Which maintenance procedures to be carried out for winches, capstans, fairleads etc?

16 Nov '18, 04:22

Nov. 16, 2018, 4:22 a.m.
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  1. Checks Prior Mooring After an extended sea passage or a passage undertaken in heavy seas and prior to mooring operation, ensure to check the following:
  2. a. Any physical damages to the mooring mechanism.
  3. b. All controls, linkages and the operating levers are well oiled, greased and free / easy to use.
  4. c. Ensure that all the brake drums and linings are suitably dried and clean of salt deposits.
  5. Frequent Greasing of Moving Parts (Rollers, fairlead, winch drums, capstan etc.)
    All rotating parts of the mooring equipment, which would include rollers, fairleads, winch drums, capstan etc. must be moved and lubricated on a frequent basis. Multipurpose grease is the best lubricant for such applications (check the vessel’s lubricating chart for the right application). Normally, high-pressure grease guns are used for this kind of work. Particular attention must be given to the roller fairleads and capstan as these often suffer from little use and thereby are neglected. Rollers should turn smoothly and must be checked for integrity as corrosion may have weakened them. Note: Always check the grease nipples before application and make sure the nipples are free of rust, salt and grit. Change the nipples if necessary.
  6. Check Brake Lining
    Regular inspections must be made of the winch/windlass brake linings for wear and tear. Oil, heavy rust and moisture on the brake linings or the drums could seriously reduce the brake holding capacity of the winch and in some cases as much by 75%. To remove the moisture in the linings, apply the brakes lightly while running the winch (remember to avoid excessive wear and tear during this operation). Oil has the tendency to get impregnated into the lining itself which is difficult to remove. Thus the only option would be to change the lining as early as possible.
  7. Check Break Drums
    Whenever brakes are opened up for any reason, ensure that the brake drum is thoroughly checked/examined for a build up of rust or other worn out brake material. The part to be de-scaled and fitted with the replacement as required.
  8. Check Brake Linkages
    The brake linkages should be checked for free movement. If the linkages are not free then there would be a loss of brake holding capacity. This would create a wrong impression to the operator that the brake has been applied fully, but in fact has not or the brake mechanism is hardened up from lever bars, which have a tendency to build up high stresses on some mechanical parts of the brakes. 6.Inspect Gear / Hydraulic Oil
    Inspect the gear oil regularly through the inspection cover in the winch/windlass. Whitish color of the liquid means the liquid is contaminated and requires to be changed immediately. Use the replacement oil that is recommended by the manufacturers.
  9. Regular Visual Inspection
    Ensure that regular inspection of the synthetic mooring hawsers, heaving lines, messenger ropes, etc. is carried out for damages, chafed areas, kinks and loose ends. Make sure that each mooring rope carries a certificate from the manufacturer. Additionally, check that the ID number of each certificate is conspicuously marked/embossed on an identification plate and subsequently attached to the end of the corresponding mooring hawser. If the hawser is not supplied with the certificate, then the vessel has all the right to reject such a supply and inform the office/purchasing department.
  10. Clear Walkway
    Have the deck completely free of obstructions and oily residues. It is essential to keep the decks clean, dry and if possible have anti-slip paint coatings over the deck surface, as and how required. There have been cases where the support brackets for the gratings (for winch operation) have been found neglected and therefore are heavily corroded making the area most unsafe to step on. Officers should include such neglected yet critical areas for planned maintenance in order to prevent an unforeseen event when least expected.
  11. Do Proper Marking and Labelling
    Marking the mooring equipment is another important aspect for a safe and effective operation. The ship’s officers should ensure that the bollards, fairleads, rollers, etc. are marked with their safe working limits. Additionally, the winches and windlass shall be marked for the rotating direction of the drums (render / heave), braking capacity, test dates and ID numbers of the equipment subsequent to the certificates carried onboard.

Special precautions for maintenance of anchoring equipment

  1. Regular inspection of external and moving parts of gear and shaft required to judge the wear and amount of use of this important machinery.
  2. While using windlass for hoisting, an early indication can be temperature rise on the exterior of hydraulic pipelines driving the main shaft. This further needs to be investigated for the correct technical specification and properties of the oil used and load on the motors.
  3. The bearing, pin and sliding parts of the assembly require a special grease recommended to be used on open gears to prevent them from weather damage as well.
  4. Filters of the hydraulic pumps used for running windlasses are cleaned regularly by the ship’s crew.
  5. The main shaft or gear shaft too may be checked for temperature rise to indicate lack of or less lubrication than required.
  6. Often windlass shaft is coupled with mooring winch and it is important to put the mooring winch brake ‘on’ and the clutch in disengage position for the winch before operating the windlass.
  7. When anchoring speed is high the anchor runs away and the brake lining might get damaged due to heat. Thus dropping the anchor and repeating the drop and stoppage at every 1⁄2 shackle is advisable to prevent damages to brake liner due to heat.
  8. In rough weather, it is necessary to loosen the anchor chain tension while heaving up by using engines to avoid excessive load on the windlass.
  9. A weekly schedule for windlass should involve lubricating all the plain bearings through the grease nipples and the gear teeth. Monthly or quarterly checks recommended for the condition of brake linings should be carried out depending on the frequency of use.
  10. When the brake lining has worn away it can be adjusted to render the necessary holding force. Often manufacturer’s recommend after a specific reduction in thickness of the brake lining to replace it with new one. However, when the liner thickness reduces within the limits applicable, brake setting can be adjusted with the regulating screw as a makeshift measure. Both the linings, upper and lower should be changed at the same time.
  11. During liner replacement it is very important to secure the chain and anchor with extra lashings if the ship’s staff is carrying out this job at sea. The job should preferably be carried out in calm waters without any uneven rolling or pitching.
  12. The foundation of windlass should be examined after and before each anchoring operation.
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16 Nov '18, 04:32

Nov. 16, 2018, 4:32 a.m.
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