TUG USE IN PORT — A PRACTICAL GUIDE
|Author(s)||Captain Henk Hensen|
|Publisher||The Nautical Institute|
|D O W N L O A D|
When vessels are assisted by tugs, the experience and teamwork, communication and above all insight into the capabilities and limitations of ships and attending tugs are considered essential for the safe and efficient shiphandling. This first of all applies to the captain and crew of the tug plus to the master of the vessel and pilot, especially today when older tugs are replaced by new tugs of modern types featuring much larger engine powers and significantly 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 harbor basin, not during a storm or in strong currents nor in the middle 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 know what can be expected from a tug in any specific circumstance. Only when these professionals 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 utilize tugs in the safest and most effective way and in harmony with a ship's maneuvering devices
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