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Bow Tug Operations with Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs (Third Edition)


by Captain Henk Hensen (Marine Consultant) 172

Bow Tug Operations with Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs (Third Edition)
The first edition of the monograph Bow Tug Operations with Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs was published in 2006 – in response to a number of accidents involving bow-to-bow operations with ASD-tugs and discussions in some ports about how such tugs should be employed as bow tugs. What were the causes of these accidents? No proper training, unsuitable design of the ASD-tug for bow-to-bow operations, high ship’s speeds, or were some other factors playing a role? At the same time, the question arose about whether every ASD-tug is suitable for bow-to-bow operations, which seemed not to be the case.

Bow tug operations at a ship having headway are very risky, particularly in the case of ships with a very high speed on dead slow ahead – a situation increasingly seen with large container vessels. The problem starts with the approach towards the bow and then with the procedure of passing the towline. Because of the risks involved, tug masters that have to carry out bow tug operations, and particularly tug masters of ASD-tugs that have to operate bow-to-bow, should be well trained and aware of all the possible risks.

These issues are all dealt with in this book in an easy understandable way, resulting in a set of guidelines for safe operations at the bow.

In 2016 the issue is still relevant. This third edition has been updated for several crucial aspects that play an important role in bow-to-bow operations, such as skeg and stern design. As the skeg is such an important appendage for carrying out bow-to-bow operations at a ship having speed, more attention has been paid to skeg design and the effect of differences in skeg design on bow-to-bow operations.

A good stern design is also important for bow-to-bow operations, so stern design has been further dealt with here. Further subjects have been extended or renewed: proper radar use, bow approach manoeuvres, and new tug performance diagrams have been included. As bow-to-bow operations present high risks, additional attention has been paid to this particular issue.

Suggestions for some test trials using your own tugs have been added in order to be able to learn about its specific suitability for bow-to-bow operations, with images explaining the trials discussed – all again focusing on the safety of tugs, tug crews and attended ships.

Finally, since speed, which means speed through the water, is so critical for safe bow tug operations, renewed attention has been paid to this important aspect.

NEW Edition 3 Available now from The ABR Company Ltd from www.tugandosv.com
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