A mooring winch assembly consists of a winch drum that has cable or rope wound around it. The winch drum and warp end are driven with the help of a motor drive.
All these parts are supported with the help of a substantial frame, which also supports a band brake, clutch, and geared drives. The motor drive is connected to the barrel and warp end using a spur gear transmission system.
The transmission system is also provided with a clutch and a band brake. Thus, the spur gear transmission system controls both the barrel and the warp end. The warp end acts like a locking device, which prevents the rope from sliding off the barrel when pulled excessively.
The warp end is extremely important for moving the ship along the berth for alignment purposes. This is done by fastening one end of the ropes or wires to the bollards on the shore and the other end around the warp end of the winch.
Appropriate control of the drum movement is an important aspect of the mooring operation. For this reason, band brakes are provided to stop the drum whenever required. Also, it is important that the drum rotates smoothly in both reverse and forward directions.
A controller arrangement of the drive motor facilitates forward and reverse direction as and when required, including a selection of speeds as per the requirement.
Most of the modern mooring winches help in avoiding the stress related to constant monitoring of the mooring winches when the ship is berthing at a port. It is essential to tension or slack the mooring wires according to the flow of the tides and the change in the draught that takes place due to cargo operations.
The modern mooring assemblies act as an automatic self-tensioning unit, which provides for paying out or recovering wires when a pre-set tension is not present.