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post #1 of Old 01-04-2011 Thread Starter
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Just a cautionary note

. . . . . and perhaps unnecessary for the wise amongst us.

When there is a problem with your anchor winch, stay the heck away and carefully figure out what to do before doing anything.

We were out on our annual sailing holiday and were anchored shallower (but not seriously shallower) than we should have been. I wanted to ensure that when the tide turned an hour later, we wouldn't be blown further into the shallows so I went up on deck and hauled up the slack on the anchor chain using the anchor winch.

The winch started running as expected but when I let the control go, the winch never stopped. The boat was semi-aground in soft mud so wasn't going to move and thus the chain went tight, jumped out of the gypsy, did this again a few times so without thinking, I waited for it to jump again and grabbed the chain to keep it out of the gypsy. As I did, the tail fell back into the gypsy and before I knew it, my hand was drawn in.

OK I know there will be many automatic responses of "You should know better". Believe me, that has been said to me by everyone I know, everyone in the hospital and many times by myself so save it.

Anyway, luckily the chain jumped again just a second before it went bar-tight and I got my hand out.

So, purpose of this post? Just a warning of what can happen.

I think the surgeons have managed to save the end of the finger. I'll have the rest of my sailing holiday at home thinking about how to avoid this in the future and to find out what went wrong with the winch.

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