A Towage Revolution: Five Years of Lanko®nect


In 2018 Lankhorst Ropes changed towage forever with the launch of the Lanko®nect synthetic towage connection. For the first time, tug operators had a quicker, safer and more efficient method of making a main tow line connection than could be achieved using a cow hitch, shackle or similar hardware.

Five years on, Lanko®nect has been widely adopted due to the benefits it offers during towage operations, to rope service life and, most importantly, to tug crews.

“Working with the lightweight Lanko®nect has significantly reduced the time and work required by tug crews to form a tow line. Lanko®nect also provides tug operators with the ability to set a calculated breaking force, enabling it to either be the strongest component or a deliberate weak link in the tow line,” said Jacco van Snippenberg, sales director towage and salvage, Lankhorst Ropes.

Speaking on using Lankhorst’s towing solutions, one of Fairplay Towage’s superintendents based at the Port of Rotterdam said, “During operations, Fairplay Towage’s crews use a towing arrangement with a Strongline mainline and LankoForce forerunner, connected by a Lankonect soft shackle. Previously an eye-in-eye connection had been used but if there is an issue and the connection breaks, it is difficult to sort out. As a result, the easy to handle Lankonect, especially the three loop construction, has proved very popular with Fairplay’s tug captains.”

Longer Service Life with Lanko®nect

As well as making tow line makeup easier, Lanko®nect is also gentler to the rest of the tow line and deck machinery aboard the tug. With traditional tow line configurations there is always a risk of overpulling and damaging the mainline or forerunner.

Using Lanko®nect as a weak link prevents the connection from damaging the tow line, extending the service life of the tow line versus a traditional construction using hardware. A synthetic connection also reduces the wear on other components such as the towing bit, winch or bollards. With the extended service life of towage ropes and other equipment as well as the reduced maintenance required, Lanko®nect makes a valuable contribution to minimising costs for tug operators.   

For more information on the Lanko®nect, email or visit

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