Winch: a true sailor can’t not know how it works


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In the beginning the ultimate was the three-speed model: a direct, a reduced and a very reduced. Then came the self-tailing winch that allowed one person to caulk the sheet, without taking it off the winch. Finally, all the motorized systems with which you just push a button to move the winch, the fourth speed, the use of lighter materials for construction. Who would have thought that this equipment would also evolve in this way, so that it would have a use for every maneuver, boat, and pocket.

The winch is used to multiply the pulling force exerted on any sheet or line that offers resistance. It is used for any running maneuver, i.e., for everything used to hoist and tack the sails (sheets, halyards, mistresses, etc.). The trend today is to have a few well-sized and powerful winches on deck. In a standard rig two for halyards and mistresses, the two most powerful with self-tailing for the headsail, two for spi, mainsail, any flying rigging. The reduction in the number of winches on the deck is also thanks to the use of stoppers that allow you to lock…




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