Aluminum or stainless steel? Which winch to choose?

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Winch Ronstan - Winch Andersen
Winch Ronstan – Winch Andersen

The first Ronstan-branded winch joins one already in the Australian manufacturer’s catalog under the Andersen brand. But how do these two winches differ in form and function? Which one is best suited to the needs of each sailor? Here are the main differences and advantages of each model.

Ronstan. C0me choose the most suitable winch

The material of the drum is the first element that differentiates the two winches. The Andersen winch andRonstan’s Orbit use different materials for the drum, but other components can also affect overall weight, strength, and efficiency.

The drum material usually reflects the design intention, with stainless steel or chrome bronze win ches geared toward cruising boats and aluminum winches for racing boats. Andersen stainless steel winches are known for their aesthetics and strength, but they can be heavier and more expensive than aluminum winches. However, stainless steel drums can be made thinner, partly compensating for the additional weight. In contrast, aluminum has become popular for its light weight and convenience, and is the preferred choice of racers.

In addition to material, the Andersen and Ronstan-branded winches offer different features that may influence your decision, such as the sizes in which they are available and electrification options. While both brands can be electrified, only the Andersens offer Compact Motors variable-speed brushless motors.

Ronstan’s Orbits, however, have the QuickTrim feature, which allows the line tension to be adjusted without removing the winch handle. In addition, Orbits do not require tools for maintenance, offering greater ease of use.

In short, there is no such thing as the perfect winch, but the one best suited to your needs, as the choice depends a lot on usage and personal preference. Andersens offer durability and strength over time, while Orbits are lightweight and high-performance, with innovative features such as QuickTrim.

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