Lloyd’s state administration is also discussed (Jingguo

Lloyd’s Maritime Academy

North Kent College  

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1.                                                             Abstract

aim of this report is make surveyor acquainted with methodologies and steps
that are necessary to take during towing surveys. It is a crucial step for any
surveyor to critically analyze details from all aspects to pass a permit for
tow (Towing operations at sea). The report contain two cases with different
scenarios, entailing surveyor to analyze all possible preventions that should
be taken in account. Relative background of physical testings are also
discussed in one of the case. Mandatory rules and regulations for towing that
are part of legislative marine bodies like ‘SOLAS and code of practice’ to fullfill
the requirements of flag state administration is also discussed (Jingguo Y, 2016). Discussions
about small craft stability is also included to allow professional insight of
on board arrangement with scientific terminologies to mitigate end results of
loss of human life and damage to vessel.


Part 2

According to analysis of damage and stability, the
scenario of single flooded compartment is applicable in this regard. The length
of area which has suffered a contact damage at water inline of starboard hull
can be considered as flooding situation with length which doesn’t exceed
watertight bulkhead. It is very important to assess the availability of repair facilities
near the site, parts required and effect of damage on the safety of vessel. Being
surveyor, we will assess areas and zones that are more prone to stress relative
to others. This includes area of sheer strake, bilge turn and section of
midship section. The material of which hull is constructed will indirectly
affect it. We will also make sure that all areas of hull structure is visible.
Bottom areas are assess individually from the outside of vessel’s bottom. For
towing operations, it is necessary to pass “fit for purpose”. We will make sure
to that vessel holds a towing certificate prior to tow. If the owner wishes to
tow under her own power, this is the case in which we need to assess flag state
administration of towed vessel (Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Search &
Rescue Crew Manual). The vessel may also require to pass Society of Consulting
Engineers and Ship Surveyors (SCMS), this will check the necessary stability
parameters like:

General notes on

Dead weight
moment curves

Loading sheets

Ship’s name


Official numbers

Port of registry

credentials and address

Builder’s name,
credentials and yard number

10.  Keel laying date

11.  Molded dimensions

12.  Summer load line draught

13.  Block Coefficient

14.  Displacement in tonnes

15.   Deadweight in

16.  Gross tonnage

17.  Net tonnage

Some other precautions that are required to qualify
towing standard are

The vessel must
be suited for draught for voyage duration.

Collection of
stores, cargo and galley to avoid accidental damage during voyage.

Rudder and
propeller should be kept from off and prevent shaft from turning.

Ship’s credits
and particulars with full data sheet and information should be assess before

condition and degree of smoothness should be informed through VTS and coast
information system prior to tow.

Stability book is necessary as it approves the
vessel is according to known safety conditions, equipment and weights onboard (Small
Craft Surveys and Repairs, Module 4). This can also guide though modification
procedure of the vessel. This may include vessel to be unmanned and all the
opening of the vessels to be sealed closed with engine being bilged and
equipped with fire pump on board (Towing from another vessel or assist vessel
in distress – Gas carrier recommended actions). Some dangers that are associated
with the towing vessels are:

Towing hawser
may entangle with the propeller of the vessel that is being towed, this will
not only increase the chance of collision, but also damage the gearbox and
shaft of propeller.

Towing hawser
usually embedded with the nylon strands on front part of the rope to give
maximum longitudinal strength. It is essential not to compromise on the quality
of the hawser as low quality nylon can easily disrupt.

Communication is
extremely important in towing tow vessel. The distance between two vessels is
to keep in such a way that hawser shouldn’t curved from center or dip in water.
This can result the hawser to get sucked in the propeller.

Yawing is formed
as result of towing vessels sidewise. In case of bad weather or high wind
currents, if yawing angle reached 90 degrees, the hawser may scrape with
bulwark, which can cause breakage of hawser.

Check for
weather condition, in case of storm or high wave currents.

Some recommendations that owner can follow to avoid
any kind of mishaps are:

There should be
a clear understanding of scenario, vessel being towed, its position, type and
size along with meteorological conditions.

In the starting
of the towing operation, hawser should be released slowly and make sure that
engine is pacing slow. The main purpose is to keep hawser tight to avoid
twining and breaking off.

that there is Very High Communication Frequency (VHF) setup between officers
present in both vessels to report the direction, hawser condition and action
that needs to be taken in case of bridge or bad weather condition.

 The vessel should follow the rudder with the
tug. There should be a rudder angle applied to the coordinate of two vessels.
This method will significantly reduce yaw.

Sufficient length
of hawser of about 500-800 m should be released, this will provide spring force
on hawser and will not break.

The steer angle
should turn more than 20 degrees at one turn in normal weather and 5 degree in
bad weather condition.

As the plan for our tow completes, we will assess
the structural component that might not fail due to weak reinforcement or use
of larger scantlings than required. It is also to make sure that there are no dry
docks support are taking weight of the vessel to avoid hauling of vessel in

Part 3

There are different types of insurance surveys that
client needs to take, they are also known as Towing surveys or Warrant Fitness
to Tow. This survey are carried out by independent surveyors through proper
government or individual channel. These survey will arrange arrangements like
tow, towing vessels, units and cargo for respective voyage.

The conditions that are required to meet standards

stability of tow and cargo of vessel.

Ensuring that
everything in tow goes to plan.

emergency, equipment and gears for towing

that vessel is unmanned and tug is manned with trained crew.

Establishment of
command lines responsibilities along with duties assigned to commence of

Crew are
certified according to standards and use appropriate PPE (Personal Protective

Gears of towing
are in good conditions.

Sealed glass
doors, ports are properly commenced.

Certification of
barge are in order and stable.

Different vessel designs possess different towing
procedure. This is not limited to hull designs, rudder blades and thruster’s
characteristics (Preparations for Emergency Towing Of Ship – 10 Important
Points). Towing surveyor is responsible for vessel along with crew members for
towing unit. Surveyor should inform the owner that he may cite failure of
overall operations of towing in regard of absence of person with full authority
(Small Craft Surveys and Repairs, Module 5). Inexperienced person must not be
allowed to expose to survey without any supervision and trainings to achieve
desired task. Since International Convention on Standards of Training
Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) doesn’t abide owners within
jurisdictions regarding operation of towage. However, in many states, there is
a rule that personnel are trained with Dangers of accidents and safe practices
of hooking up and releasing the tow, limitations of equipment, winch control and
use of emergency mechanism, accident contingency plans and hazards with
connecting the tow, hazards associated with girting hazards, hazards associated
with electrical failures, dangers of working in case of heavy weather and
currents and reduction in tow lines (Jingguo Y, 2016).. We would prepare and
plan according to international standards these include:


Assessment of Vessel

Assessing type of vessel and size of barges that
need to be towed. Checking buoyancy to make sure water ingression. Checking
that whether it is a bulk cargo with capsize and available sink with stowage,
these must be verified with International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC)
code. Special steps are needed to be taken if cargo contains flammable or
hazards material.

Confirmation of Tug

We should keep in mind that tug is manned, sea-keeping,
bollard pull (BP) and horse power (HP) and size of vessel. Stern trimming to
ensure tow is stable and can be easily towed.

Checking of wires

Towing equipment and wires are checked accordingly.
This includes both portable and fixed rungs.

Verification of Route and Time

Pre-planned steps to be performed and planned prior
to transit times and critically analyze narrow openings, under bridges and
dense traffic with bends of river and berths (How to Tow a Boat Safely: Be

Assessing Tidal waves and depths  

Noticing areas of depths, limitations and wave
currents that are expected during the operation. This may also include maximum
and minimum heights of bridges and that we shall be going through.

Weather Forecasting

Surveyor should outlook weather forecast analysis 48
hours prior to voyage.

Power Availability

Check for external power for navigation lights.

Emergency Actions

Preparation of emergency action plans and risk

Tug Stability 

Check for tug stability with towed unit. The
stability of tug with fitting of new deck crane on port side of vessel, at
midship section is estimated by heeling moment that occur due to towing. Some
major heeling moments are caused by tow when dragging is performed by tug, when
heeling moment occur due to rudder propellers and hydrodynamic force and water

Some other physical testing that we will be doing on
main deck, stern, side shell plates, turn of bilge, bottom plates, primary
stiffeners, secondary stiffeners, top, middle and bottom zone of plantings and
water strakes in order to prevent the unseen problems turning into catastrophic
disasters are:

General Visual Examination (GVI): To assess the physical condition of interior and exterior
framework to trace any possible damage and failure.

Close-up Visual Examination (CVI): Typically, this will be done to identify critical
areas with in depth inspection, like ultrasonic testing and dye penetration inspection
to check weld joints.

Non-Destructive Testing (NDT): To ensure that there is no metallurgical fault in
the component. We will proceed to non-destructive testing like magnetic
particle induction, eddy current and radiography of prone metal areas.


Part 4

of any individual is necessary for a person who approaches and asks for information
regarding the operation that is being carried out (Small Craft Surveys and
Repairs, Module 5). Since the surveyor is an authorize person. There shouldn’t be
any leak of information regarding the cost or reason of incident associated
with the vessel. We would personally ask the person to contact directly the owner
for cost or investigation authority for reason of an incident )Towing and
pushing – OTEN Maritime Studies – Maritime Training for GPH, Coxswain, Master,
Deck Watch keeper and Marine Engine Driver (MED) qualifications).



Part 5

In conclusion, this module entitled “Small Craft Surveyor
and Report” contains large scope of work as we have discussed survey scope of
each vessel type with unique characteristics, major damages that can occur with
collision with different case studies of towing. We have also discussed small craft
surveys and repair in progressive manner with the intention of clarity to what
can be a very complex industry. This knowledge of surveying is more practical
than an in-depth ability to design the ships with stability criteria. I
believe, this knowledge is necessary for surveyors to increase their professionalism
and understand the requirements of flag state administration, to keep the vessel
in order to prevent towing or repairs with unstable and critical conditions.










Jingguo Y.
(2016). The Risks in Vessel Towing
Operation and Its Countermeasures. 2nd International Conference on Economy,
Management and Education Technology (ICEMET 2016), pp.2045-2048.

2.      Small Craft
Surveys and Repairs, Module 5.
(2017). Lloyd’s Maritime Academy, North Kent College, United Kingdom: Allan T
Larsen, Karl Pizzey, pp.15-85.

3.      Stability of
Small Craft, Module 4. (2017), Lloyd’s
Maritime Academy, North Kent College United Kingdom: Allan T Larsen, Karl
Pizzey, pp.25-60.

Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Search & Rescue
Crew Manual. (2018). Canada: Royal
Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, pp.181-194.

5.      Liquefiedgascarrier.com. (2018). Towing from another vessel or assist vessel
in distress – Gas carrier recommended actions. online Available at:
http://www.liquefiedgascarrier.com/towing-operation.html Accessed 7 Jan.

6.      Bhattacharjee, S. (2018). Preparations for Emergency Towing Of Ship – 10 Important Points.
online Marine Insight. Available at:
Accessed 7 Jan. 2018.

7.      English.ilent.nl. (2018). Towing operations at sea. online Available at:
Accessed 8 Jan. 2018.

8.      Otenmaritime.com. (2018). Rule 24 – Towing and pushing – OTEN Maritime Studies –
Maritime Training for GPH, Coxswain, Master, Deck Watchkeeper and Marine Engine
Driver (MED) qualifications. online Available at:
Accessed 9 Jan. 2018.

9.      Boats.com. (2018). How to Tow a Boat Safely: Be Prepared – boats.com. online
Available at: http://www.boats.com/how-to/towing-on-the-water/#.WlX8pPmWYdU
Accessed 10 Jan. 2018.

10.  Maritimenz.govt.nz. (2018). Vessel stability – Maritime NZ. online Available at: https://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/commercial/safety/vessel-stability/
Accessed 10 Jan. 2018.




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