ISO advice re sizing winches - SailNet Community

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Old 07-09-2004
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ISO advice re sizing winches

Well, Miss "Diva" is finally past the Serious Structural Phase, and my mind now turns to the "fun stuff": rigging, sails, hardware, etc.

The winches that came with the boat are all mismatched, obscure and in most cases disfunctional anyway. Two riggers in Chaguaramas have told me that all of them were undersized to begin with. They have recommended some sizes and models, but their recommendations are certainly colored by the brands of winch they sell.

Confusing the issue is that I strongly suspect that her previous owners went cheap-ass re sails (a theory consistent with everything else on the boat), buying anything used that remotely fit the rig; the yankee is UV toast, and the gennie was missing entirely from the inventory. So, I can''t use the existing sails as a yardstick of appropriate sail area. Perhaps I have cart before horse? Should I be sizing her sails before shopping for winches? I hope I can at least spec out both in short order, as I think I''ll need to search the globe for serviceable used winches (new prices would deal a fatal blow to the refit kitty), and the sooner I know what I''m shopping for, the better.

So, I''m in need of a start-from-scratch primer on fitting sail management hardware to a very one-off boat. These are her specs as I know them:

Ketch rig, hull design called "Cuttyhunk", center cockpit
Displacement: 46,000 lbs.
Ballast percentage of above unknown
LOD: 53''
LOA: (incl bowsprit): 59''
Mainmast height: 56'' 11"
Freeboard, waterline to deck: 4'' 7"
Forestay length: 59'' 9"
Inner forestay length: 38'' 5 1/2"
Distance, mast step to end of bowsprit: 21'' 7 3/4"

I''m missing a few major specs, such as LWL, and perhaps mizzen height and boom lengths; as she''s on Trini and I''m in Detroit at the moment, I''ll need to get someone to run a tape down there for me for any other measurements, but with the usual delays it can be done. Anything else I need to know?

Re the sail loft, my main and mizzen are serviceable for the time being; I''ll be having new genoa and yankee made.

My winch shopping list:
Genoa sheet winches
Separate yankee sheet winches? I do intend to go with a furler instead of the original cutter club...
Main sheet winch
Mizzen sheet winch
Mainmast halyard winches: main, foresails, someday spinnaker
Mizzen halyard winch

So, great and powerful wizards... as an idiot newbie ketch sailor, I humbly ask your guidance on optimal sizes of headsails for the Ol'' Girl, and then what sizes of winch to search for. Also, I''m open to a general poll on winch brands to seek and avoid.

Geoff Safron
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