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Old 04-03-2018, 12:38   #1
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Bimini frame blocks winch handle

Hi all, I'm looking at a boat where the Bimini frame and lifelines actually block the winch handle from turning more than 180 degrees. These are two speed winches. It's not a deal breaker but I think it's a stupid design. How common is this? Do I learn to live with it?
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Old 04-03-2018, 12:58   #2
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Re: Bimini frame blocks winch handle

Sadly it is all to common. Take a look at shorter winch handles. Generally you can find 8,10, and 12" versions. So it depends on what size is already there.
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Old 04-03-2018, 16:47   #3
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Re: Bimini frame blocks winch handle

I designed my bimini so this wouldn't happen, but it is close.

Barient (and others perhaps) made a ratcheting winch handle that deals with this situation, and I bought one on eBay years ago just in case it became a problem. Years previously, Practical Sailor featured a German ratcheting handle, but when I was searching, I found nothing about it.

It's surprising that no one makes one. You could make one out of a ratchet wrench, I suppose, but it would rust.
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Old 05-03-2018, 14:55   #4
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Re: Bimini frame blocks winch handle

Dave, the problem with going to a smaller winch handle is that the user will have far less leverage. If you have physically small crew, the loss of the mechanical advantage will mean that in heavier conditions, they will be unable to effectively use the winch. However, a Milwaukee tool could be used, if there is clearance.

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Old 05-03-2018, 20:29   #5
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Re: Bimini frame blocks winch handle

We were able to bend our Bimini frame slightly, but only had about to clear. Is that a possibility? A buddy of mine has his frame about six inches from the winch. He just shrugs and deals with it.
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