Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere south of civilization
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Re: Winch placement
I saw a Norseman today that had her winches around the mast base. It looked so ridiculous. Sitting on your butt on the cabin top with no way to brace yourself or hold on if using both hands on the winch and line, trying to haul up the main or a headsail? And then one must crane their head at an odd angle to watch what's happening aloft, completely taking one's attention away from the winch and line below you, not right in front of you as they would be on the mast! At least if the winches are on the mast one can pull the sail most of the way up by hand, only using the winch to top it up. And then somebody invented those safety bars around the mast base to support one's self on when working sails and the whole thing became even safer.
I can see it on a full on racer with a full crew, especially for handling chutes and the like, but it makes absolutely no sense to me on a shorthanded cruising boat.
Lastly, let's just place our winches on the boat where actual water will often flow over them, instead of on the mast or behind the dodger where they will get occasional spray only.
As for 'pin rails' and 'belaying (tying off) pins', they were used as cleats in the days before sailing vessels had winches and used blocks and tackles for handling sails. On a true gaff or square-rigged sailing vessel, the halyard passed around a hook-like fitting on the deck and then to the pin rails. The pin rails themselves were not strong enough to haul a sail up taunt.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
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Last edited by capta; 10-29-2018 at 09:57 PM.