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Old 03-05-2014, 17:55   #16
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Re: Proper winch technique?

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
1) Too many wraps on the winch to start. You really only need two (maybe three to start. This one will have 5 when finished. That is a clear invitation to an override.

2) The line should be held with the thumbs away from the winch, it is easier to pull on the line that way. And easier to let go if needed.

3) The other hand should never be used loop lines onto the winch. Having your hand inside the bight could result in that hand being jammed into the winch if the line starts to run.

This is a good video.

Video tip: Winches - YouTube

I teach three the standards for 4 different organizations. They all agree on this approach to winch safety.
Re your #1: That is case dependent... different lines, different winch drums, different loads anticipated. For instance, our primaries (Barient 32s) have fairly slippery drums, and our genoa loads are pretty high. Four wraps are required for the self tailers to work. I think that having to add wraps partly through the trimming process is more dangerous than a small risk of an override and certainly slows the process down.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 03-05-2014, 18:07   #17
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Re: Proper winch technique?

I'll add, stand behind the winch not in front of it. Never get in the path of a load.
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Old 03-05-2014, 18:18   #18
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Re: Proper winch technique?

What is he doing anyway? It looks pretty delicate to me. 2 hands with fingers sticking out.. His right hand is backwards,. Not how I would do it. But so what?
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Old 03-05-2014, 20:07   #19
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Re: Proper winch technique?

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Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
Will we have to wait long for you to tell us what the three things are? To my untrained eye I don't see one so it will really be a good learning lesson.

1) Too many wraps on the winch to start. You really only need two (maybe three to start. This one will have 5 when finished. That is a clear invitation to an override.

2) The line should be held with the thumbs away from the winch, it is easier to pull on the line that way. And easier to let go if needed.

3) The other hand should never be used loop lines onto the winch. Having your hand inside the bight could result in that hand being jammed into the winch if the line starts to run.

This is a good video.

Video tip: Winches - YouTube

I teach three the standards for 4 different organizations. They all agree on this approach to winch safety.
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Old 03-05-2014, 22:00   #20
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Re: Proper winch technique?

Some winches are built for anticlockwise rotation.

(Maxwell, and Murray were two which could be set up either way, but big-boat winches are sometimes reversed to suit the deck layout on racing boats)

I think your points 2 and 3 are a bit picky in the context of the photo (haven't watched the vid)
Given that he already has 5 turns on the winch; it's not (by your own admission) going to slip.

I agree broadly with your points, though.

I'm pretty sure I know what you mean by point 2, but it may need a diagram for people who didn't already know it, or haven't watched a skilled racing trimmer in action (eg AmCup).
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Old 03-05-2014, 22:36   #21
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Re: Proper winch technique?

It is a mistake EVER to place your fingers where they can get pinched off.

It is a mistake to have so many turns on a winch you get an override.

But as to the other point, when I'm tailing, my thumbs are towards the winch, and away from it when I put the final turn on and cleat it in the self tailer. It's just how my hands work when I'm hand over handing the line. FWIW, I usually leave the handle in the winch and lay the turns on it around it. I don't like having the hard things in the way where I'm going to kneel...

Ann
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:52   #22
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Re: Proper winch technique?

I'd also get rid of that winch handle from the cockpit area. Handles are dangerous and trippy. I stow them just inside the cabin entrance or in a hold on the cabin top side next to the entrance.

Handles IN the winches, left there, are extremely dangerous. Trip or fall on them, and can sometimes fly off. (Yes I've seen it).
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:33   #23
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Re: Proper winch technique?

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Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
I'd also get rid of that winch handle from the cockpit area. Handles are dangerous and trippy. I stow them just inside the cabin entrance or in a hold on the cabin top side next to the entrance.

Handles IN the winches, left there, are extremely dangerous. Trip or fall on them, and can sometimes fly off. (Yes I've seen it).
+1.

Winch handle pockets are also appropriate.

Racers tend to leave them in the winches. Of course, as Andrew pointed out they also tend to loop the line around with both hands.
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Old 04-05-2014, 16:52   #24
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Re: Proper winch technique?

> Racers tend to leave them in the winches

"Some" may do. Race with us and you will get a bollocking if you leave one in a winch. Same on several other boats I crewed on in the past.
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Old 04-05-2014, 18:12   #25
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Re: Proper winch technique?

I'm a fairly even-tempered guy, but I recall coming close to walking off the job once.

Large yacht, middle of night, far enough south to fantasise huskies blowing past with chains still attached to a lump of ice.

There's an owner, there's a skipper, and there's a de facto sailing master (me). The skipper is not a sailing man but a diamond in the rough, the biggest asset we had, other than the boat which was golden (heavily tarnished, but gold where it mattered)

The owner was a self-made man with plenty of sailing chops but - lets just say, 'issues'.

Not the least of which in this particular situation was nausea to the point he was actually incapable at times of doing so much as telling me, from his bunk, the location of key items we needed to prevent the boat sinking.

However on the occasion in question, he was putting in a rare appearance to 'help'.

His usual style was more along the lines of "Fix that, would you" or "Heave the boat to, mister"

We had to take a reef in the only sail we could still carry, which was on a very strong furling extrusion with a powerful Reckmann hydraulic furler. Let's just say that if one of the hypothetical passing huskies had the misfortune to be rolled into that sail, they would have ended up about as thick as a pressed flower.

His input was limited to presenting his upper torso out the hatch, clutching the remote for the furler (which was recognisably a control pendant from an industrial-strength gantry crane) and telling me (euphemism for shouting with liberal abuse) how I should be easing the sheet.

The detail which he omitted to take into account was that I had been unsuccessful in persuading him, on our departure on a short charter, that it was unseamanlike to leave the winches covered in polythene and masking tape. (The boat had been in mid-repaint when the appointed date came due)

I was only able to persuade him to free up a few of the key primaries.

SO, faced with having to ease a soaking wet sheet, indistinguishable from steel barstock under most of its 8 tonne working load, around a winch drum as big around as my hips ... that drum being festooned with considerably residues of sticky tape and heavy polythene intertwining through the wraps ...

I was not disposed to do it the approved way, as 'ordered', by "clutching" the wraps of sheet against the drum with the palm of my free hand.

I actually quite enjoy having a free hand, on occasions. You could almost say I'm attached to it.

But it's hard to walk off the job when the nearest land is a mile away, straight down, so I kept my own counsel.

Until now.


Photo shows remnants of the masking still intact even after the weather turned nice again.
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Old 05-05-2014, 14:08   #26
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Re: Proper winch technique?

oops ...
forgot to attach photo:

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Old 05-05-2014, 14:52   #27
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Re: Proper winch technique?

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oops ...
forgot to attach photo:

erm... , tapping foot, pointing at watch...
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Old 06-05-2014, 16:05   #28
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Re: Proper winch technique?

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That is a really good video and thanks for posting the link. I'll start to forward it to crew who are joining me in the future. It's funny that the guy does insert his thumb inside the loop on the second wrap around though.

I can't honestly see how the three points you are making on the photo really are mistakes. But to each there own.
Very education. Thanks it helped!
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