This article is not available in your language. We show you the original.


TCD has a longstanding association with designer Daníel Sigurðsson in developing the Ósey Urk winches for seine netting, and these remain very much in demand, with all of the new trawler/seine netters being built by the Padmos yard for owners in France fitted with TCD’s Ósey Urk winches.

These have traditionally been hydraulic winches, as this makes it practical to shoot seine rope rapidly, while also providing the high torque needed for hauling. So when requests started to come in for electric winches, TCD was presented with the challenge of combining these conflicting characteristics in a single unit.

The answer came from local company Dromec, which has a background in building small electric winches and capstans, and which has built up a strong reputation in dredging and offshore sectors as its product line has expanded.

The new LT-60 will be the first to have operational electric winches from TCD

‘We discussed with them and they were confident this could be done. So we got together with them and Daníel to work out what we could do,’ he said, explaining that they were reluctant to go down the route of working with clutches, and instead had the challenge of developing the gearboxes and electric motors that could combine freewheeling rope off the drums to shoot away with high-torque, low-speed hauling capability.

‘Dromec came up with an electrical package and we supplied the winches,’ he said, adding that initially the intention was for the new UK-150 to have the first electric winch setup, but the owners decided to stay with the familiar hydraulics, and the first system has been fitted on board Maarten van Duijn’s LT-43 – although the future of this vessels remains unclear following a fire on board while still under construction.

So the first system expected to be commissioned is the winch installation on board the LT-60 being built at Maaskant, and while the owners had originally been adamant that they wanted a hydraulic system as well, they were convinced that TCD and Dromec could meet the challenge supplying electric seine winches.

Stellar UK-151 has the first TCD autotrawl system

‘The electric system is marginally more expensive, but there are many advantages,’ he said. ‘It’s very simple to build in an autotrawl system.’

TCD has been working on developing its own autotrawl system, which is focused primarily on seine netting, and with the first of these systems supplied for the hydraulic winch installation on board Quotter’s UK-151.

Mooie Meid Z-296 is being converted to fly-shooting – while keeping the derricks for beam trawling

‘They need the fly-shooting systems, as the twin-rig trawlers don’t need a sophisticated autotrawl. Warp length and tension is enough, but they do need the system for fly-shooting,’ he said.

What TCD has developed is a system that monitors the length coming off each drum while shooting away, and allows hauling to be managed by equalising length, tension or pressure.

‘Normally they haul on equal length, up to the last two thousand metres, when they switch to equalised tension or pressure. This has been programmed for us by Marble, and these systems have gone on onto UK-151, UK-150, SE-10 and now onto Belgian trawler Mooi Meid Z-296, which Maaskant are converting to a fly-shooter/twin-rigger, but still keeping the derricks so they have the option of beam trawling as well.

He added that for this conversion, TCD supplied the seine winches, but for stability reasons, there was a weigh limit on the winches. Instead of the usual 12 tonnes, they had to be six tonnes, and by using high-grade materials, TCD has been able to bring the winches down to just over six tonnes.

The drums side are half the usual thickness, but are in fact stronger, and the whole system has been stripped back and strengthened to keep weight to a minimum.

TCD has established a strong reputation for the quality of its rotary washers, catch handling and catch management systems, with customers for these in Holland, Denmark and Scotland, and increasingly TCD is supplying complete installations for new fishing vessels, as well as items of equipment for existing systems – such as a combined washing and dipping system for Irish trawler S-40, eliminating a phase of the deck work on board in handling the prawns on their way to the freezers.

‘Instead of dropping the prawns into baskets that are then dipped, they sort them into chutes leading to a bubble washer with chambers that rotate at preset intervals,’ Lourens de Boer explained.

The ten chambers rotate, switching stations every minute, and as the rotary system turns at these set intervals, this ensure that the prawns get an exactly ten minute treatment.

‘This means that the prawns are washed and dipped for an exact length of time, at a controlled temperature, and the preservative is also batched precisely so that the mix is right all the time. So this reduces the work the crew have to do, and the results are better.’

Source: Hook & Net