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Old 19-02-2011, 18:40   #1
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Winch Handling Question

Someone tell me what is happening as I use my winches, please.

I had a great sail on the the bay yesterday in lighter winds, about 10-12 kts.

When using my Lewmar 40s as I pull the sheet during a tack the wraps sometimes travel down the drum. Even to the extent that they go all the way to the base of the winch. Sometimes they even overlap each other and bind.

This occurs with three wraps on the winch especially easy. Two or one seem to work ok. In lighter winds I usually get the genny around without using the handle if I'm smooth enough. I can use one wrap in this case so no problem. In heavier winds I don't try one wrap since I will probably need the handle to finish up.

The winches are old but function fine. I think they are bronze with chrome plating. The plating is pealed off in places, but not on the stippled surface in the center of the drum. The missing chrome is in the curve at the base where it flares out to a larger diameter.

I have thought I'm pulling down on the sheet too much. It could be that, but I've tried to pay attention to the angle as I pull. I've got my hands full singlehanding a Pearson 323 but I'm not in panic mode or anything.

My Hobie18 has no winches so this is new to me.

Any tips?

I'm back at my solar cabin in the woods, my batteries are low for some reason so not sure if I'll see any responses tonight.

Thanks,
Greg
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Old 19-02-2011, 18:48   #2
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Aloha Greg,

The lead of your sheets to the winches is what makes them override or move down the winch to the base. Try to get the proper lead with a different angle from your fairlead block. Have you experimented with moving the sheet lead block forward or aft to see what happens?

Once you find where that fairlead block should be to make the winches behave properly you may have to have another block positioned along the track to trim your jib properly.

kind regards,
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Old 19-02-2011, 18:49   #3
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most likely has to do with the angle that the line enters the winch at, you want to the line going up to the winch, not down....

im sure gord will be along with a good picture for my paltry explanation any minute now
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Old 19-02-2011, 18:53   #4
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Pull up rather than down, pull smoothly rather than erratically.

Some people avoid overrides by only using two wraps during the hand-over-hand portion of a tack, adding the third wrap quickly before it's time to grind.

If you post a photo of how the sheet comes to the winch from the fairlead, we may be able to help you experiment with was to rig things to prevent overrides.
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Old 19-02-2011, 19:01   #5
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I haven't considered the lead up to the winch at all. Thanks.

I have slider blocks on the toe rail. Maybe that's the right terminology.

The winches are mounted on the cockpit combings, and that makes me think the angle is up to the winch. Not on the boat so I'm going to look at some pics on my computer. I think they would be angling up however.

Lately I have left the genny partially furled, maybe 90-95%. Just to make the tacks easier around the mast as I learn. Actually yesterday was the lightest winds I've sailed alone in.

At this position I did move the sliders forward some to pull down on the leach more, to stop some small amount of flutter. No real difference in the issue though.

Tell me if I'm speaking gibberish, trying to keep the terms correct.
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Old 19-02-2011, 19:02   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post

Some people avoid overrides by only using two wraps during the hand-over-hand portion of a tack, adding the third wrap quickly before it's time to grind.
The standard method we teach. Some even suggest one wrap. When you have
armstronged as much as you can, fill the the winch and grind it in.
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Old 19-02-2011, 19:04   #7
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Bash, jackdale.
This is probably the answer. It doesn't happen with two wraps unless I really yank too fast. I've seen the sheet wraps actually leave the drum from centrifugal force if the lead in has little tension. Then they overlap and frustrate me.

So. Two wraps, slower and smooth, pull up slightly, then add another wrap and grind.

Hows that sound?

What position do you guys and gals put the handle in when setting up for the tack?

The handle is in during the hand over hand or no?

BTW, I don't have any fairleads between the sliders and the winches.
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Old 19-02-2011, 19:13   #8
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"I have thought I'm pulling down on the sheet too much. It could be that, but I've tried to pay attention to the angle as I pull. I've got my hands full" - the sheet enters the winch at the bottom at a slight angle around 11-15 degrees or so and wraps around, where it exits you should be pulling up at a slight angle.
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Old 19-02-2011, 19:29   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDunc View Post
"I have thought I'm pulling down on the sheet too much. It could be that, but I've tried to pay attention to the angle as I pull. I've got my hands full" - the sheet enters the winch at the bottom at a slight angle around 11-15 degrees or so and wraps around, where it exits you should be pulling up at a slight angle.
A bad choice of wording on my part, I'm always attempting to pull up slightly as I do this. But, when the bay is full of boats there's a lot of things to attend to, so was thinking I may be pulling down sometimes, without realizing it.
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Old 19-02-2011, 20:11   #10
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How stiff is the line? I wonder if it's so salt encrusted that it's not bending quick enough.
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Old 19-02-2011, 20:59   #11
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angle of approach

Most boats are rigged so the sheet feeds through a block before they get to the winch. This block must be below the level of the winch so that the line is going "uphill" before it reaches the winch. You might need to raise the level of the winch by mounting it on a piece of wood rather than directly on the deck. (If you have the line going directly from the sail to the winch, that is your problem.) Your problem has nothing to do with how you pull on the end of the sheet after it leaves the winch. The tension on the end of the line in your hand is trivial compared to that before the winch.
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Old 19-02-2011, 21:21   #12
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Two wraps around the winch till you can't pull any more by hand, then add a 3rd or 4th wrap and start cranking. If the line consistently tries to go off the bottom of the winch, the angle to the winch is too great. Either raise the block the line passes through or angle the winch with a wedge to get a fair lead. In no case should the angle of the sheet to the winch be level or downhill, always uphill at a slight angle.
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Old 20-02-2011, 07:20   #13
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Palarran, the jib sheet is the newest sheet on the boat and seems fine.

FecklessDolphin, I do have a block on a slider. The angle to the winch changes slightly as it is moved for and aft. But the angle is up to the winch at all times. I was wondering if I need a fixed fairlead aft of the slider to keep the angle consistent. I don't think I do after the feedback here.

roverhi, I think you (in your first sentence) and Bash, and jackdale have identified the issue. I will improve my handling accordingly and this issue will go away.

Thanks everyone for the help, very much appreciated.
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Old 20-02-2011, 10:18   #14
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Usually you don't install the winch handle until you can't take in anymore by hand. The handle really gets in the way when you are taking your wraps. First two, take in by hand, then add 3 and 4 to use the handle as others have said. Lots of things to try next time you are down on the boat.
Each winch has the optimum angle for best performance. If you go to the website for your particular winch they will give you that type of information. As mentioned 11 degrees sounds about right.
kind regards,
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Old 20-02-2011, 14:05   #15
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Thanks SkiprJohn,
I've been doing the hand over hand with the handle in place. Then when I had 2 wraps and it was time to grind I would have to deal with the handle being in the way.

This is what led me to put 3 wraps on to start with, and consequently raising the chance of having an override problem.

I can't believe I didn't think of checking the Lewmar website.

At this point I'm almost sure my hardware is setup properly.

It's all me, and with the feedback here I'll get that straightened out next time on the water.
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