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Lankhorst Ropes Introduces Lankonect

Lankonect connection with protective sleeves and extra protection in the rope eyes.Maritime ropes supplier Lankhorst Ropes announces Lankonect, a synthetic fibre rope connection for the main tow line that replaces a conventional cow hitch, shackle or similar hardware, providing tug operators with a quicker and safer connection during towing.

A typical tow line configuration comprises a main towing line with a forerunner, and perhaps a stretcher, as well as a cow hitch or connector hardware. Apart from being time consuming this configuration also risks breaking the costly main line and forerunner due to overloading. The Lankonect enables a new approach to tow line assembly by removing the need for a cow hitch knot or hardware. It also allows tug operators to set a calculated breaking force for the tow line configuration.

With the Lankonect, there is a minimal chance of damage to other components such as the towing bit and winch on board the tug boat or ship bollard and, of course, the other lines in the towing configuration. By allowing a variable calculated breaking force to be set for the tow line, the Lankonect can be either the strongest connection or a calculated weak link in a towing configuration. During development, the Lankonect was subjected to rigorous field trials. “In the short time that we have been using the Lankonect, the benefits became clearly visible to us. The ease of use and thus, indirectly, the safety of the crew, is striking,” says Jan Busscher, Group Procurement Manager at Smit Lamnalco.

“With this solution, we simply earn money. In the past, we connected the main line and the forerunner with a lashing. To replace one of these ropes we had to cut the lashing. With the Lankonect, this is no longer necessary,” notes Andries Looijen, Superintendent at Multraship.

The Lankonect installation is quick and simple – no heavy hardware is needed. Moreover, the small Lankonect knot provides smoother line movement, as well as easier handling, compared to a conventional and large bulky knot.

The Lankonect connection works with a wide range of synthetic materials including lightweight, high strength Dyneema (Lankoforce) and polyester (Strongline). It offers a greater range of connection options than for traditional tow line configurations. “The Lankonect is a significant breakthrough in how tug operators can now configure their tow line. To maximise the tow, yet reduce the risks of costly damage to the line itself,” says Hans-Pieter Baaij, Commercial Director at Lankhorst Ropes.