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Marlow's Oceanus: A re-engineered solution for superyacht captive winches

by Emma Donovan, Marlow Ropes 7 Jan 08:30 GMT
Marlow's Oceanus on Persius © Marlow Ropes

In recent years, sailing superyachts have been getting larger, carrying higher loads and taking on board more crew; and as the racing becomes more and more competitive, all of these factors have put greater demands on the boats. With the quest to be faster, stronger, bigger and better amongst a collection of conflicting technical requirements; these challenges, bring opportunity, and none more so than with the design and capabilities of rope for captive winches.

The changes in captive winch design have enabled Marlow to consider whether their high-performance rope is responding to these challenges.

Marlow developed the Oceanus 7 years ago to solve technical challenges that were found on board the 66m Dubois, Aglaia (Now Anatta). In bringing this product to market, they found a solution to the frequent cyclic bending around sheaves, the cover slip and the high load while taking into account the operating crew's safety.

The Oceanus' design ensures that it has a specially coated core, encouraging greater core to cover interaction so as to prevent cover slippage. Furthermore, the SK99 Dyneema core* helped achieve the necessary safety factors with its outstanding performance, whilst the Dyneema and Technora blended cover gave the right compromise of grip and abrasion resistance to ensure smooth running.

Like all ropes, design is a balance of conflicting demands that requires continuous improvement and through a combination of feedback received from dedicated customers and rigging partners, along with their knowledge of the changing demands in the Superyacht industry, they knew that some areas needed further engineering and development. In 2018-19, the 2nd generation Oceanus was launched following a re-engineering process that has resulted in a rope with the following improvements:

  • BIGGER CORE: A 32 plait cover is now used instead of the previous 24 plait this has achieved a thinner cover, acquiring more volume for the core.

  • IMPROVED SAFETY: The Increased core size achieves higher strength to diameter ratios than the previous version did, allowing for improved safety factors.

  • EASIER TO SPLICE: The shorter core pitch allows the rope to be spliced by bury method or tuck splice method, thus making the rope easier to terminate.

  • INCREASED FLEXIBILITY: This pitch change makes the rope more tolerant of the tight bends often found in superyacht rigging plans.

Like the previous incarnation, the Oceanus' cover is available in different material blends to tailor properties such as friction, abrasion resistance and interaction with the different styles of winches and pre-feeders. Aesthetics are a key component to yacht design and the colour options and customisation available at Marlow Ropes, also make this an important part of the rope's design.

* The Oceanus is also available with an SK78 Dyneema core.

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