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post #11 of 19 Old 05-02-2013
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Re: wire halyard winch

TQA - that looks like a real beast for sure. Technically, of course, it is not a halyard winch (unless the cable operating the centerboard is referred to as a halyard) but bear in mind that it is always under the load of whatever the weight of your centerboard is when it is being operated. Do you have a brake lever that you must tighten and loosen (or engage/disengage) to operate the winch? It looks like there is a gear reduction involved based on the location of the handle socket. You might try around the various sailing forums to see if you can locate a schematic if you can see a make and model number on it. Either way I would strongly recommend you find a sure way of taking the load off of it and making sure the centerboard is properly secured before you attempt to work on it.. Good luck!
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post #12 of 19 Old 05-02-2013
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Re: wire halyard winch

The brakes fail on them and the handle ends up bashing someones skull in. They are dangerous, and went extinct for good reason.They also make raising a sail, and reefing , painfully slow.

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post #13 of 19 Old 05-02-2013
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Re: wire halyard winch

One point in their favour - you can buy them REALLY cheap at consignment shops.

If you get a later model Barient or Barlow you don't have to worry about feeding the wire - they have enclosed reels. Maintenance is more important because there is a safety factor to consider with them. Keeping the brake band clean & free of oil or grease is critical to their proper functioning.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #14 of 19 Old 05-02-2013
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Re: wire halyard winch

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Originally Posted by capnrick View Post
I am in the process of servicing my main halyard winch for the first time. I have broken it completely down and all of the parts including pawls, springs, gears and brake ring appear to be in fine condition. I suspect that (as with many other aspects of operating a good-sized boat) the relative safety of this device is more dependent on the user rather than just being "worthless" or "crap" as I have seen them described in other forums. This winch has been used many times to haul personnel (myself included) to the masthead with zero mishaps. I have replaced the halyard with a new length of 1/4" Krypton-D line and it seems thus far to be quite reliable. True, you gotta crank the sail all the way up but it only takes a few minutes and there are no line management issues. BTW the new line is very smooth and quiet rolling through the sheaves.
I've documented my work on my mast and rigging for my Ericson 25 on the links provided below. When I bought the boat, it had a wire-to-rope halyard that had caused some serious scoring of my mast winch. Unpleased with this set-up, I converted to an all-rope halyard.

Regards,
Roscoe

The Ericson 25, a Trailerable Cruiser: Rigging - a Tutorial

The Ericson 25, a Trailerable Cruiser: Winch, Barlow 16 Top Action Ratchet

converting from wire-rope halyard to all-rope
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post #15 of 19 Old 05-02-2013
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Re: wire halyard winch

I sailed my first boat to New Zealand with an all rope halyard. It stretched every time I shook a reef out of it. It chafed thru and forced me to go aloft in a bosuns chair singlehanded at sea. Converted to wire in New Zealand and wouldn't consider anything else. I put a hard eye on the ends of the wire, and put the rope tail thru the eye, with a knot in the end of the rope , and made it just long enough so it ends just above the winch, making for no wire around the winch, only rope. I have thus had no need for a rope to wire splice. Works well.

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post #16 of 19 Old 05-02-2013
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Re: wire halyard winch

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Originally Posted by TQA View Post
I am interested in this discussion as I have a wire halyard winch on my centerboard.

I have yet to service it but it is a worry as I have no clue as to how it comes apart and am sure that spares are not available.

From Hoot Mon
We have the same winch for our board as well. I'm not at all interested in trying to service it as I agree that parts are probably not available. I lubricate it periodically with PB Blaster and that seems to keep it working well. I do not believe it has a brake, only the reduction gear. Our board is somewhere around 2500# and the winch holds it fine in every condition we have so far encountered
The only saving grace is that should it be necessary to disassemble it, being bronze, with patience, heat and a touch of luck the job could be done without damaging anything.
You might want to get a cover for it?

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post #17 of 19 Old 05-02-2013
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Re: wire halyard winch

Because of the short travel distance and the lighter loads , a centreboatrd winch may be the only practical use for such a winch. Otherwise, their scrap bronze value may be greater than their use value.

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post #18 of 19 Old 05-03-2013
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Re: wire halyard winch

Brent, you should try some of the newer, low stretch ropes with cores of Dyneema or Spectra. They basically don't stretch until they are loaded to the breaking point.
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post #19 of 19 Old 05-03-2013
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Re: wire halyard winch

They are far less chafe resitant than wire. Dont like going aloft single handed in mid ocean, to replace chafed thru halyards.

Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"

Last edited by Brent Swain; 05-03-2013 at 04:19 PM.
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