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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-30-2008
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Leading Control Lines Aft

I'm planning my next project - leading the halyards, boom vang and reefing lines aft to the cockpit on my 1977 Ericson 32.

Is there any reason why I cannot, or should not, remove the winches from the mast and place them on the cabin top to be used for the aft-led lines?

If I do remove them, will it weaken the mast? Should I replace them with screws or something?

Thanks,

Charles Taylor
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Old 05-01-2008
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It would help if you could post some photos, but no, there is no reason whay you cannot remove the winches from the mast and place them on the cabin top.

When you do, make sure you use backing plates and seal them properly as described umpteen times around here already.

Removing them shouldn't weaken the mast. If some nutter has cut big holes - or if you are worried - cut a patch from a sheet of aluminium and fix it over the winch location using aluminium rivets.

A good winter project. Good luck!
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Old 05-01-2008
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Yeah, no problem with that plan... but you really do need to be sure that the deck where you'll mount the winches is beefy enough to handle the torsional stresses that come from grinding a loaded winch.

Heavy backing plates and even another above deck will stiffen the structure and if you make the on-deck "plate" an inch or so thick (round tapered teak pads are available at marine outlets) then you get the added bonus of an improved lead from the stopper/clutch to the winch drum.

I'd add that you should be sure that the winches there now are still in good condition and adequate to the job... also - removing them may be easier to say than to do...
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Old 05-01-2008
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Another thing to check is that the deck where you place the winches is not balsa-cored; and if it is you should dig all the core you can out and back-fill it with thickened epoxy. On boats with cored decks the areas around winches and deck hardware sometimes are left cored; but the strongest construction method is to have marine plywood or solid fiberglass beneath the winches, cleats, tracks, etc.
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Old 05-01-2008
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Depending on where you are you might be able to trade the old winches in and upgrade to larger or even self tailing winches.
As to weakening the mast; removing the winch will not affect the strength of the mast to a degree that matters - consider also that you will not be stressing it. Does your mast step have pins at the base for mounting the turning blocks you will need to take the down ward pull of the halyard an turn it aft to your cockpit?
Have you laid out all the hardware you will need (turning blocks, guide blocks, spin locks, etc..) and figured where and how you will mount them including how you will access the back side of the thru-deck's so that you can install backing plates?
The reason I ask is I'm going thru the same process on my boat; it takes more thought and planning that it does to actually do it.
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Old 05-01-2008
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i did the same with a '76 catalina 27, and i wished i'd left the starboard winch on the mast.

i agree with chuckles, buy new winches for the cabintop, or consignment shop, but leave one winch on the mast. You might find a use for it when you need it most.
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Old 05-01-2008
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Chuckles, whats this "trade the old winches" of which you speak?

I'd love to upgrade to S/T but can't see spending the coin right now. I hadn't thought of trading in my existing winches. Who, where, how?

Don't mean to hijack. PM if you'd like.

Thanks!!
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Old 05-01-2008
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Thanks for the responses!

I'm planning to put four stand-up, spring-loaded blocks at the base of the mast - two on each side. I don't have a real headliner in the cabin - just a fiberglass ceiling; so it will be easier to drill through and use backing plates.

From the blocks, the lines will lead to turning blocks (deck organizers), then to either cam cleats or rope clutches, and finally to the winches.

Also, my boat has moulded-in pads on the cabin top that appear to be intended for winches.

Charles
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If you have a roller furling headsail, then there isn't a real good reason to run that halyard back to the cockpit. You may want to leave that one on the mast.
It can also be handy to have a winch on the mast for hauling people aloft, tenders onto the foredeck and such.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chtaylor View Post
Thanks for the responses!

I'm planning to put four stand-up, spring-loaded blocks at the base of the mast - two on each side. I don't have a real headliner in the cabin - just a fiberglass ceiling; so it will be easier to drill through and use backing plates.

From the blocks, the lines will lead to turning blocks (deck organizers), then to either cam cleats or rope clutches, and finally to the winches.

Also, my boat has moulded-in pads on the cabin top that appear to be intended for winches.

Charles
There are special turning blocks meant for this job that do not need spring stand-ups... require more care in alignment and installation, but look tidier.

Suggest you use rope clutches rather than cam cleats... frees up the winches for other duties. If you use cam cleats you'll need fairleads behind them, just as many holes if not more.

The molded pads will likely be strong enough, and hopefully originally engineered for winch loads.
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1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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