Tag Archive for: Tenders

What is a tender?

Tenders may also be called dories or auxiliaries.

Photo provided by Trepang Fisheries.

Is it a tender?

To be a tender under the national law, the vessel must:

  1. Be used to transport goods or up to 12 people, or for a purpose associated with the parent vessel’s operation.
  1. Operate in line of sight of its parent vessel, or another distance approved in writing by AMSA, or in a marina or mooring area.
  2. Measure less than 7.5 metres or another length approved in writing by AMSA.
  3. Measure less than its parent vessel.
  4. Not be powered by an inboard petrol engine.

Some owners call the vessel a tender but if it doesn’t meet the above criteria it cannot access these special arrangements, but AMSA may apply other exemptions.

Tenders existing before June 2013

These are tenders that were in service 2 years prior to 30 June 2013 which continue to operate in the same manner and are not modified.

Existing tenders may continue to:

  • Comply with all the requirements prior to 30 June 2013;
  • Display the UVI that was issued prior to 30 June 2013
  • Do not need approval to operate without a Certificate of Survey
  • Comply with current safety equipment in NSCV Part G
  • Operate within line of sight only if it was required to on 30 June 2013
  • Be crewed as required on 30 June 2013

New Tenders

These are generally entered service from 1 July 2013. Examples are:

  • A new build tender
  • A recreational vessel that starts work as a commercial tender
  • An old tender that was not used in the 2 years prior 1 July 2013

New tenders must comply with 3 key requirements:

  1. Design, construction, equipment and inspection requirements
  2. Certificates of operation and operational requirements
  3. Displaying a unique vessel identifier (UVI)

Tenders without parent vessels

Tenders are, often a small vessel attached to a larger one, but this is not always the case. AMSA’s definition of a tender does not require the tender to have a parent vessel.

Under the national law a tender may operate without a parent vessel while in a marina or mooring area. These types of operations may include work boats that perform maintenance activities around marinas or transport passengers from a wharf to moored vessels.

While these types of tenders may not be associated with a parent vessel the same rules apply to their operation.

While the operation of a tender associated with a parent vessel may be covered in the parent vessels safety management system a tender without a parent vessel must have its own dedicated safety management system.

Tenders without a parent vessel must also have their own unique vessel identifier.

Need more information about tenders then give us a call on 07 4242 1412 or email sms@shorlink.com

Shorlink’s Recommendation

If you operate a tender or tenders ensure they comply with all the current requirements especially having all the safety equipment onboard.

Due to the high risk factors that many tenders operate under having the right procedures in place is critical and remember if your tender is not attached to a parent vessel ensure it has its own dedicated Safety Management System in place.


Our number 1 tip is to ensure you have all the operational and emergency procedures in place in the parent vessels SMS or if the tender is operating without a parent vessel have its own dedicated SMS.

If you don’t have a deck/vessel Log Book you can get yours by Clicking Here and while you’re there check out our full range of Small Ship log books which were designed by a small ship mariner for small ship mariners!