Captain Henk Hensen is a Master Mariner FG. After his career at sea he became a Port of Rotterdam pilot for 23 years, during which time he started the first combined simulator training courses for harbour pilots and tug captains, and participated in many port studies, including simulator research. Following his piloting career he continued to work as a marine consultant on the nautical aspects of port studies, harbour tug advice and simulator training and research, and as an expert witness. As an author, his publications include Ship Bridge Simulators (1999), Tug Use in Port (2003), Tug Stability (2016), co-authored with Dr Markus van der Laan, and numerous articles in nautical magazines. Captain Hensen is a Fellow of The Nautical Institute and of the International Tugmasters Association, and a member of the International Federation of Shipmasters. He was elected Tug Personality of the Year 2010 by the British Tugowners Association.
Bow Tug Operations
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. 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.