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Sailing last weekend was raising the main..got a little tight at the very top so I put the line on my winch cranked it and the line overlapped on itself around the winch. It was stuck. After a second of "uh oh" i grabbed a screwdriver to use as a marlin spike and battled with the line to free up the trapped end to free it. I was lucky it wasnt very windy. How does this happen with the line wrapping over itself? Yes I wrapped it clockwise by the way.
 

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My guess would be that you wrapped it loosely and then when you used the winch it seized on itself. Wrap the line with a little tension and care and it should not happen.
 

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It's hard to say exactly why it happened in that instance. Possible causes: Halyard is led to the winch at an angle instead of straight on. Too many wraps. Initial wraps were loosely laid and slid under when tightened. Were you tailing it? or self tailing? if the former, you want to come straight off the winch at the height of the last wrap.

It happens.. no fingers were lost = good day
 

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Sailing last weekend was raising the main..got a little tight at the very top so I put the line on my winch cranked it and the line overlapped on itself around the winch. It was stuck. After a second of "uh oh" i grabbed a screwdriver to use as a marlin spike and battled with the line to free up the trapped end to free it. I was lucky it wasnt very windy. How does this happen with the line wrapping over itself? Yes I wrapped it clockwise by the way.
Winch overrides often occur when the lead in angle is too shallow and/or, the shoulder on the bottom of the winch barrel isn't smooth enough to allow the line to slide into the wrap and force the wrap upward. Ideally the lead in angle should be at least 10º (i.e. "Up" to the bottom shoulder of the winch barrel). You may need to add a pad under the winch to provide that. The classic fix for the problem is to fasten a spare line to the loaded line with a rolling hitch and "cross sheet" that to another winch, taking the tension off the override.
 

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It's not very common for this to happen on a halyard but it is often a problem on furlers. I find that it is most important to maintain tension on the wraps so that a top wrap cannot slip into a loose coil and then get cinched in as more tension is applied. If a large amount of tension is applied for a short hard yank, such as is often necessary on a furler, it can sink the top coil underneath because the rest of the spool was coiled at that lower tension. So I guess the solution is to TRY to apply constant, equal tension.
 

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And that is why we teach folks how to use a rolling hitch to remove over rides.


You can "prevent" it by starting with 2 wraps and adding more to fill the winch when you can no longer harden by hand.
 
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depends on the winch and the angle. I have a mast winch where you really have to watch it to avoid a wrap like that and have sailed on several boats where that is the case. I find it to be a lot more common in a mast/halyard winch than a sheet/deck winch.
 

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I've been on boats where the mast halyard winch would wrap if you tried to pull fast with more than one wrap.
I found that it would work if you pulled most of the sail up with one turn on the winch then put on one more maybe two if needed when you have to start cranking it up.

So minimum turns on the winch and as late as possible.

Also I like to use McLube on the sail slides and track. It helps a lot.
 
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David is correct - too many turns while tailing at high speed is the most common cause of overrides in my experience. Next is bad leads to the drum - that should be corrected by realigning or remounting the hardware or you will continue to get O/R's.
 
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A common cause of an override is tailing the line quickly before you have taken the slack out of the line. If there's slack in the line, the spinning winch can grab the line and pull it over itself. When using a winch, always take the slack out of the line before you start to tail it quickly. Also, keep your eyes on the winch while you are tailing it, and stop tailing instantly when you see an override developing. You can often clear it before it gets bound tightly.
 
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