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Discussion Starter #1
I understand very well about lead angles and over rides. A resent rigging change has had the unpleasant side effect of causing over rides unless I keep the turns rather sparse. I'm considering tilting the winch a bit to solve this. Self-tailing Lewmar 42s.

What angle seems most ergonomic to you? I've seen winches on the coamings with radical tilts which look quite uncomfortable. My current winches are level, but it occurs to me that a slight tilt outboard and aft on the secondaries might be better... but I'm certain it would have disadvantages for handling in generally (hauling in without the handle in, throwing off turns).

I could also go up; an inch would solve the problem. But again, I wonder if that change might have unintended consequences.

Your thoughts? If the lead does not matter, what is the optimum mounting height and angle, relative to grinder position?
 

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Are you getting overrides when winching or do you get them when bringing in the sheet hand over hand?

If it occurs when winching, you do need to change the angle at which the sheet comes onto the winch. You could tilt the winch or change the angle with a turning block.

I like to be able to get right over a winch with one foot on either side (one on the bench, one on the toe rail). That allows my to use my whole body rather than just my arms.
 
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We have both on our boat.
The primary and the secondary winches are level to the water and the cockpit design but the winches on the cabin top are inline with the curve of the cabin top.
The winches that are on the outer most edges of the cabin top are on about a 30 degree angle to the water and the decks and are difficult to use when heeled over.
The primary and secondary winches are much easier to use at any angle of heel.
 

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Jack's technique works for us too, and seems to work best with a winch mounted plumb.. sounds like in this case the answer would be to raise the winch on a pad that improves the lead angle. A vertical lift is much easier to implement than tilting when you consider the bolt angles..

A turning block on the rail can be used if possible to good effect, you end up making the lead angle a constant regardless of jib car track position.. our sheets go to a block on the rail about a foot ahead of the winch, then to the jib car and beyond. It also keeps the sheet from chafing on the coaming edge on the port side (where the sheet leads to the inside of the drum)
 

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I would imagine that the winch manufacturer has all this worked out and you only need to find the answer (and any necessary mounting pads or spacers) on their site.
 

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Just a nit; but, I believe that you may be looking for a foot block.



Can anyone here help define "Turning" vs "Foot" block?
 

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Oh-

If you decide to order one of the above, do yourself a favor and order at least one extra. The bearings are not captive, and will go for a swim if you have to reposition the block during a trial fit without the SS carriage bolts installed. DAMHIK...

To address this shortcoming, I ended up using the base plate, and the included SS nuts from a second block to make the bearings and the block a single assembly. This raised the block off the deck by the height of the base plate and the nuts.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I really intended to ask the open-ended question, not one specific to my boat. I agree with Jack, I like to be able to get over the winch and have it fairly level.

But so long as folks like to offer solutions to the specific, pictures might help:

a. Over rides are not a problem hauling by hand, so long as there is only a single wrap on the drum. It's when I start grinding with 3 wraps that the trouble starts. 2 wraps is safe and with 4 wraps an override is certain.

b. When I use the rail leads (first photo) everything is perfect. Nice low lead angle.

c. I've looked at one low-lead block, but it's still to high. Part of the problem is that it is a 1 1/4" track (large blocks). The snatch block is tall too--I could find something lower--but that would mean re-doing a splice and I have zero excess line at this point (just reaches the forestay when furled).

d. Moving the lead forward helped (second photo, lower angle) and helped the shape too, but further forward would limit twist too much.

e. Blocking the swing of the forward winch handle is a minor problem; they are very seldom used at the same time, and when they are it is a low-load application that can be managed with a rocking motion (2-speed). Halyards and reefing are at the mast.

The problem started when I decided to add an inside track. The boat came stock with a self-tacking jib, which is too small. A PO added a nice genoa, but because of the length he sheeted outside of the shrouds, which on a cat limits you to ~ 65 degrees off true wind. Nice shape then, though! My solution, which works very well, is to roll up to about 120%, attach an inside set of sheets, and detach the outside sheets (soft shackles are working well--the photo shows a first-day test set-up with a biner). In fact, she sails quite well with the inside leads until about 75 degrees true wind, when the out leads become much better and the extra power of full sail is nice. It's a compromise set up, but given the shroud location, I'm happy with it. She's much quicker up-wind now.



As you can see, particularly from behind, you can really get over the winch and put some pressure on it. I would hate to loose that. I could go up, which wouldn't hurt. I have access to the underside bolts.
 

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Not sure I understand the comment re the 'extra splice'.. but looks like a set of these would help...



I gather the problem is with the aft (anodized) winch?.. Raising that one doesn't look like too big a chore esp with access.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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If you look at a winch drum you will see that the top of the lower portion of the drum just below the line gripping portion of the drum is at an angle. To avoid an override, the sheet lead should enter the drum so the line is approximately at that angle. It does not matter whether you raise the winch on a base, or lower the lead using a turning block. Either should work. But also you need to keep in mind that the lead angle will often be different on the port side vs starboard since all drums rotate the same direction.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If you look at a winch drum you will see that the top of the lower portion of the drum just below the line gripping portion of the drum is at an angle. To avoid an override, the sheet lead should enter the drum so the line is approximately at that angle. It does not matter whether you raise the winch on a base, or lower the lead using a turning block. Either should work. But also you need to keep in mind that the lead angle will often be different on the port side vs starboard since all drums rotate the same direction.
Yes, obviously. I mentioned or eluded to all of this in the opening post. This is all explained in any installation manual.

The question of this thread was "what is the most ergonomic angle or orientation for a winch." We are drifting.
 

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the most ergonomic angle is the one YOU'RE liking when YOU'RE using the winch. YOU'RE the one using it. You see? As you're using the winch, take notes on what seems or would seem right to YOU.

Honestly, it looks to me like you need a fairlead across that cabin coaming, not a winch pad (which is what you use to change the angle). Didn't you say, earlier in this thread, that you liked the way the winches were mounted?
 

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Why smack someone trying to help? Jeff was giving a useful reply, despite your instructions.

Anyway, if you're currently happy with your grinding position, don't mess with it. I don't think there is a really good way to answer your question. Each persons relative strength, body size, arm length, etc will be different. Then, fix this problem with blocking.
 

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Yes, the thread was drifting.
Maybe next time just point that out to everybody, rather than just one individual.
Most people don't tend to read entire threads before posting something and will only respond or comprehend the last 2-3 posts. If you keep that in mind you will probably be ok.
Getting back to your original question, both Jack, Faster and myself have recommended to keep the winches vertical.
Between the three of us you have well over 100 years of winch grinding/sailing experience to heed too.
 

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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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I am sorry if I missed the point of the thread. My earlier comment was focusing on the discussion regarding avoiding overrides. The general theory on winch ergo-dynamics is that winches are most effectively used standing up straight when the handle is closest to you, facing the winch square on, so you can use you can use your body most effectively. But some winches are placed so they can be used sitting down. The winch should ideally be horizontal and whether intended to be used standing or seated, the bottom of the grip on the. winch handle should be at the height of your elbow when standing (or sitting for winches used when sitting) up straight with your arms vertical at your side. It turns out there is a comparatively small difference in this height between people of different heights.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
My sincere Apologies to Jeff. I had a cold, was in a sour mood, and there was no excuse for what I said. I am sorry.

All of the lead information offered was correct, of course. In the end, the solution was load-lead cars. I had a pair from Gauhauer on the desk as I typed the lead post, but they looked a trifle high. I really wish gear manufacturers were better about posting all of the dimensions in catalogs. In any event, I went sailing in 15-20 with gusts to 30 today, tacked many times, and experienced nary an over ride; while it didn't lower the lead as much as I wanted, it lower the lead enough.

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(My expansion on what Jeff said)

The ergonomics question was quite unrelated to the lead question. While level is common, so is tilted, and I wondered what people thought. I would think racers would think on this a great deal. So often folks like what they have (they bought it, after all) best, without examination. Always second guessing yourself is depressing.

I've decided level is best on my particular boat, because if I really want to get serious about grinding, I kneel on the deck below and behind the winch and get my shoulders over it; the height is perfect, much as Jeff described. On the other hand, if grinding from inside the cockpit, it is obvious to me that I would get more power on it if it leaned away about 15 degrees, because the body geometry is different, and the grinder not as well braced. But if the winch were tilted away, when hand-hauling from across the cockpit the lead would be too low. The existing orientation appears to be the best compromise for this boat.

I don't think this is personal preference; I think it is an engineering question based upon where you have to work from (possibly several positions) and grinder size. For example, though there is some range, they have proven over and over that there is a very small range of optimum position and pedaling RPM on a bicycle. Not only is the distance from seat to crankshaft adjusted, but the reach from the seat to the bars, height of bars, length of crank arms, position of the foot on the peddle (fore-aft, toe-in, and lateral rotation). I always flinch when I see the Saturday peddling crowd. Thus, for a winch, the height, crank length, and gearing all depend on the individual; not so much on preference but on the body of the grinder. It probably feels like preference.
 

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It also depends on the heel of the boat and layout of the cockpit or side deck.

Another consideration is whether you will ever sell the boat. Unless there is a well understood flaw in original design, customization to personal preference can be a negative in resale value.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It also depends on the heel of the boat and layout of the cockpit or side deck.
Yup.

Another consideration is whether you will ever sell the boat. Unless there is a well understood flaw in original design, customization to personal preference can be a negative in resale value.
And man, have I seen some of those! Re-rigging always requires careful planning. Most of the changes I've made have been years in consideration, for this very reason, and because most designers are skilled. On the other hand, a resent design intended--I can only guess--to be a dockside queen features 7 jammers in front of a single winch possitioned so as to be operable only by the helmsman. He's going to be very busy, coiling rope if nothing else.
Above....
 

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Sorry if I skimmed through this thread. The most ergonomic grinding position is one of these:

But it doesn't really fit into all boats. So what you have is a compromise. The gearing, the handle length, the drum size, etc. If you're looking for the most ergonomic, the pedistal is the way to go.
 
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