loads
generated in the towline. Under such conditions tug
captains often reduce power to avoid parting the towline.
It is also possible to more or less control towline forces
by a load reducing system. Tug motions and dynamic
for ces in the t owline due t o waves affec t tug
per formance, wh ich also d epends on t owli ne
characteristics such as stiffness and on towline length.
Influence of flow around ship and of waterdepth and
confi nement
Water flowaround a ship influences the performance
of tugs pushing at a ship's side of a ship having way on,
and tugs operating in a ship's wake. These effects are
not included in simulator models. The effect of water
depth on the hydrodynamics of a ship is included, but
not the effect shallow water has on the flow around a
ship and subsequently on the performance of a tug in
that flow field. Furthermore, the highly complicating
fact or of confinement is not included in any model.
Neither is the effect included of the following water flow
in a channel as mentioned in section 6.2.2. Finall y, the
influence of the ship' s propell er slipstream and wash
on a tug operating near and behind a ship's stem should
be considered.
Infl uence ofa tug'spropeller wash on a ship's hull
Some models incorporate an approximate method
to allow for this. However, it is only valid for conditions
wher e the prop eller wash hits the hull directly. Not
included are the effects of towline length and shallow
water. The negative effect of tug propell er was h
impinging on a ship's hull can be minimised by
lengthening the towline. However, in narrow harbour
basins this is rar ely possible and under more extr eme
conditions the negative effect of propeller wash can be
rather high. The very specific 'Coanda effect' (see section
5.2.5) canot be reproduced by any of th e present
simulator models
To wing andpushingforces
TOWing and pushing forces should be as realistic for
vector tugs as for interactive tugs. Full scale trials can
be used to verify simulated tug forces. The better towing
and pushing forces can be simulated for vector tugs,
the better use can be made of these vec tor tugs for
simulation of tug assistance.
Thruster - tug hull interaction and thruster - thruster
With regard to thruster-hull interacti on, some
simulator models include an approximation for this,
others ignore it entirely. As far as is known, thruster-
thruster inter actions are generally not included for tugs
with nozzle propulsion.
Out-of the windowviewfor interactive tugs
In general, as most close quarter manoeuvres are
carried ou t predominantly using visual cues, the
imp ortance of an all round view ca nnot be
overemphasised. Dep ending on how detail ed the
proj ection on the scree n is, di stances off are often
difficult to assess. A pr oper assessment of distances is
essential for close quarter manoeuvring.
VISualization of towline behaviour
A tug captain reacts to a large extent to hi s towline,
such as direction and tension. On modem simulators
the towline is made visible in the out-of-window view.
Towline forces are displayed on a moni tor. In real life,
when towing or pull ing forces are requir ed while the
towline is slack, a tug captain will gently mano euvre his
tug till the line is tight and only then increase power.
Although complicated, if it were possible to visualise in
the out-of-window simulator view whether the towline
is slack or tight, it would be another step forward.
8.8 Conclusion
In world ports there exis t an almost un limited
number of different tugs. Fur ther, each port has its own
method of providing tug assistance. This requires a very
high degree of flexibility to simulate all forms of tug
assistance in a realistic way. 'Iovving on a line increases
the demands on the mathematical modelling of tug
behaviour, due to the combination of hydrodynamic
behaviour, tuglimit ations, line and '.... inch characteristics.
For a correct and realistic appli cation of tug simulations
co-operation with local nautical experts is essential . By
utilising the combined expertise of hydrodynamicists,
pil ot s, tug ca ptains and scientis ts, sophist icated
si mu lati ons studies an d tra ini ng, incl udi ng tug
operations, can be performed.
Finally, va rious tr aini ng method s have been
discusse d. Seeing the acci dents that happ en, the
impo rtance of a proper professional training can not be
emphasized enough. Training 'of tug captains and also
of pilots should focus not only on tug assistance and the
capabilities and limitations of tugs, but also on the risks
involved when tugs operate in the close vicinity of ships
and when rendering assistance, while learning from the
accidents that happ ened.
Chapter NINE
9.1 The background to escorting port-by-port basis and first escorting of tankers starte d
on the Solent in 1991.
EsCORTING BYTUGS IS KOTHI NG l'EW. This chapt er should
therefore not be seen apart from the foregoing. In the
past, as well as today, this kind of service has been
avail able in many ports around the world, particularly
where ports are situated along rivers and canals or
behind locks. Wb en large ships started to enter these
ports they were, initiall y, often escorted bya number of
tugs from the river entrance, or from a locati on where
th e river becomes more confined, up to the berth.
Escorting is often practised in situations involving large
tows like offshore ri gs or ships with limited
manoeuvrability due to engine or rudder trouble. It is
also practised in adverse weather conditions or when a
river or canal configuration or a spe cific situation is such
that tug assistance may be required during the passage
for certain categori es of ships . In ge neral, however, these
escort services are limited to port areas and adjacent
rivers and canals, while the type of escorting discussed
in this chapter concerns mainly escorting of tankers in
port approaches.
In Norway tanker escort became mandatory in the
Grenland area in 1979 after the accident with the gas
tanker Humboldt in the narro w approach channel to
Por sgrunn on Norway' s eas t coast in March 1979.
Escorting with a special-purpose built tractor tug
tethered to the ship started in 1981.
Following the sinking of the bulk carrier Mercantile
Marcia in 1989, with a maj or spill of heavy bunker oil,
escorting of tanker s in excess of 30,000 dwt was
introduced at Mongstad and Stur e on Norway' s west
coast. In Norway escorting of tankers is now mandated
by the government for port approaches of all major
tanker ports. In Sweden escorting of tank er s was
introduced, amongst others, in the Port of Gothenburg
in 1990. In Finland escorting of tankers started in the
early nineties. The tragi c accident of the tanker Aegean
Sea off the Spanish coast in 1992 led to escor ting of
tankers in the port approach to La Corufi a (Spain).

C Olllt i O" t
At ......l nOt
Th e largest oil spill in the world was that of the Atlantic
Empress (West Indies, 1979) with 270,000 tons of oil lost,
followed by the ART Summer (off Angola, 1991) with
260,000 tons, the Castillo DeBellver(South Africa, 1983)
with 250,000 tons and the Amoco Cad,z(Lands End, Great
A US Coast Guard study in 1990 report ed that 20%
of oil entering the marine environment is caused by
tanker accidents. There is a variety of other entry sources
such as tanker operational losses and muni cipal and
industrial wast es. In general, a small number of tanker
accidents is responsible for most of the spillage, while
the majority of tanker accidents result in negligibl e oil
Figure 9.1 Majoroil spillsfrom tankersand theircauses:
No. of incidents & t olume, World, 1976-89
Escorting of tankers, oil tankers and sometimes also
ga s tankers, i s applied in many other countries, 20
particularly in Europe, where escorting of tankers is
practised in several ports with large oil and/or gas
terminal s. Most of such European countri es will be
mentioned below, and for some countries or ports also
the cause that led to the introduction of escorting. In
the UK the deci sion for escorting tankers is taken on a
On 24th March 1989 the Exxon Valdenan aground
during her outgoing passage of the Valdez Arm, Alaska,
resulti ng in a huge oil spill. As a consequence, renewed
attent ion was paid to escorting loaded tank ers in the
United States. Shortly after the Exxon Valdez disaster
the Oil Polluti on Act became law (1990) in the United
States. It had taken some 15 years to formulate this act
which, amongst other things, emp owered the US Coast
Guard to set up new regulations for tanker escort,
specifically in the waters of Prince William Sound and
Puget Sound.
Specific attention to the escorting of tankers started
in the USA around 1975. Towing company Foss
Maritime, USA, began escorting tankers when it was
mandated to do so by the State of Washington that year.
The purpose of the legislation was to minimise the
likelihood of oil spills in Puget Sound on the west coast
ofthe USA. Tankers over 40,000 dwt had to be escorted
by tugs. Tug escort of laden tankers has also been a
featur e of tanker operations in Prince William Sound,
Alaska, since 1977.
To find out whether escorting tugs are able to reduce
risks during a passage, a numb er of accident scenarios
for the areas of concern should be developed. These
should take into account factors such as the navigational
restraints, the ships concern ed, spee d, underkeel
clearance, environmental conditions incl uding wind,
ships and pilots.
Shipping traffic - number, size, draft, speed and
Arrival and departure policy for ships of differ ent
types, dimensions andlor draft regardingvertical tide,
currents, waves, wind and lo r visibility.
Statistics avail able on past accidents invol ving
transiting ships and the causes of accidents.
The environme ntal impact of an incident
The available tugs and tug assistance.
Size, type, loading condi tions and manoeuvring
particulars and underkeel clearance of ships which
are considered to need escorting.
This review may result in an extension or adaptation
of certain procedure s or port services regarding arrival/
departure policy, aids to navigation, the vessel traffic
system, tug assistance or pilotage. When the situation is
such that no fur the r improvements of th e existing
situation are possible or the improvements made are
insufficient to reduce the riskofgroundings and spillage,
a risk asses sment study can be carried out. This
determines the probability and severity of an incident
and consequently the areas of concern. Measures such
as the provision of escort tugs can then be considered
in order to enhance safety of passage. The severity of
an incident with respect to oil spillage will, for instance,
be less in port approaches or ar eas with sandy banks.
Figure 9.2 gives the results of a Norwegian study showing
the effect of some measures. The results shown in the
graph are not generally appli cable, but are only valid
for the area studied.
Elcorl !IIG

El cc, l rUG
NO ..
IolI Ull fiS
Figure9.2 1Jpieal effiet offrequency reducingmeasures
Groundingundnpower anddrifting - calculatedincident
reduaionwith escatt
Whether these accidents could be prevented by the
use of escort tugs depends on several factors, such as the
real causes of the accidents or the location. One can ask
the following questions: Did these accidents take place
in a port area or port approach, being locations where
escort tugs would normally operate? What wer e the
technical failures leading to the accidents and what was
the cause of these failures?Were human failures involved,
either on board the tanker or ashor e? Would escort tugs
have been able to make up for these human failures?
Were the environmental conditions such that escort tugs
could have pr ovided any reasonable assistance? .
A review of the pr esent situation should consider
the following aspect s in relation to each other, but not
limited to:
A review of th e present situation and a risk
Based on the findings of the risk assessment, a study
focused on whether escorting could reduce the risks
during a passage.
Defining escort tug requir ements, es co r ting
procedures and training requirements.
Britain, 1978) with 230,000 tons. Some other spills are
those of the Exxon Valdez (Alaska, 1989) 40,000 tons, the
Aegean Sea(Spain, 1992) 70,000 tons, the Braer{Shetiands,
Gr eat Britain, 1993) 85,000 tons and the Sea Empress
(Milford Haven, Great Britain, 1996) with 65,000 tons
of oil spilled.
The answers to the previously mentioned questions
sho uld be part of a thorough study into whether
escorting by tugs is suitable for a particular port or port
approach. Such a study should include:
9.2 Studies on escort requirements
Particulars of a port and its port approach, such as:
Restrictions, bends, distances, water depths,
vertical tides.
Environmental conditions at all parts of the
passage, i.e: currents, winds, visibility, waves,
swell, ice, day/night .
Islands, piers, hottom structure and channel sides
- rocky or sandy, flat or steep.
Available anchorages.
Traffic separation schemes.
Aids to navigation.
Vessel trafficservices and informati on exchange with
Tanker groundings and collisions seem to account
for about 30%each of oil spillage volume due to tanker
accidents (see figure 9.1). Many factors contribute to
these accidents, including techni cal failures, reduced
visibility and human failures . In 1993 the UKP&I Club
published its third Annual Analysis of Major Claims,
covering the period 1987-1992. According to this, 50%
of all pollution claims were due to human factors.
current, waves and swe ll and, if necessary, oth er
shipping traffic. Scena rios should be develop ed for
engine and rudder failures and possibly scenarios for a
ship under power, steering various dangerous courses
whi ch, if no measures were taken, would result in
grounding and/or collision.
Response times, i.e. the time betwe en the moment a
failure happ ens and the moment the tugs are effective,
should also be included in the failure scenarios and be
based on realistic assumptions, because this time is very
critical to effectively limit the advance and transfer of a
tanker after a failur e.
When the number of available tugs is found to be
sufficient to provide the additional service of escorting,
studies should give answers to the question as to whether
these tugs are capable of pr eventing a grounding or
collision in case of failur e on board a tanker or when
steering a dangerous course. Different assisting methods
for these tugs can be assessed, with tugs secure d or not,
The study results might include:
A recommendation for a parti cular tug configuration
of available tugs, and
Definitions of acceptable environmental conditions
and safe ship speeds, or
Recommendations and requirements for the design
of a totally new type of tug.
The simulation technique mentioned in paragraph
8.3.2 is very suitable for investigating a large number of
different scenarios, tug types and tug configurations.
Where the study outcome results in the design of a
purpose built escort tug, performan ce calculation
programs can be used at an early stage to pr edict the
performance of different tug types and various design
alternatives. Model tests may be required to optimise
tug design, evaluate tug performance and investigate
safety limits for escort operations.
From the foregoing it can be concluded that the
requirements for a purpose built escort tug may differ
by port, such as with regard to tug size, type and
ca pabilities, as ports differ by approach, lay-out,
conditions, circumstances, ship's type and size . For the
earlier mentioned spe cific port related accident and
fail ur e scenarios, it sho uld be studied whether the
purpose built escort tug(s) is capable of preventing a
collision or grounding. Such a study may also lead to
port related escort regulations or operati onal procedures
regarding safe escort speeds, whether the escort tug
should be tethered to the ship (active escorting) or not
(passive escorting), maximum allowabl e environme ntal
conditi ons, etc., if nec essary depending on the zone to
be passed.
In addition to the p ort sp ecific escor t tug
requirements based on research, there might be general
legal requirements, e.g. national regul ations, to be met
with respect to the capabilities an escort tug should have
in controlling a disabl ed vessel.
In cooperation with experienced pilots, ship masters
and tug captains, escort tug suitability and related
procedur es can finally be tested on full mi ssion bridge
simulators . They can simulate the escort tug(s), ships to
be escorted, areas of co ncern, and envir onmental
conditions, provided the simulator meets the demanding
requirements for this kind of simulation.
Model tests and simulation techniques are very useful
tools to get insight into the capabilities of escort tugs of
various designs and into the effect such escort tugs have
on an escorted ship's behaviour in various conditions
and circumstances . Limitations of simulation, and of
model tests, may lead to an overestimation of an escort
tug's performance, which may then include a risk for
the escort tug, its crew, as well as for the escorted vessel.
To what extent study results differ from reali ty can only
be verified during full scale trials under comparable
conditions. This applies to normal and certainl y to wave
and swell conditions, as escort tugs often do operat e in
expose d areas. Full scale tests are carried out to verify
the capability of a new escort tug in delivering the
required steering and braking forces, for instance, for
an escort tug class notati on of DNV. DUring such trials
sea conditions ar e usually rather fair. In wave and swell
conditions, however, high peak forces can occur in the
towline if an escort tug has to apply maximum stee ring
forces in case of a failur e on board the escorted ship.
Simulation of dynami c forces in the towline, for
instance, that result from out-of-phase mot ion responses
of ship and tug to the waves are extremely difficult to
simulate. The same applies to a realistic simulation of
the charac teristics and dyn amic performance of a
towline and towing winch. The escorted ship does affect
the wave pattern, which again affects the escort tug' s
capabiliti es (see also Referen ces for 'Creating the Virtual
Tug' ). So, a tug's escorting performance in wave
conditions, and particul arly safe tug manoeuvres and
limits of safe tug oper ation, also taking into account
various dire ctions of incoming waves, can not be
determined accurately. This also includes the effect an
esco rt tug ma y have on the escorted ship in such
conditions .
Summarising, verification by full scale trials of model
tests and simulator research is needed for both aspects:
escort tug capabilities as well as the effect an escort tug
may have on a disabl ed ship in normal and in wave
conditions. Further res earch starting with full-scale
measurements may be required to get better insight int o
the whol e interaction process between tug and shi p
during emergency escorting in sea conditions.
With respect to the latter, for comparabl e reasons
Maritime Research Institute Net herlands (MARI N)
proposes a j oint industry project which comprises: 'full
scale measurements of towline, winch and tug behaviour
under well-define d tug assist operations; modelling of
dynamic towline loads, tug motions and stability;
assessment of operational safety, as well as design and
operation practice' (MARI N Report, April 2002).
9.3 Escorting objectives and methods
The objectives of escorting are :
ship's speed in case of engine failure in order to avoid
grounding. A lot of effort is required by tugs to restore
ship's headi ng or rate of tum when, due to engine or
rudder failure, a large loaded tanker with headway takes
a sheer, particularly if underkeel clearance is small.
Escort tugs should also be capable of controlling,
within reasonable margins, ship's position when speed
has dropped, meaning that tugs should be capable of
pushing as well as towing, which requires good fendering
and the correct static bollard pull. Differ ent methods of
escorting are in use, viz.:
Escorting by a number of normal harbour tugs.
Escorting by specifically designe d escort tug(s).
In some ports around the world
only one harbour tug, which can be of
any type, is used for regular escorting of
tankers. In other ports the number of tugs
is based on size of ship and available
suitable tugs. Depending on the situation
tugs are secured or not. The escort ing
distance is generally only a few miles,
though ships are sometimes escorted over
longer distances through rivers an d
channels. Usual speeds are about five to
six knots, but when the tugs are unsecured
or for longer escor t distances spee ds up
to nine kno ts are not uncomm on.
9.4.1 Tug use
Escorting by normal harbour tugs
can be carr ied out with tugs operating at
a ship's side, which may include a rudder
tug, or by tugs towing on a line or a
co mbination of these methods. The
method used depends largely on local
. practice and available type of tugs.
Wbether tugs are secured or not depends
mainly on the restrictions of the fairway
and envi ronme nt al condit ions. The
following should be taken into account:
It takes time to secure tugs, even
whe n sufficient ship's crew are
available and where needed.
There is no forewarning of the type
9.4 Escorting by normal
harbour tugs
Escort ing tugs accompany a shi p eit her wi th
towline{s) secured or free sailing at close quarters, ready
to make fast and render assistance if a failure occurs. ;
Escorting by more or less normal harbour tugs is
generally carried out only in port areas, over a relatively
short distance and at low speeds. Escorting with
specifically designed escort tugs is carried out in port
approaches, over longer distances and at higher speeds.
Figure 9.3 Direction offorces applied by assisting harbour tugs
Escorting harbour tugs assisting a tanker in different modes. Tanker hadanenginefailure and
veers tostarboard. Tugs are braking 1Msheer. Directionsoflongitudinal andtransverse forces
applied by the tugs are shown
To reduce the risk of pollution in port areas and port
approaches due to groundi ngs or collisions caused
by.techni cal or human failures on board a tanke r.
To apply steering and braking forces to a disabled
vessel by escort ing tugs and to keep it afloat, or limit
th e impact of collision or grounding if th ey
unfortunately happen.
' 'lhether steering, braking or both forces are required
depends completely on the situation. Wh en failures
occur it is steering forces in particular that are mostly
required to keep a ship out of a dangerous area. It might
even be necessary in certain situations not to reduce
of failure neither when nor where. In event of failure
there is no prediction of how the ship will behave.
She may go straight on, vee r to starboard or veer to
Securing tugs can take several minutes. This has
cons equences for tug respons e time, the time betv..-een
the moment failure happens and the moment tugs are
effective. Several very costly minutes may be lost.
On the other hand, for tugs operating at a ship' s side,
securing or not may have consequenc es for the number
of tugs required. Wh en tugs are secured at one side and
the ship veers due to a failure, they might not be at the
correct side to cope with the sheer. This implies that
tugs are needed on both sides if secure d. Wh en not
secure d, available tugs can be directed by the pilot to
the required position.
Forward tugs towing on a line are more flexibl e in
applying towing forces to port as well as to starboard.
The same applies to after tugs towing on a line when
equipped with omnidirecti onal propulsion. Based on
the restri cti ons of the fairway wit h r espect to ship
dimension s and draft and taking into acco unt the
available number and type of tugs, it should be carefully
considered whether the tugs will be secure d or not. Tug
positions should be included in these consider ations.
Current and wind also pl aya part in the decision.
Different escorting tug positions are now considered.
In figure 9.3A and Btugs are shown and the directions
of the appli ed for ces.
In th e example (figure 9.3A), a loaded tanke r
underway at speed has an engine failure. The ship veers
to starboard, which cannot be stoppe d by the ship's
rudder. As expl ained in section 4.3.3, tug no. 1 is not in
a position to counter act the sheer effectively, but the
position of tug no. 2 is much more effective. The same
applies for the rudder tug no. 3. Effectiveness of the
rudder tug in applying steering forces does not differ
much from a tug at ship's side with lines secured, except
for wave conditions. In that case the effectiveness of a
tug operating at a ship's side declines fast. The most
significant difference with tug no. I is not only that tbe
rudder tug is in an effective position, but is able to apply
stee ring forces to starboar d as well as to port.
Regarding tug no. I it should be kept in mind that
tbis tug might even have an opposite effect. Thi s bas
been further explained in paragraph 4.3.3, Effective tug
If the ship veers to port instead of starboard, tugs
nos. I and 2 ar e ineffective in braking the shee r. If tugs
are secured at a ship's side in order to anticipate failure
they are needed on both sides or at least a rudder tug
should be used, provided the tug is sufficiently powerful.
When the tugs at a ship's side have a bowline they can
apply br aking forces as well as steering forces.
Tugs at the ship'S side applying br aking for ces also
create a turning moment. This is another reason why
tugs are needed at both sides. A rudder tug can apply
braking forces without creati ng a high turning moment.
When tugs are not secure d at a ship's side but stand
by at a close distance, they can take position dep ending
on the situation that arises due to a failure.
At spe eds higher than th r ee to four knots
conventional tugs lose their effectiveness in applying
steering forces, while applied pushing forces increase.
Pushing forces have a tendency to increase ship's speed,
which should generally be avo ided. Waves further
decrease a tugs' effectiveness. Tugs with omnidirectional
propulsion are more effect ive, including at higher
speeds , in applying steering forces without increasing
ship's spee d.
There is another aspect to be taken into account,
which could be impor tant, for instance, in situations
involving partly loaded tankers and strong beam winds.
Although tug no. 2 and 3 are trying to stop the sheer,
they will push the ship, together with the wind, into the
dir ection of the danger ous area, while tug no . 1 is
pushing in a safer direction.
When tugs are normally towing on a line (figure
9.3B), it should also be considered whether they should
be secured or not. When securing near the bow, ship's
spee d should not be more than about six to seven knots.
Wh en towing on a line wi th a stern tug having
omnidirect ional pr opul sion or a combi-tug with an aft
lying towing point , braking forces and steering forces
to port as well as starboard can be applied. As with tugs
operating at a ship'S side, a forward tug towing on a
line increases ship'Sspeed when applying steering forces.
The effectiveness of a forward tug in opposing sheer is
low compared to a stem tug, as explained in section
4.3.3, although the tug pulls the ship away from the
dangerous area. Using the escorting method with tugs
towing on a line, ships can be controlled at somewhat
higher speeds than with conventional tugs operating at
a ship's side. When suitable conventional tugs are used
forward and tugs with omnidirectional propulsion aft,
escorting speed can be around four to five knots. The
limitation on escorting speed depends mainly on the
capabilities of the forward tug, but also on the size, draft
and underkeel clearance of the escorted ship and, of
course, th e restr ic tio ns of th e fai rway. When a
conventional tug is used aft instead of an omnidirectional
tug, ship's speed should be l ow - say a maximum of
thr ee to four knots - to permit control of the vessel in
case of a failur e. Conventional tugs aft can only apply
br aking forces and steering forces to both sides at a very
low ship's speed, while a conventi onal tug forward
cannot apply any braki ng forces.
Escorting by conventional harbour tugs is still
possible in a number of compulsory escort areas in the
PhDtos: MARIN, 17u Nt!htTlandJ
Figure 9.4 Photographstaken duringescort trialsinPrince William
Sound, Alaska, August/September 7993. Three tugpositions are
shown: 7) pushingat tlu bow, 2) nearthestem and3) a tug
operatingas rudder tug'. They aretwinscrew tugs with three rudders.
Tugs 7and3 have a botlardpull of 68tons andtug2 of 50 tons. The
tankers are theloaded 'SIR Benicia: 770,000dwt andthe :4rco
Independence: 262,000dun, 80%loaded
USA, although escort tugs with omnidir ecti onal
propulsion are increasingly used and the ir escort
performance is being further inve stigated.
A summary is given in par agraph 9.6 of escort
regulation s in force in the USA and Europe. Wh en
escorted by normal harbour tugs, tanker speeds can not
be high. Thi s is reflected in the regulations, which state
that escorted tankers should not exceed a spee d beyond
which the escorting tugs can reasonably be expected to
bring th e ta nker safely un der control within the
navigational limit s of the fairway.
Escorting using normal harbour tugs is comparable
with tug assistance in ports as are escortingspeeds. The
number, type and bollard pull of harb our tugs used for
escorting should be carefully considered taking into
account the restrictions of the fairway, ship size, draft
and freeboard, underkeel clearance and environmental
condi tions. It should also be carefully considered
whether escort ing tugs should be made fast to a vessel
or not, Wh en tugs have to make fast at a ship's side, it
may influence the number of tugs required.
The speed of the escorted tanker with a maximum
of about five knots should allow tugs to influence tanker
movement effectively in the event of a casualty. Rudder
tugs and tugs positioned at port or starboard quarter
are at the most effective locations to oppose a sheer.
Rudd er tugs are most flexible because of their capability
of applying steering forces to both sides. These tugs all
apply pushing for ces at the same time which may
incr ease a ship's speed. The effe ct is less when
omnidirectional tugs are used, which are also more
effective at higher speeds. When tugs at a ship's side
have a bow line these tugs can, like a rudder tug, also
apply braking forces. .
A forward tug towing on a line is more flexibl e in
applying steering forces both to port and starboard. The
same applies for a stern tug towing on a line, provided
the tug has omnidirectional propulsion or is of the
cornbi-tug type. These types of tug can, as a stem tug,
apply braking forces as well, which is not possible for a
forward tug towing on a line.
If a sheer is towards a dangerous area, the applied
steering forces of the after tugs are directed towards the
dangerous area and the steering forces of the forward
tugs away from it,
9.4.2 Escort training and planning
Also when normal harbour tugs, conventional tugs
for instance, are used for escorting, training and escort
planning are important suhjects, although depending
on the local situation. These subjects are amongst others
discussed in the next par agraph.
Figure 9.5 shows what are
generally called the direct and
indirect towing methods. In
addition, terms are given as
used hy propulsion man u-
facturer Aqu amaster (figure
9.5 B). The indirect arrest
mode is recommended for
initiating a turn, while the
co mbination arrest mode is
recommended for opposing a
turn at low and at higher
speeds . The ac h ievable
braking forces in the reverse
and transverse arrest modes
have been discussed in section
4.3.2 and ar e shown in the
graph in figure 9.7. According
to Aquamaster th ese for ces
seem to correlate ve ry well
with full scale trial s.
Before discussing important
aspects of escor t tug
performance, a number of
somewhat difficult terms are
first explaine d.
In dir ect mod e, achievable
steering for ces decrease when
speed in cr eases. At speeds
above normal harbour speeds
of about five to six knots and,
amongs t ot her things,
depending on the bollard pull
of the tug, higher steering forces can be achieved in
indirect mode (see figur e 9.8).
For speeds between thr ee and seven knots a method
used by escort tugs in a growing number of USA ports
for applying steering forces, is the ' powered indirect
Figure 9.5 Terminology relating todirect andindirect towing methods
A: Tractor tug. B: ASD/reverse-tractor tug
Position 1: Stmingandretarding. Position 2: Retarding
9.5 Escorting by purpose built tugs
9.5.1 Type of tugs, performance and operational
1jpes, tenninology andfactors affectingperformance
The name escort tugs is basically used for tugs
specifically designed to escort ships over long distances
and at rel atively high speeds. Escort tugs are all of the
omnidir ectional type, whether ASD/ reverse-tractor or
tractor. Most escort tractor tugs have VS pr opulsion.
The tugs are secur ed (tethered) to a ship'S stem or
unsecured (untethered), but ready to provide immediate ,
assistance in case of emergency. 'When secured to the
stern of the escorted vessel, escort tugs are abl e to apply
high steering and/or br aking forces if requir ed in case a
failur e happens on board the assisted ship. Steering
for ces at hi gh speeds are generated in the so-called
indirect method .
Courtesy: Captain Gregary Brooh. USA
Figure 9.6 The reverse-tractortug 'Lynn Marie', which has aforward
skeg, applying steeringfotces by using the 'PoweredIndirect
Manoeuvre'. (Forparticulars of the 'LynnMarie see figure 9.21)
Braking Force
T o ~ t Ir'1l l o. e
Reverse Arrest
Har bour assistance __Escorting
BGlier(JPull Astern
' 0
r-- Lnre&,-""ode
I ndi ct mode
rrBflsver s8 Arrest
Tanker Speed (kn)
t z
2 3 , 5 6
Spud (knot l )
7 6 9
' 0
Figure9. 7 Maximumdirect hrakingforces azimuth drize Figure 9.8 Approximatirm ofstmi ngfinces ofa36 trms tractor tug
Incoming relative flow as seen by
observer on tug
Total force on hull
and skeg
Drift an Ie
anker through water}
t: Steering force
Side thrust
Braking force --- - -
Figure9.9 Definition ,ketch offorees ona tug anda ,hip
SkeMofa traaor lug assisting a tanker inthe indirect mode.
Thepropeller thrust keeps thetranszerseform andlongitudinalforw, resultingfrom the hydrodynamit:fore< onthe huUand,keg
andfrom the towlirufore<, inbalance
o o
-- _._- 0

I Y ~
.,.-- ------ ---
--- -----T-----------
~ =i
--i ~
~ .

~ .
Importanlfor lugp<rformance are the longiludinal and ertical locations of thelowingpoinl and centre ofpressure. The longer leoer x isin relation
10 lever y the better thetugperformance. Tug list should be laken intoaccount Thelonger tlu lever a tlu larger the heeling moment.
Tlu thrusterforce withlever bwill counteractthe heeling moment
I F tow

HI Heeling arm without to....-ing arch

H2 Heeling arm with towing arch

, ,..."
When comparing the ASD-tug to the VS tug as shown
and assuming the same stability, then it can be seen that
As escort tugs should be designed such that any
required sideways thrust to balance the hydrodynamic
forces at COP is small, the height of the towing point
above the centre of pressure becomes particularly
important with respect to heeling moments.
Firstly, the larger lever x is compared to lever y, the
less sideways thrust is needed to balance hydrodynamic
forces at the cent re of pressure (COP) and the higher
the towline forces will be. Secondly, the lar ger the
vertical distance between towing point T and centre of
pressure COP, lever a, the larger any list will be.
However, the lar ger the vertical distance bet ween
propulsion point P and towing point T, lever b, the more
list is reduced by the sideways thrust of the propulsion.
Discussion amongst propulsion designers mostly
concerns the performance of azimuth stem drive tugs
compared to tractor tugs, particularly tractor tugs with
Voith propulsion. Two escorting tugs are shown in figure
9.10 of which one is an ASD-tug and the other a VS
tug. In thi s figure the most impo rtant aspects of tug
pe rforma nce in the indirect mod e are shown. The
centres of pressure are approximated for an angle of
inflow (angle a) of 90'.
In figur e 9.9 a tug is operating in indirect mode and
th e forces act ing on th e tug an d ship are sho wn.
Conce rni ng tug performance, the magnitude of the
transv er se forc es and in parti cul ar the points of
application of these forces ar e most import ant. For
generating the highest steering for ces, angle (a) is
pred omi nant, while keeping th e towline angle at
Although escort tugs should also perform well at
lower speeds, the indirect mode is further discussed
because escort speeds can be up to 10or even 12knots.
It is further worth mentioning a specific way of
escorting by using two escort tugs as a tandem, both
tether ed, which is utilised in the Port of Long Beach,
California. It is called team towing or tandem escort
towing, for which modern VS tugs or ASD/reverse-
tractor tugs can be used. With this met hod relatively
smal l escort tugs can be used to handle heavy ships.
Specific tug procedures have been developed for this
method. Escort speeds while utilising the team towing
system are relatively low, generally approxi mately six
knots, wi th a possibl e upper limit of eight kn ot s,
depending on tug design, crew training, and the sea
conditions to be faced during the escort,
manoeuvre'. The tug then drives
itself out further than position
Alar BI (see figure 9.5 for
In dir ect Towing Method) and
de pending on the speed may
reach a position at which the
towline is at a 90 degrees angle
to the ship's centreline. Then full
power is given, with the tug at
perhaps up to 70 degrees angle
to the incoming water flow. High
ste ering forces can be generated,
higher than in the direct towing
method. In the five to seven
knots speed range line pulls of
75 - 125% of the tug's ballard
pull have been measured. See
with respect to these forces, the
forces shown in figure 9.8 for the
same speed range. Capabilities
of the escor t tug, of course, pl ay
an im p ort ant role. It is
furthermore important to not e
that with thi s method steering
forces can be delivered mu ch
faster than with the direct towing Figure9. 11 Aquamasterescort tug canupt - The Towlina with towing arch
method, wher eby the whole tug' s body has to be pulled approximate 90'. For the highest steering forces, angle
thr ough the water against the incoming water flow from (a) differs by tug type and is gener ally larger for ASDI
position 2 to position I (figure 9.5 ' Direc t Towing reverse-tractor tugs, which can clearly be seen in the
Method'). It has been experienced that this can take a TUGSIM performance graphs of eight knots speed in
long time, particularly in this five to seven knots speed section 4.3.2.
range. The same method is sometimes used in other
ports around the world by VS tugs during normal
harbour assistance.
with equal towline forces the ASD-tug will have a larger
list. Thi s is be cause of the higher vertical distance
between towing point T and centre of pressure COP
and the smaller vertical distance between towing point
T and propulsion point P to oppose heeling moment.
The relation x:y as shown in figure 9.10is about the
same for both tugs. However, it should be borne in mind
that the centre of press ure moves in the direction of the
towing point when the angle of inflow, the drift angle,
becomes smaller. The hori zontal and verti cal locations
of the centre of pressure at different angles of inflow
can only be determi ned by model tests and will depend
on the hull form and appendages, such as the skeg and
propulsion uni ts.
It can be concluded that the longitudinal and vertical
locations of the centre of pressure and towing point are
very important. For a VS tug the positions of the towing
point and centre of pressure are mo re or less determined
by the skeg. Good performance from an ASD/ reverse-
tractor tug can be achieved by a not too high and slightly
more aft lying towing point than shown in figure 9.10,
and by a hull form such that the centre of pr essure lies
as far forward as possible. This has, for instance, been
achieved in the Aquamaster escort tug concept Towliner
(see figure 9.11). Thi s is an ASD-tug with a bulb and
box keel. A towing arch is suggested for the lead of the
towline , being a similar system to that discussed in
section 4.2.3. Other ASD-tugs may have a bulb and
forward skeg, which also results in a more forward lying
centre of pressure.
Apart from the aspects already mentioned, form and
lateral are a of the tug' s underwater body are important
factors for generating the highest possible towline forces
in the indirect mode. For that reason specific high lift
skegs are developed for VS escort tugs. Many ASD
escort tugs are equipped with a long skeg underneath
the hull or with a box keel as with the Towliner conce pt,
while tug' s underwat er form is often subj ect of
continuous research.
Tug' s stability should be well considered if an ASD-
tug or reverse-tract or tug is to be equipped with a skeg
underneath the hull, because it does increase the towline
forces, and consequently the he eling for ces. It is,
furthermore, good to note that when a tug's lateral area
reduces, performance in applyiog steering and braking
forces reduces. Thi s will be the case when a tug's bunkers
are nearly empty. On the other hand, a minimum ballaSt
and fuel onboar d may improve a tug' s performance with
respect to some important aspects: The hazard of early
deck immersion reduces and the tug becomes more
The performance of VS tractor tugs is often
compared to that of ASD-tugs, though comparison is
difficult because the tugs differ in many respects. In
general, tractor tugs seem to be able to exert somewhat
higher steer ing forces in indirect mode than present
ASD escort tugs, while the ASD-tugs can apply
some what higher bra king forces, though this may
change by speed. Steering forces are very important for
escorting at higher speeds, though it depends on the
local situation as to what is chiefly needed. Fortner US
towing company Hvide Marine opted for a tractor tug
with azimuth propulsion, the Broward, because of the
high br aking forces that can be achieved.
So far attention has been paid to th ose aspects
important for a good performance, such as location of
ce ntre of pressur e, hei ght of towing poin t, tug' s
underwater form and lateral area. Thi s should, of course,
be seen in combination with an optimum stability, which
is addressed later.
The design aspects discusse d in this section are
specifically aimed to improve a tug' s performance in
the indirect towing mode. Some of these features have
a negative effect for the direct towing mode, such as
e.g. the large skeg underneath an ASD-tug. Such a skeg
increases a tug's underwater lateral resistance, making
it, for instance, even more difficult to apply steering
forces in a fast and effective way in the direct towing
mode. Ships' speeds during tug assistance and the most
important tug oper ati ng modes should th erefore be
taken into account with respect to the design aspects,
particularly those relating to tug' s underwater body.
Braking and steeringforces
Escort tugs have to deliver steering and/ or braki ng
forces in case of emergency. Steeri ng force s are
considered to be particularly import ant. That is true as
long as there is sufficient room ahead and bends to be
navigated are not too sharp. In that case a ship can be
steered and kept free from dangerous areas. However, "
it depends on a number of factors whether the steering
assistance of an escort tug will be sufficient to keep a
ship in safe waters. For example , enviro nmenta l
conditions may have such an influence that a ship starts
drifting into a dangerous dir ection as soon as speed
decreases due to an engine failure, regardless of the
steering assistance pr ovided.
Wh en an engine or steering failure happens while
the manoeuvring area or di stance ahead i s v ery
"restricted, braking power is required. The most effective
means to take way off, provi ded there is sufficient room,
is to initi ate a turn. This has the effect of slowing down
the tanker and reducing head reach.
Aft er an engine and/or rudder failu re has been
recognised and before assistance -is given by the escort
tug, the ship may already have built up a rat e of turn.
For large loaded tankers it is hard to stop such a turn
and bring the tanker back onto a safe course. In most
cases, if circumstances allow, it is better to assist the
In other cases higher steering forces may be required,
which can be the case when due to a techni cal failure
It depends entirely on the situation during a failure
what kind of assistance is required. But, as indicated,
escort tugs should be able to apply high steering forces.
These should meet a ship's rudder forc e with the
propeller turning whil e matching ship's speed. The
Norwegian Hesnes Neptun Group has worked out the
steering forces required for safe handling of a number of
differ ent sizes and types of ships, as shown in figure 9.12.
For navigating a not too sharp bend at 10knots speed,
which means for many tankers a telegraph setting of
half speed, or full maneuvering speed, a rudder angle
of 15 degrees, on which the values are based in figure
9.12, can normally be regarded more or less as a
maxirnun . The related rudder forcesli.e lift forces) at
thi s speed give an indication of the required steering
forces in case of a rudder failure.
It is important to keep in mind that the required
steering and stopping forces increase when underkeel
clearance decreases, as discussed in Chapter 6. It should
also be noted that after an engine or rudder failure,
beamy full-bodi ed ships have the tendency to develop
the fastest rat es of turn.
\'/hat maximum steeri ng and braking forces a local
escort tug should be able to apply should be based on a
study of failure scenarios representative of the ships and
areas con cerned, including the local situation and
Therefore, insight into ship's behaviour is important
with resp ect to escort requirements. The book 'Ship
Bridge Simulators. A project handbook' (seeReferences)
includes relevant information on ship manoeuvring
Figure 9.13 gives an indi cation of the rudder forces,
(i.e lift forces) of thr ee large tankers at different speeds ,
and rudder angles with the propeller turning while '
matching ship's speed. The rudder forces are based on
a study carried out for the Norwegian Sture Crude Oil
Terminal. It gives an indi cation of the required steering
forces to steer a tanker at different speeds in case of a
rudder failure and of the rudder forces to be overcome,
if necessary, in case the rudder is blocked at a certain
Rudder forces on a ship with the rudder bl ocked at
a certain rudder angle are reduced when the propeller
is stopped, and in case of a controllable pitch propell er,
when pitch is set for zero. It enlarges the possibilities
for an escort tug to steer the tanker. Det Norske Veritas
assumes the rudder lift forces without propeller turning
to be 0.53 times the forces with the propeller turning.
If circumstances allow the ship could also be stopped
by using its engine and with the assistance of the escort
on board the esco rted vesse l the rudder becomes
blocked at a certain rudder angle. Whether it should
then be possible to counteract rudder forces depends
again on the local situation. 40
40,000 dwt bulk carrier
70,000 dwt bulk carrier
150,000 dwt tanker
300,000 dwt VLCC
30,000 m) gas carrier
60,000m! gas carrier
Figure 9.12 Steenngforas required based on 15" rudder anglt
escorted tanker to turn, for instance, 180 degrees or 360
degrees, particularly at higher escort speeds. It should,
howev er, be noti ced that assisting tanker turns at
relatively high spee ds imposes high loads on the tug
(and tanker) and may be unsafe, as tug speed will
increase appreciably above tanker speed when on the
' outside' of th e turn. While turning, ship's speed
decr eases qui ckly; conse quently after a short period
delivering steering forces in the indirect mode, the tug
has to switch over to the direct mode (combination arrest
mode, see fig. 9.5) to stay effective.
il t .. "
i\.", anu er a.p.g ",.",
100.000 dwt 200,000 dwt 300,000 dwt
;.", pee "_', 10' 15' 25' 35' 10' 15' 25' 35' 10' 15' 25' 35'

6 knots 25 30- 45 30 30 50 60 50 40 55 80 60
8 knots 35 55 75 60 55 85 115 90 70 100 140 105
10knots 60 85 120 90 90 130 185 145 110 155 220 165
12 knots 85 120 175 135 130 190 260 205 160 230 320 245
Figure 9.13 Rudderforces in tonsfor differentloaded tankers, speeds and rudderangles.
Rudder f orces art largenat approximauly 25" rudder anglt. Roundfigures are used
Photo: FossMaritime, U.S.A
Figure 9.14 lUg Zindsey Foss' applying steeringforces inthe indirect mode
circumstances, as menti oned in paragraph 9.2. Practical
tests should be carr ied out to validate the results as far
as possible. The failure scenarios, taking int o account
active as well as passive escorting, may for instance
Steering a tanker on a straight course and through
bends in the fairway after a rudder failure andlor
engine failur e or steering as well as stopping the
tanker after such failures.
Steering andlor stopping a tanker with rudder
jammed at a certain rudder angle, or the same but
including an engine failure.
Differ ent escort speeds.
It can be expected that for the given failure scenarios,
a tether ed escort tug can react faster and consequently
needs to apply relatively lower steering forces than when
passive escorting is utilised. In that case there is a much
larger time delay before an escor t tug can be effective.
As mentioned alr eady, in the meantime the tanker may
have built up a rat e of turn, or have travelled in the
wrong direction and, to stop such a turn with a loaded
tanker and bring it back onto a safe course, the escort
tug should be abl e to generate very high steering forces,
particularl y in shallow waters. The requir ed forces may
eve n be t oo hi gh for any tug when the fairwa y
dimensions are very restricted. So, not only a tanker's
dimensions and displacement are important factors, but
also the local situation and conditions such as spee d,
underkeel clearance, environmental conditions, fairway
constraints, whe ther active or passive escorting is
applied and the type of failures that may happen. The
outcome of th e failure scenarios study sho uld b e
weighed in a sensible and practical way regarding tug
requirements, escort method and escort speed. For the
same tanker size, requirements for maximum achievable
stee ring and stopping forces of an escort tug may,
ther efore, differ between ports.
Seve ral full scale trials have
been carrie d out, including one
in 1991 near the Isle of Wight,
UK. A normal stern drive tug
of 53 tons ball ard pull escorting
a 130,000 dwt tanker showed
that it could steer th e tanker
over a range of 59 to 88 knots
using the indirect method and
below 59 knots using the dir ect
method. At a speed of 10 knots
the tanker could be stopped in
15 minutes over a distance of
one and a quarter miles, in
almos t a straight line.
The graphs in section 4.3.2
show achievable steering forces
at a speed of eight knots for a
normal ASD and VS tug. These
forces approximately equal the ball ard pull, while the
maximum achievable braking forces are already much
higher than the ball ard pull. When speed increases
further the steering forces increase considerably.
It should be noted that amongst other things the
negative effect of the ship's wake on the achievable
braking forces is not included in the graphs.
Several other full scale trial s have been carried out,
of which results depend on tug type, ship's size and draft,
escort speed, failure scenario and experience. Results
of one will be mentioned below. It conce rns a full scale
trial with the fully loaded 125,000 dwt tanker Arcafuneau
in April 1997. The large VS escort tug Lindsey Foss was
tet he red to the stern of the tanker (see figure 9. 14).
Parti culars ofthe escor t tug ar e given in figure 9.21.The
tanker had a spee d of eight knots. The wind was on the
port qu art er with a speed of 25 knots, while sea
conditions were nominal .
WIth the ship on a steady course, the rudder was
put hard-a-starboard. Thirty seconds later the failure
was 'recognized' and the engine stopped. After another
thirty seconds, thus a total time delay of one minute,
the tug was ordered to stop the turn by applying steering
forces in the indirect mode. At the time the ship was
back on the original course it was more than 500m off
track duri ng two similar tests! The results of one such
test are pr esented in figure 9.15. The results show the
imp ortance of a tethered escort tug and of a proper
recognition time, while tug the master's experience plays
a crucial role as well. Although the one minute time
delay can be considered as rather large (an alert and
well trained bridge team will recognise a failure and
take action much earlier), the results illustrate that even
with a large purpose built escort tug and a not too large
tanker, off track distances can be large and may increase
considerably at higher speeds. The results also show
why it is so important to have full scale tests.
...,....," '.
,,- .....-

n ..
r"\' .
- 'on
m. ..
,- ....
Courtesy: Floss Maritime, USA
Figure 9.75 PUiIs ofafUU scale trialwiththe loaded 125,()()() dwt tanker
'Arco]untau' andthspurpose huill trcort tug~ i n d s r y Foss' {distances in
/i et). Thetanker whilehaoing a speed ofeight knots hadasimulatedrudder
failure with therudder blotked at hard-a-starboard
The maximum braking and steering forces that can
be achi eved by a specific escort tug depends on the
escort speed and also on sea conditions, Performance
of tugs decrease in wave conditions, as will be the case
with escort tugs. In wave conditions at high escort speeds
it might not be possible to apply the maximum steering
and braking forces andlor the captain could, for reasons
of safety for his tug and crew, decide to apply lower
steering forces, or the ship's speed could be slowed down
in order to enable the escort tug to apply the steering
andlor braking forces required in case of a failure.
Maximum wave height for the largest purpose built
escort tugs seems to be around four metres. Not much
data based on practical experience is available. With
this wave height steering and braking assistance can still
be applied, provided the tug has a towing winch with a
load reducing system.
Furthermore, certain tug assist manoeuvres at high
speeds and in wave conditions may become risky, as
may b e the case wit h tr ansiti ng from one assist
manoeuvre to an other, for instance from braking to
the indi rect steering mode, if not carried out in acorrect
Good insight should therefore be obtained into to
what extent wave conditions affect an escort tug's
performance and what safe worki ng limits are at various
escort speeds and wave conditio ns. With respect to this,
the tug master's experience is again a crucial factor.
Required maximum speedfree sailing
Maximum escort speed usually lies between 10and
12 knots . However, safe escort speeds depend on factors
such as tug design and capability, weather, sea and swell
co nditions, configuration of channels, underkeel
clearance, the nature of the bottom and traffic.
As escort speed can be up to 12 knots, the maxi mum
free sailing speed of escort tugs should be higher. The
maximum free sailing speeds of present escort tugs is
about 14 knots, but varies between 125 and 15-16 knots.
Free sailing speed of an escort tug depends amongst
others on the maxi mum escort speed as determined for
a port or port approach. For a number of reasons escort
tugs should have a reasonable over-speed compared to
the maximum escort speed, due to the fact that the escort
tug should be able to overtake the escorted ship withi n
a limited time span. It should be able to overcome the
ship's propeller slipstream when approaching the ship's
stern to pass or connect the towline and the escort tug
should have sufficient reserve power to handl e safely
any interaction effects that might arise between tug and
ship, which can be very strong at high speeds, Finally,
in adverse sea conditions a tug's maximum spee d may
decrease faster than a large ship' s speed.
Stability has been addressed in section 4.2.3 and is
extremely important for escort tugs, Towline forces can
reach very high values, up to one and a half to two times :
the bollard pull at 10knots escort speed in indirect mode,
while escort speeds may even be higher. Waves and tug
manoeuvres can further increase towline forces, another
reason for keeping the towing point as low as possible
to reduce heeling moment. A method applied to reduce
heel angle is the construction of hull side sponsons,
which provide a substantial increasein reserve buoyancy
and result in larger righting moments.
Good static and dynamic stability, takinginto account
changing trim during escorting. is necessary to operate
safely at high escort speeds, It should alsobe remembered
that towline length and characteristics influence a tug's
heeling angle , Forces reac h higher values when low
stretch towlines are used, often the case with escort tugs.
The longer these towlines are the better the dynamic
forces can be absorbed. High stretch towlines, however,
may cause larger movements of the tug.
A minimum metacentric height of three metres is
generally recommended. It is advisable to avoid
excessive values of metacentric height. In adverse sea
conditions these might lead to acceleration forces that
could be prejudicial to the tug and its equipment. It
makes , furthermore, life and work on board almost
impossible and so affects safety of operations.
Classification society Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
gives dynamic stability requirements for escort tugs in
their rules for escort vessels, which are include d in the
The heel angle at which maximum steering and
braking forces are determined should be well considered.
It has to do with operational safety. Ifdeck immersion is
regarded as the limit, then only a small safety margin is
left, A golden rule used by an experienced escor t tug
training master is: 'Donot immerse the deck line.
A maximum heel angle based on righting energy
criteria, as is the case with the DNV escort tug rules,
includes a certain margin of safety for the dynamics
in operations. Further research is needed in orde r to
come to ge nerally accepte d, safe and workabl e
stability requirements and criteria for differ ent types
of escor t tugs.
Design developments ofescorl tugs
An escort tug must, obviously, be seaworthy and able
to perform escort duties by utilising her best capabilities.
ASD-tugs, free sailing or escorting in tethered mode run
bow first. This is the normal, fastest and, for the deck
crew, the safest operating direction particularly in high
wave conditions, at high speeds and when performing
in the indi rect towing mode. At high free running speeds
tractor tugs normally run bow first. However, when
escorting in tethered mode they run stem first, with the
lower afterdeck in the sailing direction. Maximum speed
when running stern first is lower. At higher speeds and
inwave conditions water comes over the after deckeasily.
The design of a number of VS escort tugs has changed,
therefore, as can be seen, e.g, with the Bessand Boss. At
the skeg end, the shee r and after bulwarks are made
higher and the hull form is more pointed. In addition,
the wheelhouse is turned 180, thus providing the captain
with an excellent view in the operating direction. The
of lift. Voith claims an 18% increase in steering force
compared to a conventional skeg.
Additional towingpointfor escort tractor tugs
. When astern of a vesse l underway with a towline
fastened, a tractor tug may sheer from one side to the
other, caused by the incoming water flow on the skeg
and the location of the towing point, centred above the
middle of the skeg. To bring the tug to a more stable
position, a number ofVS escort tugs ar e equipped with
a second towing point at the after end, which could also
be useful for azimuth tractor tugs (see also page 152 -
Operating reliability and fail safe). When running in
line and astern of a tanker the towline then pas ses
through a fairlead, a kind of hook or towing pins at the
after end of the tug, similar to the towing pins shown in
the photograph of th e after deck of tug Maasbank
(figure 7.7)_Wh en a failure happ ens aboard a tanker
and the tug has to provide steering assistance, it should
be able to take the towline out of this far aft lying towing
point, otherwi se achievable steering forces are lower.
This is indeed possible on a number of tugs, where the
hook or towing pins can be opened hydrauli cally in
order to use the original towing point above the middle
of the skeg again.
} . M. Voieh Gm1JH
Figure 9.76 VS escort tug'Bess' with tTUJdijied traaar tugdesign
(I.o.a. 362m, beam 722m, draughJ 52m, boUard pull 57 Ions)
same change in design is more or less the case with a
number of other VS escort tugs. There are continuous
developments in the design of escort tugs based on
experience , research and new insights, all concentrating
on improvement of the escort tug capabilities. Design
devel opments focus on aspects such as optimum skeg
and hull form, optimum location of towing point(s), and
in particul arfor ASD-tugs the height of the towing point.
Specifically for VS escort tugs, design attention for a
good performance when sailing skeg-first can be added.
Developments on skegs and skeg form concern both VS
escort tugs and ASD escort tugs. Modern VS-tugs have
high lift skegs, also called hydrofoil-shaped skegs. One
of the latest skeg developments for VS escor t tugs is the
Voith Turbo Fin (VTF). This VTF has a rotating tube at
the end of the skeg, which causes a considerable increase
0 0 00000
-- . --
Towing pins have been develo ped specifically
designed for escorting. These pins make it poss ible to
release the towing line when under tension, even wi th
the towline angled upwards, from the most aft lying
towing point.
In additi on to the use of the secondary towing point
for reasons mentioned above, tests with radio-controll ed
model s showed that in extreme conditions the use of
the sec ondary towing point adds to the safety of
ope rations . In waves th e aft deck is more easily
submerged when the main towing point is used. At high
speeds and in rough conditions, the use of the secondary
towing point makes it more difficult for the tug captain
to get int o trouble. It also seems to make the tug' s
motions less severe.
Deck equipment, towlines and lowline handling
Towing equipment of harbour tugs has been dealt
with in Chapter 7. Amongst others, towing winches,
towlines and towline handling have been discussed. The
foll owing applies more in parti cular to escort tugs,
alth ough much of the items discussed below are of
importance for harbour tugs as well, particularly when
involved in escorting and/or using towlines made of
HMPE fibres.
Requirementsfor towli nes and tug deck sequipment
The minimum breaking strength of a "towline of an
escort tug should be at least two and a half to three
times the maximum achievable braking and steering
force, which gives some allowance for e.g. peak loads
when taking into account pr esent OCIMF safety factors
of 20 - 2.2 for synthe tic lines.
Escort tug rul es of classifi cati on society DNV
requires the towing line to have a br eaking strength of
at least 22 times 'the maximum mean towing pull' as
measured during active escort tests, which is spe cified
in the rules. Th e rules require the towing winch to have
a load reducing system.
All towing equipment should have high operating
reliability and be designed for the highest towline loads
that can be expected. Towing winches on escort tugs
should have hi gh brake holding power, a fast line
deployment and retri eval capability and a high pull, in
particular if the tug is equipped 'With a towline tension
Because of the high towline loads it is recommended
that the towing winch has a load reducing system to
avoid excessive loads in the towline, which particularly
may occur in wave conditions.
The high pull of the towing winch enables the towline
to be paid out and recovered when the line is und er
high tension, whil e rapid line handling is essential to
allow immediate p ositioning of th e escort tu g,
particularly when in an emergency, an untethered escort
tug has to make fast to a ship .
Ship'Sdeck equipment requirements
Deck equipment construction on board the escort ed
vessel should be suitable for high towline loads and for
the type of towline used. This is a very important aspect,
because there have been several complaints regarding
the lack of suitable strong points and fairleads on board
ships to be escort ed, deck provisions not properly sized
and located and not strong enough to withstand the high
peak loads generated in the towline of the escorting tug.
A reduction in escort speed may be warranted if the
ship's fittings are not strong enough to withstand the
towline forces that would be imposed on them.
In the year 2002 OCIMF published
"Recommendations for Ships' Fittings for use with Tugs .
with Particular Refer ence to Escorting and Other High
Load Operations". This document provides a proper
guidance to the tanker industry regarding the provisions
of ships fittings for use with tugs. The guidance includes,
amongst others, the safe working load and dimensions
of fittings (including certification). Certain ports may
use the OCIMFrecommendations as a requirement for
ships to be escorted in their port.
Polar tankers, for example, have specially designed
stern fittings to accept the high towline loads of large
and powerful escort tugs, such as the Lindsay Foss. The
strong point and fairlead of the emergency towing
arrangements required by SOLAS could be used for
securing the escort tug' s towline, provided they are
suitable for this dual purpose and provided also that
such use does not in any way compromise the
deployment and use of the emergency towing

Photos: Foss Man'time. U.S.A

Figure 9.77 Speciallydesignedtanker stemfittings on theformer
ARGO tankers, nowPolar tankers
arrangements for their SOLAS purpose (see the above
mentioned OCIMF publication).
Towlineperformance and use
Many towing companies use towlines made of
HMPE Spectra or Dyneema fibres, with pennants of
the same mat erial and sometimes with nylon stretchers,
though steel wire towlines with a nylon stre tche r,
pol yester or polyester/polypropylene towlines are also
used for escorting. Towline lengths used for escorting
ar e generally 100to 150 metres, though smaller towline
lengths, e.g. 60 to 80 metr es, are also used at the tug
captain's discretion.
Modern HMPE fibre lines are light and easy to
handle, important factors not only because of reduced
cr ew numb ers on board ships, but b ecause an
emergency response may be needed when no power is
available on the deck of the ship and the crew may have
to lift the towline aboard manually. Another feature of
this type of towline is that it floats and does not easily
foul propellers.
Spectra or Dyneema fibre towlines have a very high
br eaking strength but their stretch is very low, which
should be taken into account. To minimi se abrasion,
towlines and/or towline pennant s should be protected
against chafing. Fairleads, for example, should be free
from rust, sharp edges and grooves. On escort tugs,
therefore, more and more stainless steel fairleads are used.
There is ongoing resear ch in the field of HMPE
fibres and ropes in ord er to increase performance.
Experience gained on board tugs is most important to
understand the factors that play a role in the functioning
and lifetime of towlines, experience that can be used
for further improvements. As already said, many escort
tugs use towlines made of Dyneema or Spectra fibres
(at the moment mostly Dyneema is used). Wear is largest
at that part of the towline that is taken on board the
ship. A pennant increases the main towline's lifetime.
(An active working tension control of the towing winch
may cause additional wear on the tug's part of the main
towline, from the winch through the tug' s fairlead. ] The
pennant, often made of the same mat erial as the main
towline and of the same and sometimes larger breaking
strength, is either cow-hitched or spliced eye-through-
eye to the main towline. This is the case when a single
pennant is used. Other syst ems are also used, for
instance a grommet as pennant, which makes it possible
to distribute the wear over the whole pennant. ( see also
paragraph 7.5.2 and 7.5.3).
Towlines made of HMPE fibres are high
performance ropes , perfect ropes for the high towline
forces that can be generated by escort tugs. Two aspects
require attention, viz. the low stretch and the strength
reduction of the towline during a certain period of use
or after a certain number of jobs. The latt er applies, of
course, to other types of towlines as well.
If short towlines of low stretch are used, it easily
results in high peak forces due to the low dynamic load
absorption of the towline. This effect is less for escort
tugs operating in port approaches. These tugs normally
use rather long towlines and often have towing winches
with a load reducing system. However when such a
system is not available, and when operating with short
towlines, as is the case in harbour areas, the low stretch
. may present a problem. A pennant with more stretch,
e.g. of nylon or polyester, or a stretcher, can then be
used, although this reduces ease of towline handling. In
all cases much depends on the tug captain's ability in
controlling his tug in such a way that peak loads in the
towline are as much as possible reduced.
Strength reduction in a towline will take place over
a certain period of time and/or after a number of jobs .
It is important to know the level of strength reduction
and the factors that playa role, taKing into account the
fact that much depends how towlines are treated on
board the tugs.
Samson Rope Technologies and DSM High
Performance Fibers (pro ducer of Dyneema HMPE
fibre) carried out a study with the objective to develop
retirement criteria to be used by a towing company to
gauge when a rope should be removed from service
(see References for the report 'Residual Str ength Testing
of Dyneema, Fibre Tuglines'). For that visual inspections
and br eak tests were performed on towlines used on
the escort tugs of Crowl ey Marine Services. The towlines
were 12-strand ropes made from Dyneema SK75 fibre.
Pennants on board the Crowley tugs are gener ally used
for one year and the main towlines for two years. After
one year the main towlines are reversed, 'end-for-end'.
The average number of jobs carried out with the main
towline was around 1200 and with the pennants around
six hundred.
What can be learn ed from thi s study, based on tests
with the one year used pennants and the two year used
main towlines, can be found in the conclusions of the
The ends of the towline , up to 65m from the end,
had on average a strength ret ention of 61% of the
original strength, which means a loss in strengt h of
almost 40%.
Strength retenti on of the midsection of the towli ne
was higher (81%), while the pennants had on average
a strength retention of 63%.
Abrasion, compression and line twi sts resulted in the
total strength reduction of up to 40%.
Abrasion and cutting damage account ed for a
strength loss of 5-10%
Compression from the drum accounted for a strength
loss of 12%.
Line twists of one to one and a half turns per foot
equated to a 15-20% strength reduction.
Shock loading seem s to have no effect on the residual
strength of the towline, if due diligence is exercised
in tug handling.
Important findings ar e that shock loading seems to
have no effect on the residual strength of the HMPE
towline, provided the tug is handled in a cont rolled
manner. The' study results show how imp ortant goo d
towline care is. Abrasion, cutting damage and line twists
should as far as possible be avoided and a twist in the
line, if possible, be removed before storing th e line on
the Winch.
The importance of a proper safety factor is also
shown by this study, seeing the rather large average
reduction in towline strength of almost 40%. Tests of
residual strength of other HMPE towlines and towing
companies show values of strength reduction of 50%
(and higher). DNV, for instance, requires the towing
line to have a breaking strength of at least 22 time s
"the maximum mean towing pull" as measured during
active escort tests. Assuming a strength reduction of 50%,
such a safety factor can be gradually degraded to 11,
which means there is hardly any safety margin left. One
should be well aware of this fact - a fact that doe s not
just apply to towlines made of HMPE fibre s, but to
towlines made of other synthetic fibr es as well.
With respect to this there is anot her aspect to be
taken into account, and that is what is regar ded as the
breaking strength of a towline. In the United States it is
the pr actice to use spliced ropes to develop br eaking
st rengths . Br eakin g streng ths are r eported
approximately 15%higher when no spliced samples are
used. The possibly lower strength of the connection
between the pennant and main towline, depending on
the type of connect ion, is also a factor to be taken into
account. In fact, the minimum breaking strength of the
total towline should be tak en into account for the
required breaking strength of a tug's towline.
Based on what has been discussed, the following
aspects are important for the condition of towlines on
board escort tugs, particularly those made of HMPE
fibres, and for safety of towing:
It is recommended to maintain a log of towline usage,
noting factors such as the number ofj obs performed,
the results of visual inspections and facts that may
have influenced the towline's service life.
A program of residual rope strength testing.
A program aimed to determine the effects that
influence the service life of a rope and to develop
retirement criteria for when a towline and pennant
should be removed from service.
A realistic minimum breaking strength of the towline.
The minimum breaking str ength of the towline
should clearly be defined, statingwhether the strength
refer s onl y to the rope of which the towline is made,
or also including the weaker parts such as splices and,
if relevant, the pennant-towline connection.
An appropriate towline's safety factor.
The requi red towline' s safety factor to be based on a
realistic minimum breaking strength of the towline,
taking into account the reduction in rope strength
during the lifetime of the rope.
Proper rope car e, which includes proper tug
Proper rope care has been discussed in paragraph
Finall y, further study is needed to get a better insight
int o the long term performance of towlines made of
synthetic fibre s in general , and specifically of escort
towlines made of HMPE fibres, how performance of
these lines can be improved and/or strength loss can
be minimized, which also should include minimum
safety factors to be applied, based on the specific towline
characteristics, towline use and strength decrease.
Connecting anddisconnecting towlines
As escort tugs may keep pace with a ship while not
secured, they must be able to secure quickly and
efficiently, in order to be able to deliver the required
steeri ng and braking forces within the shortest possible
tiroe. In such situations and for tethered escort of arriving
ships, making fast isgenerally done at a rather high ship's
speed. When making fast, the escort tug generally comes
close to a ship's stem to pass the towline. This is easier
for stern drive than for tractor tugs, since the latt er
experience the effect of the ship's propeller wash on
their skeg. Sea and swell conditions make it more
diffi cult to pass a towli ne safely or even make it
impossible. When a towline slips into the water, caused
by tug movements due to sea and swell or unprofessional
line handling on board the tug or attended ship, it may
foul the tug's propellers, making the tug usel ess.
When conditions are such that it becomes difficult
to pass a towline, a line-throwing gun can be used to
pass a heaving line and messenger line, which is possible,
for instance, at the approach towards the Sture and
Mongstad terminals at Norway' s west coast and at San
Francisco, USA.
Letting go an escort tug whilst underway can be
carried out at fairly high speeds but it should always be
done safely. When the towline is to be rele ased by a
ship's crew, they should he ordered to stand-by and
await the tug, whi ch steams up through the ship's wash
until almost touching the stem. Wh en the tug is in
position and signals the ship's crewto let go, the towline
should be lowered gently so that it does not fall into the
water and foul the tug's pr opeller. When approaching a
berth and the escort towline is being released, the ship's
crew should be instructed to handle the towline in a
similar way.
Different systems ar e used to reduce th e time
required for secur ing. Foss Maritime, for example, has
developed a special towline connection link for that
purpose (see fig 9.18). On board their tr actor tugs
escorting and assisting tankers in Puget Sound is a special
towline connection, the FossTransom Link. This enables
a free-sailing escort tug to establish a towline connection
in a minimum of time and with a minimum of
manpower when a tanker loses power or steerage. No
Phcto:Foss MarUimt, U.S.A
Figure 9.18 The Foss Transom Link
crew members of the tanker are required to secure the
escort tug and only one man is required on the tug deck.
In addition, this link allows the escort tug to 'make-up'
to the escorted vessel on demand while avoi ding the
hazar ds associated with tethered escorts.
The link must be seen in connection with a readi ly
available towline pennant on board the tanker being
escorted. Thi s should be of high tenacity fibre , such as
Spectra, hanging over the stern to which a messenge r
line is connected. Th e link is a large hook made of extra
strong, light weight, titanium alloy. A towline penn ant
is spliced onto the eye of the ho ok. The pennant and
the winch mounted towlin e are connected in such a way
that they are readily separated. The link is mounted in
a cradle at the tug's transom.
When assistance is required, the tug manoeuvres
stern first close to the tanker' s sterri. By pi cking up the
me ssenger line the ship's towing pennant is taken on
board the tug by just one man. The pennant' s eye is
insert ed into the jaw of the hook, which is equipped
with a spring loaded gate to hold the pennant in pl ace.
The tug then moves away from the tanker and the link
connecting the ship's pennant and tug' s towline is pulled
from the transom-mounted cradle as the tug pays out
the Spectr a towline.
Tankers calling at Prince William Sound, Alaska,
should also have a towing pennant made fast at the stem,
ready for use. This emergency hawser should be a nine
inch Spectr a line (or equivalent) at least 300 feet long.
Att ached to this Spect ra towing pennant, a suitable
floating messenger line should be connected and be
ready so that it can be depl oyed rapidly to the escorting
tug. This arr angement should allow the tug to approach
the tanker' s stem, take up the messenger, pull the towing
pennant free and secure without requiring any assistance
from the tanker crew. Simil ar systems may exist in other
esco rt areas, though whether such systems are utilised
or requir ed depends on how escorting is carri ed out.
Operating reliability andfail safe
Escor t tugs oft en operate as a Single unit over
relatively large distances, so operating reliabil ity must
be high. If for some reason or othe r a tug experiences a
loss of propulsion whil e giving steering assistance, its
towing point should be such that hydrodynamic forces
will turn the tug safely towards a safe position. Thi s was
addressed in Chapter 4 when discussing the towing point
of tractor tugs. The same applies to escort tugs of the
ASD/reverse-tract or type. In addition, model tests have
shown that for azimuth tractor tugs operating in the
transverse arr est mode at high speeds it is safer to use a
far aft towing point to avoid capsizing when one of the
propulsion units fails and no immediate action is taken
by the tug captain.
When one propulsion unit fails it should, with a well
designed tug, still be possibl e to give steering assistance.
Wheth er this will be possible in an eme rge ncy, starting
from a position behind a ship's stern , should be tested .
Communication and information exchange
Good radio communications between pilots and tug
captains are always necessary and a goo d information
exchange.When proceeding at speeds up to 10 to 12
knots with an escort tug secure d aft, and often not in
the pilot's fi eld of vision, a good and r eli able
communication system is indispensabl e. Ships may be
escorted over lar ge distances and may take several
hours. This should not affect a tug captain's alertness
but may do so. Regular radi o contact and information
exchange between pilot and tug captai n is require d,
therefore, regar dless of the fact that the information that
comes available to the tug captain via his instruments
is increasing.
Good communicatio n b etween pilots and tug
captains is of particul ar importance during failures, for
instance, when a disabled tanker should be navigated
round a bend in the fairway. The escort tug should then
steer the tanker through the bend, continuously taking
into account the required rate of turn, which includes
increasing, decr easing or stopping the applied steering
forces at the correct moment, checking the rate of turn
by applying steering forces at the other ship' s side, and
steering the tanker on a new steady course. Thi s requires
conti nuous information exchange between pil ot and
tug captain.
Good communication between pilots and tug masters
does also include clear tug commands, not op en for any
misinterpretation. Altho ugh a difficult item, uniformity
in basic escort tug commands between escort ports of
one country is needed, and preferably between escort
ports of differ ent countries . In the Vessel Escort &
Response Plan for Prince William Sound some standar d
tug commands are mentioned. With respect to thi s much
promotion work has been ca rr ied out by Captain
Schisler, pilot/instructor Long Beach, USA, with hi s
report "Proposed Standardized Tug Commands as they
apply to Assist and Escort Tugs" (see Refer ences).
Essential information regarding tug securing must
be exchanged between pilot, ship captain and tug master
pr ior to the start of the escort voyage as menti oned in
the section ' Escort planning' of this paragraph. If the
ship has cert ain limitations regarding manoeuvrability,
tug securing, mooring and anchoring equipment , the
ship captain should inform the pil ot, and the relevant
Active andpassive escorting.. Versatility ofescort tugs
Escorting may take place unt ethered or tethered. The
first is also called passive escorting and the second active
escorting. Whether escort tugs are engaged in passive or
active escorting depends on factors such as the constriction
of the fairway in relation to a ship' s dimensions and draft,
environmental conditions and the time needed for securing
- the same factors as whe n normal harbour tugs are used
for escorting. A decision on tethered or untether ed
escorting should be well judged.
In restric ted channels and fairways, onl y a tethered
escort provides the possibility of avoiding a grounding
or collision. When active escorting an d just following
the ship in line, the escort tug should not interfere with
pilot manoeuvr es.
Some port approaches are subdivided into areas for
passive and for act ive escorting. Although escort tugs
are built for the sea conditions prevail ing in the escort
area, the choi ce between active or passive escorti ng also
depends on the swell and sea condi tions. These may be
such that it is hardly possibl e to pass a towline safely or
to provide any useful ass istance in the case of an
emergency. Visibility can also be a limiting factor for
safe escorting. Some ports and terminals give a visibility
of I mil e as the lower limit for escorting but it also
depends on ship size and constrictions in the fairway.
Some oil ports wher e escorting is applied have the
same tankers calling at the port regul arly, well equipped
for escorting and famili ar with the escort procedures.
Other oil ports and terminals may be visited by all kinds
of tankers, tankers with a captain and crew with no
ex pe rie nce in escorting and without any speci al
equipment for fast and reliable towlin e securing. In
addition, the escort tugs may not have the light modern
fibre towlines. Extra manpower on board the escorted
vessel is then required for towlin e handling, which often
pr esents a problem due to the reduced manning.
In all these cases it is much safer to fasten the tugs as
soon as possible, in order to be ready immediately when
assistance is requir ed,
When escorting in passive mode, tugs should keep
pace with a ship at close distance, positioned abeam,
slightly forward or aft of the escorted tanker. A good
position can be ab out four points on th e bow and
approximately two cables off. In this position tugs
provide an addit ional lookout, for small craft for
instance. When required, the tug can be secured more
quickly to the escorted tanker than if it had to overt ake
from a position astern. However, the best tug position
during passive escorting is best ar ranged locall y.
Pro vided that an escort t ug can be made fast
immediately at a ship's stern if required in the event of
a failure on board an escorted vessel, the passive mode
enhances t he oppor tunity to provi de ot her useful
assistance, such as pushi ng at the fore or aft shoulder or
picking up or passing a towline at the bow. This may be
required to keep a shi p free from a dangerous area when
it loses spe ed after an engi ne failure and starts drifting
due to currents or wind. Escort tugs shoul d be designed
and equipped, the refor e, in such a way that they can
safely and efficiently provide assistance in different ways,
whi ch also places great demands on fendering and on
static ballard pull.
ASDtugs have the advantage that they can also
effectively tow on a line at rather higher spee ds when
using their after towing winch.
Photo: TrITt Oftnws. U.s.A
Figure9. 79 Twoescort tugsof towingcompany Foss Maritime keepingpace with ashi p
A tethered tug is limited in its operations. It is not
without reason, therefore, that the USA federal rules
on escorting tankers in Puget Sound and Prince William
Sound require at least two tugs so as to improve the
possibility of rendering useful assistance in case of an
emergency This even when purpose built escort tugs
are used. The same kind of rule can be found in the
port of Sullom Voe, UK. If an escort tug is used as the
primary tug, the second tug could be a normal
conventional harbour tug.
Escort tugs, except for the very large ones, are also
used for berthing/unberthing operations. When used
for berthinglunberthing they sometimes have a specific
towline for escorting (Spectra/Dyneema) and another
for berthing operations.
Escort planning
Escorting should be well planned in consultation
with the pilot and tug captain(s) and, if possible, with
the ship's master. Escort plans should include the
Dimensions, draft and manoeuvring particulars of the
Destination, transit route, passage times, planned
escort speeds, emergency anchorages.
Shipping traffic and hazards.
Environmental conditions likely to be encountered.
Size, type and bollard pull of escort(ing) tug(s) and
method of escorting; when there is no tethered escort,
the required position of tugs relative to the vessel.
The maximum towline forces the escort tug is
capable to generate at the escort speeds.
The SWL (safeworking load) of the fairlead, bollard
and/or strong point on board the ship to be used for
The escort tug rendezvous position.
Communication equipment and channels.
Requirements regarding towing equipment and
towline handling.
The ship's master should be informed in good time
about the escort plan. In compulsory escort areas of the
USA a pre-escort conference is mandatory, covering
subjects as mentioned above. A standard pre-escort
checklist, adjusted to a specific situation, is an effective
tool for that purpose.
Escort tug standardisation
After years of research, development and practical
experience some standardisation of indicating escort tug
performance would be useful. An optional class notation
for the independent rating of escort tugs was launched
inJanuary 1996by the ClassificationSociety, Det Norske
Veritas (DNV). The class notation expresses tug
performance in terms of the maximum continuous
steering force the tug is capable of providing to a vessel
proceeding ata given forward speed. The DNV class
notation and requirements, which apply to hull design,
Photo:}. M. Voith, GmbH
Figure 9.20 Large VSescort tug'Garth Foss'
(l.o.a. 472m, beam 14Om, draught 61m, bollardpuU80 tons)
towing winch, towline strength, fail safe and full scale
testing, are mentioned in Appendix 3.
At present the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
is the only other classification society having a specific
class notation for escort tugs.
In the USA The Glosten Associates, Inc. cooperated
with a number of industry representatives in developing
an American Society for Testing and Materials(ASTM)
standard for escort tugs, the Standard Guide for Escort
Vessel Evaluation and Selection (first edition published
November 1998; see References). The purpose of this
standard is to facilitate a common understanding and
approach to the evaluation and selection of escort tug(s)
to match a ship's manoeuvring and stopping
requirements within the navigational constraints of a
particular fairway. Much of the proposed standard is a
description of acceptable methods for computer
simulation which can be used for escort evaluation and
tug selection.
The useful guide describes in detail the whole process
how to come up with a ship or waterway specific escort
plan. All factors of influence are addressed, fairway
specific as well as ship and tug related aspects. Presented
are methodologies to determine escort tug capability
for a certain fairway and/or ship(s), by full scale trials
and computer simulations, as well as methodologies for
escort tug selection.
9.5.2 Escort tugs in use
The table in figure 9.21 gives a selection of tugs in
use for escorting. Although it does not include alI such
tugs and all escort areas, it gives a good idea of the types
of tugs, dimensions and power, and the escort areas
where they are used.
The types of tugs are ASD/reverse-tractor tugs as
well as VS tugs and the bollard pull ranges between
approximately 40 and 140 tons.

Name Type Escort area (1) BHP and BP (2) Dimensions (3) Owner Year built
Nanuq, Tan'erliq VS Prince WilliamSound, 10,192 / 95 t 466 x 14.6 x 66 Crowley Marine Services, USA 1999
Al ert, Aware, Alaska
Attentive (PRTs) ASD 10,192 / 136 t 427 x 12.8 x 49 Crowley Marine Services, USA 2000
Protector class tugs VS 5,400 /55 t 366 x 12.6 x 5.2 Crowley MarineServices, USA 1997
Loop Responder VS LOOP (Louisiana 7,300 / 75 t 473 x 15.7 x 52 Edison Ch oucst Offshore Inc., 1992
Offshore Oil Por t), USA USA
Lindsey Foss; GarthFoss VS StraitofJuande Fuca / 8,000 /80 t 472 x 140 x 6 1 Foss Maritime Company, USA 1993, 1994
Protector cl ass tug(s) VS PugetSound 5,400 / 55 E 366 x 126 x 52 Crowley Marine Services, USA 1997
Response VS 7,200 /68 t 395 x 140 Crowley Marine Services, USA 2002
Hawk, Eagle It ASD Tampa, Florid a, USA 6,700/ 77 t 335 x 122 x 50 Seabulk Towing, USA 1995, 1996
Broward Z-drive tractor Port Everglades, USA 4,300 / 53 t 305 x 122 x 58 Seabulk Towing, USA 1995
Harbor class tugs VS Los Angeles / 4,800 /49 t 322 x 110 x 46 Crowley Marine Services, USA 1998
Marshall Foss ASD Long Beach, USA 6,250 / 76-68 t 299 x 122 x 51 Foss Maritime, USA 2002
Millennium Dawn ASD 4,400 / 59 t 329 x 112 x 4.9 Harley Marine Services, USA 2001
Lynn Marie Rev. tractor San Francisco, USA 6,400 /76- 71 t 299 x 122 x 50 AmNav, USA 2001
Delta Linda ASD 4,400 / 61 t 329 x 112 x 46 Baydelta Maritime, USA 1998
Andrew Foss VS 4,000 / 50 t 326 x 116 x 44 Foss Maritime, USA 1982
Atlantic Will ow Rev. tractor Port Hawk esbury, 4,004 / 50 t 308 x 111 x 48 Atlantic Towing, 1997
Atlantic Larch Rev. tractor Nova Scotia, Canada 4,004 / 50 t 308 x 111 x 4-8 St.John, Canada 2000
Atlantic Oak ASD 5,000 / 62-60 t 308 x 111 x 48 2002
Placentia Hope, Placentia Pride VS Placentia Bay, Newfoundland 5,600 / 55-50 t 380 x 130 x 60 Newfoundland Transhipment, Canada 1997
Ajax VS Sture, Norway 10,400 /93 t 416 x 159 x 68 0stesj0 Rederi AlS, Norway 2000
Bess VS Statoil Mongstad, Norway 5,400 /57 t 363 x 123 x 52 Bukser og Bergtng, No rway 1994/95
Bob VS 5,168/ 52 t 352 x 124 x 53 1997
Boxer VS 6,800 / 65 t 389 x 137 x 55 1998
Cramond, Dalmeny ASD BP HOWld Point Terminal, 4,800 / 60-55 t 344 x 105 x 46 BP Exploration, UK 1994
Hopetoun ASD Grangernouth, Scotland, UK 9,600 / 125- 110 t 435 x 135 x 60 1996
Silex, Thr ax ASD Fawley Esse, UK 5,000 / 60-57 t 35 1 x 108 x 50 Solent Towage Ltd. , U K 1994
Redbridge VS BP Terminal , 4,100 /43 t 330 x 112 x 48 Adstearn Towage, UK 1995
Lyndhurst VS Southampton, UK 4,000 /43 t 300 x 11 0 x 53 1996
Tystie, Dunter VS Sullom Voe, Shetlands, UK 5,400 / 55-51 t 376 x 134 x 57 Shetland Towage Ltd., UK 1996
Anglegarth, Millgart ASD Milford Haven, UK 5,100/66-60 t 327 x 118 x 5 1 Wijsmuller Marine, UK 1996/97
Sertosa Veintisicte VS La Coruii a, Spain 3,800 /42 t 295 x 110 x 50 Sertosa, Spain 1993
Ukko, Ahti ASD Refineri es, south coast Finland 6,700 / 70 t 335 x 128 Fortum Oil & Cas Oy, Finland 2002
Figure 9.21 A selection. oJescorti-ing) tugs at different ports. Situation 2002
(7) Not all escort ports are mentioned
whileinsome a/theports mentioned more tugs operatethan indicated
(2) Whentwofigures are given for thebollard thesecondfigure gives ballardpull on astern (3) Length, beamand draught inmetres

r- - ..
, ,
, ,
, ,
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CrJurUJy: 0sttnrj. A/S. Norwrry
Figure 9.22 VSescort tug:4jax' .
Lo.a. 416m, beam 15'9m, opeTational draft 68m, engine power 10,400 hhp, hollardpuU93 tons, steeringforce at 10knots ISS tons, hrakingfora
at 10knots 180 rons,free sailingspeed IS knots, towingwindt 200 tons puU, 300 tonsbrake
It is not easy to give a sharp definition of an escort
tug, seeing all th e different tugs used for escor t
operations. Basically an escor t tug is a tug specifically
built for escorting of ships, in particular tankers, at
relatively high speeds. However, harbour tugs, often
with enh anced escort capabilities, are also often used
for escorting, in addition to their normal harbour
operation duti es. Both types are therefore shown in the
list, and it is for that reason that the term escort(-ing)
tugs is us ed for the li st. It depends tot all y on the
requirements of a port what kind of tug is used for
9.5.3 Training and pilotage
Escorting has been introduced to reduce the risk of
pollution ar ising from failures on hoard a tanker.
Expensive escort tugs are deployed as a safeguard,
sometimes over large distances. The full advantages of
escort tugs can only be achieved DY proper training of
all persons directly involved. With escorti ng speeds up
to 12 knots the human element becomes extremely
importan t. Thi s means that training sho ul d be an
essential part of learning and building up escort
experience. Training should naturally include practical
on the job training for tug captains and crew, but also
some theoretical traini ng. This should include training
of tug captains and crew, pilots and possib ly also ship's
masters, in:
Escort procedures and communications.
Escort speeds.
Ship 's possible behaviour after a failur e.
Capabilities and limitations of escort tugs, vario us
assist manoeuvres, including the most effective way
of applying steering and braking forces in case of an
engine or rudder failure on board the escorted vessel.
Towing equipment and towline handling.
Such traini ng can be given based on videos of
escorting. Desktop computer simulation of emergency
situations (see section 8.3.3) can be a significant tool for
escort education and eme rgency preparedness. A large
number of failur e scenarios can be simulated under
various circumstances and environmental conditions
and the effect of tug interventions can be compared.
The utmost importance of a quick response to a failure
ca n also be shown. For getting insight into the
capabilities of a certain escort tug, a program can be
used as shown in figur e 8.2.
For escort tr ai ning of pilots, tug cap tains and
shipmas ters, use can also be made of a full mission
simulator, provided such a simulator can be made
suitable for training with escort tugs. With a simulated
escort tug and assisted shi p, procedures and failure
scenarios for the most critical locati ons under different
environmental conditions can be exercised. Different
assist manoeuvres can be trained for, as well as changing
from one assist mode to another, for instance, from
braking mode to the indirect steering mode, or steering
a ship having a rud der failure through a bend in a
controlled manner.
Pilots are one of the essential links in escorting.
For ports accommodating ot her shipping, or with a
large number of pil ot s, it is recommended that a
limited number of pilo ts ar e selected and used for
escort jobs, a so-called choice pilot system. Training
can then be intensified and the system increases the
experience of these pilots in a quicker way. In very
sensitive areas or for large tankers a second pilot might
even be required.
The other essential human link is the tug captain
and his crew. In case of a failure much depends on how
fast a tug captain can react and bring his tug in the
correct position to apply the steering and!or br aking
forces required. A high level of experience in handling
his tug is of utmost importance, particularly regarding
all the possible tug mal)oeuvres that might be required
to control a disabled vessel in the most effective way.
The higher the escort speed and the more adverse the
conditions, the more important becomes a tug captain's
ex perience.
It may never happen that a pil ot and escor t tug
captain has to come into action due to a failure on board
an escort ed vessel. Nevertheless experience should be
maintained at a high level. Regular training and
instruction is a necessity, the refore, making use of
experiences already gained. The best way such training
and instruction can be performed is:
A regular refresher course on a full mi ssion simulator
for pilots and tug captains, together with, if possible,
ship masters.
Real life exerci ses with a tanker and escort tug. This
could, for instanc e, be done withan incoming tanker
if time and circumstances allow, and the ship maste r
How important training is can best be illustrated by
the following conclusions made by classification society
DNV. Since 1990 DNV has att ended several full scale
tests and also is sued escort rating ce rtificates on a
number of occasions .
DNV found that the most important observationduring
the full scale escort tests was that 'practice makes pofec:' ;
and that this could not be emphasised enough. Tugs
undertaking escort operations as witnessed should be
purpose built and the crews need to have ample training;
. ~ - J.,
Figure 9.23 PowerfUl ASD escort lug 'Hawk'
(1.0.0. 33-5m, beam 122m, ballardpull 75Ions)
The importance of a well-designed purpose built
escort tug in combination with a high level of experience
has furthermore been proven by risk assessment
analyses carried out by DNV for several oil terminals.
Th ese studies show that a purpose built escor t tug with
ap pr opr ia te manning r educes th e risk picture
significantly, while an escort tug not properly equippe d
or manned incr eases the risk dramatically.
Note: When normal harbour tugs are used for
escorting, instead of speci fic escort tugs, the same type
of training can be utilised. In addition to the pr eviously
menti oned training subjects, the most appropriate tug
pl acement can be exercised, if nee ded, and the effect of
ship's speed on tug efforts after a failure ca n be
9.5.4 Summary of escort tug re quirements
Optimal manoeuvrability and high free sailing speed.
High working reliability.
Good sea keeping conditions, free sailing as well as
in the escort operating direction.
Sufficientl y high freeboard.
Good static and dynamic stability.
A safe working deck for handling of towlines in rough
sea conditions and at high speeds.
Ability to apply high steering and/or braking forces
over the whole escort speed range and capable of
assisting in different ways.
A safe and effective location of the towing point with
respect to heeling angle, achievable towline forces
and tug engine failure.
Deck equipment construction should be suitable for
escort ope ra tions and be such that it can easily
withstand the high towline forces. Towlines should
have a high safety factor and preferably be made of
light and stro ng synthetic fibres with a positive
buoyancy to enable safe, fast and easy handling. In
case the ship requiring assistance has no power
available at the mooring stations fore and aft, it should
be possible that the towlines can be passed manually.
Good fendering, preferably all round.
Good all round visibility from the wheelhouse and
of the towing winch.
A htghly reliabl e radio communication system.
Openi ngs in supers tructures , deckhou ses and
exposed machinery casings situated on the weather
deck, which provide access to spaces below that deck,
should be fitted with waterti ght doors. These doors
should be kept closed during escort operations.
Firefighting and pollution control tasks include
additional specifi c requirements.
9.6 Escort tug regulations
A selection of various escort regulations in force in
the USA, Canada and Europe ar e summarised here,
starting with those in the United Stat es of Ameri ca,
where federal, state and local regulations are in force in
a number of compulsory escort areas . Federal regulations
override state and local regulations. In these regulations
the term ' escort vessels' is often used, which can be normal
harbour tugs used for escorting or specifically designed
escort tugs.
The rules and regulati ons described here reflect the
2002 situation and are subjec t to change due to new
developments and insights. The Oil Polluti on Act of
1990 (OPA 90) rule about escort vessels has the
legislative intent of enhancing tanker navigation safety.
Under Title IV (prevention and removal) of OPA 90,
single hull tankers of 5, 000 gross tons or over
transporting oil in bulk in defined ar eas of Prince
William Sound (State of Al aska) and Puget Sound (State
of Washington) must be escorte d by at least two escort
vessels with specific performance capabilities. Double
hull tankers are not required to have tug escorts in
these waters.
The Prince William Sound and Puget Sound Federal
Tanker Escort Regulations (Code of Federal Regulations
; 33 CFR 168, mandated by OPA and eff ective 17
November 1994) require certain performance and
operational capabilities . Escort vessels must be
positioned near the tanker such that timely response to
a propulsionor steering failure can be effected. Tankers
should not exceed a speed beyond which the escort
vessels can reasonably be expected safely to bring the
tanker under control within the navigational limits of
the fairway. The escort vessels, acting Singly or jointly
in any combination as needed (bat not less than two
escort vessels), and considering the appli ed force vectors
on the tanker's hull, must me et minimum requirements
to tow, stop, hold and tum a disabled tanker:
Tow a tanker at four knots in calm conditions, and
hold it in a st eady position against a 45 knot
Stop a tanker within the same distance that it could
crash-stop itself from a speed of six knots using its
own propulsion (temporarily suspended).
Hold a tanker on a steady course against a 35
rudder at a speed of six knots.
Tum a tanker through 90
, assuming a free-swinging
rudder and a speed of six knots, within the same
distance (advance and transfer) that it could turn itself
with a hard -over rudder.
Alaska State Law requires all loaded taukers, single
or double hull, to be escorted by escort tugs. There is,
furthermore, a requirement for oil spill response
equipment along the tanker route through the Prince
William Sound. This equipme nt is provided by, amongst
others, the following escort tugs, the 10,192 hp VS tugs
Nanuq, Tan'erligand the 10.192 hp ASD-tugs Alert, Aware
and Attentive, being fitted with skimming and onboard
storage capabilities for an initial oil spill recovery.
Summarised, the following are required by the U.S.
Coas t Guard Captain of the Port for all tankers passing
through Prince William Sound (PWS) regarding escorting
as mentioned in the Vessel Escort & Respon se Plan
(VERP) and based on the use of available tugs ranging in
size from approximately 6,000 - 10,000 hp as mentioned
in the Charter Escort Vessel Fleet list in the VERP:
A minimum of two escort vessel s for all loaded
tankers from the terminal to sea and vice versa.
The primary escort vessel is one of the 10,192 hp VS
or ASD-tugs mentioned above. The second escort
vessel may be any other tug of the Charter Escort
Vessel Fleet. Small er tugs, the 5,500 hp VS-tug
Protectoror Guard, can be the primary tug for tankers
in the 90,000 dwt class or smaller. If that is the case,
then an Escorting Response Vessel (ERV) will be
assigned, ERVs are, as the escort vessels mentioned
above, fitted with skimming and onboard storage
capabilities practicable for the initial oil recovery
planned for a cleanup operation as identified by the
oil spill removal organisation.
An ERV will be either part of the escort convoy, or
pre-positioned on sentinel duty during transit.
The loaded tanker shall not exceed a speed beyond
which the escort vessels can reasonably be expected
to safely bring the tanker under control.
Th e maximum allowable speed through the water
for loaded tankers is be tween six knots (Valde z
Narrows) and 12 knots, depending on the area.
When wind in the Valdez Narrows exceeds 40 knots,
transit is prohibited for all tanker traffic.
Outbound loaded tankers will not be allowed to
transit Hinchinbrook Entrance when winds exceed
45 knots or seas exceed 15 feet.
Two escort vessels shall maintain close escort within
025 nautical miles of a loaded tanker.
In Central Prince Willi am Sound, however, the
primary escort vessel shall maintain close escort ,
while the second escort vessel may be any vessel of
the Charter Escort Vessel Fleet stationed at an
appropriate location underway (so-called sentinel
All loaded tankers shall have the primary escort vessel
tethe red in the Valdez Narrows and part of the Valdez
Arm. The second escort vessel shall then move into
a position close astern of the tethered escort vessel.
Maximum allowable speed through the water in
Valdez Narrows for tankers in ballast is 12 knots; there
is no speed limit elsewher e in Prince William Sound.
Tankers in ballast are escorted by Senti nel vessels
(see above).
Different regulations and procedures apply. to ice
conditions .
In the VERP, furthermore, much emphasis is placed
on the need to respond immediately to failur es, on the
prope r an d safe use of a teth er ed escort tug, th e
emergency towing equipment, and on exercises. The
VERP meets the earlier mentioned federal requirement s
(Code of Federal Regulations 33 CFR Part 168).
The State of Washington regulations on escorting
(\ Vashington Tanker Law, September 1975) do not
requir e two tugs. The state escort rules require esco rt
tug(s) to have an installed power equal to 5% of the
deadweight of the escorted tanker, so a 100,000 dwt
tanker would requir e a 5,000 hp tug as escort (if one tug
was used). Moreover, according to state rules, escorting
is compulsory for loaded oil tankers and gas tankers of
more than 40,000 dwt, except for tankers which meet
ce rtain requirements, such as twin screws and doubl e
bottoms. Since federal rules are in force in Puget Sound,
tankers of 5,000 gross tons or over have to be escorted
by two tugs.
How to comply with State and Federal statutory
provisions and performance obligations is worked out
in the Puget Sound Tanker Escort Plan. The escort plan
is to be speci fic to tankers, waterways and weat her
conditions and suggests a team approach between tanker
master, pilot and tug captain. The tanker Specific Escort
Plan is the final correlation of waterway and weather
data wit h critic al tanker dat a for th e purpose of
evaluation and selecting escort tugs and the coor dination
and execution of a successful transit.
The esco rt tugs are selec ted fro m a fleet of
conventional tugs and VS tr actor tugs, ranging in size
from 3000 to 8000 hp . The 8000 hp tugs are the large
VS escort tugs Li ndsay Foss and Garth Foss. As an
indication of escort practice_the "ARCO Escort Plan -
Quick Reference Guide", is used. The following is a
The size of the primary tug depends on tanker size:
The 8000 hp tug for tankers of9 0,000 dwt and more
and the 4000 hp VS tractor tug for smaller tankers.
Escort speed depends on the zone.
Whether tethered or untethered depends on zone
and escort speed.
The unt ethered escort position for the primary tug is
bow first within half a ship's length off, in line with
the bridge.
The State of California' s OPA 90 legislative parallel,
the Lempert-Keene-Seast rand Bill (SB2040) was passed
in May 1993. Escort guidelines are developed by the
Harb or Safet y Committees of the po rts and after
approval mand ated by the Stat e. The regulations in
general are the same for all ports, but each port has
specific rules that may differ. As an example the escort
regulations for the San Franci sco Bay region will be
add ressed briefly. For the San Francisco Bay region the
Office of Spill Prevention and Response of the California
State Department of Fish and Game published in
October 1993 interim escort regulations which took
effect II J anuary 1994. These wer e amend ed in July
2001.The revised escort regulations became effective 4
October 2001. .
These state regulations require both single and
double hull tankers and barges carrying over 5,000 tons
of oil in bulk when underway in defined areas of San
Francisco, San Pablo and Suison Bays to be escorted.
The regulations do not apply to double hull tankers
when equipped wit h full y re dundant steering and
propul sion systems, which shall include at least the
following: (I) two independent propulsion systems, each
with a dedicated propeller; and (2) two independent
rudders with separate steering syst ems ; and (3)
propulsion and steering components in separate spaces;
and (4) a bow thruster with an assigned power source.
Regulations are give n for escor t plans and a pre-
escort conference. The escort plan can be based on a
checklist an d should include matters such as the
intended route(s) and speed(s), a communication plan,
the escort tugs to be used, the respon se actions most
likely to be implemented in case of an emergency, the
characteristics of the tanker with respect to the locations
and strength of bitts and chocks to be used by escort
tugs, pushing surfaces on the hull , any pe rtinent
performance characteristics of steering and propulsion
system(s) and related limitations.
Requirements for escort tugs apply to aspects such
as registration, number of crew members, working
hours, training, braking force verification, stability and
equipment. The latt er should include a line throwi ng
gun, winches, towline (with a breaking strength of two
and a half times the cer tified braking force of the escort
tug), a qui ck release device and appropriate fendering.
Tanke rs should have chocks and bitts that are of
sufficient size, strength and number for the escort tugs.
Whil e engaged in escort activity escort tugs should
maintain a station keeping distan ce of no more than
1000 feet ahead or aside, or 500 feet astern of the tanker.
Depending on the zone tanker spee d should not be in
excess of eight or 10knots, however, the speed or speeds
selected for transit must permit stationing the escort
tug(s) to allowthem effectively to influence the tanker's
movement in event of a casualty.
In contrast to the federal regulations , a single escort tug
may be used for compliance with the California State
Regulations so long as the boll ard pull (bollard pull -
ahead or astern - for tractor tugs and bollard pull astern
for conventional tugs) meet the criteria as given by the
tanker-escort tug(s) matching crit eria. The maximum
number of escort tugs to be used is three.
The required braking force depends on ship' s
displacement, the assisting current velocity and the zone.
Required forces are given in a Default Matrix Option
for Matching Tugs to Tankers.

Sleering force
1 2
Figure 9.24 Cantheescort tugprevent agrounding?
Situation 1: A halfloaded tanker experimas an engine andrudder failure. To avoid too much drifting, the escort tugsteers the ,hip toport. Tanker
speed will drop due toengine failure andsome bralringfirce of the tug. Consequently, the ,hip will driftfaster andthe driftangle hastobe fUrther
increased. 7'4eremit is constantly twofirces tostarboard - 'teeringforet andwindfirce. The ,hip will most probably drift onto the shoals unless a
tugforward issecured intime
Situation 2:].,t beftre the loaded tanker has totake a bend, anengineI rudder failure occurs. The escort tugtries tosteer the ,hip through the bend.
However, inaddition tothe steeringforce, the current is also pushing theship topartandcounteracts the tum. Due tothe decreasing ship's speed) the
,teering andcurrent fora, both toport, the tanker will most probably drift onto the shoals. When the underlceel clearance issmall; the ,hip will tum
witheven more diJficulty andthe influerue ofthe current will be much larger, resulting in a higher riskofgrounding in the case ofafailure
Escorting is utilised in some othe r USA areas, for
example at the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP).
In Canada loaded oil tankers while transiting to and
from terminals in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, are
required to be escorted by an escort tug. The Tanker
Escort Plan, as prepar ed by Canship Ugland Limited,
contains guidelines and procedures for pilots, tanker
masters and tugcaptains.
Three escort mod es are menti oned in the plan:
active mode (tethered), close passive escort (the VS
escort tug has then to follow the tanker stem first and
close to the tanker's stern and in view of the tanker's
bridge team) an d passive escort (esco rt tug to be
positioned abeam and forward of the tanker's bridge
approximately 025 nautical miles from the tanker and
in view of the bridge team).
De pending on the escort area, the passive, close
passive or active escort mod e has to be utili sed .
Maximum escort speed for the active escort mode is
eight knots , except for tankers of 160,000 dwt or less,
when outbound, for which the maximum speed is 10
knots. A pre-escort conference between tanker master,
pilot and tug captain is mandatory. Conference subjects
are mentioned in the plan.
In Europe, escort regulati ons are mainly local
terminal regulations, agreed between port authority,
pil ots and tug owners, except for Norway where
escorting of tankers is mandated by the governme nt.
Ther e are not yet any regulations regarding the required
bollard pull or horse power of tugs. This is more or less
based on research. In most ports, but not all, escorting
is usually carried out by one purpose buil t tug.
A selection of European escort tug regulations:
Hydro, Sture Cru de Oil Terminal, Norway: Escort
tugs compulsory for arriving and departing oil tankers
exceeding 20,000 GRT.
Statoil Terminal, Mongstad, Norway: escorting
compulsory for LPG carr iers over 5000 m' as well.
Esso Terminal, Fawley, Southampton, UK: Escorting
of inbound and outbound oil tankers above 60,000
BP Terminal, Southampton, UK: all ships exporting
crude oil. Visibility should be not less than one mile.
Port of Sullom Voe, UK. The following regulations
are in force for the main tanker route:
All inbound crude oil and gas tankers shal l be
attended by two tugs-and when outbound by at
least two tugs.
One escort tug shall be secured to the ship's stem
ready to apply indirect towing techniques. In escort
locations with seve re swell conditions, the escort
tug shal l be in close attendance, ready to pass the
line at any time should an emergency occur. The
second tug shall be at such a position that it is able
to respond in timely fashion when required.
Maximum speed in the escort zone for departi ng
loaded tankers is eight knots.
A marked difference between US federal rul es for
escorting and other escort rules in force is that the US
federal rules apply to single hull tankers only, while
oth er escort rules, probably all, apply to single as well
as double hull tankers.
9.7 Concluding remarks
Some remarks should be made regar ding escorting.
Accordi ng to a 1993 publication by Shell International
Limited, most studies recogni se that human error is the
immediate cause of at least 80% of shipping casualties.
Th is figure will not have changed much recentl y and it
means that, amongst other things, improvements can
be made by proper training. The need to train captains,
mates and pilots, therefore, should be emphasised. Full
mi ssion simulators can play a more important rol e in
this than has been the case until now.
Pollution cases in port approaches should be
carefully investigated in order to establi sh what caused
the accident. \,/hen technical failure s on board tankers
are a main cause, then further insight is required into
the types of failure and their causes. When similar
failures are systematically the cause, modifications in
tanker design should be proposed and agreed. Research
should be carried out int o whether tankers can be
designed such that they can operate safely in port and
port approaches without the need of escort tugs.
Good developments in this field are, amongst others,
the 140,000 dwt double hull Endeavour class tankers of
PolarTankers, Inc., with two independent engine rooms,
twin propellers, twin rudders and a 3,000 hp bow
thruster, of which the first one of a series of five came
into service inJ uly 2001. The 315,000 double hull VLCC
of the Stena VMax design, also has two completely
separate engine rooms, double rudders and double
propellers, of which the first of this type came into
service October 2001 and the rece ntly buil t North Sea
double hull shuttle tankers of approximately 130,000
dwt have redundancy in propulsion and steering (high
lift rudders) and bow thrusters.
The same applies to human failures. Good insight
into the type and cause of human failures may permit
th e po ssibili ty of preventi ng such failures by, for
example, adapting appropriate rules and procedures.
Escort tugs now have to compensate for the technical
and human failures on board tankers but escorting may
not and will not avoid all tanker accidents. This refers
particular ly to escorting with one purpose buil t escort
tug. In figur e 9. 24 two imaginary but fully normal
situations are given, where the escort tug most probably
will not prevent a grounding. In situation 1 of figure
9.24, a grounding could probably be avoided by having
the escort tug towing at the bow of the ship. These are
just some examples. Other situations could be described,
but perhaps readers will quote from thei r own
When full scale escort trials are carried out in deep
water, they give too optimistic a view of escort tug
capabilities. With a small underke el clearance, often the
case in port approaches, the situation is far mor e difficult
and complicated. The influence of currents is much
larger, ship's rudder effectiveness decreases, and more
power is needed to turn and stop a vessel. In case of a
failure, much more effort is required from the escort
tug to avoid an accident, and hopefully it can then
deliver the required for ces.
Chapter TEN
the subject of much resea rch over many years for safer
tugs with improved capabilities. This has sometimes
resulted in tug concepts which have never been realised.
However, the wo rld tug fleet nowadays ge ne rally
consists of a large number of tugs wi th extens ive
capabilities and developments still continue.
10.1 Special developments in the design
of tugs
Parti cularly amongs t harbour tugs with azimuth
thrusters there is a continuous development of ideas.
For different reasons only a very few of these became
realit y and result ed in tugs with real differences from
normal tug designs. These alternative designs and trends
can more or less be categorised as follows:
Developments in the number and configurat ion of
azimuth thrusters.
Developments based on the sys te matic use of
hydrodynamic forces working on a tug hull.
Developments in tug power in relation to tug size.
Several of these alternative designs and one spec ific
trend in tug design will be addressed below.
10.1.1 Developments in the number and
configuration of azimuth thrusters
Novel New Tractor Tug Design (1984)
Thi s design has become reality. Tugs TPI and TPII
have been built and operate at the coal port at Ridley
Island, Canada. They have two azimuth propellers in
line, one forward and one aft. The idea of building this
type of tug was developed after two pl atforms powered
by a 3,600 hp diesel driving two azimuth thruster s came
onto the market for sale. The platforms were or iginall y
built for the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority to evaluate
the principle of using shunters. The original intention
was to connect one powered platform, a shunter, to the
stern and one to the bow to assist ships transiting the
Weiland Can al in Ontari o (see figur e 10.1). The
exp eriment was discontinued because bulk carrier size
increased and because of problems with the locking
arrangement between shunter and tran siting vessel.
The shunters were conv erted into the present tugs
with the following particulars: length overall 3033m,
beam 1O97m. , engine 3600 hp (2650 kW), bollard pull
45 tons. Bollard pull ahead, astern and side ways is
almost the same. When thrusters operate in line there
is loss of thruster efficiency. The onl y data the designers
could find with respect to thi s related to thruster s
operating in semi-submersibles. The data indic ated that
if the distance between thruster centrelines \.... as six times
the diameter or great er, the effect would be less than
10% loss of thrust. The ratio between nozzle di ameter
and distance between thrusters of the TPI and TPII is
I to 8. In theory this gives a loss of about 6%. So when
pulling or pushing with thrusters in line the bo llard pull
is approximatel y 42 tons. However, in such situations
the thrusters are always set at a slight angle.
The two tugs have been a cos t effective investment.
Their total cost was less than two thirds of the cost of
one comparable traditi onal tug with azimut h thr usters.
They are specific ship docking tugs and operate for ships
arriving at the coal terminal in the push-pull mode often
parallel to the ship with a towline from the tug' s bow
secured to the shi p. The tugs operate very successfully
at the coal terminal and, according to the owners, can
safely handle vessels in the 180,000 to 200,000 dwt range.
The optimum harbour tug: The Supertug (1986)
This is more or less similar to the previous design. It
has an azimuth thruster aft as main propulsion, and one
for ward as a kind of bow thruster. A difference from the
pr evious design is that the towing point is locat ed above
the main thruster. Th e underlying idea is that when
towing on a line with a ship having spee d through the
wat er, towing forces can be applied directly against the
towline whil e reducing the resistance of the tug's hull
through the wat er by steering the tug with the azimu th
bow thruster more or less in line "lith the incoming water
flow (see figur e 10.3). It is recognised that the high
athwartships forces of the towline will have consequences
for the tug' s stability and therefore a kind of radial hook
is sugges ted to reduce heeling angle. There is no
indication that this concept has ever been realised.
Tug Omni 2000 (1994)
The Omni 2000 was a proposed concept for an
omnidir ectional tug with four thrusters. The tug was fully
symmetrical fore and aft. The objective was to propose
a tug with absolutely the lowest costs and omnidirectional
propulsion, which could satisfy a par ticular harbour
operation. The concept was not accepted by the client.
The ROTOR tug (1999)
A new conce pt in tugs with azimuth thrusters is the
ROTOR escort tug. Basically it is a normal tractor tug
with azimuth thrusters, but the skeg is replaced by a
third azimuth thruster arranged on the tug' s centreline.
Three small fins are located under the stern to give
course stability in transit. Guard plates and struts provide
protection to the thrusters and when docking.
Four tugs have been built with this concept, the RT
Innovation, RTPioneer, RTSpirit and RTMagicand since
Figure 10.1 Novel new tractor tug design
withsketch of the original shunters
Figure 10.2 Taiwanese reverse tractor tug'No 3 Tczo-Yu' (l.o.a.
33Om, beam 717m, drauglu 37m, bollardpull4J tons) combines
ship handling andoilspill recovery. The cranes can beused todeliver
the towline totheship tobe assisted, IlYfor oilspillrecovery. In the
aJent ofanoilspill. the tugcan beconverted withinminutes into a
fUlly self-sufficient oilrecovery vessel
Rotor escort tug with three azimuth units
and forward winch
e .muth bow ttvustef
Figure 10.3 1Moptimum harbour tugconapt
Topview of Rotor (escort) tug with three azimuth units
Figure 10.4 ROTOR Escort Tug concept
1999 they operate in the ports of Rotterdam, Hamburg
and Bremerhaven and for offshore operations. The
advantages of the tugs are:
Excellent manoeuvrability, which includes amongst
others things turning on the spot with a high rate of
turn, astern speed equal to ahead speed and a side-
stepping speed of approxi mately six knots.
Fast positioning and re-positioning and a large variety
of assist modes with short response times.
A high hollard pull or, alternatively, the same hollard
pull with less draft, compared to a normal tractor tug
with two azimut h thrusters.
High side thrust up to 95% of bollard pull to assist
vessels through narrow passages, locks and bri dges.
Better reliability because two units bring sufficient
manoeuvr ability and bollard pull for day to day
shiphandling work; in case of breakdown of an
engine, the tug is still operational and repairs can be
postponed until a suitable time.
There is hardly any risk of damaging the azimuth
thrusters on the bulb of an assisted ship as can happe n
with stern dr ive tugs, due to the thruster protection.
Dynamic positioning systems can be installed for
offshore operations.
Escort work is possible over the stern as we ll as over
the bow at relatively high speeds.
Thr ee different ver sion s of this type of tug were
a) Three engines and three azimuth units with a total
bollard pull of 80 tons.
b) Two engines, two azimuth units and a skeg like a
normal tractor tug but designed in such a way that a
third engine and azimuth unit can be installed at a
later stage.
c) Three engines, thr ee azimut h units and an anchor!
towing winch on the foredeck to escort VLCCs. Thi s
is the ROTOR Escort Tug (see figure lOA).
Photo: KOTUG, 11le Netherlands
Figure 70.5 The Rotor Escort Tug 'RTMagic' (I. o.a. 376m, beam
12Om, draugh1S'9m, enginepower 6,300hhp, hp 80 tOTlJ) oftowing
rompany KaTUG, Rotterdam, The Nethetlands
The main characteristics of the Kotug ROTOR
(Escort) Tug are: length overall 316m; beam 12m;
draught 59m; propulsion 3 x 2,1000 bhp, bollard pull
approximately 80 tons. Based on experience gained,
the concept will be modifi ed in such a way that the aft
thruster will be located further aft, either right below or
behind the aft towing poi nt, depending on tug size. This
will enhance the performance of the tug (see figure 10.6).
Drawing: KoortnShipbuilding(md Trading, Rouo dam
Figure 70.6 ModifiedROIDRtugconcept withaft thruster located
more aft, behind tlu aft towing point
Thr ee variants of this ROTOR tug concept will be
brought on the market: a tug with a length overal l of
232m, 258m and 278m, respectively 30, 45 and 60
tons bollard pull. A ROTOR escort tug of 42m length,
10,000 hp and 125 tons bollard pull, possibly with a
spe ci fic pe rformance enhancing device, is in the phase
of developme nt.
Several advantages have been mentioned, some
additional remarks will be made bel ow. The Rotor
Escort Tug can be used for operating at the ship's side,
e.g. push-pull , as well as for towing on a line in differen t
ways. At speed, performance of the ROTOR escort tug
differs principally from a normal tractor tug due to
. replacing the skeg by a thruster, particularl y at the higher
escorting speeds. As a stem tug in indirect mode, no
use can be made of the high hydrodynamic forces
generated.by the skeg.
Additional loss of thruster effectiveness will be
experienced due to the interaction of the three thrusters.
High br aking forces can be achieved in the reverse arrest
mode, which is possible at speeds not higher than eight
knots due to engine overload, while at higher speeds
the transverse arrest mode delivers high braking forces
(see fig. 9.5 for terminology).
Tug handling with thr ee thrusters becomes more
co mplicate d, which can give pro bl ems in t ense
situations, although basically the tug is handled like a
tractor tug, while the third thruster is used in addition
to enlarge the capabilities. A proper trai ning in thruster
and tug handling and in the various specific assist
centreline. In the centreline at each end of the tug a
skeg is placed. The main characteristics of the SOM
Mark I are as follows:
Engine power of the Mark II SOM has b een
increased to 4,200 hp (54-55 tons bp), while the central
towing staple has been moved to a midships pos ition at
equal distance from bow and stern.
Length over all
Maximum beam
Engine power
Bollard pull
4000 hp
50 tons
Figure 70.7 1Jpical assist modes with aROIVR tug.
1M tugcan operate within a s h i p ~ beam (depending onthe ship's sin}.
A: Tugassist modesforpassing a hridge or entmnga lock. B: Tug assist
modes while herthing. Bl: Tugcaptain can obseroe approar.h speed and
distance toberthand can easilyanticipate. B2: Tugassist mode during
berthing when littleberthing space is available (same manoeuvre can be
carried out Qver tug's stern).
manoeuvres that can be performed is important. Some
of these specific assist modes are shown in figure 10.7.
The ROTOR tugs have a 'master pilot' system, but this
is seldom used.
Ship DockingModule (SDM)(1997)
This typ e of harb our tug has been developed by
Hvide Marine (USA), now Seabulk Towing in Tampa
(USA). Seabulk Towing has three SOMs Mark I and
one SOM Mark 11. SOM Mark 11 is a follow-up of the
original SOM design with the same dimensions but
some higher bollard pull. The first SOM was the New
River, delivered in 1997, followed by the St.jahmin 1998,
the Escambia in 1999 and the SOM Mark 11 Suwannee
. River in 2000. Towing company Marine Towing of
Tampa acquired two SOMs Mark 11 in 1999, named
Tug Florida and Endeavor.
The or iginal idea was to have a tug with maximum
bollard pull in all directions, which could get in position
qui ckly, stay in an optimum position without using
towlines and whi ch could work in confined areas and
in semi-sheltered waters. The SOMs operate in the Port
of Tampa and Port Everglades. The tugs have a very
wide beam compared to the mor e or less normal length
for a harbour tug and are equipped with two azimuth
thrusters and two skegs (see figure 10.9 and 10.10). One
azimuth thruster is locat ed at approximately a quarter
of the tug's length from forward and at some distance
to starboar d from the tug' s centreline and one thruster
is located at approximately a quarter of the tug' s length
from aft and at some di stance to port of th e tug's
The tugs can produce almost full bollard pull in any
direction. The tug is highly manoeuvrabl e. Free sailing
speed is approximately 125 knots and a sideways speed
of 65 knots can be achieved. The sides of the tugs are
flared in order to provide larger righting moments when
heeling and to pr event contact b etween the tug's
underwater part and the ship's hull. The two skegs
improve course stability and aid in dry-docking. There
is a hole in the skegs to reduce the difference in pressure
between both si des of the skegs caused by the
accelerate d water flow into the forward nozzle and
exiting from the aft nozzle. Without these holes the tug
captains had to correct the tug' s track by stee ring the
aft thruster five to ten degrees to starboard.
The SOMs are pure harbour tugs, which is included
in the name, and operate success fully in the ports of
which conditions and circumstances will have played a
role in the design. The tugs can operate in certain wave
conditions as well. Two men can operate th e tugs. The
deckhouse construction is well withi n the bulwarks,
which enables the tug to operate under the flar e and/or
overhanging stern of ships.
Due amongst other things to the wide beam, stability
of the tugs is large and consequently the tugs can operate
Photo: HansHa.fJjJm4n
Figure 70.8 SDM 'New River' ofSeabulk Towing (USA)
(l.o.a. 2743m, beam 7S24m, draught 49m, engine power 4,000
Mp, hollardpull SO tons)

Figure 10.71 Assist-modes SDM,.
A: General ",rut mode (pulling orpushing).
B: Pulling or pushing andmooing tJu ,hipforward or afi.
C: Assist modefor close quarter situations
10.1.2 Developments based on systematic use of
hydrodynamic forces working on a tug hull
Hi gh side forces can be appli ed which makes the
tug very suitable to work in narrow areas, although when
operat ing at the ship's side the large b ~ a m can be a
disadvantage when passing bridges, in locks and dry-
docks, where the available width is mostly at a
minimum. The tugcould then tow on a line, using the
centre staple, which enables the tug to apply sideways
forces to the ship within a smaller width. The reader is
invited to compar e the capabilities of the TP llII,
ROTOR tug, SDM and compact tugs.
Assist modes utilised by the SDNls depend on the
towing company, circumstances in the port, tug master
and pilot. Assist modes used are shown in figure 10.1 1,
such as the mode generally used, and the assist mode
for cl ose quarter operations , when room between ships
and pi ers is limited.
safely. Loss of effectiveness will be the case when one
or both thrusters are operating close to the ship's hull,
which often will be the case, as the tug generally operates
cl ose to the shi p's hull. With ce rtain tug ass is t
manoeuvres, thruster configurations may affect tug
effectiveness when part of the wash of a thruster is hitting
the nearest skeg and! or the nearest skeg disturbs the
inflow of water towards a thruster.
Drawi1l:f:: Marini Towing ofTamjHJIHtJha Mariru
Figure 70.9 Silk oieia of SDMMark II
Figure 70.70 Bow.iew afSDM
Carrousel tug
The basic principl e of a carrousel tug is a radial
system. New with the system as applied on the carrousel
tug is that it is not half a circle, or less, but a full circle
and has a diameter equal to the tug's beam.
The radial system itself is not new. It has been applied
for decades on several harb our tugs and in former times
on tugs on the Ri ver Rhine. The system has be en
discussed in paragraph 7. 2 and the advantages of the
system are dealt with in paragr aph 4.2.3. With a radial
system tug' s heel due to a transverse towline force is
limited. Performance and safety of several conventional
tugs has so been increase d significantly. The carrousel,
as the system is called, is initially situated above the
lateral centre of pressure for a crosswise wate r flow. The
advantages of the carrousel are:
The tug can safely cope with large towline forces
generated by the hydrodynamic forces working on
the tug hull, while heeling angles are smaller than
without suc h a sys tem. Capsizi ng due to hi gh
athwartships towline forces is not possible.
It enables the tug to turn freely, in no way restricted
by the towli ne coming in contact wi t h the
The first aspect is related to speed. The hi gher the
speed the higher the forces that can safely be generated
in the towline and applied to the ship to be assisted.
Also, high braking forces can be achieved because the
system enables a stem tug to operate safely broadside
behind the ship.
The second aspect is not related to speed. Ii greatly
enlarges the capabilities of particularly conventional tugs
and combi-tugs, It creates the possibility to turn the tug
freely with respect to the direction of the towline, for
instance enabling a stern tug to apply steering assistance
to starboard as well as to port at a ship having headway.
The lack of this capability is a large disadvantage of
conventional tugs (see paragraph 4.3). If necessary for
some reason, the tug can turn 180
with the towline
The carrousel tug is in the phase of development.
Although the carrousel system can be applied for present
tug types and different alternative tug designs, model
tests and full scale tests have been carried out with a
combi-tug. Two types of carrousel tugs are proposed.
Model tests
Model tests have been carried out with a model of
the Dutch combi-tug Multratug 72 (see figure 10.13). Right
bel ow the carrouse l two verti cal skegs were fitt ed,
representing full scale skegs with a length of six metr es
and a depth ofO4m. Each skeg was located.at a quarter
of the tug' s width from the side.
High towline force s were achieved, as shown in
figure 10.15. The high steering for ces are of particular
int erest. The maximum forces are limited by the fact
that with high towlin e forces either the tug' s stern is
submerged slowly or the turning moments on the tug
could not be overcome by the tug's propulsion. The
first (showing the importance of a proper buoyancy,
freeboard and hull shape) happened when the tug' s bow
had a small angle with the incoming wat er flow, whil e
the latter happened when the tug's heading was more
or less perpendicular to the dir ection of the incoming
water flow.
Full scaletests
Full scale tests have been carri ed out with the tug
Multratug 72 fitted with a carrousel and with skegs as
used for the model tests. The tests confirmed the working
of the system as well as the forces measured during the
model tests. Even higher towline forces could be
achi eved due to a more stable position of the full scale
tug. The photo (figure 10.14) shows the carrousel tug
applying steering forces.
Aspects that require attention orfUrther study
As the carr ousel tug is st ill in the phase of
development, some aspects require further att ention. A
number ofthem will be mentioned below:
The lead of the towline for all possible ships to be
assi st ed, assist manoeuvres, condit i ons and
circumstances, needs to be considered.
Safety of deck operations, including the possibility
of efficient and safe towline handling under all
working conditions and with-a minimum of crew,
require s attention.
The possibility to install an appropriate towing winch,
strong enough to withstand the hi gh towline forces
that can be generated, needs further study. A towing
winch is of particular importance when the carrousel
tug will also be used for escort operations.
The carrousel requires a const ant tension in the
towline, which also requires attention, because for
mos t tug manoeuvres even a small constant tension
in the towline often may create an unwanted increase
in ship'Sspeed and a turning moment, which should
be avoided.
Carrousel tug designs may require additional model
studies regarding the optimum location of the carrousel
in rel ation to the locations of centre' of pressure at
different angles of inflow, focusing on such aspects as
the overall behaviour and optimum performance of the
carrousel tug when towing, while appropriate reserve
buoyancy, freeboard and hull shape, and in parti cular
safety of operat ions and safe limits should be studied as
well. Further aspects to be considere d are, amongst
others, workabl e heel angles , safe abort manoeuvres and
performance in wave conditions.
Whil e high steeri ng force s can b e generate d,
attention is also needed to determine whether high and
controllable braking forces can be deliver ed without
giving the ship a rate ofturn ifthe latt er is not wanted.
Carrousel tug applications
Basically the carrousel tug makes effective use of the
hydrodynamic forc es working on a tug hull , which
means that with increasing speed towline forces increase.
When speed decreases the effectiveness of the carrousel
tug decreases . This is in contrast with the requirements
for tug assistance in many ports. In harbour operations
tug assistance is gen erally needed at speeds below
approximately six knots. Full tug power is then often
needed for steering, braking and controlling a ship's
The carro usel tug is not designed for tug operations
at the ship's side as applied in many ports ar ound the
world. For this operating mode tugs with omni-
dir ectional propulsion systems and a towing point at
the tug's end are most suitable. However, the carrousel
system can improve the capabilities and safety of
operations of harb our tugs to a large extent and
particularl y of the conventional type of harb our tugs
and of combi-tugs. As a forward or aft tug, amongst
others, high steering forces can safely be handled, while
the tug is not restricted by the direction of the towline.
Altogether it means that basically the carrousel tug
design can mo st effectively be applied for situations
where tug assistance is required during a transit, such
as in channels, fairways and port approaches, more or
less as an escort tug.
Figure 10.15
Towingforces based on model tests
witha model of the21 tons bollardpuU comhi-tug offigure 10.13

- 400

o - 600
- 800
Length over all 33 m 37 m
beam 11 m 10m
draught 4m 4.5m
ekegs short twin skeg along full length
propul sion twin Cpp (polSibly l ingle Cpp + azimuth
FPP) bow thruster
steering high lift rudders steerable nozzles
engine power - 4000 kW -lOOOkW
ball ard pull =85 tons =80 tons
dynamic pull at 10
knots "'150 tons =225 tons
Figure 10.12
Characteristics ofDesign A andDesign B ofthe carrousel tug
The free turning capability is an advantage of the
system at low as well as at higher speeds. All provided
that the system is pr actical and safely applicable. It is
not without reason that two versions of the carrousel
tug are proposed, the Inner Port DesignA (for operations
in port areas) with focus on thrust, and the Outer Port
Design B (for port approaches) with focus on thrust and
highest possible hydrodynamic lift forces. The location
of the carrousel on design A will be above the centre of
pressure for highest drag and for design Babove centre
Multratug 12 Carrousel Tug
" ""
" _..
...- ......
-.. --... _ '0 _

i . , _ .V
, ,
, .

Figure 10.13
Combitug 'Multratug12' (1,0.0. 285m, beam 66m,boYardpuU21
tons, ntractable azimuth: bow thruster 450 hpj

, !
; ,

I r r
, ,
, ,
' .
U J.

Figure 10.16 Carrousel tugOuter Pon Design
Figure 10.14
Modifid- comhi-tug'MuIuatug 12' duriugftll scale trials
of pressure for highest lift. Design B is shown in figure
10.16. Main characteristics are given in figure 10.12.
As said, the carrousel tug is in the development phase
and several aspects have still to be studi ed. The final
design may be a combination of the two designs
proposed, viz. a more multi-functional tug.
10.1.3 Devel opments in tug power in relation to
tug size
Compact tugs
The name 'compact tugs' is used for small powerful
harbour tugs with a length overall ofless than 24 metres.
There is, however, not a clear definition of what could
be called a ' compact tug'. Seeing the small powerfull
tugs that are built and taking into account the needs for
higher ballard pull s, in this paragraph compact tugs will
be regarded as harb our tugs with a length overall
between approximately 20 and 24.metr es and a ball ard
pull ahead of 40 tons or more.
Such compact tugs are general ly of the ASD/ reve