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Old 13-08-2013, 21:40   #1
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Winch for downhauling the main (reefing)

I want to fit a winch on either my wooden boom or wooden spar, for the purpose of lowering the tack down to the reefing horn.

Just curious if any of you guys have done it. I've seen them on the boom, but I think it would make more sense to put it on the mast. Nothing huge, maybe a #6 or #8.

Downhauling the main with the wind behind is pretty f'n hard without a winch and the idea of rounding up into a sea (on conditions where you'd want to reef) seems borderline insane.
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Old 13-08-2013, 22:21   #2
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Re: Winch for downhauling the main (reefing)

Have an Anderson 12 self tailer mounted on the cabin top at the cockpit.

Originally had a non self tailing winch on the boom on this boat and on my old boat. Found it was really fun reefing in anger with one hand cranking the winch and the other tailing. OOPS, forgot about the hand not holding me onto the cabin top. If you mount the winch on the boom, mount it where you'll be able to crank it with the boom all the way out on either tack.

Boats with internal reefing booms usually mount the winch below the boom on the mast if there is enough room to swing the handle. You can reef while kneeling and leaning against the mast that way.l With your wooden boom, would have to have blocks at the gooseneck to turn the lines down to the winch.

Get a self tailer for the reefing winch wherever you mount it, makes like a lot easier and safer.
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Old 13-08-2013, 22:49   #3
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Re: Winch for downhauling the main (reefing)

Good idea on the self tailing. Normally I don't really care for them (cost, mainly) but in a case like that where you know you're going to be cranking and needing your hands it makes sense.

I'll put it on the mast down at the bottom, hopefully in a sweet spot where I can hunch over or kneel and do it.
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Old 13-08-2013, 23:36   #4
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Re: Winch for downhauling the main (reefing)

Put the downhaul winch where the rest of the reefing lines and main halyard are.

When I raced a Cal40 in Seattle the reef tack was downhauled by a line attached near the gooseneck, thru the tack grommet down to the deck and back to a winch on the cabin top by the cockpit. All three tacklines used the same winch and the same rope clutch and the grommets never went on the tack hook. I'm not sure I would do this for offshore, but worked fine for us.
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