The towing of tenders, particularly in the hours between sunset and sunrise has always proved troublesome with some insurance companies simply not providing insurance cover.  This of course can slow down the course of a yacht meaning cost and disruption for the captain, owners and guests.  Towing is high risk; insurers are experiencing unacceptable claim levels and these towing insurance restrictions limit movement during certain hours and distance from shore which is the last thing anyone running a yacht wants. 

Short of staying still in twilight hours, what can you do?   

TSM Systems provide a complete tender monitoring and tracking system for superyachts including the insurance-approved towing mode TowPro.  TowPro is a system approved by major Lloyd’s underwriters for towing at night.   Towing at night reduces crew awareness, which means a higher risk for the tender, TowPro provides comprehensive protection if the tow fails, this includes a remote satellite reporting to a global tracking website and emergency AIS broadcast to nearby vessels. 

Safety indicators that the watchkeeper might see (plus those that they can’t) can easily be configured via the TowPro screen on the bridge. TowPro also provides other bridge alerts linked to low battery, excessive bilge pump operation or excessive movement of the tender (yaw/pitch/trim). All these alerts can trigger immediate crew action to address these risks before they become a major hazard. As tenders have been known to flip on tow, creating huge amounts of damage TowPro alerts you to any disturbances immediately allowing you to stop towing before more damage happens.  

If a tender goes beyond a pre-set distance from the yacht either on tow, it will send an alarm to the bridge, it will also send its own AIS broadcast highlighting its own position and finally, it will broadcast its position via the Iridium satellite network.  Meaning that the tender should be easily tracked whether it was lost 2 minutes ago, 20 minutes ago or 2 hours ago.  


Constant Tender Monitoring 

Constant Tender Monitoring can reduce the risk of loss and damage when the tender is left unattended – either moored or under tow – by tracking the exact position of your tender via TowPro. 

With two pieces of hardware, one on the tender itself and another system on the bridge, the bridge is constantly aware of all issues.    

While the tender is in use, the tender can be not only be tracked but existing safety alerts such as bilge pump activity and battery levels can still be monitored. These are still sent back to the yacht via an independent VHF channel.  In addition, information relayed back when the tender is in use can help the general operation of the yacht.

For example, a Geofence alarm can be set to alert the crew that the tender is returning with guests. 

Multi Tender System 

The multi-tender system is due for imminent release, this enables tracking of multiple tenders on and off tow, this will include anti-theft tracking. Responding to customer requests, TSM have made the plot interface more user friendly. The crew will now have a more intuitive and immediate situation awareness and can react quicker. This live plot shows the position of the tender(s) relative yacht, bearing, distance and the essential status values of each vessel in the standalone display providing immediate accessibility. 

Fleet Management for tenders, jet skis and life jackets  

The team at TSM have been working on the technology behind the fleet management system and the prototype is now finished.  The fleet management system will offer tracking of not only tenders but jet skis and life jackets, whatever the distance (via satellite) but also a two-way comms via their system on the item and the yacht via a text messaging system. Messages such as “Where are you?”, “Help” and other user-defined messages can be sent when out of cell phone / VHF range. 

A tablet with a comprehensive TowPro App will complement the existing Multi Tender display fitted on the bridge. This will be used for setting for geofences and warning/alarm thresholds. The portable tablet will allow a user to access a mirror of the TowPro Display on the Bridge anywhere on the yacht with a network connection. Geofencing will allow items like jet skis not to be taken into bathing only beach areas and further than a defined distance from the yacht.  The guests are usually the ones trying to break the rules, but the responsibility lies with the captain. This system provides not only security and safety but also piece of mind for guests, crew, management and owners alike.  


Currently the packages can be purchased directly from TSM, in two easy to self-install systems.  Your package includes 3 years Iridium usage for tracking.  TSM will be offering a range of capability upgrades via software updates for existing users and new users alike.  

 If you are a yacht that needs this system (if you tow, you need it), or a distribution company that would like to provide this groundbreaking system, the only insurance approved for towing at night, please contact Dan at TSM 

 The current team are keen to focus on manufacturing, researching, and developing the product ranges so are very keen to speak to distribution companies who could get this product onboard yachts.    

 Towing safety, wherever, whenever.  

TSM Systems will be at the Superyacht Technology Show in Barcelona in March 2023.  You can visit them at DL08 or contact them through their website.