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  #1  
Old 10-17-2006
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newbie handle question

when adding or removing a wrap from a wench should you take the handle out?
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Old 10-17-2006
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Do whatever works for you.

But many of us only keep the handle IN when it is being used. Work with wraps while the handle is still in, and you can knock it overboard. Sometimes you need an extra wrap (bad dog!) after the handle is in, for harder trimming, and for the sake of speed you'll leave the handle in anyway.

Your boat? Your rules. Someone else pays the bill? Make 'em happy.
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Old 10-17-2006
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Agree..only put the handle in when you're actually using it--otherwise, out. If you're adding or subtracting a wrap under tension, the handle's an obstruction.

Note my restraint in refraining from commenting about unwrapping wenches.... ;-)
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Old 10-17-2006
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If you have non-locking winch handles, definitely only insert them while using them and store them safely (but within reach) at other times. Even with locking types it's a good idea, as they don't always fully lock; they sometimes get sticky and sieze at the lock plate.

It's much more awkward to add a wrap with the handle in place, but if it's in the act of tailing and grinding the winch during a tack you may not want to take the time to remove and replace the handle.

Whichever way you do it, rule number one is to not get your fingers in the bight. Grab the sheet far enough away from the winch that you can get a full circle around the drum without getting your fingers inside the wrap. One slip and you're crushing skin and bone.

Nolatom: admirable self-restraint!
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Old 10-18-2006
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I prefer non-locking winch handles for the primary winches, because they're less likely to seize when you want to remove them. I use the cheapest winch handles I can find, so it's no big loss if one goes overboard. I keep one on each side of the boat, so I never have to hunt for one.

Unlike the others, I usually leave the winch handles in the winch when sailing to windward, because, when racing, I adjust the trim of my dacron sails with every puff, and the tension on the jibsheet is too great to do it by hand.

If I need to add a wrap or two, I usually do it without removing the winch handle.
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Old 11-01-2006
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Most race boats that I sail on use locking winch handles and leave them in place until just before the tack. If there is a grinder who can move the handle out of the way during a release or add of a wrap then the handle is removed, otherwise it is left in.

Jeff
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Old 11-01-2006
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It can be done either way... the real thing to be careful of is that you don't get your fingers caught between the line and the drum—it is a good way to lose fingers on a bigger boat. Generally, I'll leave the winch handle off the winch unless I actually need to trim in on the line. Too many times I've seen someone leave a winch handle in and have to blow the sheet and not be able to do it fast enough...which can be dangerous, especially on a multihull.
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Old 11-02-2006
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handling a wench

(utilizing every ounce of restraint)..i have to agree with the conventional wisdom about keeping the handle out of the wench..err winch..(sorry..couldn't resist)..
when things go south, the handle is just a liability and something to be knocked into or worse yet...overboard. trying to manipulate a line around a handle is difficult at best, more often than not extremely dangerous in moderate winds.. experienced sailors will always caution about keeping fingers, loose clothing and long hair clear as well..usually it only takes one time to learn this painful lesson. (i was screamed at enough as a kid by my older siblings and father, so i still have all my digits intact).
as it was aptly put..your boat..your bills...
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Old 11-02-2006
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Assuming this is not a wench joke.... The only time I add a wrap on a winch while racing, is after the jib is about 90% trimmed we pause for addition of a third wrap for the friction to finish trimming while the skipper foots off for speed (it is a C&C 34 not an IACC.) Plus it is almost impossible to remove the sheet with the winch handle in place. With the handle removed, it is easiest simply to lift the line straight up to pop the line off the winch.
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