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sledracr

Positioning winches and clutches

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I'm pulling all the 1980s-vintage deck hardware (halyard winches and clutches) from either side of the companionway on my boat, and (after filling all the holes and re-finishing the surface) will be mounting  new winches and clutches.

What's the conventional wisdom for laying the new gear out? 
-- position the winches symmetrically side to side, and align the clutches to suit, or
-- position the clutches symmetrically side-to-side, and align the winches to suit?

I obviously can't lay things out mirrored, because the lines will go to the inboard side of the port winch and the outboard side of the starboard winch, so... need to find a compromise that works well and doesn't look half-assed.

Thx

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You probably need an organiser aft of the clutches then you can mount the winches symetrically,  or depending on the number you could mount then centrally and have the winches either side on the cabin top so the guy on keyboards can reach from the weather deck or the companionway. Depending on the boat you could even use cam cleats. A lot of boats eschew clutches for outhauls, vangs and cunninghams because its easy to build load load multi purchase systems with dyneema. Give us some pics.

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this is the old setup.  there's a 3-spool organizer near the mast, for spin halyard, main halyard 1st reef (outboard to inboard).

IMG_5069s.jpg

All that stuff is coming off, to be replaced by a single self-tailer behind a triple clutch (probably a spinlock XAS).

Winch will be centered just to the left of where the jackline anchor is now.  clutch will be lined up in front of it.  Jackline anchor will go inboard and forward of the winch.

That's the starboard side.  Pretty easy.

The dilemma is,
... if I position the port-side clutch in the same place (athwartships) as the starboard one, the winch will have to be a drum-diameter (~3") farther outboard. 
... if I position the port-side winch in the same position (athwartships) as the starboard one, the clutch will have to be a drum-diameter farther inboard...

The OCD in me doesn't love either one of those.  But I need to pick one... 

I'm thinking the first one, because then the lines run along the deck in the same path (moving the clutch 3" inboard on the port side might cause the inboard line to rub against the edge of the sea-hood), but open to other viewpoints.

IMG_5092s.jpg

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OCD is the issue :), you could just put them directly behind the clutches and deal with a bit of friction. IMHO the line deflection is not worth worrying about. The important thing is where you will be hoisting from, if you typically have a mast man doing the work and predominantly tailing with a few winds on the winch to finish then you can put the winch wherever is convenient. If you mostly hoist from the cockpit then you really want a straight run to where you're pulling from.

That said, you could have the halyards on one bank say stb  as pictured, and the minor adjustments on the other with the winch in the same place but with deflection. OR you could split the difference.

There is a lot to be said for mounting the clutches centrally on the hatch garage and using an organiser to lead the lines to whatever winch you prefer. The other question is are you setting it up for shorthanded or crewed?  On my setup its central with winch either side so crew dont have to move from the sidedeck, the spin halyard is on the mast so for shorthanded drops my crew chuck it back to me and flicks it under the reefing horns. 

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forget about symmetrical. lay out the  clutch and winch as a system and then position them on the cabin top so they work the best. then do the same for the other side

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9 hours ago, Gutterblack said:

are you setting it up for shorthanded or crewed? 

Shorthanded.  Actually, nearly 100% single-handed. 

32-foot plastic-classic, 80% daysailing, 20% cruising the Sailish Sea.  No racing planned, but if I do it'll be singlehanded.

Everything is led to cockpit now, just want to make it work better (existing Barient-10 halyard winches are "cute", but... not very useful)

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You say "first reef".  Do you have single line reefing or separate tack and clew lines? 

How often do you sail the spinnaker single handed? 

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First reef line is the clew (comes out of boom at gooseneck, down thru a block at the deck then aft to cockpit).  Tack downhaul  is a separate purchase: hook at the top, cam-cleat at the bottom, use for Cunningham or reef.  Can do the entire reef from the cockpit and leave the downhaul on the tack grommet until I have a chance (?) to go forward and put the dog bone on the tack hook. 

And the answer to "spinnaker single-handed" is ... every time.  A2 assy in an ATN sock.  Fun and easy.  

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Can you move the winches further aft? If so the lead angle from each clutch becomes more similar and the difference from one clutch to another will become almost negligible.

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Got a dodger? Make sure (higher) winch does not put handles too close to it. I agree that fair leads are far more important than symmetry. 

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1 hour ago, Fleetwood said:

Can you move the winches further aft?

Mayyyybe.  Original setup had some old-skool cleats behind the winches.  I'm debating whether I need them.

One the one hand, yeah, it would be nice to have a real cleat behind the winch for (for example) cases where someone is up the rig.  I like being able to be really really sure the halyard that someone's life is hanging on is secured by something more secure than a clutch.  And there are cases where it may make sense to have a cleat to tie off a 4th line that doesn't go thru a stopper (eg, spinnaker tackline).

But... if they aren't really needed to run the boat, I may leave them off.  That would allow me to move the winches aft a bit.

The spinlock clutches accomodate an angle of up to 10 degrees.  I'd have to move the winches all the way aft in the space I have to make that work.

My instinct is to put the winches in the middle of the space (fore and aft) so that I have the option of space for the cleats if I decide to add them.

 

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2 hours ago, sledracr said:

Mayyyybe.  Original setup had some old-skool cleats behind the winches.  I'm debating whether I need them.

One the one hand, yeah, it would be nice to have a real cleat behind the winch for (for example) cases where someone is up the rig.  I like being able to be really really sure the halyard that someone's life is hanging on is secured by something more secure than a clutch.  And there are cases where it may make sense to have a cleat to tie off a 4th line that doesn't go thru a stopper (eg, spinnaker tackline).

But... if they aren't really needed to run the boat, I may leave them off.  That would allow me to move the winches aft a bit.

The spinlock clutches accomodate an angle of up to 10 degrees.  I'd have to move the winches all the way aft in the space I have to make that work.

My instinct is to put the winches in the middle of the space (fore and aft) so that I have the option of space for the cleats if I decide to add them.

 

If cleating off is only needed rarely for going up the mast, etc its easy enough to securely tie off the line around the winch. No good for active sailing tho'..... Plenty of room to put a clutch beside the winch if you really want one!

Looks as though you can get about 20deg - inner to outer clutch.

(I'm planning a similar setup, but no plans to install cleats behind the winches. Currently favouring the Lewmar clutches as word is they adapt to varying line diameters and hold better than the Spinlocks - though harder to adjust under load.)

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8 hours ago, Fleetwood said:

Currently favouring the Lewmar clutches as word is they adapt to varying line diameters

Innnnteresting.  I'm thinking of the spinlocks because my understanding is just the opposite. 

I normally use 5/16" halyards, but spares are 3/8".  With the Lewmar, that's two different models of D1 clutches (one covers 1/4" - 5/16", another covers 3/8" to 7/16").  by comparison, the Spinlock XAS covers 1/4" to 1/2". 

Small-Clutch-Chart.jpg.de1d1de674f9b399fbb192a5472287f5.jpg

The blue bar is the span of line diameters for a given model.  Red is the rated load.

(stolen from http://www.apsltd.com/aps-advisor/how-to-choose-sailboat-clutches/ )

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I agree with sledracr. In my experience Spinlocks are very non-fussy for differing diameter. I was using 1/4" Spectra in XTS 8-14mm and they held to some degree.

I had a Lewmar D1 12-14mm for a spinnaker halyard that wouldn't come close to holding a totally non-loaded 1/2" (nominal) halyard.

One more note - when deciding which rope goes in which clutch, and no organizer between clutch and winch, try to have the most heavily loaded one have the straightest lead to the winch. i.e. main halyard go straight, spinnaker halyard or clew reefing line can have a bit of deflection.

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My thoughts only based on various SA threads over the past year or so (e.g. the current one on Gear A about Spinlock XTRs), my rigger's preferences and good success with ancient Lewmars on previous boat. Very little experience with Spinlocks. Slippage will be major issue for me.

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I called APS today with a number of questions....

-- they said that overall, Spinlock was the best combination of line-sizes and gripping.  They recommended over both Antal and Lewmar

-- they said that you should try to size clutches so that the line is at the upper end of rated range.  Smaller lines will slip more.  But they went on to say that the Spinlocks are more tolerant of smaller lines than the others

-- I'm in the middle of (but not done) changing over from 3/8" to 5/16" halyards.  I asked if the Spinlocks could be converted from the large-size (1/4"-1/2") to the smaller size (5/32-5/16").  The answer was yes.  the cam is the same in both, but I'd need to change out the plate (requiring that the clutches be pulled from the deck).  Something to ponder later on, if the large clutches don't adequately grab the near-the-bottom-of-the-range 5/16" line, I can replace the plates and be at the top of the gripping range.

 

 

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Move the winches aft closer to the bulkhead, and mount them symmetrically, a bit inboard if a dodger is ever on the horizon, then align the clutches with the lines. Bring them as far aft as you can so they are easier to reach. Spinlock have always been good to me, and are the only thing seen on gp boats. 

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I don’t think your table is accurate for Lewmar. I’ve installed the small and large ones, and they come in 2mm size ranges. One of those is 8-10mm which would cover the lines you are considering. 

I have 6 of those clutches on my boat with 9-10mm lines and they’ve worked great under high loads. My 7th clutch is 10-12mm and has an 11mm main halyard and also doesn’t slip. 

It is probably better to think in metric since most of the line and the clutches are actually developed in metric and not SAE. 

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6 hours ago, sledracr said:

I called APS today with a number of questions....

...

-- I'm in the middle of (but not done) changing over from 3/8" to 5/16" halyards.  I asked if the Spinlocks could be converted from the large-size (1/4"-1/2") to the smaller size (5/32-5/16").  The answer was yes.  the cam is the same in both, but I'd need to change out the plate (requiring that the clutches be pulled from the deck).  Something to ponder later on, if the large clutches don't adequately grab the near-the-bottom-of-the-range 5/16" line, I can replace the plates and be at the top of the gripping range.

Or do a core or cover bulk splice on the line.

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On 5/29/2018 at 3:40 PM, Alcatraz5768 said:

Move the winches aft closer to the bulkhead, and mount them symmetrically, a bit inboard if a dodger is ever on the horizon, then align the clutches with the lines. Bring them as far aft as you can so they are easier to reach. Spinlock have always been good to me, and are the only thing seen on gp boats. 

This.  Cleats not necessary with combination of Spinlock Clutch led to self tailing winch with someone tailing the secondary safety halyard...I did this very same thing on my S2 9.1.  Winches aft as far as possible, and symmetrical.  Clutches forward, but within arm's length of average human.  Clutches can be slightly asym as needed.  I had a triple on each side, and lined up the center line from clutch to lead fair to winch.  Function over form in this case.  If it works right, it will start to look right.

 

 

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I went the "line direct route" on my Capri 25.  Those are new Spinlock's which replaced jam cleats.  The genoa on port and main on stbd.  The spin halyard is there on stb as well but the halyard will eventually exit from 9 feet up the mast and cleat there as well.  The pit can clean up the tail after hoist.  This also allows me to hoist the kite from the cockpit if sailing solo or just with my wife and kid.  The outboard cam cleats are spin pole topper on port, downfucker on stb.

 

 

cabintop2.jpg

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If you can't hoist a kite from the mast on a 25' boat, you should stay on the dock. There is no reason at all to bring those halyard tails into the pit.

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http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?/topic/198623-positioning-winches-and-clutches/#

 

He says he wants to be able to hoist from the cockpit.  How he has it set up sounds good to me, as long as the mast-mounted cleat is offset such that he can release from the cockpit as well.

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3 hours ago, Moonduster said:

If you can't hoist a kite from the mast on a 25' boat, you should stay on the dock. There is no reason at all to bring those halyard tails into the pit.

Yeah, you're right.  I should just stay at the dock.  My 1st place trophies don't mean shit anyway.    I probably should just sell my boat.  I can't believe I spent all winter striping my deck, sanding, painting 3 coats, milling new teak...just to ruin it all by bringing my halyards back to the cockpit.  I'm must be an imbecile! I can't believe anyone had me crew for Ensenada, KWRW, and NOODs.  Can you believe Pac Cup officials even let me race???  What idiots!  Etchells Worlds?  What was I thinking?  And I definitely shouldn't have done all those deliveries.  I can't believe I left the dock.

For those like Moonduster, who think their way is the only way, here's why I have my boat set up like this...

When racing with full crew, we launch and retrieve the kite from the forward hatch.  We have experimented with other methods but have found on our boat, this is best.  The foredeck hoists the sail and cleats the halyard in an offset cam cleat below the halyard exit on the mast.  The pit then cleans up the tail after the set and transfers the load to the clutch.  At take down, the foredeck guy is now free to gather the kite since the halyard is back at the clutch within arms reach of the pitwoman.

And yes, if I'm daysailing with non-sailing friends, with my kid or solo, it's nice to have all the halyards near the cockpit with halyard, sheet, guy and tiller all within reach.  

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2 hours ago, Moonduster said:

There is a good no  reason at all to bring those halyard tails into the pit.

Single handing is sufficient reason to being halyards back to cockpit. 

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2 hours ago, Swimsailor said:

Yeah, you're right.  I should just stay at the dock.  My 1st place trophies don't mean shit anyway.    I probably should just sell my boat.  I can't believe I spent all winter striping my deck, sanding, painting 3 coats, milling new teak...just to ruin it all by bringing my halyards back to the cockpit.  I'm must be an imbecile! I can't believe anyone had me crew for Ensenada, KWRW, and NOODs.  Can you believe Pac Cup officials even let me race???  What idiots!  Etchells Worlds?  What was I thinking?  And I definitely shouldn't have done all those deliveries.  I can't believe I left the dock.

For those like Moonduster, who think their way is the only way, here's why I have my boat set up like this...

When racing with full crew, we launch and retrieve the kite from the forward hatch.  We have experimented with other methods but have found on our boat, this is best.  The foredeck hoists the sail and cleats the halyard in an offset cam cleat below the halyard exit on the mast.  The pit then cleans up the tail after the set and transfers the load to the clutch.  At take down, the foredeck guy is now free to gather the kite since the halyard is back at the clutch within arms reach of the pitwoman.

And yes, if I'm daysailing with non-sailing friends, with my kid or solo, it's nice to have all the halyards near the cockpit with halyard, sheet, guy and tiller all within reach.  

You are actually responding to one of Moon's idiocies? He is Jammer 6's closest competition for the most useless and wrong posts

Just put the fuckwit on ignore - everyone else has.

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1 minute ago, SloopJonB said:

You are actually responding to one of Moon's idiocies? He is Jammer 6's closest competition for the most useless and wrong posts

Just put the fuckwit on ignore - everyone else has.

I went back and forth.  But heck, it's Friday and all I really want is a dark n stormy.  

Regardless, the OP got me excited for someone doing what I spent the winter doing.  I thought pretty hard about the clutch alignment as well and went with the least friction possible option.

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4 hours ago, Swimsailor said:

  I can't believe I spent all winter striping my deck, sanding, painting 3 coats, milling new teak...just to ruin it all by bringing my halyards back to the cockpit. 

Great looking paint job and detailing by the way.

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On 6/5/2018 at 7:24 PM, Crash said:

This.  Cleats not necessary with combination of Spinlock Clutch led to self tailing winch with someone tailing the secondary safety halyard...I did this very same thing on my S2 9.1.  Winches aft as far as possible, and symmetrical.  Clutches forward, but within arm's length of average human.  Clutches can be slightly asym as needed.  I had a triple on each side, and lined up the center line from clutch to lead fair to winch.  Function over form in this case.  If it works right, it will start to look right.

 

 

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