Primary / Secondary Winches

deroulhac

New Member
I've recently bought into a partnership on 75' Ericson 27'. I'm not sure how this came to be but the primary and secondary winches are inverted. (Smaller single speed secondary is forward and 2 speed primary is aft). I can sheet the jib off the primary's (aft) but the angles aren't great. I want to switch them back to the correct position but that is going to involve drilling several more holes in different position form the existing holes when I make the switch and worried about weakening the the mounting area. I doubt this is a common issue but any insight is welcome.
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Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
Hi,
I would not be concerned personally with drilling the holes to switch them, as long as you have a solid backing plate on the underside.
However, you mentioned having recently bought this boat, so I'm wondering if you have had enough time on the boat to determine why they are placed in their current position. For example, could the smaller forward winch be intended for lines run aft to the cockpit like an outhaul, book vang, etc. And maybe the angle for the jib sheets could be improved by moving the cars a bit.
Owners of E27s may chime in with their suggestions based on their setup.
Frank
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
The PO’s of my boat swapped around or replaced winches, leaving abandoned holes. No backing plates other than 1/2” washers. Things have worked out, it seems, for the last 50 years. The loads are all in sheer. Still, I’ll add backing plates next time I take them off.
 

deroulhac

New Member
Thanks for the reply. I've been sailing the boat for a few months and can't figure out the advantage. Vang and Cunningham both at the mast and the spinnaker gear needs to be set up from scratch. I'll give it a little more time before taking the plunge.

Paul
 

G Kiba

Member III
You can add a second jib car to the track closer to the winch you want you use. This will correct the angle and prevent over wraps.I did this on my E27 for years and works well. Likely the previous owner must have used the larger aft winches when he single handed the boat and the forwards when he had crew.
 

Keith Parcells

Contributing Partner
My boat has a permanent sheave (sort of a cheek block or foot block) mounted on the outer coaming slightly aft of the primary winch and the jib sheet leads back to that block then forward to the winch. That way the jibsheet is led cleanly to the winch as the direct line would likely rub on the coaming. You could plan something like that.

Perhaps you could apply something like this:

 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
Thinking about it... when my boat was raced (allegedly so, long ago) the string-puller would have worked in the back of the cockpit and the helmsman, at the front. It could have been to some advantage to get the primaries farther back, to keep the trimmer (literally) off the helmsman's back. Sailing by myself, of course, it's nice to have them forward, where I can reach them. Judging from the old bolt holes though, what they did was just put in bigger primaries.
 

paul culver

Member III
My E29 winches are configured like yours and work fine with my 130% head sail on the primaries. I only use the secondaries for a downwind boom brake and occasionally (I confess) for my jib furling line.
 
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