How to better sail a boat: three tips to remove a stuck line from a sailboat winch
You and your navigation crew are about to tackle a narrow channel with shoals on the left and moored boats on the right. You prepare your crew for the next tack, come back and the headsail sheet gets stuck in the sailboat’s winch! What would you do next?
Stuck turns in a headsail sheet winch, called “null turns”, are caused by a sheet line leading at a downward angle to the winch drum. When this happens, the drum casings can become so crowded that they are nearly impossible to remove. Use one of these quick and easy methods to remove an override:
1. Luff Up Method
has. Point into the wind for a few seconds to luff the headsail and take the tension off the sheet.
b. Remove the wraps by hand.
counter Move away from the wind and increase speed for the next tack.
two. line and block method
has. Tie a rolling knot in the stuck sheet between the headsail clew and the winch.
b. Mount a starter block behind the stuck winch.
con Run line to snatch block and open winch.
d. Grind the winch to remove all the stress on the jammed blade.
me. Remove the override by hand and wrap the blade back onto the winch.
3. emergency method
has. Cut the jammed sheet back and forth from the winch.
b. Thread the bitter end of the cut leaf through the block and around the mast of the sailboat.
against Tie a rolling knot on the lee sheet. You can tack with this rig until you remove all hazards.
Avoid future sheet jams
Avoid future overrides by directing the headsail sheets up towards the sheet winches. Use one of these simple techniques:
* Reposition each genoa block along the track to bring it closer and lower it to the clew winch.
* Insert an intermediate block between the existing Genoa block and the sheet winch.
Sailboat winch overrides are a part of life on any small cruising or racing sailboat. Learn to sail a boat better than ever by planning for the unexpected with quick and easy techniques like these.