Rope Clutch Base

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Clutching at an idea

RT and Chris have touched on an issue that we also have been pondering.

The direction of lever pull, combined with the required clutch location, might call for some repositioning thought. :nerd:
I note that all of the "tri cabin" interior designs (E-32-200, late model E-34, E-38-200, Olson 34) have an extended bridgedeck "walkway" to enter the interior. This causes the dodger front to have to be extended forward an extra foot or so to give you headroom when using the companionway. This also lets you reach forward to get to the clutches on either side of the sea hood. You had better have long-enough arms.

On our boat, in particular, it's a faaaar reach to those clutch handles, with a full width dodger.

We plan a slight relocation of the housetop clutch stoppers and winches before doing a final design for a full-width dodger for eventual days at sea. This will involve moving the clutch banks back a lot and the winches back to the end of the housetop. The worse part, IMHO, is filling and gel coating all of the old holes!:rolleyes:

Sidebar: I sometimes wonder if there was nearly constant, albeit friendly, tension between the designer and the marketing guys over these later Ericson products -- i.e. the interior cruising layout (I love Martin's recollection of the descriptive word they used!) and the attempt to keep the cockpit winch and line control layout purposeful/useful for high performance sailing (as befits such fast hulls).

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Contributing Partner
I replaced my easylocks with spinlocks and put them in the exact same spot. Even used one of the old holes IIRC. No issues with handles clearing the dodger. Fwd Edge of dodger is just aft of traveler. Sorry no photos.


Sustaining Partner
I have considered what you are proposing but it is a large PITA project for not a lot of gain. The only winch I am going to move back, and then only a bit is the mainsheet winch. Its undersized IMHO so I am thinking of upsizing and just making the front of the base match the existing front space to cover existing holes. Even so, it will be at the edge of the bulkhead. I am going to reconfigure the dodger, its getting quite thin, so that the "windshield" is at a steeper angle. More room for winch handles, using clutches, etc. If I couldn't get a clutch that released by pulling aft well then I would have had to do something more drastic.



Member III
Ted, that's great education, thanks ... good to know the numbers to work out in the end.

Chris - the dodger clearance is actually not a big problem at all. When fully opened, the handles of the outer clutches (away from the centerline) do press against the dodger slightly, and the inner clutches don't even get there - see photos below. In the worst case, it's rather easy to unbutton the dodger at that point and give it slightly more room.

I use the outer clutches for lines which I touch rather infrequently, e.g. the jib&spin halyard, boom vang etc. The inner clutches are for the main halyard and reefing lines, and they are free to move.

I have to admit that I had not thought of this in advance (I had not used my dodger at all last season), so I guess I just got lucky ...

I was MUCH more concerned to position the clutches so that the angle of the line from the clutch towards the winch does not exceed some max degrees, whatever was recommended by spinlock. That's pretty hard with four clutches, since there is very little space in that area, and I did not want to move the winches.

- Zoran



Member III
Always best to dry fit...

Thanks, Zoran. My P.O. had the levers sawn off and drilled holes for small lanyards to be used to pull the levers back with the existing design. That's how tight it was.

OTOH, I think the only way to definitively assess this is by taking the clutch out to the boat (heck, ALL of them!) and then seeing what works. My current original one is becoming an embarrassment :)

BTW, your setup looks very nice!:hail: