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Old 07-02-2009, 10:22   #1
ub1
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Winch Buddy

Does anyone know if they work well, are durable and if the batteries hold up well
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:14   #2
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I have a "homemade" version. Bought the Milwaukee right angle drill and a "winch bit" off of eBay. I use it to raise the mainsail on my 42' boat. Works well for that. Batteries last for several hoists. My wife uses it to trim the genoa. Caveat: my homemade version must be run in forward or else it breaks the chuck screw. Forward is the low speed high power direction on most winches though. I don't know if the Winch Buddy version has solved the chuck screw issue.
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:25   #3
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We have the actual "Winch Buddy" that came with the boat. It has a high and low speed and works well. It is an older version, though, with the 18 volt batteries. They last about for about two hoists on our 63' masted catamaran. So, I'm pretty much always keeping another one in the charger.

Not as good as an electric winch, but really helps in raising the main. I find it too cumbersome for sheeting, though.

We've had no problems with the chuck screw, although it does pay to keep it dry, rinse off any salt, and keep some Corrosion X on it.

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Old 07-02-2009, 17:00   #4
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Do a search for Winch Buddy. The product was the focus of an extensive discussion here a few years ago.

We have the older 18V version of the Milwaukee drill and a winch bit and have been using it aboard our boat since 2005 after an accident cost me most of the use of my left arm. The unit works like a champ for raising our main, trimming the jib and furling same. Store the batteries fully charged in an air-tight bag in the fridge and remember to recharge them as soon as they run down. We have two batteries and the 12v charger that recharges a battery in about 2-1/2 hours. All-up, our set-up cost us about $480 for the drill, winch-bit, two batteries and the 12v charger. About 1/4th the cost of the electric drives for just one of our winches--and we have a lot of winches!

FWIW...

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Old 07-02-2009, 19:22   #5
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I sold my 18V home made version on E Bay before last season, and bought the new 28V lithium version. I make out fine with one battery charged. I have only wished I had another battery a couple of times. It has much better power.
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Old 07-02-2009, 19:28   #6
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I'm using a Milwaukee right angle drill motor running off 28 V Lithium-Ion batteries also used for my normal drill motor, small grinder, work light, and protable vacuum/inflator. I began using it when I found that bending over between the dodger and cabin top to crank the main halyard winch caused back problems. One charge is good for three or four hoists on my 39' Westsail, and the bonus is that I can stand back and see over the dodger as the sail goes up. I found the same problem with breaking the chuck screw if I run it in reverse as the earlier post. I dont rerallly need to use it for any other winches, but that would be an option. Its been a worthwhile addition.
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Old 07-02-2009, 19:51   #7
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Is this the drill motor?



Milwaukee 3109-24 18 Volt 1/2 in. Right Angle Drill with All-Metal Chuck Kit
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Old 07-02-2009, 20:20   #8
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Yup, that's it. All the Winch Buddy adds is a nice soft case, winch bit (available elsewhere for $50) and several hundred bucks.

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Old 07-02-2009, 20:35   #9
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winchbit.com sells one of the bits. it is the same shape as a winch hole. There is also a square bit for sale on eBay I think.
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Old 18-02-2009, 06:26   #10
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I have a winchmaster with no documentation or installation information. Where can I find the information and needed installation parts? Thanks
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Old 18-02-2009, 06:46   #11
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Scandvik distributed the "WinchMaster" 12v corded electric winch handle, which I believe has been discontinued. Perhaps they can provide a manual, tho’ I’m not certain why you’d need one (it's a portable right angle drill motor).
Tel: 1-800-535-6009 (Vero Beach, FL USA)
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Old 25-04-2009, 13:50   #12
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Winchmaster

I have a Scandvik Windmaster which I purchased prior to buying my boat. The boat turned out to have an electric winch fior the main so I don't need it now. Let me know if you are interested. New they were over 3K. I did not pay anywhere near that for this used one.
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Old 25-04-2009, 15:07   #13
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Winchmaster

Kimokarl

Thanks for the offer, give me a shout at dmcalist@tampabay.rr.com

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Old 06-06-2010, 07:54   #14
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Lithium vs NiCd

Will the Lithium battery charge well on the charger that came with the unit? The charger says it's for 12V - 18V NiCd/NiMH Batteries. My NiCd batteries do not appear to be charging. I assume they've been left discharged for a long time so they're not good anymore. Thinking of replacing with a Lithium unless someone knows how to bring the NiCad 18V's back to life.
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Old 06-06-2010, 18:55   #15
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Wait, a 12v corded right angle drill with a winch bit and a fancy case is over 3k? Wow...
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