Whether you’re new to boating or a seasoned seafarer, there are important pieces of equipment and devices on the deck of a ship, to navigate, keep safe and operate efficiently in the water. Here we look at two of those important components, the winches used on boats and the windlass.

Winches found on boats are devices used for handling ropes or wires and act by spooling the rope or wire around on a drum along a horizontal axis. The winches are often power-driven by electrical or hydraulic motors.

Winches on ships can be mounted and used for specific functions. The most common use of a winch is for mooring which means the winches are principally placed on the fore and aft decks at either side of the ship. Tug boats and vessels for offshore use like seismic survey crafts and offshore vessels are also likely to be equipped with work winches that are designed for the large duty work that these ships are used for.

The power supply for any winch systems are often low and high pressure hydraulic, frequency-converter electrical drive or pole-change electric drive. The selection of drive style often depends on the sort of application and therefore the actual winch operations with all kinds having their advantages and disadvantages. Recently, some criticism has been aimed at hydraulic winches as a result of their propensity to leak oil and as such, frequency device drive winches have been viewed more favourably for their energy saving properties. For Hydraulic Winch products, visit https://www.brevini.co.uk/power-transmission/winches/hydraulic-winches/

A windlass is another instrument found on the deck of a ship or boat. Situated on its own but near to the mooring winches or as an integrated part of them, this lifting device is used for lowering and pulling up the anchor in sync with the chain or bow stopper that stops chain slippage when anchored and raising the anchor.

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The chain passes from the anchor and through the hawsehole pipe, over the lifting device and down into the chain locker wherever the tip is secured. The lifting device is driven by a motor, either electrical or hydraulic, and options a brake and clutch to be used in several operations. Anchoring is sometimes completed one amongst 2 ways; property go or walking back. Before anchoring the chain should be free from its fastenings on the bow stopper.

Davit cranes are another piece of lifting equipment commonly found on ships and boats. These can be fixed or portable and assist in the lowering or raising of heavy loads such as lifeboats or jet skis, for example.