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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The boat is Buccaneer 18, the board is a thick and heavy (at least 75 lbs) fiberglass slab. The old system was a 2:1 block and pulley system placed in a very tight and contorted space above the centerboard box and below cockpit sole. the old system was using rope attached to the upper aft corner of the board, run through 2 blocks and out to a cam cleat in the cockpit through a hole just below the companionway opening. Old system is shot, the second block (and it's attachment) is gone, the cam cleat is shot too.

The question is: replace the old block and pulley system, or go with something else, like a small winch?
Use a dyneema rope for either options? I'm worried that a steel cable might cut through fiberglass where the centerboard box ends and cockpit sole starts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I decided to go with a small cockpit mounted winch. Primary reason: more secure control of the centerboard. I'm planning to use polypropylene rope with a 350 lbs breaking strength. What would be the best way of attaching this rope to the centerboard? The board has a block with a becket. I think in the original configuration, the centerboard control rope ran from the becket to the forward block, then back to the block on the centerboard (thus getting the 2:1 purchase) and out to the cockpit and the cam cleat which held it in place.
I want to tie the rope to the becket and run it out to the cockpit and the winch, with just one block to make the rope run smoother and avoid chafe.
What would be a good knot for this polypropylene rope?
 

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I don't think the polypro has the durability you are looking for and there are no knots I know of that are secure in it. I'd go with some of the super lines available today and attach it where the block w/becket attaches to the board (eye splice w/ thimble) and remove the block entirely, if you are using a winch. Since one block is shot, this one could also be close and you don't want to be messing with all this again anytime soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I'm not going to use the block system with the winch. Honestly, I was just thinking of tying that 3/8 polypropylene rope to the becket with a buntline hitch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Capta, so you suggest getting rid of this block on the centerboard? It looks really solid to me. But if I get rid of it, how to attach the rope to the board? The block is through bolted to the centerboard with 2 bolts.
 

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Once known as Hartley18
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Capta, so you suggest getting rid of this block on the centerboard? It looks really solid to me. But if I get rid of it, how to attach the rope to the board? The block is through bolted to the centerboard with 2 bolts.
I'd suggest (1) mounting the cheapest stainless-steel trailer winch you can buy at the cockpit end of the centreboard case and (2) tying your rope around the centreboard block itself. That way you keep the cockpit clear (ducking into the cabin to raise/lower the CB is usually no big deal)

You might need a turning block somewhere forward depending on your setup. Pics would help. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'd suggest (1) mounting the cheapest stainless-steel trailer winch you can buy at the cockpit end of the centreboard case and (2) tying your rope around the centreboard block itself. That way you keep the cockpit clear (ducking into the cabin to raise/lower the CB is usually no big deal)

You might need a turning block somewhere forward depending on your setup. Pics would help. :)
I thought about mounting the winch inside the cabin right at the companionway opening but there is not enough space there to turn the handle. If I mount it inside the cabin, the winch will get in the way and make sleeping inside just about impossible. I would rather have it in the cockpit.

Stainless steel winch? Never seen those. And likely could not afford one for this project. A regular marine winch will have to do for me.

I have two options when tying rope to the existing centerboard block: tie the rope to the becket, or tie the rope around the sheave. The sheave is plastic, the becket is stainless steel.

Would the buntline hitch be a good knot to use on a braided 3/8 inch polypropylene rope? I thought of wrapping the lose end of the knot to the line with a sail thread or rigging tape for extra security.
 

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Amsteel. Eye splice poke thru the becket and bitter end thru the eye splice .pull all thru and lead to winch. (winch could be plywood disks 3" and 3 .5 with ratchet plate and dog. Twice around. Cleat line behind it.Pretty standard fair and better than high tech.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Amsteel. Eye splice poke thru the becket and bitter end thru the eye splice .pull all thru and lead to winch.
Ah, I see it. Loop it around the becket post. What size amsteel? 1/4 inch? Amsteel I have to buy, the 3/8" polypropylene I already have. I thought this poly would chafe less due to large surface area but was not sure how well it will hold the knot on the becket.
 

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Forget about the polypropylene on all counts. It's short lived, high friction, hard to secure, floating, jamb prone etc. 3/16 or 1/8 Amsteel would be the way to go. I would add a small thimble at the attachment point and splice as suggested above. A normal marine winch would be way more than you need and way too expensive. The suggestion of using a small trailer winch would make the most sense. You can pick up a small (1200 lb) galvanized steel version for something like $35.00. But personally I would probably go back to the original block and tackle since this is simple cheap and reliable as they get.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to all for valuable input. I will go with amsteel as above. I ordered a small trailer winch for $25. I have a winch on my 5.5m Mirage and really like the security and ease of operation. I never spliced amsteel so I will look it up. I do have some ss thimbles that should work with it.
 

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eye splicing Amsteel is just about as easy as it gets. Don't mess with a brummel, just do a tapered lockstitch. I figure it takes me longer to remember where I hid my splicing kit than it does to actually do the splice. 1/8 is a little tricky, not because it's hard but because it's so small.
 

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I thought about mounting the winch inside the cabin right at the companionway opening but there is not enough space there to turn the handle. If I mount it inside the cabin, the winch will get in the way and make sleeping inside just about impossible. I would rather have it in the cockpit.
On our small Hartley (in fact a lot of Hartleys) the winch was mounted on top of the centerplate case near the mast to keep it out of the way, but the aft end of the centercase is a better spot on larger boats so long as the handle is removable when not sailing. You can buy winches with removable handles (in fact most of them in the no-dirt-cheap bracket have removable handles for security reasons.

Stainless steel winch? Never seen those. And likely could not afford one for this project. A regular marine winch will have to do for me.
Stainless doesn't (well not as quickly anyways) rust, meaning it'll last longer. Ordinary trailer winches are only supposed to be exposed to the 'marine environment' for the short time spent launching/retrieving and won't last for more than a few years actually on board.

This is what we used:



This one is 3:1 reduction and is $140 from Whitworths, but I'm sure you'd find a similar beastie over your way cheaper than that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That is a nice winch, for sure. But since this boat will be sailed on inland lakes, a regular marine winch should do quite fine. I will put a coat of cosmoline on it before mounting to keep it better preserved. I'm also trying to keep my budget low on this project (not that I would ever call myself 'cheap'). ;)
 

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That is a nice winch, for sure. But since this boat will be sailed on inland lakes, a regular marine winch should do quite fine. I will put a coat of cosmoline on it before mounting to keep it better preserved. I'm also trying to keep my budget low on this project (not that I would ever call myself 'cheap'). ;)
Understand completely. I felt exactly the same way when I replaced the rusty steel winch on the Hartley - although a 25-buck trailer winch most probably has a fixed handle which will be a PITA to get around later on. Try and get a removable handle version if you can - in a small boat the extra cost is worth it.

Good luck with it and make sure you post pics of the result. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If the crank gets in the way, I can shorten it easily by cutting it and re-positioning the handle. Since I'm not going to be pulling a lot of weight, short arm of the crank will be just fine. I will also make a cover for it to keep the rain off. Cut a plastic juice container in half and stick it on top of the winch. I'm more like Larry the cable guy kind of a sailor, not a proper yachtie. ;)
 
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