Looking for 3/8" socket drive winch bit. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-28-2019 Thread Starter
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Looking for 3/8" socket drive winch bit.

I have been looking for a winch bit that could fit into a socket ratchet handle and finally found one, available from a chandlery...in New Zealand. Shipping is $34 Us ($50NZ) Which is more than double the cost of the part.

https://fostersshipchandlery.co.nz/p...nt=33936375425

There are lots of similar items designed for drill bits available in the US market, but I have not been able to find one designed to fit a socket like this one is.

Does anyone know of a us based retailer of an item like this? Again, I am not looking for the drill bit version.
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-29-2019
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Re: Looking for 3/8" socket drive winch bit.

Might be cheaper to put a 1/2 inch chuck on your drill...
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-29-2019
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Re: Looking for 3/8" socket drive winch bit.

These bits come with Maxwell windlasses: Winch Accessories

Scroll to bottom. You will need a 1/2" ratchet wrench for them.

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Re: Looking for 3/8" socket drive winch bit.

Seems like something easy enough to weld up from a couple of parts.

I'm only guessing this is desired to use with a powered ratchet of some kind?


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Re: Looking for 3/8" socket drive winch bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
These bits come with Maxwell windlasses: Winch Accessories

Scroll to bottom. You will need a 1/2" ratchet wrench for them.

Mark
Thanks Mark, this is exactly what I was looking for, I think 1/2" is probably better that 3/8" so that is a plus.

I have a two speed self tailing main sheet winch that cannot complete a full revolution because of the dodger frame. I assume the PO installed the dodger after the winch. When it is fully loaded it can be very difficult to sheet in going back and forth between the low and high gear ratios and I am not in bad shape. It also results in a lot of skinned knuckles. I have actually run the main sheet back to an unused Genoa winch to sheet the main on occasion. A ratcheting winch handle would give me the ability to just use the high gear ratio.
Other options such as replacing with a single speed winch, or electric winch are much more expensive as is buying a battery powered right angle drill with sufficient torque and battery life to consistently do the job. Moving the winch isn't really an option either.
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Re: Looking for 3/8" socket drive winch bit.

Winch handle being blocked by a dodger is not uncommon. A single speed winch you don't have to do complete revolutions... Even when you CAN rotate the winch handle.. or get a shorter one to do that.. it's very hard to "work" the winch with the proper muscles. I have always had to position my chest/shoulder over the winch to get my strength to work a horizontal winch. What I used to do before I got a Milwaukee with a winch bit was the lead the mainsheet to a genny winch around the winch under the dodger. This winch not only had more power... but I could easily look up and see the main as the view was not obscured by the dodger... which by the way IS a problem using the winch bit approach under the dodger. YOU HAVE TO BE WATCHING THE MAIN AS YOU HOIST IT. If you don't and something snags the power of the drill will cause something to break.

As I single hand I also want to keep the boat head to wind moving slowly forward which causes the wind to flutter the sail and this reduces friction and the sails goes up more easily. Same concept when taking it down... move slowly forward straight into the eye of the wind. If the sail is not luffing it will create friction on the slides and not drop easily. For raising and dropping you want all reefing lines and mainsheet not under any tension.

I don't know the calculations... but the recommended power calls for a 1/2" drill chuck for the winchbit. You can use this for sending someone aloft as well. It's spendy but well worth it.. if you winch needs the power you can't supply manually along with being unable to see what you are winching. The torque on my milwaukee cause it to rotate and be stopped/held in place by the dodger frame. This allows me to operate it with one hand and leaves the other free to hold on or deal with the main sheet coming off the self tailer. I find this a great solution.. much like a good windlass installation. Sure you can raise the anchor manually.... but a good windlass installation makes it easy peasy. I recall the summer days when I would be sweating buckets just hand winching the main up from the cockpit. It's a big heavy main of 440SF so the winch bit is a great solution.

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Re: Looking for 3/8" socket drive winch bit.

Wouldn't it be simpler all around to have a machine shop shorten the winch handle a few inches instead of all kinds of adaptations?

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Re: Looking for 3/8" socket drive winch bit.

Of course, they sell shorter winch handles too.

On the other hand, I bet a longer winch handle would make the higher speed direction a bit easier to manage. Perhaps even one of those handles designed for two hands.


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Re: Looking for 3/8" socket drive winch bit.

Thanks for all the suggestions, I ordered the Bi-Square (learned a new word four our 8-point winch sockets!) to 1/2 in drive for $22 from a US supplier. This together with a long handled 1/2" drive ratchet, which I already own, should solve the problem.
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Re: Looking for 3/8" socket drive winch bit.

I had a chance to try out this setup yesterday. It was blowing up to 30 knots in San Francisco and San Pablo Bays Yesterday and sheeting even a double reefed main was virtually impossible ratcheting back and forth on a Lewmar 30 double speed winch. This adaptation allowed me to sheet the main with ease, albeit rather slowly.
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