Lankhorst’s Lanko®nect makes the difference for Fairplay Towage


Operating a growing fleet of over 100 tugboats covering 29 ports, the Fairplay Towage Group supports Europe's maritime and offshore industries with hundreds of tug operations every day. Many of Fairplay's tugs rely on the performance of Lankhorst's ropes during these vital operations.

Lankhorst Ropes spoke to a technical superintendent at the Port of Rotterdam, to get Fairplay Towage's verdict on Lankhorst's ropes and towage solutions.

“As a superintendent every day is different but principally my role is to work with our tug crews to ensure they are ready and able to assist Fairplay's clients. This might be helping the crew, ensuring each vessel's certifications are kept up to date or ordering equipment. Fairplay Towage is committed to delivering a reliable and swift service to our customers so having Lankhorst's Dordrecht stockpoint close by to supply any ropes or towing kit needed is very convenient,” said Fairplay Towage's superintendent .

“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.”

Commenting, Jacco van Snippenberg, sales director towage and salvage for Lankhorst Ropes, said, “Traditional towing configurations were often time consuming, labour intensive to make up and risked damage to the mainline or forerunner, and the cost of replacing them, from overpulling. Lankhorst devised the Lankonect to provide a new approach which would allow a connection to be quickly made without the need to handle heavy hardware.”

“As well as making construction of the tow line easier for the crew, Lankonect is also designed to improve the safety of towing operations. Lankonect allows a variable calculated breaking force to be set for the tow line, with the Lankonect connection either being the strongest connection or a calculated weak link in the towing configuration.”

The Evolving Maritime Industry

“Towing tankers, cargo ships and offshore energy infrastructure into port or providing offshore services and support are everyday activities for Fairplay, however, as our customer’s needs are evolving, so must we. To do this Fairplay Towage is currently adding several new tugs, with Fairplay 93 joining us at the Port of Rotterdam,” said the superintendent on the changing needs of the maritime industry.

“Fairplay 93’s ASD design allows us to better serve the increasingly larger ships mooring at Rotterdam, made possible by the port’s ongoing development, by providing a more compact tug with optimised towing positions. Given Lankhorst’s ropes have proven their performance over many years on our other tugs it was natural to go with Lankonect, Strongline and LankoForce again for Fairplay 93.”

Made from Dyneema fibers, LankoForce offers a high strength-to-weight ratio making it an excellent alternative to steel wire; As a result, an equal strength can be achieved with a smaller and much lighter rope. This means the rope is easier for crews to handle but can it also enable smaller and lighter winches to be used on the vessel, which when incorporated into the design of a new build vessel can lead to substantial cost savings. 

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