Jump to content

Why not a drum winch?


Recommended Posts

OK Crewers we have a boat with a tricky spot, as most have, with regards to the anchor winch and how it may take out a disproportionate amount of space once installed.

 

So I suggested why not look at a winch like this, a drum winch. This one is common in 7-9mts fizzies and would fit in a box 400 x 400 x 300mm so not a big space is needed.

GX1.png

 

They are all the rage in Aussie and growing here quickish but 99.9% would be onto fizz nasties. One was recently fitted to a local race yacht that would make a few gasp WTF??? if they knew which one.

 

Comparisons between the Drum Winches and the traditional style -

 

Both have similar sized motors so draw about the same

The drum style is contained in a lot smaller space

The traditional style gives you more flexibility in lengths

The drum are  more tolerant to random quality gear

The drum winches don't need a anchor locker as such nor do they need lots of depth below them to work well.

Weight is similar, possibly a tad less on the drum depending on how you set it up.

Price is similar

Warranties are similar bar one drum winch brand that's got a magnificent warranty far above all others of all styles.

 

Anyone see any reason why using a drum winch on a yacht is a silly idea?

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

b7a707b0cf333e5e2cca14aa058165fa.jpg

 

where's the gypsy?

 

gypsy%20number.jpg

 

usually haul up vindil's 15kg anchor and 20mtr chain by hand

 

but the other week the squalls driving through rocky bay had buried the bruce so deeply in the mud that hand + back weren't enough to break it free

 

fortunately once the chain was sloted into the gypsy of the manual winch it cranked easily

 

when single handing can't afford to bugger the body weighing anchor

Link to post
Share on other sites

Never heard of that QMF winch, must be a smaller player in what is a very confusing and massively bullshit ridden product sector. Using CIMA motors is good though.

 

Holding power is OK. On one for say a 8mt boat from LSM as an example has a working load of, a huge 700kg pull on a empty drum and a holding power of 2800kg, which is what a average 9mt boat would expect to see in around 90kts of wind.  So the numbers cover the boats pretty well but note that LSM are at the better end of the performance range. Some of the others wouldn't have numbers that good but then neither do some of the traditional style either.

 

Brevini are good no doubt but one of their will cost a LOT more than the more common ones, a LOT more, I've been there on my barge.. a real barge.

 

The loads are fine assuming it's bolted to the boat well. To true on the fixed nature of it but for many boats that's fine, as it would be this boat I'm thinking.

 

There's something about that chick with the pipe and eyebrows that works.... not sure what but I'd like a hands on test to try and find out :D

 

Good to see no ones come up with any obvious big flaws, I hate it when that happens.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I reckon its an awesome idea, and have pondered it plenty. Especially if you could remove the drum with chain and rope when racing - Imagine pulling a few pins and lifting the cruising tackle away - leaving the racing anchor on etc - easier than clearing out the locker or dumping it on the marina floor like we do currently :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry guys, I don't agree.

The issue is that a drum winch normally only pulls it's rated loads on the first layer on the drum. As the cable builds up, and the drum diameter effectively increases, the leverage the load puts on the drum also increases,  reducing the available power.

The common capstan type winch does not suffer from this issue, and has constant power regardless of the length of warp/chain deployed. That is why they were designed like that....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Also thinking about it i wonder how it goes when lowering an anchor - like a fishing reel when it goes slack i can see a birdsnest! Unless they have a line guide i cant see.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, also, a "proper" capstan which is pretty much the same speed - yes I know it slows down and speeds up due to load, but a drum winch releases/retrieves more cable  when the drum is full than it does when the drum is almost empty - so your anchor will approach the boat at the fastest possible speed  - full drum, low load. Something to think about....

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's right IT but it's allowed for in the specs. These things aren't new and if you suss you'll see many on commercial vessels, some being 40-50 years old. In Aussie they are as common as flys... errr nearly and there are 100's in use in NZ. But recently they have gained more prominence in NZ due to all the banjo players selling them in Aussie trying to expand their markets.

 

And I do mean banjo players. I'm getting copied in on a email shite fight between 2 mobs with threats to stick wombats up peoples bums, chain cars to lampposts, get lawyers in and all sorts of red neck goings on over which ones are or aren't true Aussie made. Don't know why I'm getting them but it's absolutely hilarious to watch.

 

Like some Trad winches some Drums do have a free-fall option but again like the Trad winches many manufacturers don't like free fall. We did some testing 2 years ago with one mob and I sat on the sea bed out by Rangi watching what happened. If you free fall without doing certain actions as you do it a lot of the time your anchor will land in the chain that gets to the sea bed first. Some anchors fly like you wouldn't believe. Hence some manufacturers have instead what's called 'Hi Speed down' being bloody fast but controlled. The winch in the photo above, winch not wench, runs at nearly 70mts a minute (1/2 drum) which is fast but as there is still a smidgen of drag the birds nesting doesn't happen, juts like when you leave a tad of thumb pressure on the fishing reel as it goes out. Take the thumb off and go pure free fall and then it's often Cluster Fornication O'clock.

 

And IT is right again on the variable speeds, Empty drum means huge balls but slowly where a fuill drum means lower pulling power but at a higher speed. Some Trad winches do the same thing in a way when they throw 2000W's into the 1500W motor for 15-20 seconds to boost the snatch load up then as the load comes off the watts taper back until when the anchor is nearly home it may only be throwing 500Ws in. But again the variable speed is allowed for and doesn't appear to be a issue with the Drum users..... mind you most are fix nasties so they could be suffering 98 Octane poisoning.

 

But as usual the trick for the punters with all these drum winches it to wade through all the guff and try to work out what's bullshit and what's not, there is a hell of a lot. Power ratings alone is one we have noticed. What some call 2000W others call 600W, then there is Aussie Watts and Asian watts, Watts measured here, some measured there. I know more than many about these and I still get confused at times with all the bollocks, gawd knows how the punters get on at times.

 

They do work very well, when like all winches they are speced and set up correctly. The thing is they have pretty much been power boat only with bugger all yachts putting them on. We can't see why a yacht couldn't but were just wondering if we'd missed anything.

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK KM, want some more? Yachts often have all chain. Chain is heavy. Chain on a drum will not stack well, and provide some additional shock loading, or at least load changing, when under tension as the chain is not constant diameter as the links pass thru/over the drum. When the drum is full, its likely high up - on deck - rather than lower down in the chain locker. The naval architect went to considerable lengths to keep the CG as low as possible, and a heavy chain on deck is not desirable.

 

IMO it might be OK for a warp, not a chain. And that tends to be what the Ausy's use it for. Same with commercial vessels here. Often see 2 or more of these on say the fishing boats in deep places - like fiordland - where stern lines are used a lot. Drums are way easier to store, control/maintain than coils of warps.

 

Chain should be in a locker, as low down as possible, especially in a sailing vessel - and this is a sailing forum, right?? :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Chuck it all out there fella, that's what we're here for.

 

Correct'ish' on the chain. It can be a arse but it can also work fine, just as a pile is on a 50ft yacht with a newly fitted drum winch currently is. Correct the weight would be nicer lower but not everyone has the space to allow that to happen. Just so happens one change to my bow allowed me to drop my locker floor lower.

 

One commercial boat used/owned by an Olympic yacthie, a gold medal winner no less, has 60mts of 20mm chain on it's drum in front of 100mts of wire, not many use fibre ropes. His other boat has similar. The drums can run chain OK.

 

And as a FYI, if your yacht has all chain you are now in a minority. But the others who use their yachts the same way you use yours are also in that minority, as they should be due exactly to the way you use them. Walk Westhaven and by far the majority would be rope to chain combos now. Actually there's a growing number of yachts used as IT uses his that have rope to chain combo rodes now but most, or the smart ones at least, have armoured ropes.

 

There ya go lots of sailing related ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, everything has pros and cons. Every boat is different, and used in different ways. I concede that, as I did that the drum winch may be OK for rope warps. I also concede that chain may be OK on a drum with a large enough centre.

 

What is armoured rope? I know that fibres can be stronger than steel, but I have not seen any fibre that I'd be happy with in coral. Be happy to learn something about this... :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

My old man has just come back from Alaska. He reckons that most of the boats up there are using drum winches for their anchor.

 

Seems it must be workable.

 

As for storage, maybe you could bolt the drum upside down to your foredeck, eg: inside the forward cabin or forepeak? There'd need to be some rollers or something to guide the warp/chain in.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This rope v chain thing provides a continuous difference of views. Cruisers forum (at least on the east coast) the consensus seems to be all chain rode and anyone with rope have not learnt there lesson yet.  Other yachties who have been all over the world  with rope and a boat length of chain would have nothing else.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

My only experience of captive drum winches is in 4wd recovery. There it is important to make sure the cable is fed at the correct angles to make it load the drum evenly. If the drum is out of sight, this could be an issue? Most competitive 4wd's now use rope, not wire....for ease of use, and you can get more on the drum. Easier to guide onto the drum, but does not load quite as easily as wire rope.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This rope v chain thing provides a continuous difference of views. Cruisers forum (at least on the east coast) the consensus seems to be all chain rode and anyone with rope have not learnt there lesson yet. 

The team at CF are becoming more insular by the day but when you think its still 1980, as many there seem to do, so stuff like that's gonna happen.

 

The amount of chain used is dropping when you look at 'the average length used per boat' but that's purely due to winch technology, nothing else. Chain will never go away as it has properties you need in a anchor system rope just can't simulate. No one thinks otherwise, or no one with a brain whose been to sea does. The decrease in lengths is due to New Zealand, specifically Maxwell winches and them getting the auto rope to chain (R2C) winch into production which has lead them to now being mass market gear.

 

For those who don't know, by Auto R2C  I mean the winch can swap seamlessly from hauling rope to hauling the chain. This can be done while you flick a switch from the cockpit now. Or should if the right spec chain is fitted, the right rope is used and it's al set up correctly, most failings come back to one of those 3 things.

 

So now the need for all chain is greatly reduced as winches can do both without effort on behalf of the boater. BUT in some places the winch isn't the key player into what to use, some other force comes into play, which for us here that is usual coral. That stuff loves slicing ropes to bits so anchor in it on your average rope and disaster could only be a few minutes away hence we use all chain.

 

Armoured rope = rope with a special hard as nails to saw thru fibre used in the cover. We've made quite a few and it is what I'll have on my boat, I just can't carry 127 kilos of chain. It works well but isn't for the budget concious.

 

On 4x4 most use rope now but some winches can't so check if yours is capable before swapping. If you don't you run the risk of the rope blowing the winch to bits.

 

Yes IT some bunching can happen if you don't have that angle, called the "fleet angle', correct. If it does on a 4x4 it could lead to trashing of the rope easily due to the load those lads apply. On anchor drum winches not so as the forces are a lot less so all you'll have then is a tangled birds nest. Luckily the fleet angle on the anchor drums can be a tad larger than many expect, there is also things like curved deck rollers that can help bad angles and so on.

 

Yes Bogan, one advantage the drums do have is all you need to do is lead the anchor rode nicely with minimal drag and you can mount the winch anywhere including upside down. One one tri, a power one, the rode comes over the bow and back to about midships then goes down under the floor and around a couple of nice turning blocks to the drum winch mounted in under his galley near the front of the cockpit, the winch is mounted facing across the boat not for n aft. Weird but works surprisingly well. It's got 20mts of chain on and some does get on the winch, but having 15 mts of chain is common on theses things, in NZ at least. In Aussie they use less but then they don't boat in oceans.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Still reckon I'd need a convincing argument to change - not seeing one...

 

I believe some of the super yachts use captive reel winches for sheets etc. Tidy and easy to control remotely I guess.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...