Karver Winches - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-20-2020 Thread Starter
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Karver Winches

Dear sailors , does any of you have experience with "Karver" winch in terms of functionality and reliability ? Why am I asking you about it, because I planned to install Lewmar electric winch to raise mainsail on Forespar "Leisure" in boom furling system. I came across Karver website and they stats that their Karver KPW type winch is real alternative to electric winch. It has 2 speeds identical to other winches on the market and 2 extra speed extremely powerful...3 times more power than any other winch on the market. (So 3 times less effort to pull similar load., plus installation - no wire. no power hungry winch.
Any comments, insights very welcome
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-21-2020
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Re: Karver Winches

More power means less speed - many more turns for a given length of line.

With a hand cranked winch you can have speed or power but not both.

I had a pair of huge Barient 736 3-speeds once - took about 10 turns of the handle to turn the drum one revolution in the lowest gear.
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-21-2020
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Re: Karver Winches

He's right - there is no free lunch here. Fast means effort, and easy means slow. Whether this works for you is dependent on your specific setup. If your sail takes little effort to raise, then a fast winch works to your advantage. However, if it is that easy, then just pulling the halyard by hand might be even faster.

Then there is the issue of location. Electric winches can be mounted in places that aren't necessarily the best ergonomics for manual use. Installing a manual winch in a spot without good use ergonomics can make it slower and more effort than planned.

Installation is definitely easier for a manual winch, but power hungry isn't really an issue. Yes, they draw a lot of current, but they are used for such a short period of time that this is inconsequential. We have an electric winch running the whole boat (halyards, sheets, reefing). On passage, the total power used by the winch is only ~5-8Ah/day. I guess it would be more if one raised and lowered sails often, and were short-tacking the entire passage, but it still would use less power than your chartplotter or similar equipment.

If you want a faster electric winch, get a Harken instead of the Lewmar. For some reason, Harken electric winches are over 2x faster than everyone else's for the same power ratios.

If you want a less expensive electric winch, and don't mind used, I am selling an Antal 48 for a good price much cheaper than a manual winch. This winch works perfectly, but was replaced on our new boat because we changed the sail handling setup and needed a different size winch. It is on eBay right now, but I don't know if the forum rules allow a link to it.


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post #4 of 5 Old 01-21-2020
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Re: Karver Winches

I can't say that I have ever even seen a Karver winch.

In terms of halyard winches extreme "power" is not the most important thing, in fact too much power is likely to do damage. If hoisting or furling a sail requires a lot of winch power there is likely something wrong.

A sailmaker friend of mine said that power winches account for a huge amount of mainsail repairs because if, for example, a slug is binding, the power winch is capable of ripping it right off the sail very quickly. The same would apply to a winch that has an extremely low gear reduction.

We have a Harken power halyard winch, and we love it, but not because we couldn't do the job with a 2-speed manual winch. Manual winches have plenty of power. We like the power winch for ease and convenience. It is a luxury, not a necessity!

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post #5 of 5 Old 01-22-2020
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Re: Karver Winches

There are some electric winch handles too. Some put a winch bit in a Milwaukee 90 degree cordless drill and you can use it on any winch not just the mainsail. There is a purpose made one as well but it is pretty big and can't be used as a drill.

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