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No real rules of thumb...but the line clutch should be mounted where it will lead fair to the winch, yet not get in the way of any other lines needing the same winch. most are mounted between one-to-two feet forward of the winch in question.
If you can, I'd recommend returning the Spinlock XAS clutches and getting the Lewmar clutches instead. The reasons are:
1) the Spinlocks can jam under a high load, which means you'll need to run a rolling hitch to the line and apply pressure before you can release the clutch;
2) the Spinlocks will abrade the line more than the Lewmars--which due to their unique clutch mechanism cause almost no line abrasion, and will mean you have to replace the halyards more often.
These are from my experience and also backed by various Practical Sailor Magazine test results.
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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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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Last edited by sailingdog; 04-07-2008 at 10:59 AM.