Insurers have become increasingly concerned about losses from superyachts towing tenders, and have been forced to respond by imposing tighter restrictions. In some cases, insurers now exclude higher risk activities like towing overnight or in stronger winds altogether.
These restrictions cause problems for captains operationally, in particular their preference to relocate the yacht by night in order to maximise guest enjoyment.
So captains and brokers put pressure on insurers to reduce their restrictions.
Tender towing risk has become a problem for everyone now – insurers are still losing money, captains and owners are unhappy.
Clearly the current best practice for towing tenders is not adequate to prevent loss and damage.
Why is towing higher risk by night?
Marine risk experts identify reduced crew awareness as the issue: fewer crew are on deck, crew require to spend more attention on the safe navigation of the yacht, and remote observations are of increasingly limited value in reduced visibility.
They propose a system to provide the crew with complete safety information inside and outside the tender direct to the bridge, and which will raise attention immediately to potential issues even when crew are busy with other activities day and night.
A year-long collaboration between insurers, captains, marine risk experts and TowPro found that:
- existing towing best practice of a) installing a tracker on the tender b) making periodic observations of the tender are inadequate for risk reduction
- insurance warranties which require an operational AIS on the tender actually cause captains to infringe SOLAS regulations
- captains would welcome an Advanced Tow Protection product designed specifically to help them reduce the risks they experience.
In addition, current requirements for captains to provide Tender Tow Plans can be unclear, causing uncertainty for captains to prepare, and difficulties for insurers to assess.
Use of AIS on tenders under tow
The benefits of Advanced Tow Protection
“It’s like the difference between airbags and ABS on your car, where airbags protect you after the crash, but ABS stops you having the crash in the first place – tow protection tracks a tender after it’s been lost, but advanced tow protection helps you prevent losing it at all.”
In this video, Paul Hailwood, risk assessor, introduces Standardised Tender Tow Plans.
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guides to Standardised Tender Tow Plans
Insurance related questions should be taken up
with your broker or insurance company.