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Old 29-10-2015, 00:31   #1
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Why are there 12 deck mounted winches?

I noticed a racing sailboat had 12 deck mounted winches, why are there so many?
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Old 29-10-2015, 01:09   #2
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Re: Why are there 12 deck mounted winches?

Racing boats can have a LOT of control lines. To tune/adjust, basically each corner of every sail which they fly, as well as a heap of lines for tuning the shape of the spar as well. Most of them needing winches to power them.

To give you an idea of what it's possible to have on one, see the below list. Not that every boat will have all of these, or necessarily even half of them, but I've raced on big boats with as many (and some with more).

Main Halyard
Trysail Halyard/Spare Main Halyard (or Alternative Boom Topping Lift)
Trysail Tack Pennant
Cunningham
Outhaul
Mainsail Flattener
Clew Reef #1 - #3 (4)
Tack Reef #1 – #3 (4)
Baby Stay Adjuster
Jib Halyard – P/S (or Primary Jib & Solent)
Kite Halyards – P/S (or Primary Kite & Code 0) Note: Some racers will even have 4 Kite Halyards; 2 External, & 2 Internal - Although any more it's a rarity.
Topping Lift (Kites/Whisker Poles) - Sometimes 2 of them
Boom Topping Lift
Solent Halyard
Staysail Halyard
Jib Downhaul - Optional

Jib Cunningham
Solent/Staysail Stay Tensioner - Meaning that it adjusts how tight the stay is.
Solent/Staysail Sail Downhaul - Optional

Solent/Staysail Cunningham
Code 0 Halyard - Sometimes 2 or more
Code 0 Tensioner - These sails require a LOT of halyard tension, & even with a 2:1 halyard, at times they'll run another (more powerful) purchase for the sail's luff, at the deck level
Spinnaker Sprit; Inhaul, & Outhaul
Asymetrical Kite Tack Line

Spinnaker Guy Remote Trip Line - To trip the Spinnaker Guy's Shackle without having to snake out to the end of the pole.

Jib Roller Furling Line
Code-0 Furling Line - Sometimes more than 1

Spinnaker Furling Line - Sometimes several
Foreguy – P/S
Jib Sheet #1 P/S
Jib Sheet #2 P/S
Jib Twing P/S (Alternately, Barber Haulers)
Jib Traveler/Car Adjuster P/S
Afterguy P/S
Spin Sheet #1 P/S
Spin Sheet #2 P/S (Alternatively, Reachers, Codes, etc.), & or Changing Sheet

Spin Sheet Twing/Choker - P/S
Running Back Stay/Checks Stay – P/S

Backstay
Preventer – P/S
Main Sheet (P/S)
Main Sheet Traveler P/S
Trysail Sheet P/S


Odds are I've left out a few, but you get the idea. And if in doubt, look at some of the single/double-handed race boats set up for RTW races. They literally have several miles of lines on deck, & aloft.
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Old 29-10-2015, 01:28   #3
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Re: Why are there 12 deck mounted winches?

I have 11 deck mounted winches and two on the mast.

They are for short handing on my 47' racer/cruiser. Every important item has its own winch.

As follows:

In the cockpit there is two primary and two secondary winches for jib and staysail sheets. A horizontal winch under the mainsheet track for fine tuning the main under high wind.

On the deck combing next companion way there is 4 winches that handle halyards and control lines led aft from mast.

Fwd of those, on the deck there is two winches for extra halyards or control lines.

And two on the mast, 1 under boom for outhaul and 1 on the side for topping lift or staysail halyard (not sure how I'm going to rearrange that, but this is how it is now.

For normal sailing, everything can be done from the cockpit which is nice. And they are also all self tailing which means no cleating necessary.

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Old 29-10-2015, 01:46   #4
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Re: Why are there 12 deck mounted winches?

It is probably a boat from the 1970's. Clutches had not been invented then and jammers were around but not the best. All the main lines had their own winch. On top of that quite a lot of both halyards and sheets were made of wire which wasn't really suited to either clutches or jammers.
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Old 29-10-2015, 01:57   #5
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Re: Why are there 12 deck mounted winches?

For Cruising on a boat 12m & up, to make it easy to Single/Short-Hand, & thus handle all headsails solo if needed, here's my thoughts:

1 on the Mast for the Furling Jib - This can optionally be by the Compnionway
1 on the Mast for the Solent Jib or Staysail
1 on the Mast for a Kite Halyard
1 on the Mast for Topping Lift #1
With Halyard winches on the mast, you can put a couple of wraps on the winch, & walk forward holding the halyard tail. Thus, being able to control a sail's drop rate with one hand, & keep the descending sail on deck with one's other hand.

1 by the Companionway for the Mainsails Clew Reefs
1 by the Companionway for the Mainsails Tack Reefs
1 by the Companionway for the Mainsail Halyard, & or Trysail Halyard
1 by the Companionway for; a Kite Halyard, & the #2 Topping Lift
This setup lets me knock out a reef in next to nothing, & without even having to go on deck unless I so desire. AKA no foulies required.

1 set of Primaries in the Cockpit for Sheets & Guys
1 set of Secondaries in the Cockpit for Sheets & Guys, plus Ancillaries - Roller Furling Lines, 2nd Sheets, to adjust the Clew position on a jib, 2nd Jib, etc.
1 set for the Mainsheet on boats 12m & up
1 set for Running Backstays

Note that the number of winches for handling halyards, & reefing lines, can be trimmed down by a fair bit, with the wise use of jammers, backed up by horn cleats.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of jammers (clutches), but for lines that are highly loaded, & will be loaded up for a long time, I prefer to either put them onto a cleat. Or leave them on a winch, sometimes backed up by a cleat. As in the long run, it saves wear on the lines. And with that many lines, the $ adds up!

Also, on a racer, some of the Halyard winches do double duty. Plus, there's less emphasis on being able to reef easily, as you have many sets of hands as well as the ability to multitask a few winches near the mast's base/companionway.
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Old 29-10-2015, 02:25   #6
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Re: Why are there 12 deck mounted winches?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EllisElectric View Post
I noticed a racing sailboat had 12 deck mounted winches, why are there so many?
Winch Farm
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Old 29-10-2015, 02:30   #7
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Re: Why are there 12 deck mounted winches?

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Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
Winch Farm
Winch farm

Measuring the marigolds,
You and your arithmetic,
will probably go far.
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Old 29-10-2015, 15:45   #8
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Re: Why are there 12 deck mounted winches?

Personal opinion, people who race have way too much money!! 😎


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Old 30-10-2015, 05:26   #9
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Re: Why are there 12 deck mounted winches?

I was lucky enough to see a gathering of Pen Duicks (the boats raced by the late, great Eric Tabarly) recently. The big ketch (Pen Duick VI or VII) originally designed for a crew of 12 in the Sydney Hobart race, but later sailed single-handed by Tabarly had at least 24 winches!


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Old 30-10-2015, 10:02   #10
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Re: Why are there 12 deck mounted winches?

Our schooner had 18 winches when we purchased the boat. They had been installed in the late 1960's when the boat was set up with racing stations and used a large crew. When we rebuild the boat, we knew we'd be sailing shorthanded and the racing stations would be pretty useless for us. We re-installed the useful winches:

2 on Foremast for staysail and jib halyards (note the gaff foresail halyards use 4:1 purchase rather than winches)
1 on foreboom does double duty for outhaul and reefing line.
2 on Mainmast for main halyard + extra halyard (used if setting a topsail)
2 on mainboom, one does double duty for outhaul and reefing line, the second for toppping lift
1 on aft deck for mainsheet
2 on along cockpit for jib sheets

We also use the anchor windlass to tighten up the running bobstay, else we'd have another big winch on deck.

We could put 2 more on aft deck for running backstays but we run the (covered dyneema) tail to the off-duty jib sheet winch.
We could also use a winch for the foresail sheet. It has blocks and a 5:1 purchase but there are times when a winch would be nice. Some of those times with big winds, we're down to staysail and foresail so we just use one of the big jibsheet winches.

Note-we don't have self tailing winches--all go to cleats or we use a tugboat hitch on the winch itself (for halyards) see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tugboat_hitch

Without a rope clutch anywhere, if I decide I need to borrow the jib sheet winch for the foresail sheet or even staysail, I just use rolling hitches in front of the winch -- one lets me unload the winch from the jib sheet by running the rolling hitch end over to a cleat, the other lets my tighten up the foresail sheet by running the end of the rolling hitch to the winch, tightening up the rolling hitch line and then securing the foresail sheet back to it's cleat. This doesn't require a plethora of winches, just several cleats in the vicinity of the jib sheet winches.

I can see how someone with a 2 masted boat could end up with 12 or more deck mounted winches. We haven't even addressed vangs and preventers...If I didn't mind holes in the boatdeck, I could see re-installing more of the winches we own--but I like as few holes as possible.

Fair winds,
Brenda
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Old 30-10-2015, 14:14   #11
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Re: Why are there 12 deck mounted winches?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Racing boats can have a LOT of control lines. To tune/adjust, basically each corner of every sail which they fly, as well as a heap of lines for tuning the shape of the spar as well. Most of them needing winches to power them.

To give you an idea of what it's possible to have on one, see the below list. Not that every boat will have all of these, or necessarily even half of them, but I've raced on big boats with as many (and some with more).

Main Halyard
Trysail Halyard/Spare Main Halyard (or Alternative Boom Topping Lift)
Trysail Tack Pennant
Cunningham
Outhaul
Mainsail Flattener
Clew Reef #1 - #3 (4)
Tack Reef #1 – #3 (4)
Baby Stay Adjuster
Jib Halyard – P/S (or Primary Jib & Solent)
Kite Halyards – P/S (or Primary Kite & Code 0) Note: Some racers will even have 4 Kite Halyards; 2 External, & 2 Internal - Although any more it's a rarity.
Topping Lift (Kites/Whisker Poles) - Sometimes 2 of them
Boom Topping Lift
Solent Halyard
Staysail Halyard
Jib Downhaul - Optional

Jib Cunningham
Solent/Staysail Stay Tensioner - Meaning that it adjusts how tight the stay is.
Solent/Staysail Sail Downhaul - Optional

Solent/Staysail Cunningham
Code 0 Halyard - Sometimes 2 or more
Code 0 Tensioner - These sails require a LOT of halyard tension, & even with a 2:1 halyard, at times they'll run another (more powerful) purchase for the sail's luff, at the deck level
Spinnaker Sprit; Inhaul, & Outhaul
Asymetrical Kite Tack Line

Spinnaker Guy Remote Trip Line - To trip the Spinnaker Guy's Shackle without having to snake out to the end of the pole.

Jib Roller Furling Line
Code-0 Furling Line - Sometimes more than 1

Spinnaker Furling Line - Sometimes several
Foreguy – P/S
Jib Sheet #1 P/S
Jib Sheet #2 P/S
Jib Twing P/S (Alternately, Barber Haulers)
Jib Traveler/Car Adjuster P/S
Afterguy P/S
Spin Sheet #1 P/S
Spin Sheet #2 P/S (Alternatively, Reachers, Codes, etc.), & or Changing Sheet

Spin Sheet Twing/Choker - P/S
Running Back Stay/Checks Stay – P/S

Backstay
Preventer – P/S
Main Sheet (P/S)
Main Sheet Traveler P/S
Trysail Sheet P/S


Odds are I've left out a few, but you get the idea. And if in doubt, look at some of the single/double-handed race boats set up for RTW races. They literally have several miles of lines on deck, & aloft.
And that's just on a 30 footer.
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Old 30-10-2015, 15:01   #12
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Re: Why are there 12 deck mounted winches?

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Originally Posted by Schooner Chandlery View Post
I can see how someone with a 2 masted boat could end up with 12 or more deck mounted winches. We haven't even addressed vangs and preventers...If I didn't mind holes in the boatdeck, I could see re-installing more of the winches we own--but I like as few holes as possible.

Fair winds,
Brenda
Some of the holes in the deck thing can be addressed via mounting techniques. For instance, on small & mid sized winches, I've used oversized, thick backing plates. And only tapped them for about 85% of their thickness. Thus, the mounting bolts don't protrude into the boat.
It's viable with G10 & Aluminum anyway, particularly if the winch wont be seeing any heavy shock loads.
Also, with custom colored G10, with beveled or bull nosed edges, the backers fit right into the cabin top decor.
Plus, if you want to be trick about it, it's easy enough to incorporate/laminate some gorgeous wooden facia & trim rings into the winch backing plates.

PS: It's nice to see that there are a few of us out there that still know how to sail the "old fashioned" way! My Fav trip ever was the delivery of an 80' Schooner from SF to Bellingham, via Port Townsend, when the Wooden Boat Festival was going on (by coincidence).


On "Winch Farms", AKA big racing boats, the "fun part" is winch cleaning day. You get quite a buzz from the solvent fumes coming off of the cleaning tubbs. There's a highly flammable cloud for 50m in all directions around the boat... so the smoking lamp is OUT. And 1 time in 4 some do gooder will call the EPA. LOL
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Old 30-10-2015, 17:18   #13
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Re: Why are there 12 deck mounted winches?

Thanks, Uncivilized, for the details on deck mounting techniques. I just abhor the idea of putting holes in the deck, period. No matter the bedding materials used, they will eventually leak. Ours is a brand new deck on an 85 year old boat I use thick deck mounting (wood) pads on top of the deck, bronze plates below deck and either acorn nuts or eye nuts on the plates. The plates are pretty invisible below anyway because of location between deck beams.

It's only on occasion that either my husband or I are craving an additional winch. It would happen a lot more if we were seriously using the running backstays but they are a backup to the fixed backstay and only are used to tighten up the forestay or jibstay when the winds get big.

Fair winds,
Brenda
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Old 30-10-2015, 17:29   #14
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Re: Why are there 12 deck mounted winches?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post


On "Winch Farms", AKA big racing boats, the "fun part" is winch cleaning day. You get quite a buzz from the solvent fumes coming off of the cleaning tubbs. There's a highly flammable cloud for 50m in all directions around the boat... so the smoking lamp is OUT. And 1 time in 4 some do gooder will call the EPA. LOL
Heck, that happens on MY boat when I do one at a time!

Very nice posts, thanks for all of them.
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