SailNet Community banner
  • SailNet is a forum community dedicated to Sailing enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about sailing, modifications, classifieds, troubleshooting, repairs, reviews, maintenance, and more!
  • The winner of the February SailNet Captain of the Month is Howard @HPeer. The new Spring competition starts NOW
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
2,072 Posts
Reaction score
958
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was out solo in some testy conditions today (well, testy for my Oday 23): 15-20 knot winds, three foot seas. I had a reefed main and my roller jenny out to about a working jib size. There were some big gusts, which required me to simultaneously pinch up to weather and trim the genny in order to keep the boat on her feet. In that kind of breeze, I really need to sit to weather as ballast, and I started out just holding on to the genny sheet so I could have quick control, but that got tiring. I eventually used the leeward winch as a turning block and brought the sheet across the cockpit where I used the weather winch to control it. The sheet was now right at hand and easy to cleat on and off and control.

Aside from the fact that I had a line across the cockpit at waist height (and the increased friction), are there any other downsides to this set up? I don't want to use this set up regularly, but it sure was helpful while solo in breezy conditions.

thanks.
 

· One of None
Hunter 34
Joined
·
9,059 Posts
Reaction score
2,087
I think it's called "cross sheeting" and it's ok, don't think you broke any major maritime traditions! I must try that sometime myself! it sounds like you had too much jenny out too. Maybe even the 2nd reef should have been in the main also?
 

· Telstar 28
Joined
·
43,281 Posts
Reaction score
297
It is generally called cross-sheeting and is often used by sailors racing single-handed, so they can control the genny from the high side of the boat. :)

Don't use the winch as a turning block as that isn't really good for the winch or the line...but rig a snatch block to lead the genny sheet fair to the other winch.

I'd point out that you were probably still over-canvassed and that reefing down the main or the genny another notch may have helped the boat handle much more kindly.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Reaction score
0
We use that technique when racing my 22 foot trailer sailer. We usually race with a crew of two, sometimes three, and with an overall boat weight of around 1,000 kg, two boofy 100 kg guys are significant ballast. So keeping them on the high side is a Good Thing. We even found that the winch handle wasn't really required any more - hold the tail, grab the sheet between the winches and give a good yank then take up the slack in the tail. With practice, it works as well as using the winch handle and is a lot faster.

But all that is for racing. I don't do it cruising thanks to the trip hazard and the fact it obstructs passage through the companionway.
 

· Special Delivery
Joined
·
661 Posts
Reaction score
11
I've used cross-sheeting ona smaller boat when single handing. the risk is an over-ride that may be difficult to clear as you can't easily get tension off the sheet except by going into irons.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,072 Posts
Reaction score
958
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone. I doubted that I was the first to do this. And for those who say I was still overcanvassed: probably, but there was little I could do at that point. Unfortunately, the main in my boat has only one reef, and I had dialed in the genny to about storm jib size. Although I was in control, the ride was very wet, rough and uncomfortable, so I decided to head back in. As usual, as I became more used to the conditions, I was actually enjoying my BFS, and I thought about staying out longer. But the gusts got even stronger as I approached the shore, and descretion became the better part of valor.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,803 Posts
Reaction score
890
I agree with Valiente, that there's a risk of damaging the winches when overpowered in really strong winds. My friend pulled the winches off the pedestals by doing it. Winch mounts are generally designed for a fore-and-aft load, and might not be able to tolerate a severe lateral load. It depends on how the winches are mounted. I also cross-sheet, but not when overpowered.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,636 Posts
Reaction score
1,049
winches and loads

Hello,

Of all the winches I've seen (Harken, Lewmar, Barient) the mounting pattern is a circle. How does a circle know which way the load is? As long as the winch is properly mounted (with backing plates) there is no risk to damaging the winch by using it as a turning block.

Barry

I agree with Valiente, that there's a risk of damaging the winches when overpowered in really strong winds. My friend pulled the winches off the pedestals by doing it. Winch mounts are generally designed for a fore-and-aft load, and might not be able to tolerate a severe lateral load. It depends on how the winches are mounted. I also cross-sheet, but not when overpowered.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Reaction score
0
Hello,

Of all the winches I've seen (Harken, Lewmar, Barient) the mounting pattern is a circle. How does a circle know which way the load is? As long as the winch is properly mounted (with backing plates) there is no risk to damaging the winch by using it as a turning block.

Barry
I agree completely. I see no additional possibility of damage to winches as a result of cross-sheeting.

When I raced J-24's we cross-sheeted all the time, so the genoa trimmer could always be on the weather rail. One thing that made cross-sheeting easier was that we used Harken hex-a-ratchets as sheet blocks. The ratchet helped hold the sheet after a tack while wrapping the sheet around the winch for fine trim. In light air, the ratchet is not needed, so just switch it off.

I don't know the cockpit setup on your boat, but have you tried just running the sheet from the leeward block directly to the windward winch? On a J24 that was easy to do and made cross sheeting a breeze.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,803 Posts
Reaction score
890
Hello,

Of all the winches I've seen (Harken, Lewmar, Barient) the mounting pattern is a circle. How does a circle know which way the load is? As long as the winch is properly mounted (with backing plates) there is no risk to damaging the winch by using it as a turning block.

Barry
Generally, a winch is mounted on a fiberglass surface that is commonly cored with plywood or other coring material for added strength. The coring is usually longer, fore-and-aft, than it is wide. That usually means it's somewhat stronger when the load is applied fore-and-aft than when the load is lateral, because the load is spread over a wider area fore-and-aft than laterally. Also, on some boats, particularly older boats, the winches are mounted on some type of pedestal, which not only elevates the winch, but also acts as a lever with regard to the structure on which it is mounted.
 

· Ex Member
Joined
·
125 Posts
Reaction score
0
If you're that worried about stresses, go to the dollar store and buy a few of those roughly 1sq ft 1/4" thick plastic cutting boards. Use that sucker as a backing plate for your winch, problem solved!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Reaction score
0
I always cross sheet when single handing unless the wind is extremely light. When I put new selftailing winches on the boat I beefed up the backing plates as big as was physically possible to get in the area. I have had no problems with the winches or cracking of the fiberglass. It sure is nice to be able to adjust the jib sheet without moving across the cockpit, especially when heeled heavily.
 

· Super Moderator
Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
Joined
·
11,087 Posts
Reaction score
5,493
Cross sheeting is routine on small race boats. It is absolutely absurd to think that you can damage the winch by cross-sheeting. The loads on the leeward winch are not all that different than the loads that the winch would experience when the sheet is cleated off to windward or someone is tailing the winch.

This of course a little depends on the boat, but on most boats any more than two wraps on the leeward winch and you are risk ending up with an over ride when you ease the jib so care must be taken when easing. The key is to use a minimum number of wraps on the leeward winch to avoid getting a wrap but still be able to clear the windward winch for a tack without having the sheet slip on the leeward winch.

In most cases, a snatch block on the lee rail will not assist in using cross sheeting since the coamings are in the way of getting a fair lead to the windward winch.

Jeff
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,072 Posts
Reaction score
958
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Cross sheeting is routine on small race boats. It is absolutely absurd to think that you can damage the winch by cross-sheeting. The loads on the leeward winch are not all that different than the loads that the winch would experience when the sheet is cleated off to windward or someone is tailing the winch.

This of course a little depends on the boat, but on most boats any more than two wraps on the leeward winch and you are risk ending up with an over ride when you ease the jib so care must be taken when easing. The key is to use a minimum number of wraps on the leeward winch to avoid getting a wrap but still be able to clear the windward winch for a tack without having the sheet slip on the leeward winch.

In most cases, a snatch block on the lee rail will not assist in using cross sheeting since the coamings are in the way of getting a fair lead to the windward winch.

Jeff
Thanks Jeff. I was using either one wrap, or no full wraps on the leeward winch. And you hit the nail on the head about the coamings being in the way; not that I have a place to secure a snatch block anyway on my boat.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,803 Posts
Reaction score
890
It is absolutely absurd to think that you can damage the winch by cross-sheeting.
Jeff
With respect, it might seem absurd to one who hasn't seen it. I saw a winch that was wrenched off it's beefy looking mounting pedestal on a friend's boat when it was cross-sheeted in strong winds. My point is that, before you make a practice of cross-sheeting a winch in strong winds, you should look at the underlying strength of the mount. Don't just assume that the winches can tolerate it. The concern might be absurd on some boats, but it's certainly not absurd for all boats, some of which might appear to be solidly constructed in other respects.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Reaction score
0
With respect, it might seem absurd to one who hasn't seen it. I saw a winch that was wrenched off it's beefy looking mounting pedestal on a friend's boat when it was cross-sheeted in strong winds. My point is that, before you make a practice of cross-sheeting a winch in strong winds, you should look at the underlying strength of the mount. Don't just assume that the winches can tolerate it. The concern might be absurd on some boats, but it's certainly not absurd for all boats, some of which might appear to be solidly constructed in other respects.
What was your friend's boat?

I recall racing on a 40 ft. boat many years ago, in maybe 15 knots of wind and the fiberglass supporting a turning block blew up. It was not due to cross sheeting (because we were not cross-sheeting).... it was due to lousy construction.

I never set foot on that boat again, but I cross-sheeted for many years afterwards.
 

· Telstar 28
Joined
·
43,281 Posts
Reaction score
297
If the winches are mounted on the cabin top, it is likely that they will not care much what direction the load is from... if they are mounted on a coaming or something less massive and less well supported, the load direction can matter a great deal.

On one boat I saw, the winches, which were mounted on the cockpit coaming, tore free, taking a big section of the coaming with them, when they were loaded athwartships... rather than longitundinally...the failure was not the winch but the coaming itself... which was very strong longitudinally, but not athwarthships.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
Reaction score
2
I agree with Valiente, that there's a risk of damaging the winches when overpowered in really strong winds. My friend pulled the winches off the pedestals by doing it. Winch mounts are generally designed for a fore-and-aft load, and might not be able to tolerate a severe lateral load. It depends on how the winches are mounted. I also cross-sheet, but not when overpowered.
i don't see how this would damage the winches...

the load on the winch on the windward side would me less than if the sheet were attached to it alone. The winch on the leeward side is bearing some of the load, therefore reducing the load on the windward one...
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top