A new rig for Leeway

  • 31 Jul 2016 12:39
    Reply # 4164679 on 4138614
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    PJR discusses the matter of halyard on pages 32-37. One factor which directed me at using multi-purchase halyards rather than a winch on a single whip, was the matter of compression load on the mast: On a single part halyard the pole compression on the mast will be about twice the halyard forces on the yard. If one uses a 5-part halyard, that compression force is reduced to only 1.2 times. That means a 40% reduction of the compression forces on the mast, and my hunch is that compression forces should be kept low on an un-stayed mast.

    I know, I know; the compression forces in a JR is very low, compared do those on a tuned up Bermuda rig of similar size, but still. Just a thought.

    As for purchase and gearing; remember that no matter how much we down-gear our winches, and  no matter how many blocks we use, the work of hoisting x kilos of sail will still be the same (plus friction work). In the last Practical Boat Owner magazine I spotted an ad, showing an affordable electrical (vertical) capstan, meant for anchor rope, which would have been perfect for saving one’s breath when raising the sail(s). I don’t know if it has a ratchet function, which would be nice to let one quickly hoist the first few panels by hand.

    The Amp-hour drainage of the battery is miserably low for hoisting a sail, as it runs for such a short time. On my former boat Johanna I used an electric winch handle from Winchrite. I know I hoisted the sail six times before recharging the internal battery. It may well have taken more than that. The battery of the Winchrite is 21volt at 2.8Amp-hours, which means 58.8Watt-hours. Converted into the common 12 Volt world that is equivalent of 4.9Ah. In other words, it would take well less than one Amp-hour (in 12V) to raise Johanna’s 48sqm sail.



  • 31 Jul 2016 07:52
    Reply # 4164580 on 4163489
    David Tyler wrote:

    I don't know of any manual models currently in production, and good used Merriman, Gibb or other models will be scarcer'n hen's teeth.

    Here's a hen's tooth, currently for sale, as it happens, but I wouldn't seriously consider fitting it to Leeway.

    And to my surprise there does seem to be a winch of this type in current production, but I still don't think it's what Leeway needs.

    Last modified: 31 Jul 2016 08:05 | Anonymous member
  • 29 Jul 2016 20:42
    Reply # 4163489 on 4138614

    Aside from possible safety issues with a spinning handle, I think there are two other probable deal-breakers:

    I don't know of any manual models currently in production, and good used Merriman, Gibb or other models will be scarcer'n hen's teeth.

    They are direct action only, and I think you are looking for a geared winch, preferably two speed, with a power ratio of around 30:1

  • 29 Jul 2016 15:43
    Reply # 4163135 on 4138614

    I'm still a bit confused about these winches.  Would it be possible to remove the handle and lower the line just by throttling the brake, or is it necessary to hold-back the line with the handle when lowering?  If the former, I could maybe see a use.  If the latter, I think it would be a deal-breaker for me given the wide size-range of my crew members.

    Last modified: 29 Jul 2016 15:43 | Anonymous member
  • 29 Jul 2016 09:42
    Reply # 4162713 on 4138614
    Deleted user

    To stop the handle swinging back dangerously the clutch remains on whilst hoisting. A peg stops a user releasing that clutch inadvertently and remains in place until reefing. I have a rope loop that slips over the permanently in place handle as an additional safety brake. I also have an additional wooden peg that I can use to stop the handle flying if I think  inexperienced crew might be at risk from flying handle if clutch switched off accudentalky which is the safety issue David mentions -  safe use is about making sure clutch used without a mistake. Not used that peg yet.Not made a mistake yet but have had previous experience using these winches on masts. Lowering sail and the handle is used to keep control. As for speed hoisting and lowering  that is not an issue - much faster and in control.  I would not go back to block and tackle unless halyard chaff became an issue.  I have used a mast self stow brand that had a friction brake rather than my either on or off clutch.  Where my winches are placed permanently handles are not an issue if either on top like mine or on side like the eBay winches. Crew get some instruction on using the winches and making sure the additional simple peg fail safe stops are set which simply drop into holes drilled  in the wooden base. The flat mounted winches make ffor more safety options than if mounted  on a mast where a user could release the clutch brake with the handle in place. My rope strope makes this a non issue.

  • 29 Jul 2016 07:27
    Reply # 4162529 on 4138614

    In the olden days, when wire halyards were used, these winches were known to be a health hazard, what with broken wire strands attacking anything they touched and broken wrists resulting from leaving the handle in place when lowering. Dyneema has improved the situation, but I'd not want to use a trailer winch that had a permanently installed handle. The handle at the base of the Merriman winch controls a band brake around the bottom of the drum, giving safe release and some control over speed of lowering - another feature not present in a trailer winch. Consider what will happen if you let go of the handle of a trailer winch and allow the sail to fall freely - there will be some over-run when the sail is fully stowed, resulting in a tangle of loose turns of line on the drum. Making sail will be somewhat slower, having to wind the winch in the early stages when hand-hauling would be much quicker; and the power decreases as the sail nears full hoist, due to the increasing diameter of stowed line on the drum. True, the problem of stowing the line is solved, but everything else seems to be on the other side of the scales. 

    Chris, I'm aware of the powered reel winches from Lewmar and Harken used on superyachts, but have manual reel winches for the halyards on smaller boats made a comeback?

    Last modified: 29 Jul 2016 07:58 | Anonymous member
  • 29 Jul 2016 04:49
    Reply # 4162387 on 4138614


    The idea of a winch that stows its own line is pretty attractive for a halyard, and I'm sure 6mm dyneema is up to the task.  These look a lot like the winches commonly used to pull powerboats onto their trailers.  On the ones I have experience with, the handle can swing around quite quickly when line is being let out while under tension.  How do you manage to avoid having a handle get out of control and potentially create some trouble?  How long does it take to raise sail?  It looks like the entire hoist would have to be winched, rather than raising part of it by hand and finishing with the winch.

  • 28 Jul 2016 19:52
    Reply # 4161719 on 4138614
    Deleted user

    An idea for a self stowing winch. On my profile page I have a picture of the Merriman winch. I Having a schooner so I use two of them for hoisting each of the sails and reefing. I use 6mm dyneena. So far excellent and highly recommended – no friction and no ropes in cockpit. I check for wear on halyard regulalry when I lower sails - nil. I do use large ball bearing blocks. Sail goes straight up and comes straight down with ease.  Sail area of main over 400 square foot. All sail can be hoisted easily from cockpit - unlike with the block and tackle previously installed. I never have to go forward when hoisting or when sailing. For open ocean I have doubled the halyard just in case I need a spare. Various yachting brands and a variety of sized self stowing reel winchs exist. I also have considered stainless alternatives in vaious sizes. Example at http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1200LB-540KG-Hand-Winch-Stainless-Steel-Trailer-Tow-Marine-Boat-Trailer-/141879693682?hash=item2108b05172:g:gPkAAOSw41xXOyMm


    An idea for sef stowing winched.  On my profile page  have a picture of the Merriman winch.  I use two of them for hoisting the sails and reefing.  I use 6mm dyneema.  So far excellent. I check for wear on halyard every time I lower sails - nil.  Sail straight up and sraight down with ease.  Sail area of main over 400 square foot.   All sail can be hoisted easly from cockpit - unlike with the block and tackle previously installed.  
  • 27 Jul 2016 18:34
    Reply # 4159780 on 4138614

    Thanks David, 

    I checked the links, but of course I was logged in when I checked them.....

    I'll have to take a closer look at the wheel.  We have kept the hydraulic steering the boat came with, so we can let go the wheel when we need to do things and that was what made me think that layout might just work.  However, you're right that the arrangement I came up with is crowded and taking the wheel out of the picture makes line-work and storage a lot easier.  As with all boat things, there are knock-on effects.  The current base of the steering pedestal is only a few cm aft of where the aft edge of the rudder stock would penetrate the deck for an emergency tiller.  Removing the pedestal would have made space for a T-shaped emergency tiller which would have made it very simple to run the lines of the self-steering to......  Anyway, I think your right.  I may have to shift the pedestal, but more area for line-work makes sense.  I don't think I've ever done anything that involved as much compromise as refitting a boat!

    I had begun looking at winches.  The new four-speed ones from Pontos are interesting.  I had a chance to play with them last year and they work well (at least when new).  Our winch location could be worked from the companionway where it is a little harder to brace yourself so the extra-low gear would be nice.  I think for a 500 sqft (50m2) sail their 40 size or even their compact winch could work.  The compact is only two speed (6:1 and 45:1, MWL 1870 lb (850kg)), the four-speed 40 trimmer has the same MWL and has ratios of 11.6, 40, 112.9 and an extra "pump" gear at 32.7:1.  I watched a tear-down of one and they were surprisingly not much more complicated than a regular two-speed.  They do use something like Delrin needle bearings, which surprised me, but I've never looked inside another "modern" winch.

    Last modified: 28 Jul 2016 02:34 | Anonymous member
  • 27 Jul 2016 08:06
    Reply # 4157738 on 4138614

    Darren, you took the two links to your mock-up pictures from your private profile, not your public profile, but here are the two public links:



    I think it's getting too crowded around the repositioned wheel. The most likely scenarios are a) Oreola or the boys at the wheel while you hoist the sails, or vice versa, or b) the vane gear steering while one of you adjusts the sheets or reefs/unreefs. I don't think you could steer sensibly whilst leaning over the wheel to wind the winch, and I can't see how the lines get around the wheel to the reels without getting tangled. I'd leave the wheel pedestal where it is, but maybe turn it around so that the wheel is on the forward side, so that you could lean on it, or put one foot on it to hold it steady.

    A self tailing winch is going to be essential, with the length of lines you'll have to handle.

    The clutch layout looks OK, about as good as it can be with the limited space available. 

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