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Author Topic: Moving primary winches  (Read 4659 times)

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John Langford

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Moving primary winches
« on: March 14, 2016, 01:10:16 PM »

I was interested in moving the primary winches on my MK II  aft along the coaming towards the steering station to make it easier to tack and adjust the foresail when single handing. The position I settled on was about half the distance between the present which position and the steering wheel. I asked Gerry Douglas about it and he advised me against doing so because of the relative weakness of the coaming in the area of the large port cockpit locker lid. He did not offer an opinion on the starboard side. The fact that I run only a 130% genoa did not appear to alter his view. BTW, he responded very quickly to my e-mailed question.

Has anyone else had any thoughts about making the primary winches more accessible to a single hander? As it stands, I have to move in front of the wheel to tack and then get up and get forward every time I want to make an adjustment in the sail. In an area of flukey and variable winds that can get a bit tedious. Don't even get me started on the issues associated with managing the mainsheet when running dead downwind in a bit of a blow.
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John
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Ron Hill

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Re: Moving primary winches
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2016, 02:36:37 PM »

John : Do you really expect that anyone on this form would counter the expert opinion of the Marine Engineer/Designer of your C34?    :?

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Ron, Apache #788

Lance Jones

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Re: Moving primary winches
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2016, 02:45:51 PM »

I agree with Ron. I single hand a lot. With a Mk. 1, it is harder to reach the primary winches and I have yet to have any problems. However, your boat, your choice....
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Lance Jones
1988  C-34 Kitty's Cat
S/N 622

KWKloeber

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Re: Moving primary winches
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2016, 02:56:23 PM »

I was interested in moving the primary winches on my MK II  aft along the coaming towards the steering station to make it easier to tack and adjust the foresail when single handing.

I did that on my C30 - added a secondary set about in line or so with the pedestal -- and have never regretted doing it.  (No I didn't ask GD's permission.  :D )
Some have installed a cockpit-controlled preventer system for running downwind.

kk
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 02:57:48 PM by KWKloeber »
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

Ron Hill

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Re: Moving primary winches
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2016, 03:14:23 PM »

John : Might it just be that the coaming strength on a C34 is not the same as the of the coaming on a C30???

a BIG thought !! 

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Ron, Apache #788

lazybone

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Re: Moving primary winches
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2016, 03:42:15 PM »

John : Might it just be that the coaming strength on a C34 is not the same as the of the coaming on a C30???

a BIG thought !!

Also the 30 has less loading and smaller winches.
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S/V LAZYBONES  #677

KWKloeber

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Re: Moving primary winches
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2016, 03:45:18 PM »

John : Might it just be that the coaming strength on a C34 is not the same as the of the coaming on a C30???

a BIG thought !!

Also the 30 has less loading and smaller winches.

And both boats are overbuilt! 
Less sail area and the C30 and C34 use the same boom section.  Go figure.

kk
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

lazybone

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Re: Moving primary winches
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2016, 03:51:06 PM »

I love my boat but "overbuilt". 

Please.
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S/V LAZYBONES  #677

KWKloeber

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Re: Moving primary winches
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2016, 05:52:30 PM »

I don't know about the 'underneath' of all the C34 coming, but mine was very easy access and if I had to add a backing plate or reinforce it there by epoxying on 1/2" plywood -- very easy. 
I didn't -- it's stout to say the least.  A phenolic hammer will sound out whether there's meat at a proposed mounting spot or not.

ken
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Twenty years from now you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.
Explore.  Dream.  Discover.   -Mark Twain

Gary Brockman

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Re: Moving primary winches
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2016, 06:08:17 PM »

The coamings may be different on a MkII, but on my 1986 Mk I, my primaries are located just in front of the wheel and the secondaries are located about 20" in front of the primaries. This is the original setup from when the boat was first sold as the dealer raced the boat extensively for a number of years. I also race my boat in longer random leg races and point to point races and can say there is no sign of any issue with the location of the primaries. The aft location for the primaries does allow me the ability to tack easily while single handling the boat as well as being able to make fine tuning adjustments while steering.

Gary
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Squall
1986 Hull #231
Tall Rig/Fin Keel - Elliptical Rudder
Marina del Rey, California

patrice

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Re: Moving primary winches
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2016, 04:22:42 AM »


Has anyone else had any thoughts about making the primary winches more accessible to a single hander? As it stands, I have to move in front of the wheel to tack and then get up and get forward every time I want to make an adjustment in the sail. In an area of flukey and variable winds that can get a bit tedious. Don't even get me started on the issues associated with managing the mainsheet when running dead downwind in a bit of a blow.

I know it won't solve your winch issue, but when sailing, I never seat behind the wheel.
I sit on the coaming wall, wheel almost in front, feet on the bench.  Have quicker access to the winch and traveller.
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Patrice
1989 MKI #970
TR, WK, M25XP
   _/)  Free Spirit
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John Langford

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Re: Moving primary winches
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2016, 10:55:13 AM »

Let's not get too excited. I have no intention of going against Gerry Douglas's advice but this is an inventive group and I always think it is worth ventilating an interesting problem. And the placement of the primary winches on the MK II at least is "interesting" in that it presumes that you will have a second person tending the sheets. I think this is an outmoded assumption. My guess is that most of us are effectively single handers most of the time even if we have a mate on board. Try to get someone who is reading a book to pay attention to sail trim and you will see what I mean. Even getting the reader to move so you can move forward and tack the boat yourself can be a challenge!

Many other boat designs make it much easier for the helmsman to access winches more readily. I have partly solved the mainsheet access problem when sailing off the wind by bypassing the cabintop winch and leading the sheet aft through the cockpit to a block and cam cleat attached to the pushpit base near the helm station. But this clutters up the cockpit and only works when the wind is relatively light. Unfortunately the need to control jibes becomes pressing when the wind is up. if the focus was on safety and effective sailing, the mainsheet winch would not be on the cabin top to begin with.

When sailing upwind, I sit as far forward on the coaming as I can with my back against the leading edge of the pushpit on the leeward side. But you still can't reach the primary sheet winches from there. To make even a tiny adjustment you have to get yourself forward of the wheel. Mk II owners may love the big cockpit locker on the port side. But there is a cost in terms of safety and sailing effectiveness. It would be neat to find an improvement that didn't threaten the integrity of the coaming. But short of glassing in a supportive elbow for the coaming inside the locker - thereby dividing the locker space up - I can't see how to do it. Which is why I asked.
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John
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Roc

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Re: Moving primary winches
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2016, 04:05:39 AM »

John,
To handle the jib sheets, I let the Autopilot tend to the wheel while I make an adjustment.  Also, engage the "tack" feature, let the boat come about on it's own while you tend the sheets.
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Roc - "Sea Life" 2000 MKII #1477.  Rock Hall, MD

Jim Hardesty

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Re: Moving primary winches
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2016, 05:13:52 AM »

John,
Like Roc I let the autopilot steer and that lets me tend to sail trim.  That's my preference anyway.  I also use the "tack" feature.  Sometimes I'll center the traveler before tacking and let the the main self-tend then reset the traveler and mainsheet when set on the new tack.  I do most of my sailing single handed.  Don't find it too difficult at all.  Just need to plan things out before doing.  I don't have anyone else to blame or shout at if things go bad.
Jim
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Jim Hardesty
2001 MKII hull #1570 M35BC  "Shamrock"
sailing Lake Erie
from Commodore Perry Yacht Club
Erie, PA

Roc

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Re: Moving primary winches
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2016, 08:13:14 AM »

Jim,
When I use the "tack" feature, the boat usually only goes halfway (stops in irons) because the wheel levels off too soon, and the autopilot points the bow into the wind (this is not just in light conditions).  I have to press it again, then the autopilot completes the second part of the turn.  Does yours do that?  I've wondered if something isn't right on mine.....
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Roc - "Sea Life" 2000 MKII #1477.  Rock Hall, MD
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