I don't want to derail this thread.
Things like power assisted winch... an electric windlass... roller furling ... AP are things which not only make sailing easier... and sure you don't NEED them....
But they make sailing anywhere... coastal or offshore safer...
Who can say that reserving your strength is not mission critical to your safety?
Millie is one of the best things I have added to Shiva... bar none.
WellÖ we could get into a discussion about equipment and safety. I personally would be concerned about becoming dependent on too many electrical gadgets, and what happens when they die. And as far as reserving your strength; perhaps Ö but if you donít use it, you lose it.
Thereís no doubt that as systems get bigger (bigger boats, bigger sails, bigger anchors), and as we get older, more power assists are required. A manual winch or windlass is a huge power assist. The ďmillieĒ just takes it another step along the way.
On our boat, with its setup and with our current abilities, an electric winch handle is simply not needed. Our manual winches are sized to manage the tasks. I did upgrade to self-tailors on the mains, which I would argue is one of the best things weíve ever added to Pachina Mia
I take a different view towards safety. I think simplicity, maintainability, and reliability are most important. I aim towards tools that are either highly reliable (like chartplotters or radios), or that I can understand, maintain and repair myself. For me that equates to manual tools as much as possible: manual windlass, manual winches, windvane, etc.
Iím sure the electric winch handle is quite reliable. Maybe Iíll need one some day, 'but it is not this day.'