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Selecting the right mooring line

What you need to know about the new MEG4:

The maritime industry has always been concerned with safety. Developing mooring systems that are adequate for intended service, with maximum integration of guidelines across a wide range of ship styles and sizes is therefore essential. Although multiple guidelines exist, none are as extensive or well-received as the Mooring Equipment Guidelines (MEG) published by the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF). Find out more about MEG4 and DSM's involvement with it below.

Why are these mooring equipment guidelines (MEG4) important?

Nearly a decade after releasing the MEG3, vessels have increased in size and mooring operations have significantly increased complexity.

The updated guidelines MEG4, released by the OCIMF provide more insights on hardware designs, mooring dynamics, mooring line design, inspection and discard criteria, as well as recommendations on mooring line strength and questions buyers should ask mooring line manufacturers.

These questions include topics such as fiber choice, mooring line design, linear density of the load-bearing core, special coatings, and material wear mechanisms. In addition,several new tests will be detailed throughout the MEG4 that will require compliance from mooring line manufacturers to prove their lines are fit for mooring specified vessels.


What is DSM’s involvement with MEG4?

DSM is the inventor and manufacturer of Dyneema®, the world’s strongest fiber™, a leading material choice in the mooring industry. In fact, many ship operators specify mooring and tow ropes made with Dyneema® SK78 because they are stronger, lighter, more durable and easier to handle than other materials. Based on extensive knowledge of fiber technology, rope design and mooring practices, DSM played a critical role in the development of the MEG4.

Jac Spijkers, Application Development Manager for DSM, was vice-chair of the OCIMF MEG4 committee responsible for the new guidelines, which took nearly two years to complete with input from experts around the globe. “The MEG4 are an important step in providing safety for large carriers,” states Spijkers.

“I am very pleased with these guidelines and believe these will facilitate safer mooring operations and reduce risk to mooring personnel.”

How will these guidelines impact mooring lines?

Today’s vessels rely on crews to manage critical operations. Keeping these operators safe requires the right procedures, equipment and training. Mooring lines play a vital role when berthing, whereas previous guidelines provided limited details in terms of requirements for safety and performance. The MEG4 give insights into the safe use of mooring lines and tails, placing more emphasis on selecting the right line with the right construction (the Select phase) and monitoring its conditions in use and discarding after use (the Operate phase). 

Other key chapters and changes that have been incorporated into the MEG4 include:

  • Enhanced guidance for purchasing, condition monitoring, and retirement of mooring lines and tails
  • Enhanced guidance on documentation of mooring equipment
  • New chapter on the Human Factors in Mooring Design
  • New chapter on Jetty Design and Fittings
  • New chapter on Ship Shore Interface
  • New chapter on Alternative Technologies

How will DSM support the implementation of these guidelines?

As a trusted expert in the mooring industry, DSM will help mooring line manufacturers and end-users by answering questions that might arise from the MEG4 and provide relevant Customer Information Sheets on the fiber properties of Dyneema® SK78.  

And much like the OCIMF, safety continues to be DSM’s number one priority.

“As we continue to build our knowledge of mooring line behavior, failure mechanisms and new mooring technologies, we will continue contributing to industry bodies and regulatory institutions,” says Spijkers. “We support our customers – the mooring line manufacturers – in creep calculations, advice on mooring line design, our proprietary coatings, reliable end-connections and mooring hardware related topics.”

“Only by working in close cooperation with mooring line manufacturers and the vessel owners and operators, safe use and long lifetime will be ensured.”

Where can I find MEG4?

MEG4 is now available. The guidelines can be purchased via the website of OCIMF.

Visit OCIMF.org/MEG4

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