Revised November 2013

Discussion:  SOP 3-97 was originally approved in October 1997 and is intended to provide guidance regarding minimum safety standards for vessels using assist tugs in the Neighbor Island ports. 

Resolution: Representatives from industry, vessel agents, the USCG, DOT Harbors, and Hawaii Pilots Association created and put forth minimum safety standards for assist tugs in the Neighbor Island ports. 

Tugboat Assistance in the Neighbor Island Ports of Kahului, Kawaihae, Nawiliwili and Port Allen:

The following establishes minimum assist tug guidelines for vessels transiting these Neighbor Island ports. Prudent seamanship may dictate the use of more assist tugs in certain situations, such as harsh weather or sea conditions. 

1. All vessels 600 feet in length or more without adequate thrusters: two tugs on arrival and departure. 

2. All vessels 600 feet in length or more with at least one thruster of adequate horsepower (as determined by the Master and Pilot) – one tug on arrival and departure. 

3. All vessels 400 feet in length or more, but less than 600 feet: one tug on arrival and departure. 

4. For vessels requiring the use of one tug, a tractor tug should be used (if locally available).  For vessels requiring the use of two tugs, at least one of these tugs should be a tractor tug.  A conventional tug may be substituted for a tractor tug in situations where a tractor tug is not locally available, subject to the concurrence of the vessel Master and the Pilot.

Tugboat Assistance in the Ports of Barbers Point Harbor and Hilo:

The minimum number of tugs for all commercial vessels transiting these ports shall be determined by consulting the applicable harbor master notice or by contacting either the harbor master or the harbor agent to determine the specific requirements for tug assist.

Tugboat Assistance for all Neighbor Island Ports:

Any vessel which intends to deviate from these minimum standards should consult with the pilots, and with the appropriate DOT Harbors Division District Manager as required by Hawaii Administrative Rule 19-42-83.  

Any vessel on which required maneuvering and/or navigation equipment is not operating properly, and any vessel on which there is a hazardous condition shall contact the USCG COTP Honolulu at (808) 842-2600, prior to entering or departing the port, as required by 33 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 164.53 and 46 CFR, Part 160.215.