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Old 19-06-2008, 06:42   #1
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Using a Non-Self-Tailing Winch

Sometimes you just have to ask a question that makes you feel like an idiot:

All my life, I've had boats with self tailing winches, or boats small enough that you only had a cleat to tie off the lines with (or cam cleat).

This boat I have now has these Lewmar winches with a rubber ring or "track" around the top of it and a standard drum below that rubber ring.

No matter how I put a line on it, it ends up crossing over itself while on the winch. Not a big deal because it usually is enough to do some sheeting for the jib. BUT... I've been using one of them to pull up my dinghy lately.

Every time I use this smaller davit line on the winch, it turns into a rat's nest.

Anyone have any idea what I'm doing wrong, what the rubber track is for at the top of the winch, or why I'm so stupid I can't use a non-self tailing winch??
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Old 19-06-2008, 06:57   #2
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Hi,
I only have plain winches. Over run is a pain....you just have to make sure that your lead to the winch is pure... (in a straight line) and the winch person pulls from the top as he/she winds. I have jamb cleats on the outboard side of my winches . When you wind the cleat naturally releases. When you have sufficient tension you relax the sheet (or whatever) and gently close the jamb cleat lever. The backwards run of the line locks it down. I sail solo a lot and it would be a little easier with self tailing , but to be honest not a lot. Cost for cost I would rather spend the money else where.
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Old 19-06-2008, 07:20   #3
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Quote:
This boat I have now has these Lewmar winches with a rubber ring or "track" around the top of it and a standard drum below that rubber ring.
Short answer is the rings that are supposed to help make a non self tailing winch into one capeable of being self tailing just don't work for tailing. The bigger the load or the bigger the drum the worse they work. The primary reason Lewmar bought Barrient was for the patent on the self tailer. The difference is the tailer. You have a toy one instead of a real one. Lewmar never sold them. It's an after market gimic.

They work if you only use it to store the line and let the wraps on the drum keep it secure. That is the only use they have. They can't strip off the line from the drum like a self tailer as you winch. People think they do that but they only hold the tail after you winch the line.

For something like a dinghy hoist try tailing with one hand and cranking with the other. I woul agree with Cooper you need a good lead to the winch for the line to flow properly plus a little tension on the tail. The tailing ring is supposed to do that for you but the toy tailers really can't.
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Old 19-06-2008, 07:26   #4
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Originally Posted by ssullivan View Post
This boat I have now has these Lewmar winches with a rubber ring or "track" around the top of it and a standard drum below that rubber ring...

I’m not going to be much help… never actually had/used a real self-tailing winch on my boats, but have had those blue rubber thingies and after months of frustration I decided they were only usable as a temporary jam-cleat… eventually cut `em off the winch… probably just my usually five-thumbs dexterity, but I doubt I’ll ever have `em again…
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Old 19-06-2008, 07:43   #5
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I have Meissner winches with the rubber thing -- the "wincher" -- on them.

They don't self tail as well as a real self-tailer, but they do an okay job.

Trick is to put four wraps around the winch tight to the underside of the rubber. The free end of the sheet will then feed off the top of the four wraps (and into the boat) as you winch. It doesn't do it perfectly, however -- you still have to sort of guide the line so that it doesn't wrap around the winch again.

But you can use two hands on the winch for a few strokes, straighten the line, winch some more, and so on.

The groove in the rubber ring is just for locking the line once everything is as you wish it.

Now, I use the set-up for my genoa sheets. YMMV, if you're using it for a davit hoist.

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Old 19-06-2008, 07:57   #6
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Sean, throw the rubber thingies away, they will be more aggravation than they will be helpful and just tail the line by hand. Look in the consignment shops you come across along the way and sooner or later you will find replacement self tailer's.
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Old 19-06-2008, 07:57   #7
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Sean, I agree with all of the advice you have received above - the rubber stopper at the top of the winch will clearly be insufficient to actually self-tail genoa sheets on a boat of your size. Furthermore, unless you have the precise diameter of line to permit a snug fit from the base of the drum to the rubber after 4 (or 5) turns, it won't be of much use for anything except decoration.

As Cooper points out, if the line is crossing over itself then the lead cannot be fair (in effect, as close as possible to a 90 degree angle to the drum of the winch). Sometimes this is because the winches were mounted on an angled coaming or coachouse; other times it is because the lead blocks to the winch are installed at the incorrect location. If you cannot change the angle of the lead readilly by moving, or adjusting the blocks, you may be required to re-install the winches over wedges in order to change their angle. These are readily available at most marine suppliers.

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Old 19-06-2008, 08:06   #8
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As Cooper points out, if the line is crossing over itself then the lead cannot be fair (in effect, as close as possible to a 90 degree angle to the drum of the winch). Sometimes this is because the winches were mounted on an angled coaming or coachouse; other times it is because the lead blocks to the winch are installed at the incorrect location. If you cannot change the angle of the lead readilly by moving, or adjusting the blocks, you may be required to re-install the winches over wedges in order to change their angle...
Actually, you want the lead to winch to be coming in from below (angle between drum and incoming line greater than 90 degrees, closer to 100 degrees). Take a look at the winch installation instructions (Harken: http://www.harken.com/pdf/WinchManuals.php Lewmar: http://en.lewmar.com/support/PDF/B21...ch_Fitting.zip )

If you are just taking a line from your davit down to your winch, that's not going to work (regardless of whether you have self-tailers or not), you've got to bring the line down to a lead block on the deck and then UP to the winch.

Regards,

Tim
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Old 19-06-2008, 08:15   #9
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Thanks Tim, makes sense - upon reflection, the ideal lead angles are slightly greater than 90 degrees.

Brad
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Old 19-06-2008, 08:24   #10
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over-wraps occur when the line leads into the winch from above perpendicular to the winch axis. Ideally, the winch should tilt away from the line around 5 degrees. This can sometimes be accomplished with an angled winch pad. Some years ago manufacturers mounted cleats behind the sheet winches but that meant you would have to let that sheet fly to use the winch for something else. It was a real improvement when the use of multiple clutches ahead of the winch became common. Unfortunately clutches are quite expensive and work with a narrow range of line sizes. I saw a very elligant solution with metal Clam Cleats (tm) between the turning blocks and the winch. They were perfectly lined up so that when under tension they could be cleated by pressing the line down even slightly, and could be released with the winch by loading a wrap or two higher on the winch drum. If they were really under load, you could release them by putting a second winch handle under the tail just behind the clam.
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Old 19-06-2008, 08:33   #11
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Thank you

Thank you very much for the advice, everyone. Now I understand.

The blue "rubber thingies" (pseudo self tailers) had be baffled.

I think it is the angle of the davit line that's really tripping me up when I use it for that purpose. Good points.

The winch works ok for the jib sheet when I am not trying to use the rubber pseudo self tailer. It was mostly when I tried using the pseudo self tailer *or* the davit line.

Thanks again. Will try some of the suggestions and will pay more attention to angle on the davit line.
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Old 19-06-2008, 08:34   #12
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The rubber things are a joke and, I think, dangerous. Take them off and use the non-self tailing winch properly, or replace them with self-tailing.

My first two boats were non-self tailing, so I didn't really know what I was missing. The bottom line is that with a self tailing winch, one person can grind properly. Otherwise you need a tailer or you must grind with one hand, then stop to gather the slack, then grind again. Perhaps your boat doesn't require the kind of grinding where this is really that relevant.

The other advangage, of course, is that if you like to adjust trim often, you must uncleat and recleat each time. That can be a pain.
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Old 19-06-2008, 09:23   #13
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Originally Posted by ssullivan View Post
Sometimes you just have to ask a question that makes you feel like an idiot:
Such a great first line for me to sling into!!!!! But for the life of me I dunno what these rubber thingies are

The trick with 'propper' winches is the angle of the rope in and out. too many turns will make overrides too. Just use the number of turns you actually need for the friction required. Try just 2 turns. You can add turns much easier with a non self taling winch anyway.

I always prefered non self tailing winches, but now I have grown old and converted..... any older and I will have to buy a center-cockpit and electric winches!!!

Have fun


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Old 19-06-2008, 10:37   #14
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I agree with most of the other posts that the blue things are 'Winchers'. I've used them successfully before and will use them again, but you need to understand what they are and aren't. They AREN'T a self tailer. They ARE a quick and simple way to cleat the line on the winch (like self tailer's do), but nothing more. If you understand those limitations they can be useful, but also to the other posts, the line size MUST be matched or they won't grip well, and then become a liability. Many of the newer 'high tech' lines are skinnier for the same strength as traditional lines, and thus don't work well on the Winchers.

Scot
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Old 20-06-2008, 20:42   #15
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Man, you think YOUR question makes you sound like an idiot...I have no idea what a 'self tailing winch' is. I read the title to my husband and he said it sounded like a type of porn star. I had to spell it for him W-I-N-C-H, not W-E-N-C-H.

Jeez, we have so much to LEARN.
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