Model Boat Mayhem

The Shipyard ( Dry Dock ): Builds & Questions => Yachts and Sail => Topic started by: Boomer on August 03, 2010, 09:27:36 pm

Title: Help rewinding a sail wench
Post by: Boomer on August 03, 2010, 09:27:36 pm
OK, I give! Is there a secret to rewinding a sail wench? With no fear, I decided it was time to replace the lines on my sail wench, but now I am kind of sorry I did. I have been screwing with the darned thing for a couple of hours now. This should be a simple thing to do, but after I get the new lines wound on to the pulley, carefully place the wench cover back over the top, screw everything back together, and then test it. The problem I am having is the jib line bunches up and doesn't feed out ,or in properly and creates a birds nest each time I test it. Which means I have take it all apart again, and again.....................

The original line is more like string, kind of soft. The new line is the same line I use on my Seawind which is stiffer and less flexible. In the pictures below you can see there is plastic cove or cap that installs over the wench pulley that has 2 rounded rectangular slots on the sides to permit the lines to feed out through the cover/cap. The cap is supposed to prevent the lines from bunching up inside the cap and keep them in place. Unfortunately, it is not working. The only thing I can figure is the less flexible line is the problem, but it is hard to image the wench is so sensitive to the type of line used. I jut found more of the original line, so I am going try it again using it to see if things work better. In the mean time, any suggestions or tips on an easier way or the proper procedure to put this back together will be appreciated.

This is the only boat I have equipped with a sail wench rather than a servo. It works well and is very strong, but as of this minute, it has become a POS! :embarrassed:
Thank you

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Title: Re: Help rewinding a sail wench
Post by: Brian Roberts on August 03, 2010, 10:28:39 pm
Hi Windchaser

I have a Robbe Smaragd yacht and for the past 18 months since I built her I'm having exactly the same problems as yourself.
The endless cord (or sheet) keeps parting company with the sail winch and it's very frustrating. I've tried all sorts of experiments to cure the problem, but to no avail, and like yourself,  putting a drum around the winch to stop the cord coming off.

I've tried different tensions and also guiding the cord right onto the winch through flexible tubes but nothing works satisfactorily, and I've e-mailed Robbe direct about the problem but haven't even had the courtesy of a reply.

I appreciate that none of this helps you but it may give you some comfort to know that there is someone else in the same boat (sorry!)


Title: Re: Help rewinding a sail wench
Post by: Boomer on August 03, 2010, 10:35:06 pm
Thanks Brian, I am still at it and about ready to test it again. I don't have enough extra of the original line, so I can only use it on the main. I am going to continue working on this until I go daft or get to work. I noticed I am now talking out loud to myself, I think I am getting close.
This can't be this difficult!
I am begining to look at my collection of sail servos as a last resort. I will let you know how this all works out.
Title: Re: Help rewinding a sail wench
Post by: Brian Roberts on August 03, 2010, 10:52:23 pm
Hi Windchaser

The key to the whole problem is keeping a constant tension on the cord, solve that and you've cracked it!

Title: Re: Help rewinding a sail wench
Post by: Boomer on August 03, 2010, 11:57:36 pm
I have no problems keeping the lines taught when I install the wench back in the boat. It is when I let the sails out that the lines get messed up. I have gone as far as putting a fan on the sails to help pull them out. The main with the origin line seems to be OK, the new line on the jib is the one that doesn't "reel" off of the wench pulley as well as it should. This time around the lines didn't bunch up as much as the other 200 times (Kidding-but it seems like a few hundred)

I may have to go shopping for more line like the original stuff. That should be fun, not! Oh, well it is all part of the learning curve.

Again, thank you for your interest.
Windchaser (Rick)
Title: Re: Help rewinding a sail wench
Post by: Brian Roberts on August 04, 2010, 12:18:33 am
Hi Rick

Thanks for that, and if you do solve the problem please let me know!

Title: Re: Help rewinding a sail wench
Post by: Prophet on August 04, 2010, 12:28:33 am
I recently recived my surmount 800 and instantly changed to the rigging cord .. on my servo winch on the underside in the grooves there is a small hole to which the ends of the cord are fed through and tied to to a knot.. it was a simple case of swapping lines threading through, and tieing the knot .. then carfully turn the winch to take both job and main booms lines in. alighning the servo to neutral and pushing the winch back on then.... pull back on the transmitter (keeping my thumb and finder over the line coil to stop them popping off)to pull the lines in tight and then pop the case over the top and screw down .. just adjust blocks on the jib to taught the line right and use the trim on the transmitter to adjust the servo took me 30 mins tops to change the lines
my winch does control botht he jib and the boom .. so 2 lines in one.. im not sure on yoru winch setup but if yours is the same i should see no reason why my method shouldnt work for you.

but check the line length if its too long you will have issues with birds nests .. as you have to much line! to little then you end up snapping the line or worse ...

hope it helps  :-))

Title: Re: Help rewinding a sail wench
Post by: Boomer on August 04, 2010, 03:02:44 am
I appreciate any input. Thank you. We have the same set up. I believe both boats are made by the same company.  I approached this a little differently. I started with the wench set to the fully "sails in" postion, to avoid bending or breaking anything when I tested my work.
This way the wench is "unwinding" or letting the "sails out" and I avoid over torquing the rigging if I made a mistake. The gear rotates clockwise to let the sails out and counter clockwise to pull them in. The main sail's line is the same length as it was originally so that should not be an issue, and I can adjust the jib line length, and tension with a bowsie.

By neutral do you mean the servo is in the middle of it's rotation? How do you keep the lines taught? That white cap is a pain. I found that if you wind the lines up then carefully place the drum/pulley in to the cap, I can rotate the drum/pulley with a screw driver to get the lines nice and tight before turning it over and placing it on the servo gear. Then I together everything down. This works perfectly, until I let the sails out.  >>:-(

I Will try anything that might get this to work correctly. I really appreciate your responding to my request for help. I will try to locate some line that is more like the soft and flexible line that came with the boat.
At this point, I can say I like regular servos better.
Thank you
Title: Re: Help rewinding a sail wench
Post by: Prophet on August 04, 2010, 02:39:35 pm
neutral as in throttle to center..

see if i can explain better...

first remove line from the sails do not attach instead on the end lenghts ( which will be long tie them both onto a weight and let it dangle over the side of the boat ( i used a 4oz)

attach the line to the drum...

using your fingers tun the drum to wind some length in all this you can do with your left hand....leaving the right free for he next part...

keeping your fingers over the line on the drum line clamp using your right hand reset the servo position to 0 which is throttles center .. push the drum back onto the servo and secure down with the screw,

keeping your fingers over the drum holding the lines in place pull the throttle back to  wind in the line in as far as it will go .. do it slowly keep your fingers over the drum edges to keep the cable fed. ( make sure your throttle on the transmitter does not have the return spring if it does remove it ..)

keeping the throttle back you can now .. let go of the drum ...

the weight will keep the lines taught you can now secure the drums cover back on with out fear of it popping off.

once thats on you can now secure the lines to your sails and and adjust them to give you enough lenght to do what ever.. use the jibs block to adjust the tautness there, with the main boom use the boom sail hold to temporarily secure the line until your happy with its length

i really hope this helps and you can understand it better

I'm using 40Lb braided fishing line if thats anyhelp

i have included more photos however my transmitter is off and servo position is on max out not at 0 currently ( way i left it after her first run)

good luck

pics in link ( to big to upload to forum) (
Title: Re: Help rewinding a sail wench
Post by: Geoff Cropper on August 04, 2010, 03:01:06 pm
Hi,      Unless you use a closed loop system, you need an elastic cord (nylet sails) to pull the winch line out and keep a tension on the line.              It works for me, and I have 5 sail sheets attached to the winch line.     I have an american fishing schooner.
Title: Re: Help rewinding a sail wench
Post by: Boomer on August 04, 2010, 05:24:32 pm
Prophet, Geoff,.
Thank you both for your insights. Prophet, I am going to use your instructions later today and will let you know how things go. The black line shown on the read deck of your boat is the same stuff my boat came with. I found enough of that to use on the jib, so I will  go back to the starting point and eliminate one of the possible issues.

I am heading down to our summer retreat for a week and will take this boat with me to continue the battle. I have some fishing weights there, so I can incorporate your suggestion to maintain tension on the lines. I will also have a friend there to provide the extra set of hands and a working brain. With our boats having the same set up, your method has to work on my boat. Or at least one can hope for that.  :-))

Everything I find on winding winches, suggests a devise to maintain tension on the lines is the way to go here. With the limited space I have and very little access to below decks, I am not sure how to make this work. I will have to study what I have to work with in the hope of thinking up a way to incorporate a tension devise.

Keep these ideas coming. One of them is going to work! :embarrassed:
Thank you again
Title: Re: Help rewinding a sail wench
Post by: Prophet on August 04, 2010, 06:04:44 pm
yes the black line on the spur is the original line that came with the boat in my kit it was not fitted to the boat so i had to fit it all together manually, i had done previous research into rigging lines before i purchased the boat to see what others were using, recommendation was to use a braided line, i went with 40LB since thats all i had in my tackle box, (reel of braided is £30 here)  the only things i will be altering on the kit version is the lines entrancnce holes to the deck there made of hard plastic with a straight hole drilled i can see that after a short period of time i will have to replace the line due to wear i will proably cast my own parts with a smooth curved hole to aid in reducing wear but i believe there are many parts u can buy in brass pre cast, so i will be looking into that at a later time.

since both yachts are principally the same let me know if you have any other issues or suggestion of your own its worth knowing the bugs that come with rtr kits, her first run was on quite a windy day winds easily 20mph and she sailed very nice lots of healing over was a pleasuer to see it all work, remember to keep to setup the mast rigging lines tight but just loose enough that the wind blows then so they look like there vibrating i found this aided in the boat not capsizing... i dint know if this is normal setup since i am new to yachting but thats what my '''japengliszim''' instrustion recommended...

Title: Re: Help rewinding a sail wench -Problem solved
Post by: Boomer on August 07, 2010, 07:47:33 am
My thanks to you guys for your comments and suggestions. The fix after all was said and done, was pretty simple.  :-)

As we have been discussing, this boat comes with a winch arrangement with a plastic cover or hat to keep the lines from tangling with each other as the winch releases line or retracts it. Through the process of elimination, we determined that the original factory orientation of this cap/hat was snagging the lines on the corners the two slots the factory had cut in the cap, which resulted in the line bunching up inside the cover and becoming a tangled mess inside. I found some good quality braided fishing line at my local sporting goods store and trashed the other stuff.

By rotating the cap/hat to a position that would no longer snag the lines, the problem was solved. The new line feeds smoothly and is not bunching up. All is well in “Hobbyland” again.

The curious thing is that the original orientation worked fine for a year. When I put it back I must have moved it ever so slightly causing the problems  I don't understand but at this point, I am just happy the darn thing is fixed and I shouldn't have to worry about it for some time. The new line is so much better than the string the factory provided, it may out last the boat.

I attached a few photos that show the original orientation and the modified set up, so if anyone else has this problem it might help.
Picture #1 shows the original orientation
Picture #2 shows the new orientation
Picture #3 shows the parts that comprise the winch assembly

Thanks again guys  :-))
 Prophet, I used your instructions and they worked flawlessly. Thank you.

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Title: Re: Help rewinding a sail wench
Post by: Prophet on August 07, 2010, 10:00:54 am
good job  :-))