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Old 05-01-2007
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Foot-pedal winch

I'd like to hear what people's initial reaction is to this idea: how about having a foot pedal-driven winch for sailboats? (By this I mean foot pedals like the ones on bicycles)

There are some obvious advantages and also potential pitfalls with this idea, and I realise that the feasibility does depend to some extent on the exact design details. However, please let me know your initial reactions to this idea - it would help me greatly with an investigation I'm currently doing.

Many thanks in advance,
Carol
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Old 05-01-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caroljlo
I'd like to hear what people's initial reaction is to this idea: how about having a foot pedal-driven winch for sailboats? (By this I mean foot pedals like the ones on bicycles)

There are some obvious advantages and also potential pitfalls with this idea, and I realise that the feasibility does depend to some extent on the exact design details. However, please let me know your initial reactions to this idea - it would help me greatly with an investigation I'm currently doing.

Many thanks in advance,
Carol
The mind boggles.

Except on a purpose designed craft the idea would seem impractical. The pedals would be a hazard and the space required would make the idea difficult to incorporate into an existing cockpit. Or so I'd have thought.
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Old 05-01-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caroljlo
I'd like to hear what people's initial reaction is to this idea: how about having a foot pedal-driven winch for sailboats? (By this I mean foot pedals like the ones on bicycles)

There are some obvious advantages and also potential pitfalls with this idea, and I realise that the feasibility does depend to some extent on the exact design details. However, please let me know your initial reactions to this idea - it would help me greatly with an investigation I'm currently doing.

Many thanks in advance,
Carol
First, it would really be a problem for most short-handed sailors, as having to use your feet on bicycle type pedals would limit your ability to do other things, especially since you'd probably still need to use your hands to tail or trim the line in question. It would also take up far more space on the boat to have such a setup, and space is generally at a premium.

Where this might make some sense is on a large racing boat. They have more crew, and could have dedicated stations for various winches. Large race boats might also have the space for such a setup. It might allow the boat to reduce the number of crew, since the grinders can now use their legs, which are generally stronger than their arms and shoulders.
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