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Old 28-10-2012, 05:49   #61
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

Harken built the "cheapies" so that us experts would feel superior when we "showed 'um" and purchased the "good" ones,--and they laughed all the way to the bank.
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Old 28-10-2012, 06:33   #62
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

As usual on this forum, when someone tries to inform, help or pass on information to benefit other cruisers, they often get shot down


I'll keep out of the 'he said, she said' thing except to say - you can be the best sailor ever who always uses the hardware on their yacht properly. The X factor that no one can control is Mother Nature, King Neptune and the gang - the forces and loads that can hit a yacht, it's rig and it's hardware can be sudden and are not always predictable. For this reason alone a blue water cruising yacht (and this is a Cruisers forum, after all) needs to be built like a brick shithouse, it's rig over engineered and it's hardware super tough.

Below is the 'about us' blurb from an Aussie family company called Arco-Hutton. They make bloody good winches and they make winches that can take punishment - guess what? No plastic..... enjoy the blurb (I have highlighted a few choice paragraphs)....



About Us


Situated in Sydney, Australia, THE AUSTRALIAN YACHT WINCH CO is a family company, owned by the Hutton family and managed by myself for the past 25 years.

Our primary products, ARCO yacht winches and ORCA windlasses for sail and power boats, are designed and engineered at our premises by a close knit team, where each member has had extensive experience in research, product development and manufacture of yacht winches.

That experience started way back in the mid sixties, when Malcolm Barlow first started to build BARLOW winches in a small garage in Sydney. Even though, or maybe because of the uncanny resemblance of those early winches to the American manufactured BARIENT winches, they have stood the test of time.
In those early days, money and technology was not available to manufacture today's high tech tooling. So major components were sand cast from wooden pattern almost exclusively in manganese bronze. As weight in those days was of little concern, and we, quite frankly, did not have a clue on how to calculate minimum design requirements, we opted for the safe way - the bigger and heavier the better. To this day we are servicing winches from that early area, and we have never encountered a winch that could not be brought into service again. This has served us as an important lesson in the value of solid engineering.

Throughout the subsequent years, everyone of our team has in some way been involved in many major developments in our industry, i.e. the introduction of the self-tailing winch systems, forged and injection moulded plastic componentry, die casting processes and three-speed winches. The list goes on.

Many of those innovations have revolutionized the industry. Others, driven by the demand for ever lighter and more powerful winches, were on the cutting edge of technology.
Inevitably, costly mistakes were made. In those hectic years, many winch manufacturers engaged in a frantic search for innovations. We have seen everything except square winch drums.
Some of the so-called advances in technology have added little to the reliability of winches, rather, they were embraced to aid mass production at a lower cost.
It is of some regret from our perspective, that, for instance, plastic winch components have become an acceptable alternative to metal. While those parts are inexpensive to replace, it is of little comfort to a crew stuck out in the ocean hundreds of miles from the nearest ship chandlery.

THE AUSTRALIAN YACHT WINCH CO has, in accordance with our primary goal, stuck by the original concept to manufacture winches that are reliable, efficient, easy to service and match in presentation and style the best on offer on today's market.


We believe that today's ARCO and ORCA winches are a very successful and desirable blend of old fashioned engineering integrity, combined with the style that enhances the deck layouts of modern sail and power boats.


Allen Hutton

Director
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Old 28-10-2012, 07:54   #63
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

Interestingly the ARCO company (great hardware), has a substantial cache of spare parts for the wonderful Barlow and Barient winches which sadly are no longer available on the market.

I have always used ARCO and Barlow and they were so tough and over engineered that the problem was not that they would break, but that if overloaded, they would pull the deck off.
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Old 28-10-2012, 09:20   #64
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Obviously China is capable of producing goods. But as MANY companies who have opened shops there will tell you, you'd better have someone living and sleeping in the plant to supervise what is going on, unless you know the owners very personally.
Damn straight.

I am in china now, and while I am here teaching engish, not doing QA checks, I still run up against first hand experience of that attitude.

One scam I have seen is a foreign manfacturor contracts a chinese factory owner to produce castings, visiting the factory and making sure it is up to the standards required. A bit later the factory owner gets a more lucrative contract with higher profit margains, the first contractee has returned home and is not visiting to make sure everything is running as supposed. So to freeup manufacturing space the factory owner passes along manufacturing the first casting to a friend with a substandard factory. The first factory owner just recieves the castings from his friend, pays him and changes the labels on the shipping crates and sends them on to the contractee overseas. Pocketing the difference between the manufacture price at his factory and his friends factory, as well as his contracted profit margain.


Subcontracting, China style.

Never mind the contract specified the parts being made in the first factory, not subcontracted elsewhere without QA or QC.
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Old 28-10-2012, 09:40   #65
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

"Neither Harken nor Mazda could predict that"
Greg, while I have "Don't waste your time trying to make anythng idiot proof, the good lord always has more time to spend making better idiots" cast into a bronze plaque above my door, I would disagree somewhat. Sometimes, a really clever engineer who is not bedevilled by accountants, will make a design that fails intentionally to preserve itself.
It is quite possible that Harken has chosen "cheap" stainless feeders which will fail, in order to prevent an improper load from damaging something more expensive. Easier to change a feeder than, say, the clutch or winch top itself?
I've seen gears press fitted on a shaft, and when they were loaded too much and the press fit broke free, yes, the thing stopped working. Without stripping a whole gear train or burning out a motor, just requiring one smaller cheaper repair.
Kinda like the shear pin on an outboard prop. Sacrificial parts can be a good idea, but to the end user, many of them will be invisible. And of course if there are accountants around, those parts will be not only invisible but mythological.<G>

Surfer Girl, I think the guy at ARCO has shot himself in the foot. First he says they didn't have the engineering skills so the early equipment was grossly overbuilt and overweight. Then he says the modern stuff isn't built well enough, leaving us to what, assume he's acquired better engineering skills along the way, good enough so that now he understands how to engineer the product but no one else does?

Mind you, I like the concept of bulletproof. But as some gunners will tell you, if you can still recognize the target, you just need a bigger cannon. There are always intentional trade-offs to be made, by competent engineers, as to how strong a product design needs to be, and for what application. I would argue that if you can build a "recreational" winch at half the price, half the weight, there's a good reason to market it. Look at thow many 80's vintage used boats do not have self-tailing winches, because they were just too damned expensive, and now at a thousand bucks a crack to put them in, they're not going to get them either. A recreational boat might get used three or four days per month for six months, a total of 24 days in a year. A charter boat? Might see ten times the use and the charter company sure hopes more than that.

I would argue in favor of the informed consumer, and an honest product maker letting the buyer know up front what is and isn't the intended use of the product. I have my windbreaker, I have my foulies. One is superior in a heavy mist, the other in a downpour. Neither one is suitable for both conditions.

ARCO have a good rep, but if I knew they could knock 40% of the weight, 40% of the extraneous metal, 40% of the total price off by better engineering? Like the US Army's main battle tanks, which wound up being so overbuilt they could only fit ONE at a time on the world's largest transport aircraft when it came time to move them around. There's such a thing as "too much".
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Old 28-10-2012, 09:43   #66
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

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Originally Posted by Lagoon4us View Post
Trouble is these are not 'Hi-tech' composites these are pressed metal facsimiles of past good products.

Winches need to be relied, on i've seen arms shattered in a heartbeat and foreheads needing stitches from exploding/failing gears on big winches, when i see cheapness engineered into an item like this i then wonder how far that cheapness goes. What are the pawls and gears made from????

In the three pictures one winch on the top right still has an unbent tailing arm the other two are twisted, the one on bottom right is totally buckled upwards. this is not the fault of the installer it is a fault of design.....

As i said i'm just the messenger if this thread offends some well tough luck, we have HARKEN gear and love it, as you correctly say 'it didn't work'...

Cheers
Being the messenger around here will get you thrown into the well!Ignorance is bliss to some...I agree that the product is not as good as it should be for the application...
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Old 28-10-2012, 09:51   #67
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"Neither Harken nor Mazda could predict that"
Greg, while I have "Don't waste your time trying to make anythng idiot proof, the good lord always has more time to spend making better idiots" cast into a bronze plaque above my door, I would disagree somewhat. Sometimes, a really clever engineer who is not bedevilled by accountants, will make a design that fails intentionally to preserve itself.
It is quite possible that Harken has chosen "cheap" stainless feeders which will fail, in order to prevent an improper load from damaging something more expensive. Easier to change a feeder than, say, the clutch or winch top itself?
I've seen gears press fitted on a shaft, and when they were loaded too much and the press fit broke free, yes, the thing stopped working. Without stripping a whole gear train or burning out a motor, just requiring one smaller cheaper repair.
Kinda like the shear pin on an outboard prop. Sacrificial parts can be a good idea, but to the end user, many of them will be invisible. And of course if there are accountants around, those parts will be not only invisible but mythological.<G>
We expect the shear pin to shear,but not the self tailer ,and if so it would be nice if they had a place to clip the extra tailers on to the winch so you could get to it like they do the shear pins on an outboard...I dont think they intend on the tailer being expendible,do they?..just wondering....
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Old 28-10-2012, 15:31   #68
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfer Girl View Post
As usual on this forum, when someone tries to inform, help or pass on information to benefit other cruisers, they often get shot down


I'll keep out of the 'he said, she said' thing except to say - you can be the best sailor ever who always uses the hardware on their yacht properly. The X factor that no one can control is Mother Nature, King Neptune and the gang - the forces and loads that can hit a yacht, it's rig and it's hardware can be sudden and are not always predictable. For this reason alone a blue water cruising yacht (and this is a Cruisers forum, after all) needs to be built like a brick shithouse, it's rig over engineered and it's hardware super tough.

Below is the 'about us' blurb from an Aussie family company called Arco-Hutton. They make bloody good winches and they make winches that can take punishment - guess what? No plastic..... enjoy the blurb (I have highlighted a few choice paragraphs)....



About Us


Situated in Sydney, Australia, THE AUSTRALIAN YACHT WINCH CO is a family company, owned by the Hutton family and managed by myself for the past 25 years.

Our primary products, ARCO yacht winches and ORCA windlasses for sail and power boats, are designed and engineered at our premises by a close knit team, where each member has had extensive experience in research, product development and manufacture of yacht winches.

That experience started way back in the mid sixties, when Malcolm Barlow first started to build BARLOW winches in a small garage in Sydney. Even though, or maybe because of the uncanny resemblance of those early winches to the American manufactured BARIENT winches, they have stood the test of time.
In those early days, money and technology was not available to manufacture today's high tech tooling. So major components were sand cast from wooden pattern almost exclusively in manganese bronze. As weight in those days was of little concern, and we, quite frankly, did not have a clue on how to calculate minimum design requirements, we opted for the safe way - the bigger and heavier the better. To this day we are servicing winches from that early area, and we have never encountered a winch that could not be brought into service again. This has served us as an important lesson in the value of solid engineering.

Throughout the subsequent years, everyone of our team has in some way been involved in many major developments in our industry, i.e. the introduction of the self-tailing winch systems, forged and injection moulded plastic componentry, die casting processes and three-speed winches. The list goes on.

Many of those innovations have revolutionized the industry. Others, driven by the demand for ever lighter and more powerful winches, were on the cutting edge of technology.
Inevitably, costly mistakes were made. In those hectic years, many winch manufacturers engaged in a frantic search for innovations. We have seen everything except square winch drums.
Some of the so-called advances in technology have added little to the reliability of winches, rather, they were embraced to aid mass production at a lower cost.
It is of some regret from our perspective, that, for instance, plastic winch components have become an acceptable alternative to metal. While those parts are inexpensive to replace, it is of little comfort to a crew stuck out in the ocean hundreds of miles from the nearest ship chandlery.

THE AUSTRALIAN YACHT WINCH CO has, in accordance with our primary goal, stuck by the original concept to manufacture winches that are reliable, efficient, easy to service and match in presentation and style the best on offer on today's market.


We believe that today's ARCO and ORCA winches are a very successful and desirable blend of old fashioned engineering integrity, combined with the style that enhances the deck layouts of modern sail and power boats.


Allen Hutton

Director

I bought Arco winches for my Tartan Blackwatch 37 back in 97 when the currency exchange was favorable. They were great winches. Very robust and I liked that they came from a small outfit like that.
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Old 28-10-2012, 15:39   #69
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

A brick *house tends to move very slowly, so one can debate whether a CRUISING boat truly should be built like one, or perhaps built to a slightly different standard.

tropical-
"so it would be nice if they had a place to clip the extra tailers on to the winch"
Certainly agree with you on that. The first time I met a piece of industrial equipment where the tech swung open the cabinet cover and the MANUAL AND PARTS LIST WAS ON A RACK INSIDE I said wow, isn't that a clever idea? Same thing about meters that have a place inside for a spare fuse, or flashlights for a spare bulb. (Remember when bulbs used to be consumable items?<G>)
There's a tale, perhaps true, about the original IBM Selectric typewriters, the one with a "golf ball" in them. When the engineers showed the first prototype to the corporate brass, the reaction was "No, that's too complicated, it is going to break down all the time" to which some sharp executive answered "Exactly, and think about all the maintenance contracts we're going to sell."
Perhaps the part is sacrificial, perhaps Harken wants to sell you spares or sell repair services, who knows. Perhaps it is a lousy design or, like the finest porcelain, it should simply not be sold to some customers.<G>
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Old 28-10-2012, 17:26   #70
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
A brick *house tends to move very slowly, so one can debate whether a CRUISING boat truly should be built like one, or perhaps built to a slightly different standard.

tropical-
"so it would be nice if they had a place to clip the extra tailers on to the winch"
Certainly agree with you on that. The first time I met a piece of industrial equipment where the tech swung open the cabinet cover and the MANUAL AND PARTS LIST WAS ON A RACK INSIDE I said wow, isn't that a clever idea? Same thing about meters that have a place inside for a spare fuse, or flashlights for a spare bulb. (Remember when bulbs used to be consumable items?<G>)
There's a tale, perhaps true, about the original IBM Selectric typewriters, the one with a "golf ball" in them. When the engineers showed the first prototype to the corporate brass, the reaction was "No, that's too complicated, it is going to break down all the time" to which some sharp executive answered "Exactly, and think about all the maintenance contracts we're going to sell."
Perhaps the part is sacrificial, perhaps Harken wants to sell you spares or sell repair services, who knows. Perhaps it is a lousy design or, like the finest porcelain, it should simply not be sold to some customers.<G>
I was touring a machine shop in Indonesia once and the owner asked me if I "wanted any flaws designed into the product" we were discussing so as to get parts business!! I had gone to great trouble to design a product that had no welds or tight radiuses so that it could be repaired in the field by anyone without a lot of hassel...I soon found myself with a product that rarely gave problems, therefore no service after the sale...The Japanese company that was leading the industry at the time did design there product with flaws...When the engine seized on there unit they would tell the(US) territory manager not to worry about customer complaints as they were covered under the warrenty,"just have your customer fill out the warrenty card and send it to Japan for a fix",they then would get in touch with the customer and blame the problem on the "dealer" and say something like "they were looking for new dealers to service that part of the world".Needless to say that person became the "new dealer" and they would sell him several units that did the same thing! They lasted in the business about 3 yrs. before going belly up...
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Old 28-10-2012, 21:08   #71
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

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A brick *house tends to move very slowly, so one can debate whether a CRUISING boat truly should be built like one, or perhaps built to a slightly different standard.

Do you always take things so literally? Obviously it's an expression as "truly" a brick shithouse wouldn't float.

When you get knocked down, or bump into that un-charted reef near Fiji or the Soloman Islands, or when your GPS says the island is 1 NM over there but actually you just hit it because foolishly, you were just relying on GPS as your sole means of navigation. Or because of fatigue due to a 3 day gale, you did load up the winch the wrong way or forgot to set the boom brake and you accidently gybe when the wind direction suddenly shifts in a squall - in other words, the real world of water sailing">blue water sailing and crossing oceans.....
Then over built, over engineered and top quality is where I'd rather be. Selling products to a certain market at a certain price point will always be with us. But many companies have built a reputation for quality that in recent times they have sadly not lived up to (for all kinds of reasons that we could write an economic paper on).

I don't think Allen Hutton shot himself in the foot at all. He is refreshingly honest about where his company has been, the mistakes made and where they are now because of those mistakes. I'd buy from that kind of honesty any time over big company marketing speak. BTW, I have no affiliation with Arco whatsoever. I found them through dozens of recommendations from cruising sailors.
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Old 28-10-2012, 23:59   #72
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I know it is thread drift but have to chime in with support for Arco. Very good support and advice, good engineering and good prices. No doubts about buying from Allen Hutton at all. Just a customer.
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Old 29-10-2012, 02:11   #73
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

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Selling products to a certain market at a certain price point will always be with us. But many companies have built a reputation for quality that in recent times they have sadly not lived up to (for all kinds of reasons that we could write an economic paper on).
I read Lagoon4Us's post as being notice: here's a company which in the past you could look at the name and expect a level of integrity.

Exactly as SurferGirl is saying, for economic reasons (probably a contract with Lagoon ) they now have a budget range.

Thank you Lagoon4Us for the heads up and into the bargain a better understanding of ways cheaper products fail.
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