New TowPro aims to prevent superyacht tender loss

Launched in July across Europe and scheduled for launch in the USA in September, TowPro is a system designed to reduce risk and actively prevent tender loss through monitoring.

Created by TSM Systems, the TowPro continuously streams live safety information from the tender to the yacht, where it is displayed to the crew in real-time on a touchscreen installed on the bridge. It provides information on water levels in the tender (including bilge pump activity and battery life of the pumps), shock loads on the tow from any surging or yawing, and the motion of the tender – trim, pitch, listing and rolling.

With tenders getting bigger, faster and more expensive, towing them has become more common. Many of these luxury tenders have their own sophisticated navigation systems, including independent AIS, however regulations do not allow AIS to be in use while a vessel is under tow and tracking a tender once it’s adrift is too late.

TowPro can monitor exactly what is happening with the tow, and provide a warning signal immediately and directly to the bridge of the yacht if something happens that might be a risk to the tender.

Towpro can flag up issues with the tow, thus enabling action and a response by crew before loss or damage to the tender.

There is no requirement for a new antenna nor any cables to run aft on the yacht. The first system was installed on a superyacht in December 2020.

William Ferlazzo, head of sales at TSM Systems, comments: “Given the peace of mind that TowPro brings during the tow coupled with the potential of insurance-led towing restrictions being reduced, including night-time towing, it is no wonder that TowPro has received such positive feedback from the industry.”

If the captain does lose the tow, TowPro activates the tender’s Emergency AIS to identify it as a hazard to other vessels and sends frequent position reports by satellite to a global tracking website in order to aid recovery with a back-up battery offering at least seven days continuous operation. TowPro also triggers the Colreg lights ‘not under command’ to alert nearby vessels and avoid collision. 

The team has a network of preferred installers around the Med and will be expanding this in line with the launches in the US and worldwide.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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