Innovative escort tug winch system gains U.S. patent

Model tests at Stevens Institute Model tests at Stevens Institute

JUNE 16, 2015 — JonRie InterTech, Manahawkin, NJ, has been issued a U.S. Patent for an innovative winch system for escort tugs.

The U.S. Patent Office today issued Patent s/n 9,056,655 to inventors Brandon Durar (JonRie Marine Winches) and Gregory Castleman (Castleman Maritime) for a Staple Torque Aligning Winch System for Escort Tugs.

Mr. Castleman approached Mr. Durar in the winter of 2007 with the concept of a rotating fairlead for an escort winch and Mr. Durar developed the concept of rotating the winch and staple as a single unit.

JonRie completed conceptual engineering that demonstrated that moving the pivot point during an escort will increase tanker turning forces, thus reducing turning time to correct the tanker's course and also reducing the tug's heel angle.

JonRie contracted Capt. Ron Burchett (Burchett Marine) to help enhance the design and move forward with computer and model testing.

Capt. Burchett established two hull models to test a 33 m ASD tug and a 39 m VSPtug  and two computer models were produced by the Glosten Associates naval architect firm using its Tug Master Program for Tanker Escort.

The data used and the results from the simulation showed that both tugs had increased tanker turning forces and reduced tug heel angle.

When the tug test models were completed they were taken to the model test tanks at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ, for two days of testing under the direction of Burchett Marine.

After 158 test runs in all kinds of conditions (3 and 5 meter seas) it was determined that the tanker steering forces were as much as 35% greater with a rotating staple as opposed to a fixed staple.

During testing it became apparent that the up lifting forces on the escort tug made the tug more stable and negated its possibility of capsizing. It was also determined during testing that the side loading on the staple, winch, level wind and extreme loading on the rope were also negated.

The model of the 39 m VSP model was transported to Port Revel, France, for model testing (conducted by Burchett Marine) using scale tankers and the facility's new Q MAX LNG tanker model. The results proved a bollard pull of over 200 tons. Capt.Burchett  was also able to dispel any concerns with the position of the rope in any given mode as the rope is always in line with the force.

JonRies says that the Escort System (Auto Position Escort Winch) is the most advanced system on the market to date. It becomes one with the tug thanks to its ability to align the forces to create the maximum steering effort to assist a tanker in an emergency and to align the forces to safely increase righting forces during an escort.

With the increase in LNG exports around the world and the need for high speed escorts this system provides the optimum solution. The system was also presented to the Panama Canal Commission and where it appears to be the best solution for operation with the new Panama Canal locks which will be built without mooring mules.

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