The Relationship Between the Tug and Tow in the United Kingdom

The English common law of tug and tow, particularly the duties of one to the other, were fully developed by the end of the nineteenth century. This Article explores the common-law duties of the tug and the tow and the contracts subsequently created to redistribute these duties. First, this Article sets out the relative common-law duties of the parties to a towage contract. Next, it examines the effect of two types towage contracts, the UK towage conditions and the Towcon and Towhire contracts. It concludes that the modern view is to contract on a “knock for knock” principle, which has each party bearing his own losses, being accountable for his own personnel and equipment, and insuring the resulting risks.