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Tug Technology & Business

Svitzer overcomes towing rope challenges

Mon 14 May 2018 by Martyn Wingrove

Svitzer overcomes towing rope challenges
Svitzer is using a new type of towing rope on mid-range tugs, such as Svitzer Warden

Maersk Group subsidiary Svitzer turned to Samson Rope to overcome the challenges of deploying stronger and lighter rope on medium-sized tugs.

Svitzer needed a different approach to tow ropes on its mid-range tugboats, which have bollard pulls of 50-70 tonnes. It normally uses Saturn-12 fibre towing lines on its high-capacity tugs, which have bollard pulls of more than 70 tonnes.

For the medium-sized tugs it uses polyester-based jacketed or single-braid fibre ropes. However, Svitzer crews find these ropes heavy and difficult to handle, especially when wet, as these large polyester ropes do not spool well on winch drums and can become buried and twisted. They are also time-consuming to repair.

While jacketed ropes have a braided jacket to protect the core from damage, these jackets can compromise the strength of the line and mask core damage. This can lead to lengthy off-time for tugs as ropes need to be spliced and repair, or replaced.

Therefore, Svitzer wanted a rope that could withstand the strain of standard operations for these tugs without the issue of undetected damage causing failures. Svitzer also did not want to pay high prices for high-modulus polyethylene (HMPE) ropes.

In response to these requirements, Samson developed Fusion-12, which blends the strength and performance of HMPE rope with polyester fibre in a single-braid construction.

Samson said this rope spools well on winch drums, is simple to slice and repair and has better resistance to abrasion compared to traditional polyester lines.

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