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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 44' ketch I intend to sail offshore, and currently I have no provision for staysail sheeting. The staysail lead will most likely run on the lower deck inside of the genoa lead (toerail), which makes for a straight shot back to the primary winches. My idea is to run both the genoa and staysail sheets through clutches so the primary winches can be used for both genoa and staysail. The other option is to add another set of winches for the staysail, which for my boat would be difficult.

Is anyone else using this type of shared winch arrangement on a cutter rig? How has it worked out?
 

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Not with genoa sheets but I have two banks of clutches, one with 3 clutches and one with 5 clutches. Both banks leading to its own winch.

Yes, sometimes I'm as busy as a bee chucking lines on and off winches in the specific order I need them, but its pretty easy.

Just need clutches for the right load.


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Not with genoa sheets but I have two banks of clutches, one with 3 clutches and one with 5 clutches. Both banks leading to its own winch.

Yes, sometimes I'm as busy as a bee chucking lines on and off winches in the specific order I need them, but its pretty easy.

Just need clutches for the right load.


Mark
I have 8 clutches/stoppers for 2 coach roof winches...
sheeting goes to cockpit winches...
Storm jib would go to secondary... genny to primary. Both are self tailing
 

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On the Olson 30 I race on we use 2 winches for everything. We use locking cheek blocks to lock off the genoa sheet and free the winch for spinnaker sheets. The only problem is the locking cheek blocks can be very difficult to release under load.

Some newer Jeanneaus run German mainsheets lead back to the primary winches and share the winches with the genoa. In that setup they have rope clutches on both sheets. The clutches are much easier to release under load.

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We have almost everything lead to a single winch through clutches - two jib sheets, main halyard, 1st and 2nd reef lines. The mainsheet is handled separately due to design and location. The genoa and screecher are on furlers, so their halyards stay at the mast because they are rarely adjusted.

We had the same on our previous boat, only the mainsheet also led back to that single winch, as well as the jib halyard (hank on) and it also had a rigid vang control led there - 8 lines led to a single winch through clutches. No problems at all with either boat.

As already said, you want clutches that release easily under load. Lewmar and Antal make clutches that release easily under load, and I think the new style constrictor-types are excellent at this. I've found the Spinlocks to be difficult in this, but I haven't used the newest versions.

If you need to do a lot of tacking of two head sails simultaneously, then this isn't going to be a satisfactory arrangement, and a second winch would be better.

Some type of line containment and management also becomes important - and different colored lines are almost mandatory.

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If you possibly can, I’d add some smaller winches for your staysail sheets but if that’s not in the cards I still think you can make it work. One thing to consider if you’re sharing is that the self tailers won’t grip relatively smaller staysail sheets so you’d have to tail manually or use oversized sheets for your staysail. I don’t often use both staysail and jib together unless on a long reach so I don’t think it would be a big problem to share winches if I had to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the input. Good points about being able to release clutches under load and properly sizing the sheets for the winch. My rigger is primarily concerned about creating another trip hazard, so he's trying to create a path from the staysail track on the lower deck to another winch on the coach roof. He's right, of course, but we're in the process of running all sorts of other lines from the mast to the cockpit, so the coach roof will already be crowded. He's stubborn enough that I might have to let him work on it until he realizes that sharing the primary winch is the most practical solution.
 

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As a general principle, I don't like the idea of running sheets through clutches. If you get caught in a microburst, for example, you need to be able to release sheets immediately, but when you run a sheet through a clutch or even a snatch block, there's a much increased risk that the line will be stopped at the clutch or snatch block by a hockle. I'm as cost conscious as most folks, but it sounds like you're preparing the boat for extended cruising, and I think, over the long term, a couple extra winches would be money well spent.

Clutches are better suited to halyards, vangs, outhauls and other lines that don't get fouled as readily as sheets.
 

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Generally, this type of setup is designed so the clutch is close to the winch, and the line is normally belayed on the winch while in use unless the winch is needed for another temporary purchase. For example, our jib sheet is on the winch, but if I want to reef, I clutch it off, use the winch for reefing, then the sheet goes back on the winch.

Because the line runs around the winch, snarls and hockles and the like are unlikely. But most importantly, if one chooses this type of setup, they become aware of keeping the lines free and organized, which is the primary means of preventing any issue of this type.

Otherwise, there is no other way to share a winch without putting sheets through a clutch, and I'll bet there are a lot of boats with sheets leading through clutches.

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Generally, this type of setup is designed so the clutch is close to the winch, and the line is normally belayed on the winch while in use unless the winch is needed for another temporary purchase. For example, our jib sheet is on the winch, but if I want to reef, I clutch it off, use the winch for reefing, then the sheet goes back on the winch.

Because the line runs around the winch, snarls and hockles and the like are unlikely. But most importantly, if one chooses this type of setup, they become aware of keeping the lines free and organized, which is the primary means of preventing any issue of this type.

Otherwise, there is no other way to share a winch without putting sheets through a clutch, and I'll bet there are a lot of boats with sheets leading through clutches.

Mark
I share 2 winches... for 4 reefing lines, vang... topping lift, halyard, cunnigham. Sheets share 2 primaries and 2 secondaries with no clutches.
 

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Sheets share 2 primaries and 2 secondaries with no clutches.
So each sheet has a winch. The OP is looking to share a single winch with two sheets. Without a clutch, there is no way to release a sheet from a winch.

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We've owned and extensively sailed two boats over the past 18yrs with sheets going through clutches, and have never had any problem releasing them quickly. On other boats, I have often gotten winch overrides from releasing sheets quickly. A clutch before the winch makes winch overrides more manageable and easier to resolve.

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Yep, I agree, clutches are not a problem releasing a sheet/halyard etc quickly.

Theres some tricks to make sure a line does not kink. When laying up the fall I have the side open to the winch and clutch. The bitter end will be under the line in its organiser causing fewer problems and increasing the speed of it running through a clutch.

It doesnt take much dexterity to fly the lines in a squall. Or when Im trying to shake out a reef where I want the sail to flap for a moment. But it does take a bit of practice :)

Most importantly I dont have to leave the protection of the companionway, I dont even need to traverse the cockpit, let alone go forward on the boat. So if you want to be able to sail short handed then the ergonomics of movement are pretty important.

Then theres price... A Lewmar 48 is US$2,400 x 2 is $5k

A Lewmar Double rope clutch, 10 to 12 mm or 12 mm to 14mm , 1200kg are $251 x 2 = $502

So, $5,000 or $500 choose your poison :)


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So each sheet has a winch. The OP is looking to share a single winch with two sheets. Without a clutch, there is no way to release a sheet from a winch.

Mark
The boat's architecture matters. There is no location for a clutch for my primaries or secondaries on the coaming top.
 

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The boat's architecture matters. There is no location for a clutch for my primaries or secondaries on the coaming top.
Yes, I agree, and you don't need clutches because you have winches. The OP seems to have the opposite issue where there isn't room for another winch and he needs clutches.

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Seven jammers on starboard, none on port, only two winches. There are some things that can't be juggled. In gusty conditions, which sheet goes on the winch, main or reacher (since only one can)?

Obviously, more winches would interfere with lounging. The designer told me the boat was for "a different kind of sailor."

 
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