Trailer winch cable replacement - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-12-2007
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Trailer winch cable replacement

Our trailer has an old galvanised wire winch cable and I get covered in grease and poked with broken strands every time we go to retrieve the boat.

I'm new to the trailering life but am considering changing to a webbing strap and brand-new stainless hook. I am a bit confused about the "safe working load" (SWL) ratings or "breaking strains" or whatever other specs that are quoted by the manufacturers.

Our TS weighs around 700kgs. Can anyone tell me what the minimum rating of the strap should be? Is it the weight of the boat? or a bit less (or more)??

Thanks!

--Cameron.
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Old 09-12-2007
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The only help that I can offer is on my 1976 trailer has a web cloth instead of cable. It has never been changed, which is suprising. The boats weight is around 1800 pounds.

Tom
http://landlockedvasailor.blogspot.com/
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Old 09-12-2007
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The webbing should probably have a breaking strength of about five times the weight of the boat. Something similar to this would probably do the trick nicely.

Granted, you're not lifting the boat, but five-to-one is a common minimum used in ropes and webbing for non-lifting purposes. If you were lifting the boat, I would recommend eight-to-one or even higher, depending on the circumstances.
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Old 09-12-2007
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Thanks! - both of you. That's a great help.

-- Cameron
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Glad to help.
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Old 09-12-2007
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Get new galvinized wire rope. You really do not want stretch in the winch cable. if you're geting fish hooks, it's time for new. Wire rope is also easier to unfoul if you get a turn crossed.

Standard cargo gear safety factor, whether lifting or pulling, is 5 to 1. You'll not really even need that as you shouldn't be straining with the full weight of the boat. Yet you want something strong enough to keep your bow eye chockablock to the winch, not parting, if you hit a whoop-de-doo going down the road. I'm not in favor of something that stretches in that application.
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If you want a synthetic strap with little stretch, you can always go with spectra webbing, which has about the same stretch as steel cable.
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Webbing tends to deteriorate with UV light. There is a multi strand winch rope prepackaged for this which from memory takes about 20klb, doesn't jam and seems to last well. It is much better than the wire.
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Spectra webbing is very UV-resistant, as is polyester webbing. If UV exposure is really a problem... put a cover over the winch.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Galvinized steel is really UV resistant and it's cheap. (g)
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