Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 23-01-2016, 10:28   #16
Moderator
 
Paul Elliott's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,866
Images: 4
Re: The hidden dangers of power winches

Quote:
Originally Posted by boeing1 View Post
yes good advice would also add should check condition of the rubber covers for switches that could leak
Also check the rubber button covers for degradation. Mine (from Harken) get gummy after five years or so, and I've had the buttons stay depressed after I take my finger off the button.

This happened at sea and I broke a block and bent a heavy stainless plate where the block was attached. As a jury-rig I cut away the center of the button cover and patched it with sail-repair tape, so the fabric side was facing the switch button. Of course I replaced the button covers when I got back to civilization. The replacements are starting to go bad again -- I guess it's time to order some new ones.

In hindsight I probably didn't need to cut away the center of the cover, just put a piece of sail tape inside it to cover the gummy section.

I don't leave lines on the electric winches when I am off the boat.
__________________

__________________
Paul Elliott, S/V VALIS - Pacific Seacraft 44 #16 - Friday Harbor, WA
www.sailvalis.com
Paul Elliott is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2016, 10:29   #17
Registered User
 
Muckle Flugga's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Aboard the Ocean wave
Boat: 55' sloop.
Posts: 1,426
Re: The hidden dangers of power winches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Myknjul View Post
We had one with our jib sheet wrap over top of itself and completely jam up. Because of the incredible amount of tension we could not get it free. Of course it happened at the worst time possible in rough weather. Finally had to cut the sheet to keep from damaging the sail or the furler.

Thanks for the heads up on the issues above!
This is exactly why it is so very dangerous to use an electric winch to climb a mast! A truly terrible incident in Jolly Harbour a few years ago resulted in the amputation of a woman's hands and forearms, and all eight fingers of a would be rescuer… I know the guys who had to clean it all up, and was present a day later. Awful. People should NOT be tempted to use electric or other powered winches to mast climb. Solenoids can stick on, and riding turns under tension are impossible to release if the tension is continuing, as you found out.
__________________

__________________
‘Structural engineering is the art of modeling materials we do not wholly understand into shapes we cannot precisely analyse as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess in such a way that the public at large has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance.’
Muckle Flugga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2016, 10:45   #18
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 4,321
Re: The hidden dangers of power winches

The winch switch covers on the Valiant 47 were all replaced last year after the winch stuck on during a sail. A pneumatic switch sounds interesting.
__________________
donradcliffe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2016, 10:57   #19
Registered User
 
Muckle Flugga's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Aboard the Ocean wave
Boat: 55' sloop.
Posts: 1,426
Re: The hidden dangers of power winches

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
The winch switch covers on the Valiant 47 were all replaced last year after the winch stuck on during a sail. A pneumatic switch sounds interesting.
Pneumatic switches are good. Lewmar is phasing them out though I think… Anyhow they are harder to get, and also have their own issues sometimes. I have heard reports (not that I have experienced at all) that they can sometimes activate due to overpressure in the heat. But yes. Stuck on. BLOODY DANGEROUS.
__________________
‘Structural engineering is the art of modeling materials we do not wholly understand into shapes we cannot precisely analyse as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess in such a way that the public at large has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance.’
Muckle Flugga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2016, 11:39   #20
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Auckland, New Zealand.
Boat: Bavaria 49 Nikka
Posts: 89
Re: The hidden dangers of power winches

Quote:
Originally Posted by timbenner View Post
Why not self tail it for obvious reasons?? I self tail the halyard in the electric winch when winching someone up the mast to insure it doesn't slip and use the rope clutch as well. Just curious? I understand that you can't self tail it when bringing them down.
I don't use the self tailler on the electric winch when pulling someone up the mast (I do use the clutch) because I have had a winch fail to stop when I stopped pressing the button; it continued to run for about 15 seconds. If I'd pulled someone to the top and that happened it would have tried to pull my first mate through the sheave at the top of the mast.
__________________
Kiwi. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2016, 11:40   #21
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: the Med
Boat: Nauta 54' by Scott Kaufman/S&S - 1989
Posts: 1,060
Images: 3
Re: The hidden dangers of power winches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
Our powered Lewmar 65 primaries have all switching below decks. The cockpit 'button' is a pneumatic diaphragm that energizes the winch by means of the air actuated relay below. That said, we never leave any lines on these big self-tailers.
Same for me.

We have switches on the drawing table for pumps, winches (3) and windlass
I feel terribly sorry for what happened... I look at winches always with much respect and fear... yet I could not imagine what happened....

Please all of us be very careful !!!
It looks like NOT USING THE SELF-TAIL is the safe option
__________________
TheThunderbird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2016, 12:01   #22
Resin Head
 
minaret's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Seattle WA
Boat: Nauticat
Posts: 7,199
Images: 52
Re: The hidden dangers of power winches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
Pneumatic switches are good. Lewmar is phasing them out though I think… Anyhow they are harder to get, and also have their own issues sometimes. I have heard reports (not that I have experienced at all) that they can sometimes activate due to overpressure in the heat. But yes. Stuck on. BLOODY DANGEROUS.


Have experienced this. Replaced my pneumatics as a result. Only happens on a cool morning when the sun suddenly rises and hits the switches. Still didn't like it. Went to regular foot switches.
__________________
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,

Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.
minaret is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2016, 12:17   #23
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2,105
Re: The hidden dangers of power winches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
We had the same thing happen with our windlass. Fortunately, we we onboard when it took place and shut it off within 15-20 seconds. We've always turned off all electric winches, furling devices, fresh water pump and the windlass when not in use ever since.
Yup, pays to be ultra cautious on a boat. We even shut off our propane tanks at the tank end and burn up what is in the line when we left the boat even for a day. Few folks are aware of the bits of propane that sink into the bilges over time. Can add up to one big explosion.
BTW, best way to get propane out of the bilge is by those plastic bailing pumps. Looks silly when your pumping what looks like air but can be a lifesaver. Do not use a match to check the bilges.
__________________
reed1v is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2016, 12:23   #24
Registered User
 
Muckle Flugga's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Aboard the Ocean wave
Boat: 55' sloop.
Posts: 1,426
Re: The hidden dangers of power winches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi. View Post
I don't use the self tailler on the electric winch when pulling someone up the mast (I do use the clutch) because I have had a winch fail to stop when I stopped pressing the button; it continued to run for about 15 seconds. If I'd pulled someone to the top and that happened it would have tried to pull my first mate through the sheave at the top of the mast.
Honestly you really should not use powered winches with a PERSON on the other end! A riding turn would have had the same effect, and would have killed your First Mate. They are convenient, easy, and easily DEADLY. I see it all the time and often without real reason other than laziness. A combination of climbing, manual winching and belaying should be fairly easy for just about anyone. Of course it requires some effort… if that bothers, then you can get some help. Better than mopping the blood of a crew or loved one off he deck…
__________________
‘Structural engineering is the art of modeling materials we do not wholly understand into shapes we cannot precisely analyse as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess in such a way that the public at large has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance.’
Muckle Flugga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2016, 12:37   #25
Resin Head
 
minaret's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Seattle WA
Boat: Nauticat
Posts: 7,199
Images: 52
Re: The hidden dangers of power winches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muckle Flugga View Post
Honestly you really should not use powered winches with a PERSON on the other end! A riding turn would have had the same effect, and would have killed your First Mate. They are convenient, easy, and easily DEADLY. I see it all the time and often without real reason other than laziness. A combination of climbing, manual winching and belaying should be fairly easy for just about anyone. Of course it requires some effort… if that bothers, then you can get some help. Better than mopping the blood of a crew or loved one off he deck…


Or use a winch rite at the halyard winch.
__________________
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,

Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.
minaret is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2016, 12:46   #26
Registered User
 
Muckle Flugga's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Aboard the Ocean wave
Boat: 55' sloop.
Posts: 1,426
Re: The hidden dangers of power winches

Quote:
Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Or use a winch rite at the halyard winch.
That'd be fine, sure.
__________________
‘Structural engineering is the art of modeling materials we do not wholly understand into shapes we cannot precisely analyse as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess in such a way that the public at large has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance.’
Muckle Flugga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2016, 12:57   #27
Eternal Member
 
monte's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Australia
Boat: Lagoon 400
Posts: 3,650
Images: 1
Re: The hidden dangers of power winches

Quote:
Originally Posted by timbenner View Post
Why not self tail it for obvious reasons?? I self tail the halyard in the electric winch when winching someone up the mast to insure it doesn't slip and use the rope clutch as well. Just curious? I understand that you can't self tail it when bringing them down.

Sorry Tim. As mentioned above there's been a few accidents involving electric winches not stopping when the switch is let go. It's never happened to us but using the clutch and tailing the halyard manually is a safer option. You can run the tail around an adjacent winch and cleat it off for a backup to the jammer if the crew is spending a while up there.
__________________
monte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2016, 13:12   #28
Registered User
 
OldFrog75's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Boat: Club Sailor; various
Posts: 922
Re: The hidden dangers of power winches

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
Good story. We often use the electric winch to sheet the mainsheet hard after sailing, but never leave it or any line on the winch. We do sometimes leave the jib furling line on the winch when sailing but I think I'll look at other options. It has a clutch but I don't really trust the furling line clutch. We also use the electric winch for hauling crew up the mast but never self tail it for obvious reasons.
Yeah. Why was the halyard wrapped around the winch and self tailer? Does the boat not have a clutch on the halyard that would be sufficient for tightening it?
__________________
OldFrog75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2016, 13:17   #29
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,355
Re: The hidden dangers of power winches

Wow! Did you happen to see Murphy lurking nearby?
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 23-01-2016, 13:21   #30
Eternal Member
 
monte's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Australia
Boat: Lagoon 400
Posts: 3,650
Images: 1
Re: The hidden dangers of power winches

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldFrog75 View Post
Yeah. Why was the halyard wrapped around the winch and self tailer? Does the boat not have a clutch on the halyard that would be sufficient for tightening it?

I guess you are asking about the furling line. The clutch is a bit dodgy in my opinion. Unlike a proper clutch it can be easily kicked open. If it's holding the furled jib it usually means it has quite a bit of pressure on it and suddenly letting go would be a bit of a pain. I'll probably start using the horn cleat by the winch as a backup, rather than leaving it on the winch.
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByCruisers Sailing Forum1453580497.441454.jpg
Views:	211
Size:	13.5 KB
ID:	117356
__________________

__________________
monte is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
danger, winch

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land letsgetsailing3 Health, Safety & Related Gear 145 26-06-2014 14:42
Power strip dangers GLtrawler Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 24 19-04-2013 18:42
The Hidden Dangers of Cruising svpattyd Liveaboard's Forum 79 18-04-2012 15:22
Dangers in Electronic Charting Pelagic Navigation 59 22-05-2008 08:58



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:10.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.