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We are in the market for a pair of new winches in the +- size 20 range. We currently have Meissner 21s, but the drum surfaces have become fairly slippery. 2 Gears and self tailers would be nice as these are used for halyards, jib and spinnaker sheets. I believe the Meissner are light as they have plastic components, so not too much weight would also be good.

What are others using and where do you see the specific benefits of each product. Do we need to make a compromise? For example AFAIK Harken only has a single speed self tailer or two speed plain top in this size range.

 

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2 hours ago, Max Rockatansky said:

Unless you want an excuse to replace, take your drums to a fabrication or machine shop and have them re-knurled 

Hey Max, can you elaborate in this a bit more? The drum surfaces seem to have a random scratch pattern currently, so we were not sure how to recreate this on a lathe (or any other standard machine shop tool). Also taking a file to it would make horizontal scratches where we rather need vertical ones.

We might also be looking for an excuse to upgrade, but getting a quote for redoing the old ones cannot hurt.

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If you are going to take the drums to a machine shop, have them fluted, not knurled. Knurling resists slipping of the line in all directions. You would like to resist circumferential slip, but not axial slip: the line must slide up the drum as it is recovered. The fluted drum is one of the reasons the Andersens work so well.

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5 minutes ago, DDW said:

If you are going to take the drums to a machine shop, have them fluted, not knurled. Knurling resists slipping of the line in all directions. You would like to resist circumferential slip, but not axial slip: the line must slide up the drum as it is recovered. The fluted drum is one of the reasons the Andersens work so well.

This seems so obvious one wonders why all winch makers don't do this. On the other hand I've had mirror finished chrome winches on boats that worked just fine when loaded up properly.

Consider that the line is too big for the winch. Some cruisers use ridiculously large line. Fat line is both stiff and reduces the possible number of turns. Both encourage slipping.

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There're a couple of small, almost toy-like, anodized Al Harken winches on a boat that I sail on that have worn glassy smooth. I've been toying with the idea of fitting a few splines / ribs to the drums to provide facets. I'm not suggesting it's a good idea. It might be amusing and it could be done with hand tools. Any thoughts on if it could work and what problems there might be?

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If the drum is thick enough, you could flute it with a dremel and a steady hand. The fluted drums you see have a variety of patterns. Andersens actually have ridges formed into the drum, some are faceted leaving ridges, some have fine flutes and some course. Anything you cut from the anodized drums will leave bare aluminum. I'm not sure you can add anything that would stay - could run a weld bead but that will almost certainly ruin the drum. 

At a machine shop it'd probably be an hour to set up and 15 minutes per drum. Then re-anodizing. I guess that is cheaper than some new Andersens.

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I’d check the base diameters. There is only a 1/2” difference in the Harken 35 over the 20

Andersen, heavier for sure though, has always priced out below Harken winches whenever I’ve checked

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44 minutes ago, mgs said:

I’d check the base diameters. There is only a 1/2” difference in the Harken 35 over the 20

Andersen, heavier for sure though, has always priced out below Harken winches whenever I’ve checked

I will check out the larger sizes. We do have winch bases formed into the deck, which somehow limit the base diameter, but I can recheck.

I did look at Andersen, but they always seemed heavy and expensive. The Antal ones might be an option, though, as they also have vertical grooves similar to Andersen and Harken, whereas Lewmar for example is still using a simple roughened surface like sandpaper.

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Heavy? E.g. Harken 35 aluminum is 3.6 kg, Andersen 34 is 4.1 kg. 0.5 kg for something that works better, longer. A Harken bronze winch would last longer (but not as long as the Andersen) at 4.8 kg. 

Price? E.g. Harken 35 aluminum $816, Andersen 34 $742. Prices from Vela, other vendors are similar. 

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Are you doing 5 wraps or more folks? Ya know, full? My Almost 50 year old anodized Harkens are worn smooth. Never once had a slip that wasn't deserved. That said, new winches are a great thing. Choose a size larger if you have the space,

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28 minutes ago, El Borracho said:

Are you doing 5 wraps or more folks? Ya know, full? My Almost 50 year old anodized Harkens are worn smooth. Never once had a slip that wasn't deserved. That said, new winches are a great thing. Choose a size larger if you have the space,

Harken didn't acquire Barbarossa until the mid (late?) 1980s so I doubt your Harkens are quite as vintage as you've suggested...

I replaced the primaries on my previous boat with Harken Performas.  They functioned beautifully (like most things Harken) but the amount of "composite" used in the inner workings was a bit of a surprise.  I went to Andersons on the current boat and couldn't be happier with the decision.

Cheers!

 

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1 minute ago, CriticalPath said:

Harken didn't acquire Barbarossa until the mid (late?) 1980s so I doubt your Harkens are quite as vintage as you've suggested...

I replaced the primaries on my previous boat with Harken Performas.  They functioned beautifully (like most things Harken) but the amount of "composite" used in the inner workings was a bit of a surprise.  I went to Andersons on the current boat and couldn't be happier with the decision.

Cheers!

 

Ooops. Did I write Harken...I meant Barient. Wrong boat + senility. Nevertheless they are smooth.

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My ex-boat had Harkens which had a not terribly-aggressive sandpaper-like surface and worked fine. My Andersens from 1992 have ridges not unlike weightless’ above drawing but all polished and the ridges not very prominent, only a couple mm above the drum faces.

Definitely second the ‘enough wraps’ comment, especially with these Andersens and my sized-down WARPSPEED lines. Maybe try more wraps before messing with anything else

all that said... Andersen is a damn fine phenomenally durable winch.  I think I was the first owner of my boat to give any care to mine

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16 hours ago, Max Rockatansky said:

My ex-boat had Harkens which had a not terribly-aggressive sandpaper-like surface and worked fine. My Andersens from 1992 have ridges not unlike weightless’ above drawing but all polished and the ridges not very prominent, only a couple mm above the drum faces.

Definitely second the ‘enough wraps’ comment, especially with these Andersens and my sized-down WARPSPEED lines. Maybe try more wraps before messing with anything else

all that said... Andersen is a damn fine phenomenally durable winch.  I think I was the first owner of my boat to give any care to mine

We are using additional wraps already. However, this being plain top winches we found that our smaller crew members still have difficulties winching in a line as it requires quite some tension in the free end to generate enough friction. We are using 8mm lines so this should not be the cause of the problem.

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Knurling the drum is by far the easiest and least expensive. (I was doing this in high school shop class).  

Fluting the drum (Vertical grooves cut into it) is a harder process as it needs to be done on a milling machine which also has the ability to rotate and move along the drums axis. It has been done and generally the cost is related to the time it takes. I've heard anywhere from $200 to $800 per drum. Also after the machining they need to be re-anodized so factor in the cost for that as well. . 

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2 hours ago, DDW said:

I'll do as many as you can find for $800 each. Can't think of an easier way to make several thousand dollars an hour. 

The $800 was for a winch which had a base diameter of 429mm and a drum diameter of 300mm.

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I'd still be making good money.

But following industry standards on the "wallet check" aspects, in which the thickness of the wallet paying for it figures large in the charge, then $800 seems like too little. That winch cost a lot more than that. 

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Well I suppose it depends much on the size of the winch if refurbishing the drums makes sense, because I expect that a significant part of the cost will be independent of the winch size. Some parts of the job will remain the same.

At the moment buying a set of used or even new winches seems more attractive as the refurbishment includes some risk of totaling the winches as well. If replaced straight away they can at least still be used to offset some of the investment.

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  • 4 months later...

So we went the Antal route and ordered two ST30.2 in the lighter race version. The delivery time is a bit of a nightmare currently, but it seems that they will finally arrive after almost 8 weeks. If anyone is interested I can post pictures once I get my hands on them.

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On 12/13/2020 at 10:45 AM, DDW said:

If the drum is thick enough, you could flute it with a dremel and a steady hand. The fluted drums you see have a variety of patterns. Andersens actually have ridges formed into the drum, some are faceted leaving ridges, some have fine flutes and some course. Anything you cut from the anodized drums will leave bare aluminum. I'm not sure you can add anything that would stay - could run a weld bead but that will almost certainly ruin the drum. 

At a machine shop it'd probably be an hour to set up and 15 minutes per drum. Then re-anodizing. I guess that is cheaper than some new Andersens.

keep in mind that for re anodize, you probably have to remove any pressed in gears/bushings/races etc that are not aluminum.   Then you have to put it back together.

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J35 that came with original barient 2sp primaries I replaced with comparably sized andersens when I bought it. Absolutely love those winches. Agree with statements above about the fluting on the drums... These things are 12 years old now and still look and function as new. I have no idea what any weight difference might be and didn't care. I wanted self tailers.

So many people kvetched about the nanosecond time lag involved in unloading a sheet from an ST vs a non ST... fuck that noise. It isn't that hard to learn how to strip a line off a self tailing winch. and so much easier to short hand with them. I left the old barient spin sheet cabin top (secondaries) winches in  place. 

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5 hours ago, sierrawhiskeygolf said:

I bought a pair of these in the 'normal' version. Nicely made items. I think the Race version has more aluminum and/or plastic?

Yes, I believe some of the internals are fabricated from lighter materials to reduce weight down to 2.2kg instead of 2.9kg. I have not weighed our old winches yet, but they have substantial amounts of plastic in them and are hence fairly light. We hope to not gain to much weight with the new winches, but we view the self tailing as an upgrade that is worth a little extra weight.

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