SMS Towage

Working with us

The reasons for working with SMS Towage are numerous, but what really sets us apart is our approach in seven key areas, each of which having a significant knock-on effect that increases the all-round benefits of the service we offer our clients. These seven key areas are:


Both in how quickly we can get to our clients and in how fast we can complete our jobs, speed is important. Because time is important to our clients, acting quickly is important to us. As safety is a paramount concern, we don’t achieve our fast response times by cutting corners, we do it through a combination of strategy, technology and experience.

Thanks to our strategic positioning and 24/7 readiness, we are usually able to reach vessels for unscheduled calls within 30 minutes. With extensive training and decades of experience, our crew are able to complete the tasks required for each mission with speed, efficiency and safety – ensuring that our clients get where they need to go as quickly as possible.


With such a high level of service, clients often expect SMS Towage to be more expensive than the competition, but thanks to our efficiency, safety records and strategies, we are often able to provide our service at highly competitive rates.

Our strategic positioning and highly experienced crews allows us to complete each task faster and more efficiently, saving valuable time and resources.


The towage experience that SMS brings to the water is vast, and it’s largely due to this experience that we have gained such a successful portfolio of undertakings. The experience of our crews has a significant effect on every aspect of our work. From our ability to maintain one of the best safety records in the UK to the confidence we instil in our clients with even the most challenging tasks, every aspect of our work benefits from the experience of our crews.

Of course, the only way to maintain a highly experienced crew is to make continuous efforts to train the next generation of shipmasters and crew. Not only is this done through our apprenticeship program, but also through the day-to-day interactions between our senior crewmembers and our newer recruits. Our senior crewmembers make great efforts to pass on their decades of experience to the next generation, ensuring that the SMS team continues on our path of successful missions.


Our clients can’t always predict when they might need towage. Changes in weather, traffic, mechanical issues and other factors may (and often do) result in an urgent request for assistance.

To prepare for the unexpected, we have ships on-call 24 hours a day anchored in strategic harbour and river positions, ready to assist with any last-minute calls.

Not only does this mean we can usually reach vessels within 30 minutes, but it also means that in most cases we can avoid charging an excess for unscheduled jobs.

Straightforward Interactions

We believe in being as straightforward as possible with our clients. We understand that when SMS Towage is called to assist a client, we are supporting them with what are potentially some of the most stressful situations they will encounter. As our job is to make those high-pressure situations easier and less stressful for our clients, we make sure that our interaction are as straightforward and stress-free as possible.

When dealing with SMS Towage, you deal with real people. Our experience and pride in what we do is apparent in every interaction. Over time you will recognise the people you speak to and many of our clients are now friends.

State-of-the-art equipment is on-board all our vessels so communications while at sea are consistent.


Safety is everything in the seafaring world, and as a highly respected and well-known organisation with a highly experience crew, we feel we have a responsibility not just to our crew, but also to the industry as a whole.

Along with prioritised and strictly regimented internal safety programmes, SMS Towage has also partnered with the National Workboat Association to implement the Voluntary Towage Endorsement Scheme. This scheme aims to create a standardised health and safety training programme to improve overall industry safety.

At SMS Towage, safety is not just an afterthought; it’s the foundation of what we do.

Technology and Equipment

The RAmparts 2400 SX tug is twin Z-drive, diesel powered tug designed for maximum efficiency in the performance of ship-handling duties for seagoing ships.

The hull form and layout have evolved over several years through the extensive experience of the designers at Robert Allan Ltd. working with tug owning Clients and their crews in developing truly high-performance tugs for this challenging service.

Robert Allan Ltd. has extensive experience in the custom design of high performance ASD tugs to match Clients’ specific operational requirements. Vessels using these designs have been widely acclaimed, particularly their manoeuvring, sea-keeping and stability performance.

2400 SX model, an exclusive Sanmar design, is closest to the ASD 24/45 & ASD 24/50 design, but with a 2m increase in beam over the same length. This ensures greater performance as well as stability from more powerful Caterpillar engines coupled to larger Rolls-Royce Z-drives. The new versions will give 60, 70 or 75 tons bollard pull, depending on size of the propulsion system selected.

The RAmparts 2400 SX design code “SX” for Sanmar Exclusive which means the design has been modified by Robert Allan Ltd. to suit Sanmar Shipyards’ standard production range and optimized with the operational input from Sanmar’s tug operation department.

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Contact Us

SMS Towage Limited.

Ocean House, Waterside Park,

Livingstone Road, Hessle, East

Yorkshire, England, HU13 0EG


Humber: +44 (0)1482 350 999

Bristol Channel: +44 (0)1633 920 920

Belfast: +44 (0)28 9018 3333

North East: +44 (0)1642 917777

SMS Towage Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales.
Registration Number: 452 7156 VAT Registration Number: 8166 60719

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