Towing lines for superyacht tenders
With the growing sizes of superyacht tenders, there's an increasing demand for their transportation between destinations. Frequently, these journeys cover long distances and are often under time pressure time to arrive on time and accommodate guests. However, this practice often involves towing at higher speeds and possibly dealing with rough sea conditions, which can bring about risks, including the occasional loss of a tender. Such occurrences are not only unfortunate but also pose dangers to maritime traffic. Therefore, it is crucial to properly arrange towing operations.
What types of towing lines are most common?
The prevailing towing line setup consists of several key components. Firstly, there's the main towing bridle that connects to the towing vessel. From there, a reliable towline of sufficient length and strength links to the tender and is in some cases connected through a tender bridle. This tender bridle can either be a single line or a two- or three-point bridle to distribute forces effectively. The towline itself can be either fully spliced together or supplied modular. On request there is an option of using robust shackles for attachment.
Which material is used for towing lines?
Premiumropes exclusively manufactures towing lines using high-quality materials tailored to each part's application, or as per the captain's or yard's requirements.
It's advisable to construct the primary bridle from sturdy, buoyant material. The line should also have elongation and clear in the water. For these qualities, we employ our PR-12 rope. On request this part can also be made from a 8- or 12-strand polyester (non-floating).
It’s important to have a reliable towline, necessitating strength, wear resistance, buoyancy, and high visibility. We craft our towlines from industrial-grade DX-Core Dyneema rope, featuring a specially designed durable coating for added UV and abrasion resistance.
The tender bridle often utilizes the same material as the towline. Sometimes we use a thinner diameter for the bridle. The choice depends on whether towing occurs at one, two, or three points. To attach the towline, we typically opt for high-quality shackles, particularly Tylaska shackles. Softshackles are also available upon request.
How strong should a towing line be?
Determining the appropriate strength for a towing line depends on various factors. It's essential to consider the tender's ability to withstand the chosen strength. In particular the strength of the towing eye. Also thin of whether you prefer the towline to break or the towing eye of the tender to be pulled out or bent. Premiumropes does also make calculations to determine the ideal towing line strength, provided we receive specific information such as the tender's water displacement, waterline length, towing speed, yacht tonnage, yacht length, and towing eye strength.
What if the tow fails?
Tender detachment can occur due to improper attachment of the towline or due failure of the towline or towing eye. This situation is undesirable as it can lead to the tender drifting at sea. This poses a threat to maritime traffic and is increasingly difficult to insure against.
TSM-Systems Limited has developed a unique product TowPro to solve this problem. It provides real-time towing information and issues alerts in case of tender detachment. Additionally, it enables the tender to broadcast an AIS position to notify other vessels.
Possibly lighter ropes can be used in conjunction with the system
How should I maintain a towing line?
Proper maintenance of ropes is essential. Regularly inspect the towline for damage, as wear and chafing are the primary cause of failures. Clean the ropes frequently with fresh water and avoid unnecessary exposure to sunlight. Any damaged covers should be repaired, and additional protection covers can be added if necessary. Most importantly, prevent excessive shaving along the boat's edges or dock and avoid contact with propellers.
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