Mooring winches The Ultimate FAQ Guide

Table of Contents

What is a mooring winch?

The mooring winch fixes the upper end of the mooring rope, allows the length of the mooring rope to be adjusted, and compensates for changes in draft and tide.

The ISO 3730:2012 and ISO 7825:2017 standards cover general requirements for mooring winches on ships.

where is Mooring winches in Vessel
Marine mooring equipment on forecastle deck of a ship berthed on the pier – large winches with hemp ropes and mechanisms of tension and tighten ropes.

Mooring winches can be classified according to their control type (automatic or manual tension), drive type (Diesel, hydraulic or electric, or air), and the number of related drums in accordance to the type of drum (split, non-split) and their brake and brake application type (belt, disc, mechanical screw, spring application).

7T diesel mooring winch
7T diesel mooring winch
5T Hydraulic Mooring winch
5T Hydraulic Mooring winch
4T electric mooring winch
4T electric mooring winch

How does a electric mooring winch work?

The mooring winch assembly is composed of a winch drum, on which a cable or rope is wound.

The winch drum and the warp ends are driven with the help of a motor.

All these components are supported with the help of a sturdy frame that also supports band brakes, clutches, and gear drives.


The motor drive is connected to the reducer and the warp end through a spur gear drive system.

The transmission system is also equipped with a clutch and a band brake.

Therefore, the spur gear drive system controls the barrel and the warp ends.

The end of the warp yarn acts as a locking device to prevent the rope from slipping out of the cylinder when it is pulled excessively.

The limit of the warpage is very important for moving the ship along the berth for alignment.

This is done by connecting one end of the rope or cable to the bollard on the shore and the other end to the warp end of the winch.

50T electric mooring winch
50T electric mooring winch

What is the purpose of the mooring winch?

Marine Mooring

Mooring winches occupy an important position in ship operations, and offshore operations require robust and reliable mooring winches.

The mooring winch can work effectively when the ship is docked or docked.

It has various functions, such as drifting, supporting, and positioning during the loading and unloading process.

At the same time, it can constantly adjust and compensate for deviation caused by vibration by being highly strung.

Mooring winch consists of up to three mooring drums, with a nominal pulling force ranging from 5 tons to 100 tons.

Depending on the power source, there are two main types of mooring equipment: electric and hydraulic winches.

What is the difference between mooring winch and windlass?

Imagine the winch in front of the trailer-twist the handle to lift the boat out of the water.

The difference between a winch and a windlass is that the rope wraps around and encloses the cylindrical part of the winch; when the wire enters the front end of the reel, it bypasses the gypsy (cylinder/drum/pulley) and comes out of the rear (or bottom) of the reel housing.

The axis of the horizontal winch, as the name suggests, is horizontal, while the axis of the vertical winch is vertical.

The manual windlass uses its muscle power to operate the mechanism; simple and very traditional, but requires a lot of work, especially when the weight of the anchor exceeds a few boxes of your favorite canned beverage.

On the other hand, electric winches use electricity (or hydraulic systems, on large yachts and boats) instead of sweat on the forehead to get the job done.

It’s simple: press the button and the anchor goes up, press the button and the anchor goes down.

When it’s time to drop the anchor (retrieve the anchor), the windlass can make the job much easier.

A windlass is a mechanical device, usually located near the center of the foredeck (the deck or flat part near the bow), and is used to fix the installed anchor (installed: the rope or chain that fixes the anchor to the ship).

Take it out of the water and store the rope/chain in a special compartment on or under the deck.

What is anchor windlass?

Hydraulic anchor windlass
34mm Hydraulic anchor windlass

An anchor windlass is any device that is used to move a relatively heavyweight through a system of pulleys.

Anchor windlasses use belts or crankshafts to operate drums wrapped with chains or cables.

The shaft provides circular motion and can lift heavy objects without consuming the energy required for normal traction.

The crank can be operated manually (as in the case of taking water from a well) or a motor (used for large construction cranes), and it can be attached to the barrel so that it can rotate around a central axis.

The pulley design principle is to lift heavy weights by distributing the load across multiple cables rather than just one chain.

Therefore, by exerting a limited amount of effort, a relatively heavy load can be effectively increased.

Most materials will experience fatigue or stress-related failures under tension loading.

Therefore, for a windlass that must lift a weight of almost one ton, a special mechanism must be used to ensure that the weight of the anchor head is removed from the anchor rod when the operation is stopped. This will be discussed in more detail in the following sections.

What is the difference between capstan and windlass?

1T air vertical capstan
1T air vertical capstan

The ship’s capstan is a drum-shaped device that is used to lift the weight and wind of the boat anchor.

Capstan is similar to the volume of air, it rotates around the horizontal surface and the vertical axis.

Capstan was generally used on the small ship navy ship. Capstans were used to measure the boat anchors to use an anchoring cable or to raise candles.

However, the size of the anchoring cable also increased when the size of the boat increases.

Instead of anchoring cable, it is rolled around the Capstan in a continuous loop using a Messenger cable.

The Messenger cable was installed on an anchoring cable with a small line known as a finch. If no cable is used, remove the nipper and hold the cable.

All these capstans were manually operated by a tree bar installed in the slot created at the top of the capstan. The drum was turned by pushing the bar of these trees into the clock direction.

On the other hand, Over time, the winch was made entirely of steel. When the rod is pushed counterclockwise, gears are used in the winch head to provide a mechanical advantage.

Although the situation has improved, winches are still driven by humans, which makes them stressful and difficult to use.

The windlass is a complex device, its design is the same as the winch, but it is composed of different parts, which together make the anchoring process smoother and easier.

The difference between a winch and a windlass is only the shaft on which the rope or cable is wound (for a winch, it is a vertical shaft, and for a winch, it is a horizontal shaft).

How are the mooring winch categorized?

Mooring winches can be categorized into the following types:

Automatic Mooring Winch

is designed to automatically lift when the rope tension falls below a certain preset value and if the line voltage exceeds the preset value.. Except for lashings deployed at 90° to the ship’s axis, self-tensioning winches are not recommended.

Manual Tension Mooring Winch

-Manual winch always requires one person to operate the elevator or plaster control device.

Non-separable drum mooring winch

-Non-separable drum winch is commonly found on smaller ships. It is usually difficult to wind and store wires satisfactorily in such drums; when the wire is processed directly from the drum, the last lap of the outer layer under tension tends to bite the lower layer. This may cause damage to the cable and difficulty in releasing the line. In order to reduce this problem, the non-split drum winch should keep a sufficient distance from the gland to ensure that the cable can be wound correctly.

Split Drum Mooring Winch

-Drum winch is separated by a notched flange in the tension part and the rope storage part.

How do you maintain a mooring winch?

The correct operation of the aboard mooring device is certainly important for secure driving of the entire port ship.

Let’s see how to maintain the maintenance of the mooring mechanism.

1. Review the pre-mooring conducted in a stretched sea passage or an intense oscillation, and before the mooring operation, verify the following-

I. Physical damage to the mooring mechanism.

The correct operation of the mooring The device is really important for the safe driving of the entire port ship. The mooring, which is such an important operation, reminds me of the fact that they can be demonstrated that any unexpected event is dangerous and fatal.

Date safety accounts and avoid the risk of life to avoid life, it is essential that the personnel of the ship maintain the high standard integrity of the mooring device. A better way is to incorporate all parts of the mooring device into the maintenance system sent.

Let’s take a look at how to maintain the maintenance on the ship-

1. Check the previous mooring, performed in a highly elongated maritime passage or a severe sea, and verify the following confirmation before the mooring operation. Please,

ns. Physical damage to the mooring mechanism.

II. All controls, links, and control levers are fuel oil, grease, free/easy to use.

III. Make sure that all brake and lining drums have adequate and clean brake drums for salt deposits.

2. Mobile parts

Frequent grease: All rotating parts of the mooring device, including rollers, just ribs, winch drums, cover supports, etc., should be used frequently to lubricate. Multipurpose grease is a suitable lubricant for such applications (check the lubricating map of the appropriate application container). Typically, high-pressure fat guns are used for this type of work. The leader of the Roller Fair has to pay specific attention, which is almost easy to use, which is ignored. The roller must change smoothly and corrosion can weaken them, so it is necessary to verify integrity.

3. Check the regular inspections of the brake lining with Winch/wind brake lining for use. Brake lining or drum oil, robust oxide, moisture can be severely reduced by the winking retention capacity of the winch, and in some cases, 75% can decrease significantly. To remove moisture from the lining, lightly apply the brake while performing a winch (do not forget to avoid excessive wear and tears during this operation). Oils tend to impregnate the coating in itself that is difficult to eliminate. Therefore, the only option is to change the coating as soon as possible. Do not forget that the retention capacity of the winch depends on the type of mooring pattern used.

4. Checking the rest drum: Each time the brake is opened for any reason, make sure that the brake drum is inspected/tested thoroughly to stack oxide or other wear brake materials, please. The part that eliminates the replaced part as necessary.

5. Check the brake cage of the brake cage to verify the free movements. If the link is not free, there will be loss of brake retention capacity. This causes the company to generate incorrect impressions to the company that the brake is applied completely, but in fact, the brake mechanism is cured of the lever or high voltage in some mechanical parts of the brake. There is a tendency to accumulate.

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