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8 Tips to Make Sure Mooring Winch & Anchor Windlass Works Perfectly

Mooring Winch / Anchor Winch / Anchor Windlass


1. Make sure the foundation of mooring winch is in good stable condition. Tweet this!

An overall check for issues should be performed, especially the overall stability of the marine equipment itself. Most people tend to neglect the winch foundations. To ensure a safe operations environment, these details of the mooring winch should not be omitted.

2. Brake linings, hinge pins and drums have to be checked thoroughly. Tweet this!

Older winches in ships/boats may have to be checked for possible faulty brake gear and the condition of brake drums below the lining have to be assessed to be safe.  Establish a policy to test winch brakes should do the job. 60% of the mooring line’s minimum breaking load should be held by the primary brake. Be careful that the brake adjustment screw may have been tightened to its limit after years of excessive wear on brake linings. If that is the case, more maintenance and renewal may be required.

3. Insulation tests are extremely important for safety. (for electric mooring winches located in gas hazardous areas) Tweet this!

An “Ex” rating is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if the marine winch is in such areas as the rating certifies that the internal explosion can be withstood without igniting the external atmosphere. Insulation tests should provide higher than 1 Megaohm resistance to make sure the electric-powered winch is safe.

Anchor Windlass

4. Checks should be performed regularly on mooring wires and ropes. Tweet this!

IMPORTANT NOTE: should there be more than 3 broken wires in any strand, the damaged part definitely needs to be removed and respliced. Lubrication using preservatives should not be overlooked too as it protects the wires and strands. Regular maintenance of mooring wires and ropes is vital to keep the winch working effectively and efficiently.

5. Rollers should be able to turn freely and be well greased at all times. Tweet this!

This is to prevent materials or trash getting stuck in between and damage the mooring winch during operations.

6. Checks on the anchors, locking bars and cables of the anchor winch/ anchor windlass should be performed. Tweet this!

This is to ensure the anchors, cables and locking bars are in safe working conditions. Locking bars have to be able to lock and secure the chain when vessel is at anchor so that the brakes do not have to take the full load of the cable. Cables should also be made sure it is strong for action.

7. Mooring lines should be correctly reeled on drums. Tweet this!

Band brakes are designed to work in a single direction. Thus, the mooring lines have to be reeled in the correct arrangement depending on manufacturer’s guidance.

8. Never leave a winch in gear with the winch band brake on. Tweet this!

Powered mooring lines secured on brakes should witness the winches out of gear. Should the brake render, the electric or hydraulic drive may be badly damaged.

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mooring winch & anchor windlass tips

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