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Old 03-20-2010
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Replacing a Wire Halyard Winch

I recently purchased a Redwing 30 that still has the wire halyard winch for the headsail. I understand they are problematic and dangerous. My question, is it possible to install a cheat on the mast, replace the all wire halyard with a rope and wire halyard and use the existing winch to hoist the headsail?

I eventually want to run everything to the back, so I was looking for a quick (inexpensive) fix in the meantime.

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Last edited by alofns; 03-20-2010 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 03-20-2010
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I can't help, but I'll be watching the answers to this post. I to have a wire halyard for my old Schafer roller furling Genoa. Can't a full halyard of something like Spectra replace my wire rope spliced to dacron? Or maybe some other high tech line?

Thanks alofns for my "piggyback" post. I know my question is just a subset of yours. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 03-20-2010
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You really can't use the existing winch for a rope halyard as it is a winch that holds all the fall. There is room for wire on the winch but not rope. Your best bet is to replace the halyard with all rope, change the sheave if necessary for rope and buy a used winch whether you wish to leave it on the mast or move it aft. Wire halyard winches are dangerous because if the brake slips as they are prone to on older winches the handle will spin fast. Many arms have been broken by these winches and a few faces as well. A conventional winch is much more reliable and safer.
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OK. I hate to sound like I know absolutely nothing...but, well, its the truth.

In terms of the mounting base for a mast and a deck, is there a difference? In other words, if I bought winches to eventually move to my deck, can I use them on the mast?
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Old 03-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
You really can't use the existing winch for a rope halyard as it is a winch that holds all the fall. There is room for wire on the winch but not rope.
My original thought was to use the wire halyard winch as a conventional winch and cleat off the rope halyard. Is there any reason I could modify the winch to work this way?
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Old 03-20-2010
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I wouldn't try. Wire winches use a band brake. Without the brake on if the handle slips out of your hand it will spin. On a conventional winch the line can be slipped and the handle can't spin backwards. I'd look at a used winch if the budget doesn't allow a new one.

Winches are the same if mast or deck mounted.
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Last edited by mitiempo; 03-20-2010 at 02:02 PM. Reason: add
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Old 03-20-2010
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I am guessing you mean cleat, not cheat.

Yes, it is possible to install a cleat on the mast, but you will need to purchase a regular winch, since the wire winch is not suitable for line. You will also need to check the masthead sheaves, cheeks and mast exit slots for damage. You will also want to replace the sheaves with ones that have a u-shaped groove profile.

Yes, you could deck mount the winch after you've led the halyards aft...but generally, you would want a larger winch on the cabintop than you'd have on the mast. The reason for this is friction. Leading the halyards aft often induces more friction for the lines, and a larger winch makes it easier to tension the halyards in the cockpit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alofns View Post
I recently purchased a Redwing 30 that still has the wire halyard winch for the headsail. I understand they are problematic and dangerous. My question, is it possible to install a cheat on the mast, replace the all wire halyard with a rope and wire halyard and use the existing winch to hoist the headsail?

I eventually want to run everything to the back, so I was looking for a quick (inexpensive) fix in the meantime.

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Old 03-20-2010
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I'm a fellow Redwing owner (1970 Hull #102 - in fact I just sent you a response to a message you had sent me in February). What I did was to replace the wire halyard with a combination wire/rope halyard. They spliced the wire and rope together and it enabled me to run the halyard into the cockpit and use my existing cabin top winch for hoisting/reefing the main. It's one solution and we've found it works great.
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Old 03-20-2010
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P.S. Let me know if you got my reply to your original message ... it's probably in your "in box".
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