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Old 26-10-2012, 01:09   #1
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Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

Having done a survey on a Lagoon 40 this week i thought i'd share with the Forum how sad the structure of sheet winches has become.

Harken to me had a great race name, a generally good product however the pictures below show a different story.

The tailing arms are no longer cast , chromed bronze instead they now appear to be soft pressed Stainless Steel.

Likewise the bases are thermo-plastic not aluminium/bronze or stainless.

They just don't cut it!!!!!
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Old 26-10-2012, 01:18   #2
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagoon4us View Post
Having done a survey on a Lagoon 40 this week i thought i'd share with the Forum how sad the structure of sheet winches has become.

Harken to me had a great race name, a generally good product however the pictures below show a different story.

The tailing arms are no longer cast , chromed bronze instead they now appear to be soft pressed Stainless Steel.

Likewise the bases are thermo-plastic not aluminium/bronze or stainless.

They just don't cut it!!!!!
You know that they make several different models of winch, right?

From their web site:

Harken Classic winches are offered in all-chromed bronze, polished bronze, and in stainless steel.

The Radial® winch line is available in aluminum alloy or chrome.

Our racing line of winches features aluminum and carbon fiber construction.
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Old 26-10-2012, 01:21   #3
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

Of course i know, i have good quality ones on board our boat BUT my point to buyers of boat's whether new or old is check to see if fitted with these poor quality pretend winches......
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Old 26-10-2012, 07:46   #4
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

On what basis do you call these inferior or inappropriate in the application? Thermoplastics and composites are used in the most highest critical areas in the aerospace and other industries. Do you know that the stainless trailing arms are inferior to others, or is that just a personal feeling? A trailing arm's purpose is simply to guide the line out of the jaws, and it experiences no stress or loading - I can't imagine why stainless is inferior to titanium in this application.

Calling them poor quality pretend winches without any engineering data or other knowledge to back up that statement does not show much reasoning skill.

If they are indeed lower quality winches and inappropriate in the above application, then their installation is the fault of Lagoon and not Harken. It is unfair to pillory Harken for making different products for different applications.

BTW, we don't own any of these winches, so I am not defending them.

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Old 26-10-2012, 08:07   #5
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

While I agree on the plastic base being inferior to a cast bronze, I disagree that the stainless steel tailer is softer that the bronze. Likely it is also a marketing experiment to see if the will sell as well as an all metal winch. It's just business as usual.
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Old 26-10-2012, 08:10   #6
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

While we are talking about winches...
I put a pair of new Lewmar 54's on Callisto last refit.
The winch socket holes DON'T DRAIN! My trusty old Barlows had drain holes that let water out. These hold water. It seems they are going to rust. Am I missing something? Is there a drain plug I forgot to open. It makes me especially mad because I like to use them as cigar holders when I am sitting in the cockpit at anchor enjoying a good cuban cigar. I have ruined several by putting them into a winch socket full of water!
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Old 26-10-2012, 08:18   #7
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

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Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
While I agree on the plastic base being inferior to a cast bronze
Not on an aluminum or race boat.

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Old 26-10-2012, 08:26   #8
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

I couldn't disagree more with the OP's premise. First of all, check the Harken catalogue. That line of winches is not one of the racing lines, but rather falls into Harken's "standard" category. This particular winch is designed for light weight while retaining strength. The diagonal ribbing on those winches has been designed to prevent overlaps and ride-ups while still giving the drum a good grip. In fact, one of the advantages of this type of modern design is that it's far less abrasive on sheets.

The trouble with the Bronze Age is that so many humans are still living in it.
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Old 26-10-2012, 09:04   #9
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

I have two Harken 70.2 STC Primary and two Harken 44 halyrard winches, which came with my new boat six years ago. They also have stainless tailers. The plastic composite base you describe is more than adequate.

My winches have held up well, with no mechanical problems. I did upgrade the 70.2 winches to power a couple of years ago, bit was so the wife could single hand and that basically just added a motor to the exsisting winches. Other than that, polishing or greasing is the only other thing I have had to do maintenanace wise.

I believe you description of Harken Winches s "Poor quality pretend winches" is way off base...
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Old 26-10-2012, 14:32   #10
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

CELESTIAL The tailing arms are 2mm thick pressed stainless steel not cast bronze/chromed as is more usual Cast bronze arms are solid. The damage on these winches is on a 2yr old charter boat.

I have seen another on it's second charter with the same damage to one winch.

The facts are shown in the pictures the tailing arms are bent and the plastic base overheated and crushed by a sheet being run incorrectly.

The tailing arms can be bent with a pair of pliers.

Stainless pressed metal is soft that's the nature of the metal.

We have Harken all over our boat it is very good as i said the have always had a very good race name.

These winches differ totally from their normal quality i do not and did not imply that they are a 'RACE' product.

BASH there is no damage to the drum JUST the plastic shroud to the base and tailing arms read my posting.....

MARK Every aluminium yacht i've built we put plastic insulators between winch base and mount....Photo's show the bent arms how do you regard that as personal feelings???? Engineering data wtf? LOOK AT THE PIC'S!!!!

The winches are fitted to a standard charter boat they are not suitable for that purpose, should anyone be purchasing a boat to go into charter they need to consider this type of damage caused by likely inexperienced operators in a very short time span.

Personally i was shocked by what i saw i'd hate to be paying for replacements.

Cheers
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Old 26-10-2012, 14:50   #11
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagoon4us View Post
Having done a survey on a Lagoon 40 this week i thought i'd share with the Forum how sad the structure of sheet winches has become.

Harken to me had a great race name, a generally good product however the pictures below show a different story.

The tailing arms are no longer cast , chromed bronze instead they now appear to be soft pressed Stainless Steel.

Likewise the bases are thermo-plastic not aluminium/bronze or stainless.

They just don't cut it!!!!!

I don't need to replace any winches but, I would never want those winches.
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Old 26-10-2012, 14:53   #12
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

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Originally Posted by sailr69 View Post
I don't need to replace any winches but, I would never want those winches.
Yay someone who doesn't shoot the messenger!!!!!

They are probably acceptable as a cheap alternative in the hands of an owner user.

I wonder if they are of different manufacture ie chinese?

Cheers Frank
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Old 26-10-2012, 15:10   #13
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

An experiment that didnt work I guess. Engineers are enamoured with Composites.... they dont seem to be working in some applications. (remember the Americas cup boat that broke in half? or the many booms that have? These parts were engineered...) They are used in airplanes, but not on life crical parts to my knowledge.
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Old 26-10-2012, 15:19   #14
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
An experiment that didnt work I guess. Engineers are enamoured with Composites.... they dont seem to be working in some applications. (remember the Americas cup boat that broke in half? or the many booms that have? These parts were engineered...) They are used in airplanes, but not on life crical parts to my knowledge.
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
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Old 26-10-2012, 15:24   #15
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Re: Winches How Modern Design Has Failed Us....

What it looks like to me is operator error. I have used the plastic base Harkens for years without a problem on our race boat, and never had an issue. Including snatch loading one when the turning block on the spinnaker disintegrated in 40kn of breeze.

I am absolutely guessing that what happened here was someone put a dockline around the winch base, and crushed it.

Same goes for the stripper arm.


The downside to highly engineered products is that they are built to be as strong as they need to be, but not typically designed to handle unexpected usage. Just like my screw drivers keep bending when I use them as pry bars... I could blame the manufacturer for not building them strong enough. Or I could take some personal responsibility and blame myself for using them in a way they were never intended.
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