Reel Winch? Replace 3/16" wire rope halyard? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 06-21-2010 Thread Starter
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Question Reel Winch? Replace 3/16" wire rope halyard?

All-
A couple quick questions.

I have read the posts that tell me a reel winch should be replaced, if for no other reason than safety! Is this a reel winch?

This is the main winch on my new-to-me 1963 Spencer 35.

Second question: the main halyard is 3/16" wire rope, I would like to replace it. Problem is the halyard passes THROUGH the top of the mast, as does the jib halyard. Kind of hard to see in the photo below, but if you look closely you can see the halyard sticking out on both sides.

Because the halyard passes through with internal pulleys on the fore and aft faces of the mast, I would most assuredly have to use 3/16' line, but I'm not sure if that's a sufficient replacement for ANY sail on a 35' sloop. What should I do?

Thanks in advance!
Mike

Last edited by McMikeJr; 06-21-2010 at 02:50 PM. Reason: correcting typos
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-21-2010
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Yes, that is a reel winch, and they're considered dangerous for a good reason. They can be arm breakers.

As for the line... a 3/16" dyneema or spectra line is actually stronger than the steel cable you're currently using, so if you replace the sheaves and inspect the exit slots and cheeks for damage that might fray/chafe the line and fix them, you could easily replace the line with a spectra or dyneema line.

New England Ropes Endura 12 dyneema single-braid line rates at 5800 lbs. breaking strength at 3/16" diameter. 3/16" 7x19 stainless steel wire rope rates only at 3700 lbs.

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post #3 of 12 Old 06-21-2010 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick response! I sit corrected, the 3/16" you point out has a much higher rating than I would have thought!

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As for the line... a 3/16" dyneema or spectra line is actually stronger than the steel cable you're currently using, so if you replace the sheaves and inspect the exit slots and cheeks for damage that might fray/chafe the line and fix them, you could easily replace the line with a spectra or dyneema line.

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A lot of the new high-tech lines are actually stronger than steel either by weight or diameter.

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post #5 of 12 Old 06-21-2010
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Some syntetic ropes are stronger than stainless. That is known fact. If the reel on the mast issuitable only for thin wire, then it will be diificult to replace it with syntethic. Even if replaced, it will not be easy to use a standard winch or handle it with bare hands due to its lack of thickness. If you have to use kevlar ropes, its a better idea to use a rope that is suitable for the reel and add 1/2 inch or similiar rope to it. You will be using the 1/2 inch rope to raise or lover the sail which is attached to the thin kevlar rope.
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You can often have a rigging loft add a cover to the lower portion of a thin line to make it more suitable to handle and work with clutches and winches better.

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Lightbulb

Actually I'm considering replacing the wire rope from the sail up through the mast head with 3/16" line, then switching to 1/2" line for handling, much like switching from wire rope to 1/2". I could do the same for my jib halyard, just need to make sure the two are put together well

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You can often have a rigging loft add a cover to the lower portion of a thin line to make it more suitable to handle and work with clutches and winches better.

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post #8 of 12 Old 06-21-2010
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I like reels for halyards- I just replaced the old one on the mizzen (looked like the OP's picture with one of these:
(LVJ)

the secret is to remove the handle when lowering the sail.
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In case you haven't thought of this aspect of the reel winch -- it means that you have to wind the winch for the whole hoisting process rather than being able to hand-over-hand the first part (or on a smaller boat, nearly the whole way up). This in itself was enough to convince me to replace the one that came on our previous boat, let alone the safety issues
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-02-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Reel Winch? Replace 3/16" wire rope halyard?

Just as a follow up (sorry, I never did that), both of the reel winches were replaced with the rigging. After everything else was considered it came down to two simple issues; safety, and which one did it's job better.

Thanks for your opinions, all, they were well considered...

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