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  #1  
Old 12-29-2008
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Sizing Winches

Our Islander 32 currently has 2 speed Lewmar 40's for the primary winches. How do you determine if we should go to the next size up or stick with what we have when we upgrade the self tailers. On the high speed side does not take long before it's useless and have to go to the low speed side to bring in the genny. Will going up one size help or will we just spend some more money for nothing. thanks

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Old 12-29-2008
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You would want to go up in size if you find that you have to work too hard to crank in the last bit of sheet. Bigger winches with higher power ratios want necessarily make it longer before you have to change down to low speed, but they will make it easier to crank the winch.

You might take a look at Harken's "CompuSpec" -- an online tool that will calculate the loads you might expect to see and then help you figure out what hardware to get to match.

Harken Compu Spec

They recommend 2-speed size 40 winches for the genoa sheets on an Islander 32-1
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Old 12-30-2008
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You probably don't need larger winches for your genny. Hopefully, the Lewmar 40STs will have the same bolt pattern as the existing Lewmar 40s do. That'd simplify the installation a good deal.
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Most experts feel that the avg person can exert 35 lbs of pressure on the winch handle. If you multiple your genoa size in sqft by 6, and divide by 35, that should approximate the winch power ratio. On my 260 sqft genoa, that results in a size 44 winch. Most production boats equip at 45 lbs of pressure...making their standard winches "undersized"...at least theoretically.
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On low speed they're still pretty easy to get in....high speed you hit the wall pretty quick. Course self tailers will go along way I think. I'll have to do some calcs on the genny size and see what that number is. Would be nice to use the same bolt patterns, but what fun would that be if something was easy to fix or install on the boat. Takes all the challenges out. Thanks for the hints and advice
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