Slipping Spinlock XA Clutches - Worth fixing?

MiddayGun

Super Anarchist
1,179
442
Yorkshire
Got these museum pieces fitted on my coachroof. 

vgoh20.jpg


Since I'm already resigned to the fact I'll never be a rich man as long as I own a boat its time to repair or replace. 
Right now I've got 10mm halyards in covered dyneema, no idea what type, the PO fitted them. 

Problem is they slip quite a lot and I need to keep halyards on the coach roof winch, which the spinnaker trimmer isn't too happy about. 

I've checked online and I can still get the spares from Spinlock, but is it worth it? 

I'd quite like to drop to 8mm halyards & control lines in dyneema, just wondering given how old the design of these is if they will hold even if I refurb them and replace the cams, cracked side plates etc. 

Boats 27.5 foot,  fractional, no idea what the mainsail area is, but total SA with the working jib is about 413ft/2.

Any thoughts?

And if I do go new, are spinlock still king? I quite like the look of the Antals. 

 

B dock

Member
183
87
SF bay
Just replaced one just like yours last week with the newer spinlocks.  It looks like a crack is just starting in the old one and its about to break.  It was super easy swap them out, they have same bolt hole pattern.  I just counter sunk the holes , butyl tape, drop them in and tighten, done. New ones seem to work just fine on my 29 footer.

 
we have 14 of these "museum" pieces on our 40 foot cat.  We have a 16m carbon masts and can sail at > 23 knots I am sure your boat will be absolutely fine - if you are going 8mm then there are 8mm jaws..... we use them for all running rigging other than for main and jib halyard

 

Alex W

Super Anarchist
3,325
315
Seattle, WA
Most of the clutches are following the Spinlock pattern, so switching between brands can be easy.  Just check the specs.  

I put Lewmars on my last two boats and like them.  They are cheaper per line, spread the load over a wider area of the line, and seem to hold very nicely.  A downside is that they aren't really very repairable and want to be sized for the line size.  If I were buying again I might go with constrictor clutches on my main and jib halyards, which also have the same line size pickiness.

I just checked for you.  Spinlock is 79mm C-Cx26mm C-C.  Lewmar D2 (smaller) is the same.  Antal 814 is 105x29mm C-C, so that won't work.  Ronstan constrictor is 70-90mm (nice that it is adjustable).

 
I've finally given up on the spinlocks, they slip and often need frequent maintenance which requires taking the entire clutch off.  I used a Ronstan constrictor clutch as a back up to a spinlock on my last boat then realized I didn't even need the spinlock, just the constrictor. I replaced all the spinlocks with the constrictors on my current boat and couldn't be happier with them.  They hold better, almost no maintenance (maybe replace the little shock cord every few years), you can release them under load and they don't eat your lines like the spinlocks.  Only really two downsides to them both of which is minor.  They slip about an inch or so at first until it grabs but then holds tight with no slippage.  The other downside is there is a slight amount of friction through the clutch when they are fully open, nothing that's ever been a problem for us though.  They will fit right into the holes left by the spinlocks and just about any other clutch.  Get them, you won't regret it.

https://www.ronstan.com/marine/constrictor.asp




 

MiddayGun

Super Anarchist
1,179
442
Yorkshire
we have 14 of these "museum" pieces on our 40 foot cat.  We have a 16m carbon masts and can sail at > 23 knots I am sure your boat will be absolutely fine - if you are going 8mm then there are 8mm jaws..... we use them for all running rigging other than for main and jib halyard
Yeah they only time my boats ever hit that speed is on the back of a lorry. 

Good to know, I wasn't sure if the new clutches were vastly different or not, it didn't want to splash out on all the parts before I knew they'd be up to the task. 

@Psycho Tiller
I've been lusting after the constrictor clutches for a long time but I just can't stomach the price. 

 
@Psycho Tiller
I've been lusting after the constrictor clutches for a long time but I just can't stomach the price. 
But can you really put a price on lust?  :D   I think ours were about $180 each, not too much more than the Spinlock XTS but about double the XAS so yeah agreed, there are more economical options depending on your needs and what loads you see on your boat.

 

MiddayGun

Super Anarchist
1,179
442
Yorkshire
But can you really put a price on lust?  :D   I think ours were about $180 each, not too much more than the Spinlock XTS but about double the XAS so yeah agreed, there are more economical options depending on your needs and what loads you see on your boat.
Especially if I can service my existing ones, although to be fair I'd really only need 2, Main & Genny halyards.

I guess what puts me off is that it looks like it costs them about 5$ to manufacture. But I suppose you could say the same about clutch parts. 

 
Last edited by a moderator:
I guess what puts me of it it looks like it costs them about 5$ to manufacture. But I suppose you could say the same about clutch parts. 
You're definitely not wrong about that, you're just not right. :D   Totally kidding and I agree with you, it is an extremely simple design which probably doesn't cost much at all to manufacture.  I guess I'm paying for the idea and not so much for the product.  They are however the only reliable way to stop the slippage with the loads and systems we use on our boat.   Actually the spinlock XX power clutches probably would work too but they are $400 each and I think they eat lines and have the same maintenance issues of the other spinlocks. Don't get me wrong though, not trying to argue or convince you, just discussing.  Completely understand there are different answers for different boats, people and situations.

 

IStream

Super Anarchist
10,860
3,040
I have a slightly newer vintage of your clutches (1993) and I rebuilt them this year, but only because someone sold me some new old stock units for a song that I could use for parts. Once I got them all apart, cleaned, bad bits swapped, and put back together it was clear that this was the last rebuild that could be justified.  

On a related note, I needed to put a double clutch on my mast for a couple halyards that share a winch and was resigned to spending $250 for a Spinlock unit. Poking around, I saw that the equivalent Garhauer unit was just a bit over $100. The action's not quite as nice but it does the job and the stainless steel side plates will certainly hold up to UV better than the Spinlocks' will.

 

black swan

Member
59
3
Perth
I had the same and replaced them with new Spinlocks, they are crap. They slip more than the old ones did. Little help from Spinlock so I have mounted cams behind them to hold the halyards...

What else can I say???

 

Mikel_new

Member
205
5
Bilbao
In my experience the Spinlock XA are very weak. XT are much better, yet they are larger.

In an old 45-racer we use XC (identical to XT but ALU body) with 10mm dyneema lines and work well, except for the jib halyard.

 

MiddayGun

Super Anarchist
1,179
442
Yorkshire
Well seems like its worth trying to fix them at least.

If they don't work out then I can sell them as refurbed. 

Anyone know in terms of grip if its better to spec so the rope size is at the lower end of the size range, or at the upper end. (When choosing the bases)

 

Max Rockatansky

holy fuckfarts!
3,814
971
My experience was that the Antals I have slipped bc of the line (Warpspeed), more than bc the clutches themselves

My solution was to install Constrictors, and have been extremely pleased with them.

 

Latest posts




Top