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Old 18-11-2014, 14:43   #1
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Purpose of Coach Roof winches?

I will be buying my first boat soon and have been researching a lot of used sailboats online. Some have Coach Roof Winches and some do not. I am wondering what sailors typically use them for and if they are a necessity or something I can get later on. I plan to live aboard (25 to 30 foot monohull) in a marina or anchorage on the East Coast of North Carolina and sail in the inter-coastal and Florida Keys (eventually).

Thank you for any input, Dave.
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Old 18-11-2014, 15:00   #2
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Re: Purpose of Coach Roof winches?

Coach roof winches are often used for halyards, spinnaker pole guys, and other lines that run to the base of the mast. Your mainsheet may also run forward to the mast, then back to the coach roof -- it depends on the sheeting arrangement.
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Old 18-11-2014, 15:07   #3
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Re: Purpose of Coach Roof winches?

As Paul said - it depends.

If the used boat has coach roof winches, it will be because lines have been rigged to run over the coach roof. If it doesn;t have them, then lines will have been rigged to run to the foot of the mast and along gunwales back to the cockpit.

IOW - If it has them, you need them. If it doesn't you don't and there is no need to "get them later on" (unless you intend to re-route your lines for some reason).
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Old 18-11-2014, 15:12   #4
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Re: Purpose of Coach Roof winches?

As stated coach roof winches are to winch lines run on the coach roof, primarily halyards and spinaaker controls.

However if the boat does not have coach roof winches the halyards my not run to the cockpit.

More likely the halyards are cleated on the mast and there may be a winch on the mast. It is more convenient to have the halyards on the coach roof as you can raise and lower main, genoa and spinnaker from the cockpit rather than going up to the mast.

I would prefer to have halyards on the coach roof.
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Old 18-11-2014, 15:41   #5
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Re: Purpose of Coach Roof winches?

Thank you all for the responses, they were very helpful!

Dave


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Old 18-11-2014, 16:01   #6
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Re: Purpose of Coach Roof winches?

As stated above...Halyards, reef lines etc... and add: if it's a cutter they are often for the staysail.
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Old 18-11-2014, 16:08   #7
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Re: Purpose of Coach Roof winches?

I'm planning on going with a Sloop, but I do appreciate the versatility of a Cutter's sail options.
I have a follow up question regarding running halyards along the coachroof vs belaying them at the mast. It seems safer to run them to the cockpit. Are there any advantages to a mast mounted halyard winch and cleat set up? i.e. Simplicity


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Old 18-11-2014, 16:20   #8
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Re: Purpose of Coach Roof winches?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cest la Dave View Post
I'm planning on going with a Sloop, but I do appreciate the versatility of a Cutter's sail options.
I have a follow up question regarding running halyards along the coachroof vs belaying them at the mast. It seems safer to run them to the cockpit. Are there any advantages to a mast mounted halyard winch and cleat set up? i.e. Simplicity


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I prefer them at the mast myself. simplicity and a lot less friction. No big tangled mess of lines in the cockpit /companionway etc. No restriction of room under the dodger trying to use a winch handle etc.
However... having said that... when you get down to 30 feet or less boat size, it's not as bad as the friction on a big boat...and if you have tiller steering, you might be able to singlehand without relying on the autopilot while reefing etc. everything's a tradeoff.
If you run two reef point s(tack and clew)that's 4 lines led aft. Then the main halyard, topping lift, possibly a boom vang.. now you've got multiple , confusing stoppers, lines etc everywhere... like 7 lines....
Somehow it always ends up seeming easier/simpler/more trouble free to go forward to the mast for me.. although I've tried various schemes...
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Old 18-11-2014, 16:33   #9
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Re: Purpose of Coach Roof winches?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
As stated above...Halyards, reef lines etc... and add: if it's a cutter they are often for the staysail.
On my boat, on the coach roof, port to starboard: staysail sheet, mainsheet, vang, topping lift, in-mast main furling line, another one of those, outhaul, so seven altogether on the coach roof.

Run through Lewmar rope clutches to two big electric Lewmar winches.

Out in the cockpit -- yankee sheets, running backstays, furling lines (yankee and staysail), jib car control lines, traveler control lines. On six more Lewmar winches.

All of the halyards (six of them) are at the mast.

It all depends on how the boat is rigged.
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Old 19-11-2014, 00:08   #10
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Re: Purpose of Coach Roof winches?

As has been said, if the boat doesn't have coachroof winches, you probably don't need them -- unless you want to make some changes. Here's our coachroof arrangement:

Two winches port, two winches starboard.
Port lines / clutches: port traveler, port preventer, port stays'l sheet, main sheet, spin pole lift, spare main halyard / topping lift, main (boom) furling line.

Starboard lines / clutches: stb'd traveler, stb'd preventer, stb'd stays'l sheet, main halyard.

Cockpit: two winches port, two winches stb'd. Used for jib and spinnaker sheets, spinnaker guys, running backstay, occasionally jib furling lines.

Cockpit coaming: port and stb'd clutches for spin pole foreguy.

Mast: one port winch, one starb'd winch. Used for jib and stays'l halyards, spare jib haly'd, two spinnaker halyards. Each line has a dedicated clutch.

The boat originally had all lines led aft from the mast to the coach roof, but as I added the spinnaker rigging I added the mast winches and moved the foresail halyards to the those. Otherwise, the cockpit would be way too full of lines that would just as easily be controlled from the mast. As it is, my sheet bags in the cockpit are pretty busy, and I often have to juggle lines on and off the four coachtop winches.

I guess I'm saying that once you've got some experience with the boat you shouldn't be afraid to change your rigging, winches, etc. Look at how you use the boat, if you sail solo or crewed, what sails you want to fly, etc. Some boats minimize the number of winches by bringing everything back to the coachroof and using a massive bank of clutches. This saves the cost of winches, but often results in a tangled mess.
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Old 19-11-2014, 04:19   #11
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Re: Purpose of Coach Roof winches?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Dave.
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Old 19-11-2014, 19:06   #12
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Re: Purpose of Coach Roof winches?

As mentioned in other posts they are usually for various adjustments and halyards. If the boat doesn't have them it probably doesn't need them.

I have had boats with and without them. My strong preference is to not have halyards going to winches on the coach roof because:
[LIST][*]The extra friction makes a big difference to hoisting the sail up.
[*]You can use your body weight to pull the halyard down at the mast which makes a huge difference to effort.
[*]Raising a sail at the cockpit means you cannot use your body weight to raise the sail which results in more winching which is SLOW
[*]The benefits of operating the halyard controls at the cockpit are overstated in my opinion as you have to go forward to attach the luff cringle in anycase. Even when it is secured it can easily fall out before you raise the sail and it is a PITA to have to make the trip to the mast again to re attach it.
[*]Raising the sail at the mast means you can see what is going on and are far less likely to pull out a batten pocket or rip a sail when it gets caught on something like lazy jacks etc.

My current boat has all lines running to the cockpit and I plan on adding a couple of winches to the mast to overcome the above issues.

regards

Andrew
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Old 22-11-2014, 19:51   #13
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Re: Purpose of Coach Roof winches?

I have, I think 2 coach house winches, left over from an older rig setup somebody tried and didn't like before I bought the boat. I run my halyards to my mast winches and cleats. The reason I like it, is I sometimes single hand, or more often sail with wife and child= single handing with company.
I find, especially with the main there is often something I need to mess around with on the main, hanks, or reefing line, or just some unexpected mess. I like being able to cleat off temporarily, fix an issue and go back to work, with out having to climb around deck in nasty weather (or nice weather for that matter).
I've thought about experimenting with my coach house winches, but I'm afraid of elbowing the baby in the face, or having to return to the mast to finish the job.
I agree with other posts, use them if you have them, don't give them a second thought if you don't.
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