Start with 2 wraps around the winch; more than that can lead to overrides.
Use you arms to bring in the slack.
When you can no longer use your arms; fill the winch with wraps - probably around five.
When wrapping, use ONE hand; do not use the other to loop the line over the winch. If the lines starts to run you may grab the line with your dominant hand and pull your less dominant hand into the winch. The safest method to to have your pinkies nearest the winch with your thumb up. (I do not always do this.)
If the winch is self-tailing go over the feeder and then in to the grip.
After the lines has been tensioned by hand, place the winch handle into the winch and then harden as needed.
When finished, put the winch handle away.
When easing a line on a winch cup your hand on the filled line on the winch and use it to roll the line out in a controlled fashion.
When releasing sheet when coming about, wait until the foresail backwinds slightly and then spin the sheet off the winch and let it go.
When the working sheet has been hardened, put 2 wraps of the lazy sheet around the winch and you are good to go for the next time.
I do not like to racket winch handles back and forth.
I would not release the mainsheet with bare feet.
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Last edited by jackdale; 03-01-2012 at 02:33 PM.