Captive Winch Lines… Why do we need them? Ask the experts…

Captive Winch Lines… Why do we need them? Ask the experts…

Published 9 August 2016
Published 9 August 2016

Until a few years ago, lines used on captive winches were fairly standard ropes that took a lot of abuse. As boats were generally not being pushed to hard the rope covers were not expected to deal with the issues associated with grip, friction and heat and the cores were not required to deliver racing-like performances. They were relatively simple pieces of equipment even on large Superyachts.

In the past decade with the amazing increase in power and performance of modern Superyachts these lines are now under the spotlight as some of the most critical items onboard and a remarkable amount of R&D work has been undertaken to optimise their performance.

With loads that are continuously rising as a result of more powerful rigs and the stiffer materials used in boat building and sails, all lines onboard a high-performance Superyacht are now put under very high stress with captive winch lines being among the most highly loaded.

Captive winches are often located in remote places below deck meaning the lines have to find their way through an intricate path of sheaves and deflection points to get from their on deck task to the winch; life for these ropes can be very stressful!

We work with the specialist rope manufacturers Gotifredi Maffioli who have spent years researching and developing highly technical ropes to ensure they are fit for task when all these factors are considered.

Luigi Maffioli believes the bending fatigue resistance properties of a rope should be a priority to consider when specifying the running rigging of a Superyacht and has developed the cores of specific line products to be flex fatigue resistant. In particular, the two top performing products in this range; the Captivia 78 XT-Grip and the Captivia 78 XT-PRO are both produced with the bending optimised Dyneema® SK78 XBO fiber. Thanks to a special silicon-based finish overlay which is effectively lubricating the fibers and reducing internal friction and heat build-up this material shows enhancements in flex fatigue by over 200%.

With many of the actively racing Superyachts using these lines we are seeing less gear failure leading to happier owners and crew at the end of the regattas.

To contact our experts in our dedicated splicing department, contact

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