SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

This winter I'll be running my halyards to the cockpit, adding clutchs and a winch where none has existed before. Seeking opinions, advice, and considerations for the structure and material for backing the winch and clutches.

The location on deck is 1/2 inch fiberglass, pretty sure there is no reinforcement imbedded, it is not cored. Easy access from below.

Thanks in advance.
 

·
Cruiser
Joined
·
253 Posts
I prefer to use G10 — which can be epoxied in place.

My second choice is thick aluminum.

I had the manufacturer of my windlass [Lighthouse] make a custom stainless backing plate [and deck plate...] for that install.

All have radiused corners and chamfered edges where they contact the underside of the deck. I like Sikaflex 491 for a bonding/cushioning layer between the aluminum or stainless plates to avoid hard contact points.

In hopes this is useful, and best wishes with your project.

Cheers! Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,777 Posts
Hey all,

This winter I'll be running my halyards to the cockpit, adding clutchs and a winch where none has existed before. Seeking opinions, advice, and considerations for the structure and material for backing the winch and clutches.

The location on deck is 1/2 inch fiberglass, pretty sure there is no reinforcement imbedded, it is not cored. Easy access from below.

Thanks in advance.
Size of boat and sails? Winch size? Mounting bolt size (a good indicator of the load). Gotta know.

If it is truly 1/2-inch solid glass (which is a lot for a deck), very little is probably needed unless it is a very large boat.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,998 Posts
Northstar 26's have a balsa cored deck, so the first step will be potting the holes. (I had the racing version of that boat, a Northstar 500 QT.) The outer laminate is approximately 3/16" thick and the inner laminate was something less than that.

I like using G-10 for a heavily loaded backing plate and like setting the bearing plate in thickened epoxy to make sure there is even bearing. Once cured, I drill the bolt holes. I would cut the bearing plate approximately an inch larger than the base of the winch (ideally with a circular hole saw of the right diameter since G-10 is pretty stuff tough to cut neatly).

Plan B would be to layup maybe a 1/4 of glass and epoxy with a bigger foot print than the winch base and use large and thick fender washers. That is how the winches are mounted on my 38 footer, but there is no coring in that area of the boat.

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Size of boat and sails? Winch size? Mounting bolt size...
Drew: Winch will be a Lewmar 40. 5x 1/4" bolts (316ss). North Star 26, stock sail configuration.

I had the racing version of that boat, a Northstar 500 QT.
Jeff: So more detail then; Winch will be going starboard between the companionway and the handrail, about 10-12 or so inches to center from the cockpit (slightly aft of where it sits in the picture). I know there is metallic reinforcement on the outboard side of the rail from when I set the mainsheet clutch.

I'm astounded to hear about coring on the 26, my decks are solid and I would have expected rotten decks given the condition in which I found her.

Also, kindly ignore the disaster below deck.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,777 Posts
Drew: Winch will be a Lewmar 40. 5x 1/4" bolts (316ss). North Star 26, stock sail configuration.
Coincidentally, I pulled an identical winch part way out of the deck of my PDQ 32. The deck was similar (cored, about 5/8"). The PO installed the winch with nothing but bolting washers and they mashed in to the core on a windy day.

A backing plate a little larger than the winch will be plenty. 1/8" aluminum will do, or 3/16" structural FRP sheet (McMaster Carr--you don't need the G10 grade). I used 3/16" scrap cut from a tank and it was fine for many years. If you go the fiberglass route, bond it (this adds a LOT of strength, since it functions as a unit with the deck) with thickened epoxy, if you go aluminum, a little sealant will improve load distribution. And remove core and pot the holes, as suggested.

Don't use fender washers; they will just bend under load.

This repair was written up in Good Old Boat a few years ago.

Easy. Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,911 Posts
My Genoa and secondary winches do not have backing plates.. they are mounted on solid 12mm gel coated fiberglass and use large washers. There is no compression of the GRP. If the mounting location is a thin lay up you WILL need to spread the bolt loads with backing plates.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,911 Posts
Drew: Winch will be a Lewmar 40. 5x 1/4" bolts (316ss). North Star 26, stock sail configuration.

Jeff: So more detail then; Winch will be going starboard between the companionway and the handrail, about 10-12 or so inches to center from the cockpit (slightly aft of where it sits in the picture). I know there is metallic reinforcement on the outboard side of the rail from when I set the mainsheet clutch.

I'm astounded to hear about coring on the 26, my decks are solid and I would have expected rotten decks given the condition in which I found her.

Also, kindly ignore the disaster below deck.
Winch is not located properly as the lead to the winch should be on the right side when viewed from the top because winch rotates clockwise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,381 Posts
FYI: Here’s a photo of the single-line reefing installation on my 35 ft sailboat. It was done by a professional rigger who used a size 40 winch to handle the main halyard and both reefing lines. It would appear to be functionally similar to the OP’s intended installation.

Offering this view for the OP’s. information, as it shows the blocks at the base of the mast and the line organizer on the deck in addition to the line stopper and winch. The latter two items are under a dodger (which is not in place).

The OP has inputs on the backing, but thought I’d add the suggestion to assure the proper vertical entry angle to the winch. The lateral entry angle is constrained, as shown with the main halyard coming off the line stopper onto the winch. This has not been a problem, but the vertical entry angle needs to be within proper limits. The riggers installed the angled white polyethylene blocks under the line stopper and winch to align these items for my installation.

A further input: The added friction of all the line handling hardware is significant. With my dodger in place, only an 8” winch handle would fit and that became an issue—even with the 2 speed winch. After several years, I bought an electric winch handle (Winchrite) and that solved the problem.

One more point: Just because you’ve let the lines aft doesn’t mean they won’t foul at the mast on occasion.
 

Attachments

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,998 Posts
Drew: Winch will be a Lewmar 40. 5x 1/4" bolts (316ss). North Star 26, stock sail configuration.



Jeff: So more detail then; Winch will be going starboard between the companionway and the handrail, about 10-12 or so inches to center from the cockpit (slightly aft of where it sits in the picture). I know there is metallic reinforcement on the outboard side of the rail from when I set the mainsheet clutch.

I'm astounded to hear about coring on the 26, my decks are solid and I would have expected rotten decks given the condition in which I found her.

Also, kindly ignore the disaster below deck.
That area probably is cored and so will need to be cleaned out and potted. I did want to comment on the mainsheet on the boat. It looks like someone took the traveler out of the system. I don't know if you have sailed the boat with it rigged that way, but with the wide distance between the deck blocks, it won't be possible to bring the mainsail in all of the way for a beat and when pulled in as far as it will go the mainsail will have an excessively tight leech. These boats actually point quite well but that boat won't be able to point at all with the mainsheet set up that way. You probably will want to put the main sheet back on the traveler to correct that.

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
I agree with both G10 and aluminum, and as noted above just as important is correct shape and chamfering so you don't create stress points that will create cracks. Stainless is just too much work to deal with for me.

Remember if you use aluminum you'll presumably have stainless bolts and nuts so protect against seizing and corrosion accordingly.

I found many of the winches on my boat didn't have backing plates from the factory, but when I have changed or added winches they've all gotten aluminum backing plates (easy to order in exact size shape you want off eBay, have even done a large circle that I then had cut in half so I could get it through a small access hatch) and I feel a lot better about that then just straight glass.

-- Bass
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
926 Posts
If your boat interior is like our Hughes 26 (newer model of the same boat), the headliner is a nicely moulded fibreglass unit. I think mounting a chunk of fibreglass, G10, or aluminum is going to look pretty hokey. A block of oak, teak, or some other attractive wood will look much nicer, you can add some countersunk fender washers for added strength. I repeat what I implied earlier, the loads on that winch are not extreme.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,998 Posts
If your boat interior is like our Hughes 26 (newer model of the same boat), the headliner is a nicely moulded fibreglass unit. I think mounting a chunk of fibreglass, G10, or aluminum is going to look pretty hokey. A block of oak, teak, or some other attractive wood will look much nicer, you can add some countersunk fender washers for added strength. I repeat what I implied earlier, the loads on that winch are not extreme.
Yes, if this boat was built the way my Northstar 500 was built, there was a molded fiberglass liner below the actual deck structure. When I installed some new hardware I had to cut out a small section of the liner in that area. I ended up making an opaque white plexiglass cover for the opening in the liner to hide the bolts and backing plate.

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
FYI: Here’s a photo of the single-line reefing installation on my 35 ft sailboat. It was done by a professional rigger who used a size 40 winch to handle the main halyard and both reefing lines. It would appear to be functionally similar to the OP’s intended installation.

Offering this view for the OP’s. information, as it shows the blocks at the base of the mast and the line organizer on the deck in addition to the line stopper and winch. The latter two items are under a dodger (which is not in place).

The OP has inputs on the backing, but thought I’d add the suggestion to assure the proper vertical entry angle to the winch. The lateral entry angle is constrained, as shown with the main halyard coming off the line stopper onto the winch. This has not been a problem, but the vertical entry angle needs to be within proper limits. The riggers installed the angled white polyethylene blocks under the line stopper and winch to align these items for my installation.

A further input: The added friction of all the line handling hardware is significant. With my dodger in place, only an 8” winch handle would fit and that became an issue—even with the 2 speed winch. After several years, I bought an electric winch handle (Winchrite) and that solved the problem.

One more point: Just because you’ve let the lines aft doesn’t mean they won’t foul at the mast on occasion.
Thanks! I'm still working through the details of organizing the lines. I had considered vertical angle. Appreciate the photo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
That area probably is cored and so will need to be cleaned out and potted. I did want to comment on the mainsheet on the boat. It looks like someone took the traveler out of the system. I don't know if you have sailed the boat with it rigged that way, but with the wide distance between the deck blocks, it won't be possible to bring the mainsail in all of the way for a beat and when pulled in as far as it will go the mainsail will have an excessively tight leech. These boats actually point quite well but that boat won't be able to point at all with the mainsheet set up that way. You probably will want to put the main sheet back on the traveler to correct that.

Jeff
Believe it or not, that mainsheet configuration is the boat's original kit (based on some old marketing photos I found). I replaced the stand-up blocks with padeyes after they disintegrated on the shakedown. That was almost 5 years ago. Surprisingly she points quite well, better than my friend's IP31 when his centerboard is up, but I've always known there was more potential. The I built traveler in the photo over the summer and it will be finished and installed this winter as well.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,998 Posts
Believe it or not, that mainsheet configuration is the boat's original kit (based on some old marketing photos I found). I replaced the stand-up blocks with padeyes after they disintegrated on the shakedown. That was almost 5 years ago. Surprisingly she points quite well, better than my friend's IP31 when his centerboard is up, but I've always known there was more potential. The I built traveler in the photo over the summer and it will be finished and installed this winter as well.
The few that I have seen have either had a narrow base triangular layout for the mainsheet that ran from the end of the boom to a swivel block on one side of the tiller and a block with a cam cleat on the other side of the tiller both of which were near the tiller head. The other set up which I think was probably a factory option was a traveler that was located at the aft end of the spray hood. The 500 had the traveler mounted on the bridge deck which was very convenient as well.

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,777 Posts
If your boat interior is like our Hughes 26 (newer model of the same boat), the headliner is a nicely moulded fibreglass unit. I think mounting a chunk of fibreglass, G10, or aluminum is going to look pretty hokey. A block of oak, teak, or some other attractive wood will look much nicer, you can add some countersunk fender washers for added strength. I repeat what I implied earlier, the loads on that winch are not extreme.
Fender washers don't add strength is this application. They bend into a cone and split the wood as soon as they see high load. Don't take my word for it, tighten a bolt up on a pine board and watch them bend. Most of the core damage I have repaired has been the direct result of fender washers bending into a cone. You do NOT need fender washers on top of a backing plate. A good bolting washer is better.

Use either SAE bolting washers (twice as thick as fender washers) or extra thick fender washers (twice as thick, 8 times as stiff). In fact, extra thick fender washers can be a good backing plate substitute in many cases. The primary winches on the new Beneteau Figaro 3 are mounted with extra thick fender washers.

The boat stores should NOT sell standard thin SS fender washers. They do it because they are cheap, we buy them, and we don't know any better. If there is enough load to bother with spreading it, you need extra thick washers. The thin washer are a trap, offering only the illusion of safety.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
926 Posts
Perhaps I used misleading info regarding the fender washers. They would not be used to allow reefing the nuts with a meter long bar...
the purpose is to eliminate the possible splitting of the wood block as they spread the load out. I did not suggest pine as a backing material, I suggested oak or teak...both are more than robust enough for this application.
For what it's worth, I have essentially the same boat with halyard winches that are about half the size of the OP's which are through bolted using oak backing blocks. I installed the oak for appearance. When I assumed ownership 25 years ago there was no backing blocks, only fender washers. Between the 2 installation methods, the sails have been raised many, many times over a period of 40 years. The winches work fine and do not leak.
I think that sometimes the owners of much bigger boats apply the same standards to situations where less is enough. Respectfully submitted.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top