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Old 01-06-2006, 11:25   #1
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Winches For Headsails

Aloha All,

I have winches from early last century (Merriman Bros. #6) and will need to replace them within a year or so. They work but are too small, not enough speeds and are not self tailing. My largest headsail is about 650sqft. I have read the manufacturerer's size recommendations of several of the major winches

First Question - Can anyone tell me if these recommendations are accurate or are they a means to get you to oversize a bit and spend more money?

Second Question - Can you recommend a winch brand?

Third question - Does anyone have experience trying to find parts for Mariner Winches? I believe either Barient or Barlow handles parts but can't find out for certain.

Thanks for any recommendations and answers.

Kind Regards, --John--
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Old 01-06-2006, 12:51   #2
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Would help if you included their recommendations. Offhand though, I would think you'd want something in the 40 range. I have Lewmar 2 speed ST #43's on my 32 footer, and they seem about right.
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Old 01-06-2006, 13:07   #3
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You will not be as happy using a minimum recommended sized winch. One size over will be better. Get one that will accommodate more than one size line on the self-tailer and, for sure, get two speed ones. I like Harken yet there are others like Lewmar that are good.
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Old 01-06-2006, 13:52   #4
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Hi John,
Thanks. I should have said the recommendations were 48st or 52st.
Regards, John L.
P.S. Lots of Johns on this site
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Old 01-06-2006, 16:42   #5
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Skiprjohn:

Do you get practical sailor. This months issue there is an article on winches that goes thru different brands, prices, and such. They rated Anderson winches the best. PM me your email address and I'll give you more info over the weekend.
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Old 01-06-2006, 20:28   #6
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Anderson usually has the best deals, and for 650 sq ft 48's are the smallest winch I would consider. The 52's cost a fortune, but if you can swing it, that would be the way to go. The purchase on your main should also be a consideration. This will allow you to go with a much smaller winch. Still, I would not go smaler than a 48ST
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Old 02-06-2006, 08:22   #7
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John, we are going thru the same excercise in trying to find new self-tailing winches for our Morgan 38. Our largest headsail (150%) is 600 sq ft, and based on the Practical sailor article (and availibility here in Nova Scotia) we are looking at Anderson and Harken. The Anderson site recommends 48 or 52, Harken recommends 53 if we sail in heavy air, 48 if not. My sense is you don't want to scrimp on these things, especially when my other half, who is 5'1, is gonna be handling these by herself when it's her watch.

I gotta say those shiny chrome Andersons sure are pretty.

John
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Old 04-06-2006, 11:03   #8
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Good winch selection guide http://www.arco-winches.com/wselguid.html

worth a look at their new (and secondhand) prices.

Lifetime Guarantees

Very satisfied customer!
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Old 04-06-2006, 12:42   #9
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Thanks Talbot,
That was an informative website. It appears that I need larger winches than I thought.
By all indications I'll need to take out a mortgage on the home to afford new winches for the boat. Oh well, just money, right?
Seriously, I'll be shopping auctions and second hand places. I just can't justify $4500 for new winches just now.
I can wait for a less expensive opportunity than new.
Kind Regards, --John--
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Old 04-06-2006, 14:30   #10
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I bought my winches on Ebay. They appeared to be unused, and were labelled ARCO USA - a firm I think no longer exists, but was an offshoot of the Australian firm. Due to this, their price was about half that of new lewmars. I installed them on Easter Friday and went sailing on the saturday to find that the gears slipped under load (very unhappy) I did some soul searching and then consulted the net. I found the Australian Arco site and sent a email asking for advice. By the time it arrived there due to time differences it would have been Easter Monday. When I got up in the morning of Easter Monday I discovered an answer which was advice to pull it apart and reassemble with two gears reversed. Did that and it all worked. smiley day!
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Old 30-06-2006, 13:37   #11
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Maxwell Winch - Does anyone here have experience with Maxwell winches? I'm concerned about their quality rating compared with Lewmar, Harken, Barient, Barlow, etc..
Regards, --JohnL--
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Old 30-06-2006, 18:44   #12
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Maxwell is up there with Lewmar etc. Ain't nothing wrong with them.
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Old 30-06-2006, 21:02   #13
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Thanks Wheels,
That's good to know.
Regards, --JohnL--
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Old 10-07-2006, 14:14   #14
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Andersen. They're bullit proof. Need maintenance every OTHER year.
I put 12ST, as headsail sheet winches, on Seraph, our Cape Dory 25D and love em.

randy
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Old 10-07-2006, 14:51   #15
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I think with winches, generally, bigger is better. My little Peterson 34 came with a pair of Lewmar 55 three-speeds as the primary sheet winches! They are big, but they make short work of grinding in the sail (or any other load). People often think of big winches as being more appropriate for racers than cruisers, but I would argue that cruisers benefit a great deal from big winches which make the work easier.

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