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Old 27-05-2007, 12:24   #1
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Electric Winch Handle???

We had a neighbor in the Floriduh Keys that had and electric winch handle but have lost track of them. Does anyone know of a source for this item?
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Old 27-05-2007, 13:36   #2
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An Alternative

You can do the same thing for a lot less money using commercial tools. A bit for a 1/2" drill that fits the socket of a winch can be had on Ebay. Then buy a right angle 1/2 inch cordless drill and Bob's your uncle. These large drill motors are not cheap, over $200 for a Milwaukee but they are hell for stout and should outlast you. Even believe someone is selling a sleeve to go over the drill motor to protect it from spray.

FWIW, the surplus store at WM in Oakland had a big one of the marine variety. Since I have a manual windlass that is turned by sheet winch handle thought it might work to give me an instant power winch. Turned out the electric drive was boat battery powered at 24v so wouldn't work for me. Oh yes, the discounted price was $3,000. Gives you an idea why WM prices are up there when they have to eat returns like that.

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Old 27-05-2007, 13:55   #3
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You don't need an expensive battery powered right angle drill. Ryobi makes one (P240) for less then $100 usd. Just replace the 3/8" chuck with a 1/2" chuck. You still need to get the winch bit from Ebay. It is also handy for working in tight spaces. Oh, and another nice thing is that they make a 12v charger for their batteries.
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Old 27-05-2007, 15:28   #4
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Sorry guys but I have worked quite a bit with battery operated equipment and in theory they would be a good alternative but as always in reality the will not have the muscle or longevity to handle raising sails or constant work on sheet winches. That is of course unless someone has first hand knowledge of how they might work.
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Old 27-05-2007, 15:28   #5
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Cheap, I'll buy two or three.

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Old 28-05-2007, 14:58   #6
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This comes up every once and a while...and I hav only heard GOOD things aoubt them from those who use them. Obviously, they are not going to perform like a $5k electric winch with a big battery bank but they work for raising sail just fine.
Winch Buddy - Main this is a drill with a foam cover to disguise it so you can pay lots more.

Alternative buy the drill and a "bit"...

Milwaukee Model 0721 - V28 Right Angle 1/2 inch Right Angle Drill (with over 1000 in/lbs. of torque) Sells for $382 on Amazon.

and the bit:
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Old 28-05-2007, 15:28   #7
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OK, Plan to give this a try and will let you know. FYI, This will serve two purposes. One for work to get myself up a mast for service since my helper has a tough time getting me up there. Not weight related. And the second is for my wife since she does not have the strength sometimes to get the main up as quickly as we might need to.
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:03   #8
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1/2" chuck

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viking Sailor View Post
You don't need an expensive battery powered right angle drill. Ryobi makes one (P240) for less then $100 usd. Just replace the 3/8" chuck with a 1/2" chuck. You still need to get the winch bit from Ebay. It is also handy for working in tight spaces. Oh, and another nice thing is that they make a 12v charger for their batteries.
I have bought all the above but cannot find a 1/2" chuck that threads onto the 3/8" drill end of the Ryobi, which is smaller than the 1/2". Any suggestions?
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:30   #9
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I wonder if you have the same level of control? These may assist from some rapid cranking, but how bout the final bits of trim?
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:10   #10
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Peter,

I will go by Home Depot later today and get you a part number for the chuck.

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Old 03-06-2008, 05:41   #11
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I tried one of the Winch Buddies on another fellows boat. In low gear the chuck spun off because it sheared the left hand screw that was holding it in place.

My only experience................

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Old 03-06-2008, 06:06   #12
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Quote:
Milwaukee Model 0721 - V28 Right Angle 1/2 inch Right Angle Drill (with over 1000 in/lbs. of torque) Sells for $382 on Amazon.
You really need all the power of this drill. Anything else and you won't have enough power to last through any period of time where you need to tack and work the jib sheets many times. On cruising sized boats I really think anything less is a waste of money unless you just need the drill for drilling.

You also have to hold on to the drill. A small person would need to lean into it just as you need to plant your body to hand crank a winch. The ability to not have to crank the winch does reduce the total effort greatly but not totally. You also just as with a real power winch have to closely watch for a snag in the luff when raising sails. The torque is strong enough that you can overlook something and do damage with that much power.
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:50   #13
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I lost a good bit of use of my left arm in an accident in July 2004 and so purchased a Milwaukee drill and winch bit and have been using it since with good success. As to breaking the retaining nut in the chuck, carry several spares but be sure to keep the nut tight. I used a little tiny bit of Locktite on my in June 2006 and haven't broken a locking nut since. When the winch really loads up in low gear, stop and simply do final trim with a winch handle. My 105 lb wife does a lot of the trimming and all of the furling with the drill.

The batteries will die quickly if constantly used to exhaustion. Like the ships batteries, when they are about 50% depleated-an hour or so of hard use--switch to a fully charge back-up and recharge the used battery. I got my batteries at Batteries Plus and twice they have replaced them under their warranty progrm so that's a good deal.

We're now entroute to Key West (stopped for the night at Cabbage Key) and our "electric Winch Handle" is working well.

Cheers,

s/v HyLyte
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Old 03-06-2008, 13:45   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viking Sailor View Post
Peter,

I will go by Home Depot later today and get you a part number for the chuck.

Hi Viking
Very helpful and much appreciated.
Cheers.
Peter
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Old 03-06-2008, 13:55   #15
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Peter,

The chuck mount on the Ryobi p240 should be 3/8 inch with a 24 tpi thread. Home Depot has a Jacobs 1/2 inch upgrade keyless chuck (model 31037) with that mounting for $26.

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