Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Musical Winches

--Blogpost written by Bob

When I was a kid we used to play a game called musical chairs where a number of kids would dance to music around a circular arrangement of chairs.  There would always be one less chair than the number of kids.  When the music stopped all the kids (except one of course) would grab a chair.  The kid without a chair would be eliminated from the game.  One more chair would be removed and the music would start again with the same result...and again and again until only one kid survived the eliminations and became the winner of the game.

Like a game of musical chairs...

My situation with winches this past week was very similar.  I won an auction on eBay for a Barient 19 self-tailing winch--it was from a C&C 35 that was being parted out by a company in Massachusetts.  I purchased this self-tailing winch so that we could more easily handle lifting the dinghy on and off the foredeck than the (non self-tailing) Barient 22 that I previously bought for that function.  (The self-tailing mechanism on the top of the winch holds the line from flying free.  Without the self-tailing mechanism, someone would have to apply tension to the line--this is called "tailing".)

The bolt pattern for the new-to-me Barient #19 self-tailer was slightly different that the Barient #22.  So, I had to drill out for the new bolt pattern in the cored deck and then enlarge the holes to 3/4-inch diameter except for the innermost ply of fiberglass.  I filled all the holes with epoxy, waited for it to fully cure (usually overnight), and drilled the correct sizes through the epoxy for the mounting bolts.  It is customary on balsa-cored decks to use this procedure to prevent atmospheric water from getting into the balsa core.  Of course, during this procedure the ceiling panel has to be removed to access the nuts and washers below deck.

The new-to-me Barient #19 self-tailing winch used for dinghy lifting.

As I was installing the new-to-me self tailing winch on the port cabin top just aft of the mast, I came up with the idea to upgrade the winch located on the port cabin top under the hard dodger--it was a Barient #18.  (With Barient winches, the higher the number, the stronger the winch.)  So, for this upgrade I had to remove the ceiling panel for the aft cabin for access.  Of course, the bolt patterns were different again and I had to follow the same procedure with epoxy-lined holes for mounting.  This time I had to move the pattern inboard slightly to avoid interfering with the dodger frame.

Epoxy-filled holes for relocated Barient #22.  Note that the hole pattern
was different and moved inboard slightly.

The relocated Barient #22 handles all the lines that
come through the new 5-gang rope clutches.
This winch replaced the Barient #18.

Now, I had a Barient #18 winch that was excess with no place to go.  Rather than selling this winch (I would probably only net less than $150 anyway) I decided to install it on the forward (starboard) cabin top as an installed spare.  So, a different ceiling panel had to removed for access to this location.  This time, I had to install a winch and an 8-inch cleat (that matches all the other cleats on s/v Rainy Days) in a new location.  This meant nine more epoxy-filled holes! 

The Barient #18 is now a spare winch installed near the base 
of the mast on the starboard side.  We now have 
two Barient #18's installed next to each other.

I didn't keep track of costs or time for this project.  All three winches ended up in suitable locations, unlike the childhood game of musical chairs.

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