K Gearn
Blue Ribbon
Farm Services


The Gearn Offshore (GO) winch is a deployment and retrieval system that stores a Coflexip flexible pipe. The Coflexip line connects a work vessel to an offshore platform for transferring high pressure fluids.

Historically, Coflexip lines were coiled on the back of work boats and deployed with cranes, however as line lengths grew, the traditional method become impractical, hazardous and provided too many opportunities for damaging the line. Because damaged flexible pipes take 6-12 months to replace and costing tens of thousands of dollars, many clients began looking for new solutions. GO's winch meets these needs with improved flexible pipe protection, a compact solution and a faster deployment and retrieval method than any previously used.

Technical Specifications
The GO standard heavy duty winch can carry up to 450' of 4" flexible tubing at a maximum of 20,000 psi. The average winch weighs approximately 40,000 lbs empty and has a drum diameter of 150". Powered by a high torque 60 hp motor, they are typically tested to pull and hold tension up to 35,000 lbs.

Generic Specification Sheets:

Electric Powered Winches
Gearn Offshore's winches traditionally use electricity for standard operations, but are coupled with a small hydraulic unit for emergency systems such as braking and disconnecting, thereby maintaining functionality during black out conditions. The electric system is designed to be very energy efficient, only using power while in motion or holding tension. Each unit is controlled with a VFD (variable frequency drive) which provides excellent speed and torque control, and allows for rotational accuracies down to 1". When requested, the electric winch can easily be configured to meet Class 1 Div. 1 requirements for hazardous environments.

Hydraulic Powered Winches
Gearn Offshore also builds hydraulically operated winches that use the existing on-board hydraulic power. This system generally relies on "dual usage" of the available hydraulic power, since the winch is typically in use when other hydraulic systems are not active and vice versa. Our hydraulic winches also include explosion proof Class 1 Div. 1 rated remote activation valves to provide a safe and simple means of disconnecting the Coflexip under emergency conditions.

Treating Iron and Quick Disconnects

We use industry standard treating iron and quick disconnects from a variety of sources including FMC, Graylock, Texas Oil Tools and Technip as specified by the client. Each piece is always fully certified and field replaceable. In fact Gearn Offshore has pushed treating iron design beyond industry standards to a 4" full bore rated to 20,000 psi. We have also commissioned the industry first 4" full bore 10,000 psi sour gas check valves.

Corrosion Protection
Gearn Offshore recommends a two-part corrosion protection system on each winch we build. Part one covers the winch drum surface with a very heavy duty epoxy and grit matrix that is applied as an abrasion resistant coating. This textured coating allows the Coflexip to slip along the drum without wearing down the surface. Part two is a three coat marine grade paint system covering the rest of the winch. The first coat is a zinc rich primer coat. The second coat is a dense glass reinforced paint that provides superior abrasion resistance and superior impermeability. The third coat is a durable urethane color top coat.

Prior to applying the corrosion protection Gearn Offshore records multiple measurements of the blast profile on each major component in the winch, including the drum, motor mount, base etc. We also document temperature, humidity, batch number, quantity of reducer and type, wet film and dry film thicknesses for each coat to insure proper corrosion protection application.

Control Panel

The control panel for each winch can be located anywhere on the boat with good visibility of winch operations. The general user controls on the unit include: a single lever operation for normal operating conditions (forward and reverse), an on/off button, a fault indicator light, a manual emergency disconnect lever and a hand pump to generate hydraulic pressure in emergencies. Inside the control unit are several additional access points, including a bleed valve for maintenance and inspections, a hydraulic filler/breather cap and a tank isolation valve. The control unit is easily configurable for Class 1 Div. 1 hazardous environment operations.

The unit's steel framework is hot dip galvanized prior to assembly and the finished control unit is clear coated with an acrylic paint on all interior components to provide enhanced corrosion protection for all fittings, valves, bolts etc.

The electrical operation of the control unit is performed using a PLC. The PLC prevents rotation of the winch under any fault condition, and maintains proper hydraulic pressures. A touch screen is mounted internally that provides excellent system status information as well as detailed trouble shooting screens that work in conjunction with the winch's operation manual. The touch screen also displays the usage hours for different components including hours in operation and time since last oil filter change.

GO's winches require very little regular maintenance. The hydraulic oil filter is monitored by the PLC and generally will need to be replaced once every few years. Otherwise the only required maintenance is applying grease to the main gear and the two main bearings as needed.


Control Cabin
The control cabin provides the ultimate protection for the operator and the equipment in a climate controlled environment for both hot and cold settings. The control cabin incorporates its own MCC (motor control center), the VFD's with dynamic braking, and houses up to two independent control units in a single enclosure. The control cabin requires only a single power input, minimizing the electrical commissioning time during installation. All other electrical and hydraulic connections between the winch and control cabin are pre-configured and quickly reconnected on site.

Gearn Offshore's control cabins are constructed from 3/16" heavy plate steel with 1/2" thick glazing to provide excellent protection from water and wind forces. We do not use any aluminum or sheet metal in the construction of the cabin. Each control cabin is painted inside and out with the same corrosion protection specified for the winches. Our cabins are also outfitted with lighting for day and night use and have a marine grade water tight door.

Crash Frame
The crash frame is a heavy-duty fiberglass decked structure that fits over and fully shields the foot print of the winch from any falling objects or debris such as a chicksan or other treating iron that could cause permanent and irreparable damage to the Coflexip. The crash frame includes a ladder and cage with handrails for easy access to the top of the structure and the entire frame is removable for transportation and maintenance purposes. The crash frame is also painted with the same corrosion protection specified for the winches.

External Coflexip Ramp
Gearn Offshore's external ramp provides enhanced protection when the Coflexip is overboarded. The ramp maintains the recommended bend radius for the flexible pipe when deployed and avoids creating a pinch point in the Coflexip. The external ramp is recommended for all offshore vessels that cannot be configured to provide a smooth sliding surface for the Coflexip during deployment.

The external ramps is painted with the same two part corrosion protection system specified for the winches.

Hanger Plate/Landing Plate
We can also provide a hanger plate to attach to the Coflexip and a landing plate to affix to the platform.



Gearn Offshore lifts the nearly complete P winch at their new shop in the fall of 2009.