Join Date: May 2012
Location: North Vancouver, BC
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Re: Self Tailing Winches
Ok, my boat is MUCH smaller than your folks at 25 feet.
I've considered ST winches for it... I solo sail a lot (even race solo some times)...
I cross sheet even as the winds come up so that I can just grab the sheet, sweat it, and take up the slack. Because of this though my elbow is a mess, but that's another story.
The statement that you need 3 wraps to use the ST function bothers me... I am assuming I can continue to use them as I describe (without the ST function)... but if I want more on them and wanna spare my elbow, I'd need to wrap the leeward side 3 times?
This is my typical "cross sheeting" in action. From the helmsman position, I lean back and pull in the center. Obviously none of this was necessary during THIS sail (6mph winds)... but I've used it successfully solo sailing to 25 knots with the 155 up.
The number of wraps really depends on the winch, the type of rope, and the amount of load, but I am not clear on how more wraps is a problem for your elbow! There is no reason you couldn't use self tailers when you cross sheet. You could just put one or two wraps on the leeward winch, haul as much sheet as you can by hand, then put a couple of wraps on the windward winch and tailer, and then you are free to grind with one hand and steer with the other.
If you have an issue with strain on your elbow, the best remedy would probably be to upgrade to more powerful winches.
1979 Santana 30 Tall Rig