Onboard Systems 25 tonne captive winch


Super yacht owners are always looking to push the envelope of mechanical design. Every detail no matter how small must be perfect. Sails must move smoothly and efficiently in extreme conditions and without hesitation at the press of a button. Each item of equipment on board a super yacht must have a purpose, excel at that purpose and be as small and light as possible. With their many years of experience supplying custom hydraulic and handling equipment for the super yacht / sailing industry few companies would know this better than Onboard Systems. This is why when developing their high-end product range specifically designed for sheeting in and out of the sails on a super yacht, Onboard Systems looked for something extra special in the design and manufacture process.


When first designing the revolutionary Captive Winch range, Onboard Systems partnered with Axiam to help turn their ground breaking concept into reality. The design incorporated processes, design technology and composite materials from the aerospace industry. This integration of industry technologies allowed for major increases in strength while reducing the overall size and weight of the winch. In addition clever innovations have brought about a major technology shift, a result that achieves both high performance and the aesthetics required in the super yacht industry.


The Captive Winch product range is unique for moving away from traditional materials and manufacturing techniques.


Axiam was able to provide a complete start to finish solution partnering Onboard Systems every step of the way from 3D modelling, tool design, process design, tool build, manufacture, assembly and assist with testing of the 63 different components through to the dispatch of the fully assembled winch. Through this start to finish involvement it is possible to extensively customise the end product to adapt to the exacting requirements for specific applications. Winches can be made to draw in the exact rope lengths required thus eliminating unnecessary bulk or weight. Standard winches can also be made in the range from 5000Kg up to the very high 25000Kgs static load rating with a mix of carbon, stainless and composite materials creating the greatest strength to weight ratio possible.


But the final word on how this all went should go to Rod Taylor, CEO and Owner of Onboard Systems: “It was great to be working with a company that could take my conceptual design ideas and turn them into a 3D model through to the manufactured components and the fully assembled and tested product. There are very few companies that can do this as well as AXIAM does”


Customer: Onboard Systems Ltd



25T Captive Winch.



Local/Export – Marine Industry -Super-yacht / Sailing


Project leaders:

Grant McKinlay, Barry Hurley.


Product statistics:

From 5000Kg to 25000KG static load rating

Various different compounds/materials including Composites (carbon fibre), Stainless Steel 304 / 316 / 2205, Aluminium 6061T6, Bronze AB2, Plastics, Acetyl, Nylon, PTFE & Orkot.

63 separate assembled components.



Process design

Product design

Tool design

Engineering design

Product testing

Jigs & fixtures

Tool manufacture

Sub-supplier management

CNC Machining

Clear Anodising

Certificate of compliance

SIR (sample inspection report)

Continuous evaluation & verification

Verification & testing

Environmental management (RoHS)


Pack & dispatch: NZ & Export


Project overview:

Initial enquiry received

3D electronic modelling

Finite analysis (outsourced)

Detailed manufacturing drawings produced

Precision fixtures / jigs designed and manufactured

Test bed for maximum load and flow test created

Samples manufactured and tested

Supply of custom products


Technical challenges:

Machining of new/composite materials

Extremely precise tolerances required

Management of large number of subcomponents

Surface finish requirements on machined faces





ISO9001 & ISO14001: The development, manufacture and assembly of plastic moulded components
ISO9001: Casting, machining, finishing, powdercoating and assembly of metal products
Onboard Systems 25T Winch

“Axiam supplied a complete design and manufacturing product solution”


Rod Taylor, CEO & owner Onboard Systems Ltd

ISO9001 & ISO14001: The development, manufacture and assembly of plastic moulded components
ISO9001: Casting, machining, finishing, powdercoating and assembly of metal products