Whilst the majority of yachts carry their tenders on board, an increasing number are turning to towing as a viable option. A shift in use and requirements of tenders has seen the emergence of larger tenders that are too big to be kept on board. For others, towing negates the chore of launching and retrieving the tender, but it is recommended that a tender should not be towed if the length exceeds the beam of the yacht.
However, towing tenders can create certain inherent risks, largely the fact that it may become necessary to kiss goodbye and sacrifice the tender in order to protect the yacht. This is usually achieved by keeping a knife nearby to cut the bridal or alternatively, a release line can be rigged from the shackle back to the yacht.
With this inherent risk, what are the insurance implications? In the first instance, your insurers should be advised that you are indeed towing a tender and you should also advise the towing arrangements that you plan to adopt, i.e. the configuration of the towing set up, the towing eye and the line etc.
In order to mitigate any potential loss, underwriters may apply a tender towing clause. This would be likely to include limits for a single trip length and weather conditions in addition to ensuring that the tenders have fixed covers over engine intakes.
Dependent on the size and value of the tender to be towed, underwriters may apply an increased excess for the tender whilst being towed and apply an additional premium.
Once cover has been extended, happy towing!