Keel winch woes. Is this one good? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-03-2010 Thread Starter
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Keel winch woes. Is this one good?

The keel winch that came with my V17 was rusty and the cable fraying so I bought an identical replacement at Harbor Fright. (misspelling intentional) Lasted almost a year. I can't remember if the cable came with it or not, but it rusted. (I swear it was stainless!) The stamped sheet metal pawl that releases the handle deformed enough that it won't hold unless you set it *just* right. For some reason the cable winds funny and binds up (I'm not sure this is the winch's fault -- it may be mine) but it binds so tight that on occasion I had to forcibly crank it DOWN. (with a 500 lb cast iron keel hanging on it??!)

Glad I saved the original rusty one. I may have to put it back on if a replacement isn't found soon enough.


Here's what I found: Dutton-Lainson Winch with Automatic Brake — 800-Lb. Capacity | Hand Winches | Northern Tool + Equipment

Am I barking up the wrong tree? I don't mind putting money into the boat, but I don't want a $200 winch if a $50 one will do the same thing and last me 5 or 10 years.

Going to heed the advice I ignored before and get a braking winch. While I never got whumped by the freewheeling handle, it did let loose and freewheel on my last trip out.

The boat is mainly fresh water but a few trips to the Chesapeake get me my saltwater fix. It's always rinsed off afterward. It's kept indoors year round and realistically gets used about 10 times a season. Not exactly abusive conditions.

Is there a better winch? I tried searching the forum but came up empty handed. I thought I saw conversations about this before but maybe not??

Keep the expenses low and the good times high.

S/V Waitara
Venture 21
PA Freshwater / Chesapeake
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-07-2012
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Re: Keel winch woes. Is this one good?

Did you end up going with this winch? I am in a similar situation with my Venture 25, so I am curious as to what has worked.

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post #3 of 13 Old 06-07-2012
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Re: Keel winch woes. Is this one good?

I would look into a worm winch instead. then up or down no locking pawl!.. Dale

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post #4 of 13 Old 06-07-2012
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Re: Keel winch woes. Is this one good?

The only issue with the worm winch is the price. If the 57 dollar one works the is a three hundred dollar one necessary?
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Re: Keel winch woes. Is this one good?

The Dutton Laison brake winch is still working great. Quality American made product. I ordered it from Northern Tool. Probably used a coupon code.


It is an ideal setup. Crank up, crank down. No silly ratchets and no freewheeling.

Keep the expenses low and the good times high.

S/V Waitara
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Re: Keel winch woes. Is this one good?

Glad to hear it! And the 800 pound capacity is enough? Also what type of winch cable did you use?
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-08-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Keel winch woes. Is this one good?

800# is plenty. I think 800 lbs is close to the displacement of the entire boat. The "ballast" spec is much less. And at no point (unless the keel bolt breaks) is the winch supporting the entire weight. I'm no weight lifter, and its not hard for me to crank.

Keep the expenses low and the good times high.

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post #8 of 13 Old 06-10-2012
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Re: Keel winch woes. Is this one good?

What is your winch cable set up?
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-10-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Keel winch woes. Is this one good?

The Dutton-Laison brake winch.

Keep the expenses low and the good times high.

S/V Waitara
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-11-2012
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Re: Keel winch woes. Is this one good?

Right, I guess I could have phrased that better. Does the winch come with the cable pre-loaded on it already? or did you have to buy that separately?
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