Single Self-Tailing Winch?

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by MPJC, May 26, 2018.

  1. MPJC
    Joined: May 2018
    Posts: 3
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    Location: Great Lakes

    MPJC New Member

    I jumped from Lasers to my current pocket cruiser that came with nice oversized (32's) self-tailing winches, so I have no experience with traditional winches.

    I am fitting out a hull for voyaging short-handed, but the deck layout was designed for a large crew. The hull came with 8 good quality traditional winches, though none quite as large as the specified primaries (52's). The hull has the old-style large foretriangle (P:J = 40:60), so I would like to make the spec'd removable inner forestay permanent and sail it as a cutter. I would also like to downsize the spinnaker somewhat for ease of handling and to be able to continue carrying it as the wind picks up a bit.

    I have come accross a great price on some self-tailing 48's that match my 32's. They are about half the regular price, but still a chunk of change. This has led me to 3 options

    1) Build the boat with the smaller traditional winches it comes with,
    2) Purchase two of the 48's and set them up as my primaries in typical fashion,
    Or 3) Purchase one of the 48's and install it on the centerline just aft of the helmsman as Steve & Linda Dashew have suggested.
    In both 2) and 3), my 32's would become my secondaries.

    I have 2 questions as a result:

    Just how difficult are traditional winches to handle when on a watch solo? Everything I read talks about self-tailing being a godsend to singlehanders, but I haven't read a desription of the challenges faced with traditional winches.

    Has anybody had any experience with the single primary winch aft layout? Does anybody foresee any problems with this layout? I realize that this would force the helmsman to grind every tack, but I am setting this boat up for use by a couple with only rare additional crew, so this will likely be the case regardless.
     
  2. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 335
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    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    ttraditional and self tailing both have advantages and short comings. Self tailers can be used one handed (leaving the other free to hold on for dear life) but the tailer can snag when trying to release (especially spinikar sheets mid broach). Non+tailers are smaller, cheeper and release cleanly but require two hands and their pull is interrupted or slowed when regripping tail. I have many personal anecdotes of when both types have cooked or saved my bacon.
     
  3. MPJC
    Joined: May 2018
    Posts: 3
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    Location: Great Lakes

    MPJC New Member

    Okay, thanks.
    Maybe I'll stick with what I have and only look to switch if it becomes a problem.
     
  4. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 335
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    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    I re-read your original post anc caught information I neglected to consider in my first response.

    52"s seam large to specify for a pocket cruiser. 32's are significantly less power than 52s. You might need the pull of the 48s. I would consider purchasing both 48s. If they end up not buing used, they could be resold. How often does their bargain price repeat?

    I don't like to see helmsmen grinding out a tack. But then I hate seeing a tack ground out period. Usually easier on crew and gear to pause turning at head to wind, set jib on new tack, then finish the turn. Pulling main sheet tight helps alot.

    The inner forstay may only be needed in rough water. Dragging jibs across stays wears them out quickly. If you go fulltime cutter, please put foresail on a roller furller. Roll it up every tack. Inner staysail can then be pn self tacking system.

    Enjoy your new boat.
    Paul

    Edit

    Most self tailing mechanisms can easily be removed from winches. One recer I cared for was rigged w/o selfies for racing around the cans. The tailers were brought out of storage for the bi-annual race to Hawaii.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
  5. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 468
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    I'd go for an auto-pilot first if you're single handing.
     
  6. MPJC
    Joined: May 2018
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Great Lakes

    MPJC New Member

    So apparently I was not clear...
    I currently have a 28 pocket cruiser, complete with wind vane and tiller pilot. I am fitting out a 45 foot hull, the closest production boat to compare to is the Sabre 452.
    An autopilot on the new boat is not optional to me; it will have one. I am looking to equip the new boat well without wasting money. The single primary winch on the centerline seemed like a good option but have no experience with one to see the pitfalls. Same with the non-self-tailing winches, but I will get some experience and then decide - I just hope that I can find such a good deal later if I decide that the self-tailers are a good choice
     

  7. Blueknarr
    Joined: Aug 2017
    Posts: 335
    Likes: 32, Points: 28
    Location: Colorado

    Blueknarr Senior Member

    It makes more sense to have 52's on a 45er than on the pocket cruiser.

    If you're laying out a cruiser then definitely employ selftailers. My preference for self or manual tailers is inversely proportional to the frequency of unloading. No tailers if making frequent course changes like when short course racing. Cruising vessels don't usually make the same kind of rapid maneuvering.

    A few years ago I saw a cruising cat at the boat show. All lines were lead to a single winch adjacent to the single helm station. My impression was who would want all that spaghetti underfoot while steering, and how to keep all the tails from tangling. When I sailed on vessels where many lines led to a wench, inevitably, the wench was loaded with the wrong line.

    I understand the financial pressure to reduce the number of wenches onboard. One central wench will be highly frustrating.

    Paul
     
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