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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,172

    Default Re: Electric winches / cordless drills

    Quote Originally Posted by TQA View Post

    Maybe the 700 US Winchrite is a good deal after all but I wish the battery was instantly replaceable like every cordless drill in the world.
    There is the eWincher at circa £1600 that has interchangeable batteries, which might be worth looking at. It does appear to be a lot more feature rich than the Winchrite but obviously a lot more expensive. I am going to buy the Winchrite or eWincher for this summer, but if the Winchrite can only lift the mainsail once per charge it doesn't sound too promising. I like the idea on the eWincher where it can be used like a normal winch handle, but with electrical assistance as required. I would really only use it to hoist the mainsail. The big drill option looks a bit cumbersome frankly.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Shoreham - up the river without a paddle.
    Posts
    1,225

    Default Re: Electric winches / cordless drills

    Also not why halve the cost by fitting only one electric winch as opposed to two? If you don't need room to hand wind it, it could perhaps be placed centrally somewhere like an old fashioned capstan, thereby covering all winching requirements?

    Maybe even put up with the reduced performance of a club footed self-tacker for short tacking?

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Cambridgeshire, Spain, yacht Greece
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Electric winches / cordless drills

    I have a Milwaukee 0721 angle drill with the Cranker bit fitted in place of the chuck. I bought it a couple of years ago and it has transformed our sailing. In fact I rarely use it on the primary, foresail winches but mainly one of the secondaries which I use for furling our yankee and roller main. The sail can be brought in very quickly (the drill is variable speed and reverse direction speeds up the winch) at low speed and although heavy, the drill is fully supported on the winch if you want to leave it in situ. However I don't recommend that as it isn't locked in place like a winch handle and could fall out.

    I have a second battery which I have never so far needed but I do swap them to keep both of them charged and cycled. Mast climbing is a doddle too. I thoroughly recommend it.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boat (now back in) the Clyde
    Posts
    5,649

    Default Re: Electric winches / cordless drills

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck Turgidson View Post
    Head up, crank it in, bear away.
    There is a lot to be said for this approach - which if short handed is where a good autopilot could be a worthwhile upgrade. Tack, use AP to hold the boat close to the wind with the sail just blowing back, and should be very easy to pull in tight. Max a couple of turns of the winch.

    Also a 105% jib much easier than 150% genoa - and combined with the above technique we can tack a 40 footer just like an Enterprise dinghy

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Falmouth
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: Electric winches / cordless drills

    I have a Winchrite and now as I'm 80 years old, I find it particularly useful for quickly and easily raising the mainsail on our Jeanneau Sunlight 30. The Winchrite will last several operations of raising the sail between charges.

    The foresail I use is usually a 105% working jib, for which I can manage sheeting in without the wincher. We do have a 150% genoa, but I rarely use the genoa unless we can forecast an extended period of settled high pressure weather with light winds. So I haven't tried the wincher for sheeting in the genoa.

    Recharging I do with a small inverter whenever the engine is running on the way into the moorings - it recharges in just a few minutes.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    SoF
    Posts
    9,869

    Default Re: Electric winches / cordless drills

    I’ve used a Winchrite and can recommend it, bloke who sells them is a good guy as well. If you go down the electric drill route, I suggest you try one of the electric impact wrenches, for removing wheel nuts. They should be a lot more torquey than an electric drill
    Neither a Leaver or Remainer be

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    344

    Default Re: Electric winches / cordless drills

    Quote Originally Posted by SAPurdie View Post
    Also not why halve the cost by fitting only one electric winch as opposed to two? If you don't need room to hand wind it, it could perhaps be placed centrally somewhere like an old fashioned capstan, thereby covering all winching requirements?

    Maybe even put up with the reduced performance of a club footed self-tacker for short tacking?
    Or buy a Dehler 36 CWS which has an electric winch, a self tacking jib and a furling gennecker, all of which aid single handed sailing at any age.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    776

    Default Re: Electric winches / cordless drills

    Quote Originally Posted by Bouba View Post
    I’ve used a Winchrite and can recommend it, bloke who sells them is a good guy as well. If you go down the electric drill route, I suggest you try one of the electric impact wrenches, for removing wheel nuts. They should be a lot more torquey than an electric drill
    I'd worry about the damage an impact wrench could cause to the winch. Not something they're designed for, is it?

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    SoF
    Posts
    9,869

    Default Re: Electric winches / cordless drills

    Quote Originally Posted by penberth3 View Post
    I'd worry about the damage an impact wrench could cause to the winch. Not something they're designed for, is it?
    I used a Winchrite
    Neither a Leaver or Remainer be

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    The Northern Powerhouse
    Posts
    2,982

    Default Re: Electric winches / cordless drills

    I have the Makita DDF481RMJ. It puts out the same torque as the Milwauke and is as much as I can hold. I use it for hoisting sails and powering davits as I have electric winches otherwise.

    A home made extra long winch handle might be all that is needed if it’s only the last bit of trimming that you find hard. You can buy slightly longer winch handles. Maybe you need to try them first if you haven’t already. Then again if it’s not a problem of strength, but stamina a drill will help.

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