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sailingguy123 04-03-2007 11:51 PM

Optimum Winch and Traveler Position for Single-Handing
I am currently looking at the Elan Impression 384 and and the Grand Soleil 37 and noticed that the genoa winches are in two different places on each boat. In the Elan, they are positioned almost even with the steering wheel while in the GS 37, they are much further forward, maybe 5 feet ahead of the wheel. What is the reason for the different winch positions and which makes it easier to sail single-handed? I am guessing that it would be the one with the winch closer to the steering wheel but please let me know if I am wrong.

Also, what about the traveler location? Having it behind the wheel makes it a hassle to get in and out of the cockpit but having it within reach certainly seems like it would make it easier to make adjustments. Is this a big issue for solo sailing?

On a final note, the Elan has a roof-mounted travel and the closer winches while the GS 37 has the traveler right behind the wheel, but the winches are further forward. If you had to pick one configuration for solo sailing, which is better and why?

Thanks for all your help.

sailingdog 04-04-2007 07:18 AM


If you are single handing, you are likely to have the autopilot steering, and most modern autopilots can do an "auto-tack" of about 100 degrees or so. If that is the case, the Elan sounds like the better setup, since the mainsheet and genoa sheets are relatively close to each other. Generally, when you're tacking, you don't have to do much with the mainsheet, so its position is somewhat less critical IMHO.

It sounds like the Elan's setup is probably going to work better, and having the traveler up on the cabin top makes getting in and out of the cockpit much simpler.

Giulietta 04-04-2007 08:18 AM


What GS are you looking at, the new generation or the 2000 generation?

What you're saying about end boom arrangment and "getting in and out" is absolutely nonsense...don't worry about it.Trust me.

I have end boom arragment, and what you do when you solo, even if your auto pilot quits, is swap the genoa sheets and main sheets, so that you now have the main controlled by forward winches and control the genoa with the aft ones...simple...
If you have these questions, at this stage, may then this boat is not for you.

The reason why the Elan and GS have diferent winch positions is due to what Customer they are trying to appeal, the GS is a much much faster boat, that is set up with what is known as Admirals type main sheet control, its oriented towards faster sailing, and oriented towards racing and owners that want to sail fast and enter cruiser races..its what is used in cruiser/racers, beacuse the boat is fast deserves a proper sail control.

The Elan is oriented towards a cruiser customer..different sail control concepts...there is no possible comaprison..mixing the elan with the GS is sacrilege.

Nevertheless I like the end boom...others may like cabin top control.

I'm trying to upload a drwaing I made for you but the server does not allow me to open Photoshop. EDIT CAM...HERE THEY ARE:

sailingguy123 04-04-2007 10:09 AM

I am looking at the newer models (2004-2007). I thought the aft winches were always used for trimming the genoa. Am I wrong?

sailingdog 04-04-2007 10:11 AM


You can always e-mail it to me to post... :D I have a few webservers I can use. :D

camaraderie 04-04-2007 10:55 AM

Guys...problems with posting pictures normally. I put them in the Gallery under my name for Giu.

Giulietta 04-04-2007 10:56 AM


I see your confusion

Lets see the different winch arrangments

1) ELAN has 4 winches, 2 winches on top of cabin, 2 in cockpit. The cabin ones is one for halyards, one for main ,and the 2 in the cockpit for the genoa.

2) GS older models have 4 winches, 2 in cabin for halyards, outhauls etc, 2 in the cockpit for the genoa, main is controlled by purchase near the end of the boom
3) The newer GS have 6 winches, 2 in cabin for halyards, outhauls etc, 2 in the cockpit for the genoa (forward) and 2 in cockpit rear for main control in the Admirals system. I have that system in my boat.

HERE IS THE DRAWING I COULD NOT POST THAT SHOW HOw to single hand with 6 winch system like I have


sailingguy123 04-04-2007 12:23 PM

Does having the extra set of winches for the main make it easier to control than having a purchase? Are the winches necessary for larger sails that require more power to handle than can be done with a purchase? I am a bit confused. Thanks for your patience Giuletta.

Giulietta 04-04-2007 01:44 PM


Really it depends...on race boats yes...there is faster boom moves, the winches normally are two speed allowing fine trim, and allow better control by a main man. Its just a more practical solution with less effort, and mainly a speed reason. Also and a big allows the main control from either side of the boat, as the main sheet is a continuous loop. So In fact, while sitting at my wheel on the high side I have both sails controls near I tack, I move to the other side...and BINGO...same sail controls there!!!! clever, huh??

The purchase system is normally used on smaller boats, altough some large racing boats also have it with a larger purchase for course trim, and a smaller purchase in series for fine trim. I don't like it...takes a lot of speed from it.

In a boat like the really is not that are not racing..just sailing fast...
its pretty good will not sit right behind the whell, like on a'll be sitting on the side...enjoying balcony view, sheet at your feet!!!

I would love to make you a drwaing, but have work to do, and my IP does not allow photobucket access..I'll try tonight at the Hotel

Giulietta 04-04-2007 08:07 PM is the drwaing I wanted to show you. This is my setup, and can be the GS's too, if you specify it.

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