Self Tailing Winch question


Member I
I have the chance to change out 2 of my winches with self tailing winches. Question: Do I change out the winches on the cabin top (Mainsheet) or do I change out the winches on the port/starboard gunwale (Jib Sheet) I mostly sail single handed.


Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Blogs Author
Well, I guess I'd ask myself which winches currently are hardest to tail, or get tailed the most.

In my case the big winches, the genoa sheet winches, would benefit most. Secondary candidate, main halyard winch.

Do make sure to match up the ST feature with the correct line size, esp. if you're buying used winches. Modern lines are smaller diameter, and can slip in old winch ST designs.

Guy Stevens

Genoa sheet winches are more critical to have self tailing. They get a lot more use than the others.....
Even the mainsheet generally doesn't get the same amount of line taken in and let out in tacks.


Member III
Depend. I have all my lines (reefing, vang, and sails) run to the cockpit. 4 self-tailing winches but of course, the mainsail and control lines run a lot more.
I would suggest if you have all your lines at the cockpit start with control lines from the mainsail and keep the genoa ones with a "like self-tailing" blue rubber on top of your genoa winch.

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
I agree with genoa winches which get the most adjustment. I also single hand alot. I notice you have an E27, so I'm guessing that you can manage the mainsheet relatively easily using existing blocks on the traveller as I do on my E30+, which makes the genoa winches as the self-tailing ones a no brainer, in my opinion.