A Beginner’s Guide On How To Use A Boat Winch

Learning to sail can be a highly enjoyable activity, but it is important to know how to use sailboat winches to sail safely. A boat winch is a mechanical device that can save you time and effort helping you to trim the sails for speed and power. Imagine you need to trim the boat’s sail in a heavy breeze but are finding it impossible to hold the tension because of the wind – enter the boat winch! This article will provide information on winches and how to use a boat winch effectively.

electric winches for boat
electric winches for boat

What Is A Boat Winch?

A sailboat winch is a mechanical device shaped like an hourglass. The middle section is called a drum and contains the gears. The gears, including the winch handle, increase the advantage of the winch to help you control the sail.

The bottom of the winch is a wide piece of equipment and is mounted on the deck of the boat. The top is also wide and is known as the plate presenting with a hole in the middle. The winch handle is inserted into the plate hole and turning the handle allows the gears of the winch to operate. If you want to get more info about the boat winch, please click here: http://malacateelectrico.com/malacate-para-barco/

How Is A Boat Winch Used?

  • Lead The Line To The Winch

The first step when using a boat winch is to ensure the line you want to use points up to the boat winch. If the line leads away from the winch, it can be dangerous and detrimental when sailing. The lead of the line can be changed with a block, and this block will help point the line in the correct direction.

Position lead blocks are found between the sail clew and winch moving in such a way that the sail sheet( hoja de vela ) will point to the winch at an angle. It is important to keep the block lower than the winch for safe sailing.

  • Wrap The Sheet Clockwise

Next, you must pull the sail sheet to the winch and circle it around the drum using a clockwise direction. This is known as wrapping the sheet and building wraps onto a winch drum will contribute to safe sailing. It is recommended that successive wraps are placed parallel and not stacked on top of each other as this can lead to jamming the winch turns.

Anchor and mooring winch
Anchor and mooring winch
  • Counting The Wraps

Smaller boats should use a single wrap around the boat winch drum to remove slack from loose sail sheets. Larger boats, however, can wrap at least three or four sheets to hold the boat in place. It is important to remember that more wraps create more friction on the winch and will promote a thinner line. Different capacity boat winches are suitable for different work situations, and a 15 ton(15 toneladas) winch is a good choice.

  • Casting Off

The final step is to ease the sail sheet out and remove it from the cleat. This means that you must remove the wrap from inside the plates on a winch. Place the palm of your non-dominant hand on the wraps using moderate pressure; then with a smooth motion ease the sheet out an inch or two. Continue to “ease and break” until the sheet is fully cast off and you are on your way.

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