Winch smoothness - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-25-2008 Thread Starter
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Winch smoothness

Hi All...

As winches age, do they get smoother? I am finding that my sheets and halyards slip on the winch drums, no matter how hard we tail them. If they do, can they be refurbished?
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-25-2008
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They do lose grip, but so do the sheets.

You can remove the crowns and have them re-roughd in a lathe, by someone that knows how to grove them, or whatever its called in English
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-25-2008
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Cool

Gui is on the money. The term would be "knurl", if that is even an English word. There are many texture types of knurling that can be done to the drum including shot peening for texture.

Check with your local machine shop to see if they can do the job. You may have to send it off to a specialty shop though. About a year ago there was a thread on this forum that discussed this topic to some extent. I'll see if I can find it.

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Last edited by capngregg; 09-25-2008 at 07:33 PM.
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-25-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarcher View Post
Hi All...

As winches age, do they get smoother? I am finding that my sheets and halyards slip on the winch drums, no matter how hard we tail them. If they do, can they be refurbished?
Just to cover the basics...maybe its just your choice of words...the purpose of the winch is to remove the need to tail the line hard, it is the number of turns on the winch which should affect it's holding power. Are you using at least four turns, on my main halyard with 3/8's line I usually need five turns (or is it six...)?

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post #5 of 12 Old 09-25-2008
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Just be aware . . .

AFAIK most winch drums are electroplated and knurling them will almost certainly cause the electroplating to peel. It is quite an aggressive process from an engineering perspective. It's like cross-hatching which leaves a pattern of tiny little diamonds standing proud. It may require the drum to be re-plated after knurling.

Also if the knurling is aggressive, it will eat your sheets for breakfast. Maybe a quiet word with the engineers will get them to do a very light cut.

I would prefer to find some other way like . . . . just put a couple more wraps on the drum.


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post #6 of 12 Old 09-26-2008
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Many ways to refinish a winch drum--many styles of new finishes. Finding a reasonable machine shop can be quite hard these days, finding one that is familiar with the differen winch finishes might be even harder.

You *could* also buy some time by painting the drum with an epoxy and embedding abrasive grit in it--your choice of how abrasive. "Also if the knurling is aggressive, it will eat your sheets for breakfast." Catch-22. A couple of coats of that should do very nicely for quite some time, especially compared to the price of the typical machine shop.

A local loft or chandlery (or brokerage) MIGHT know someplace local that is familiar with refinishing them.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-26-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone... Well I'll take 3 wraps is pretty light air and the genny sheets slip. They feel pretty smooth to the touch. This is true of the two big winches for the genny and the smaller ones for the hylards. I have not checked the spinnaker winches (aft) carefully yet.

I'll try more wraps. I don't want to replace these, so I am hoping to get more life out of them.
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-26-2008
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As Alex said, the sheets get worn smooth and loose grip. How old are they? It might be time to get new sheets or end for end the sheets so the tails are fresh.

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post #9 of 12 Old 09-26-2008
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If ALL your winches are smooth, I would suspect that its the sheets. Your primary winches should smooth/wear much faster than your halyard winches.

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post #10 of 12 Old 09-26-2008
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Trail your sheets alongside for a moment. The wet line will grip just fine.
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