Line winds onto itself on winch - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-16-2019 Thread Starter
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Line winds onto itself on winch

Just like the title suggests, the line on my main and Genoa wraps onto itself as I lift either sail. Even with only one wrap around the can the line pulls itself towards the mast and stacks on itself jamming. It only seems to happen as the load increases. The only thing that seems out of sorts is that the lines are a bit old and stiff.
These are 1970 era winches mounted on the either side of the mast.

Any help would be appreciated
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-16-2019
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Re: Line winds onto itself on winch

If you can put your halyards in a pillowcase, they could be washed in some kind of washing machine.
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Re: Line winds onto itself on winch

The lead in for the line to the winch needs to be slightly uphill. If the lead is downhill or even parallel the line will ride over on itself and lock up. The official name is a riding turn. Either raise the winch or angle it back with a teak pad or use a fairlead to lower the lines run into the winch.
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-17-2019
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Re: Line winds onto itself on winch

It sounds like the winches have been there for a good while. The leads were obviously set up forty years ago and worked then (or they'd have been changed by now). To keep the line on the winch from sliding down towards the base it is important to tail the winch up at a slight angle.- away from the base of the winch- even with just one turn on. The underside of the top flange of the winch shows about what the angle needs to be. This keeps tension on the line, pulling it up, away from the base. If the tail is pulled straight off the drum or downwards, towards the base, not upwards, the wraps will override the base, as you say happens. Try tailing with a slight upward angle and tell us what happens. Winch drums are also sometimes scored to keep the line from sliding around. That would be expensive and probably not worthwhile for '70's winches. A judicious use of sandpaper on the drums might work the same way if you don't mind the scratchy look that would likely result. Whaler's suggestion to wash the lines to limber them up is also a good one.

Last edited by paulk; 05-17-2019 at 06:59 AM.
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Re: Line winds onto itself on winch

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk View Post
It sounds like the winches have been there for a good while. The leads were obviously set up forty years ago and worked then (or they'd have been changed by now). To keep the line on the winch from sliding down towards the base it is important to tail the winch up at a slight angle.- away from the base of the winch- even with just one turn on. The underside of the top flange of the winch shows about what the angle needs to be. This keeps tension on the line, pulling it up, away from the base. If the tail is pulled straight off the drum or downwards, towards the base, not upwards, the wraps will override the base, as you say happens. Try tailing with a slight upward angle and tell us what happens. Winch drums are also sometimes scored to keep the line from sliding around. That would be expensive and probably not worthwhile for '70's winches. A judicious use of sandpaper on the drums might work the same way if you don't mind the scratchy look that would likely result. Whaler's suggestion to wash the lines to limber them up is also a good one.
yeah, thats what i was thinking. The more i think about it the more likely the lines being stiff is the culprit. When i kept having the issue I tried puling the tail from evry angle to see if it helped, but nothing. Then out of desperation i wound the line on with the halyard coming down to the outside (top) of the winch and the tail at the inside (bottom), I still had an override situation, but the lines worked out to the end (top) of the winch before binding.

i will be washing the lines this evening to see if that helps.

Thanks for the tips guys.
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Re: Line winds onto itself on winch

If you decide to wash the line here is a useful technique I use to wash my 70 m rock climbing ropes in a washing machine without tangling them up.

Double up the line.
tie a slip knot neat the ends of the line so that the movable end of the slip knot is the long end of the rope.
push a loop from the long end of the rope through the loop of the slip knot to make another loop.
Keep repeating until you get to the end of the rope.
pass the end of the rope through the last loop and secure.
This process is known as daisy chaining a rope.

Once you are done washing and drying undoing the daisy chain is very fast, just undo the last knot and pull on the end of the rope.
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Last edited by chicory83; 05-17-2019 at 10:51 AM. Reason: I can Knot spell.
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-17-2019
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Re: Line winds onto itself on winch

tie a line tightly around the mast and halyard a foot above the winch to change the lead in angle to be from close to the mast as possible. some boats have the winch angled down to prevent this overwrap . old dirty stiff line can slip on a winch requiring to many wraps that can cause an overwrap
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Last edited by overbored; 05-17-2019 at 11:12 AM.
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