Tech File: Harken’s TR31 Tight Radius Rail and Trolley System

Marine News

Being safe on board any workboat has never been easier. That’s because when the Sabine Pilots in Port Arthur, Texas took delivery of their all new all-aluminum pilot boat, the Port Arthur, in May of last year, the vessel came with all the bells and whistles that operators have come to expect from tonnage produced by Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding in Somerset, Mass. For its part, the Gladding-Hearn name has over time become synonymous with cutting edge pilot boats, and the Port Arthur was no different. In this case, though – and with the blessing of Gladding-Hearn President Peter Duclos – it also came with a Harken TR31 Tight Radius rail and trolley system.

The deep-V hull vessel designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates is a Chesapeake class pilot boat, measuring 53.6 feet overall, with a 17.8-foot beam and a 4.8-foot draft. It is also the first U.S.-based commercial vessel to have the innovative safety device from Harken on board. The Sabine Pilots couldn’t be happier.
Captain Andrew Guidry, a 12-year veteran of the Sabine Pilots, told Marine News, that the TR31 system, running port to starboard on the boat, “gives us a sense of confidence when on deck.” With just one boat with the system installed, Guidry said in January, “We’re look at doing more of this and certainly, we won’t build another boat without it.” Beyond that, he added, “We’ll also consider it for retrofit on our other boat during next yards period.”
Tethered: Never Bound 
The Tight Radius rail and trolley system is designed to work as an adjustable anchorage point for fall restraint on marine vessels. At the same time, Harken Industrial’s TR31 Tight Radius rail and trolley system prevents the binding that bothers deck crew most about safety tethers. Inside the compact aluminum trolley‚ four anti-friction rollers engage both sides of the rail‚ smoothly and securely following elevation changes and rail radius contours as tight as 200 mm. Crew never have to unhook‚ but always remain safely tethered.
The Harken TR31 continuous rail and trolley system allows a crew member, fully-harnessed and securely tethered to the trolley, to move freely along the rail with fall restraint security during inspection and maintenance, or when assisting in pilot transfer. Both rail and trolley are fabricated of high-strength, marine-grade 6061-T6 aluminum, a material proven to withstand the harshest environments on the planet. An optional brake trolley with manual screwpin keeps the tether trolley immobile when not in use.
The compact trolley fits neatly into narrow decks and small work spaces. It features Delrin rollers for smooth, uninterrupted movement for the rail’s full length. The TR31 has been tested to 1200 kg (2645 lb) -- 2 x MCA requirements. The Harken Tight Radius Rail and Trolley system can be either surface or stanchion mounted and is easy to install at initial build or as a retrofit. Trolleys require no lubrication. Rails are composed of straight and curved sections that change direction. 200 mm radiused sections are standard. Straight track can be bent to 350 mm or greater. The result is uninterrupted‚ secure travel around the deck. If a fall load is applied, the trolley will stop free rolling to provide fall restraint protection. Sabine’s Guidry says simply, “We couldn’t ask for a better system.”
Trolley design
Strong: tested to 2645 LB
Compact: minimum intrusion
Multidirectional load bearing
Anodized: corrosion resistant
Rail design
Vertical & horizontal operating planes
1.3 m unsupported span
High-strength, marine grade aluminum
Countersunk M10 fasteners/flush fitting
Delrin rollers
No lubrication required
Low friction
Smooth movement
Roller fully supported on both ends
(As published in the February 2017 edition of Marine News)

Other stories from February 2017 issue


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Marine News is the premier magazine of the North American Inland, coastal and Offshore workboat markets.