Cabin top winches

Racing Tools & Techniques

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Postby erik_wirta » Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:28 am

Anyone using a 3 - 4 winch setup?
I am considering the addition of a Harken 16.2 on the cabin top portside. I sail in a very windy part of the Med where I am reefed more often than not. With standard controls the reefed main is not pretty (but not neccesarily slow?), I am wondering if a mechanical advantage on the halyard and outhaul is worth the investment. Currently I release the main halyard until the reefing eye is about ten inches above the boom at the tack and try to compensate for the lack of multiplication on the halyard and foot with alot of cunningham. I have padeyes installed at the mast base and double aluminium camcleats on both halyards.

what I hope to gain : positive reef control via outhaul and halyard, collateral benefit of being able use the winch for jib halyard too.

what I want to avoid: general rig stress of a winch with a low speed gear ratio 16:1 in the hands of an enthusuastic crew,

your comments/experiences with cabin top winches would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks
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Postby sdbob » Sat Mar 10, 2007 12:05 am

Just got the boat two weeks ago. We have two cabin tops. The only reason I can see to have the starboard side winch is to play the tack line in huge breeze. The port side winch is nice to center the lifting strap, but seems to have no other use to me. I can see the benefits of having it to help reef even though I don't have a reef point. I'm still not sure what to use it for.

I'm sailing 3/10 so I'll check the sizes of my winches and post a follow up. The starboard winch is smaller than the port so 16.2 is most likely the correct size.
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Postby Guest » Mon Mar 12, 2007 5:42 pm

My boat has the double winches on the cabin top. The starboard winch is good for making adjustments to the the jib halyard. I sail mainly PHRF and have a cabin top clutch for the main halyard and use the starboard winch for that but the main goes up pretty easy without using the winch. I am considering a clutch for the jib halyard and losing the double cleats on the mast. I have had the jib halyard pop out of the double cleats on windy days. I don't like the horn cleat at the base of the mast because the jib sheets get stuck in it while tacking, but I keep it in so I can make my boat fit within the class rules where clutches are not allowed (though I heard they are being considered.

I use the port cabin winch for the spinnaker halyard though we hoist off the mast and then tranfer the halyard tension from the lance cleat on the mast to the a clutch by the winch. Some times on a windy day though and a glitch happens in the hoist, it is nice to have the option of hoisting off the winch. For when I do an occassional OD event, I bypass the clutch and use a Harken cleat beyond the winch. I strongly believe a spin halyard clutch should be allowed because I feel it is a safety issue so that one can blow the halyard in an emergency.
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[Posted by: Terry Burke
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Postby derek_jackson » Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:24 pm

We have a cabin top winch on the port side. We really only use it for getting extra tension on the Jib halyard. We are going to install a clutch this year for the tack line as we had trouble last year with a 100 pound woman not being able to blow the tack for a takedown in heavy air. When she finally got the line out of the cam cleat her finger almost went with it. Does anyone know what the rules around clutches are?
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Postby sdbob » Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:08 am

There's a clutch for the tack line on my boat. I don't know that it's class legal, but the original owners knew what they were doing based on all the gear that came with the boat. There was another owner between us, and to my knowledge they only sailed the boat a few times. I doubt the second owner changed a thing on the boat. The tack line clutch action is VERY sticky. It's obviously been exposed to the elements for quite a while. I would be surprised if you couldn't use a clutch. With the size of that kite I would have my doubts about a cam cleat.
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Postby Guest » Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:14 am

As far I last heard, a clutch is allowed on the tack line. There was a movement afoot to get them approved as optional on the cabin top. I have never heard if they were approved at the class level and sent to ISAF for approval.

PS: In my previous post I got my starboard/port mixed up. My port winch is used for the jib halyard adjustments and the starboard side is used for the spin halyard in a pinch. I also use it for centering my lifting strap
TopNotch 405

[Posted by: TopNotch
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Postby gord175 » Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:06 am

We have a spinlock PX type cleat for the tack line. The advantage here is that it takes little force to uncleat even under load. You snap the line up and voila..I haven't exprienced any problems with it. I wonder if others use this style cleat?
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Postby erik_wirta » Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:01 am

I decided to stay with the 2 winch setup. A block where the vang attaches to the mast and another on a stanchion base gets my reefing line to the portside main winch to flatten the main, halyard tension is achieved with the cunningham. Jib halyard tension is definitely an issue but probably more due to slippage with the 2 Harken 150s, a 4 year old halyard certainly does not help. For those of us switching to aramid headsails I would be careful with a winch for increasing luff tension. The newer material is often cross cut and always has little stretch, the amount of shape change you get is very limited and needs to be weighed against structural stress of too much tension. When I get mine this year I will put a flat aluminium mast cleat in place of the two cams. With a cleat, a new halyard and my 180lbs on the hoist it won't budge and will be nice and tight for a good breeze. On my sparcraft mast the halyard exit is high enough that the jib sheets will never foul.

On another topic:
I am thinking of a heavy weather cruising setup with a second reef in the main and an 85% LP aka number 4 jib. Any experience/comments please?
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Postby Guest » Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:51 pm

Gordon,
I thought about using the Spinlock PX type cleat for the Tack line and other applications. I use one for my main sheet. My only concern with using one on the Tack line is that was that it might be almost too easy to popup (or down) at inappropriate moments. A clutch is much more controllable...though much more expensive.
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[Posted by: Terry Burke
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