RL24, RL28, and RL34 Trailable Yachts
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keel wire and jib sheet winches
A bit of input required from those who have figured out the answers.

Our boat, Hart Beat has a 7:1 block system and the keel is raised and lowered using a 10 mm braided rope in the cockpit. The lower block is attached to a 4 mm 7x19 stainless wire. It works fine so we will be sticking with it.

A mate's boat, Touche, has a winch mounted over the end of the centreboard case and the keel is lifted with a 6 mm galvanised wire rope. It has been known to fail, on a fairly regular basis.

My question is why 6 mm and why galvanised wire? I would have thought 5 mm would be heaps big enough and stainless, whilst prone to the odd prickle when it wraps around the winch drum, would at least be rust free, assuming 316 grade is used. Does the stainless not handle the frequent winding and unwinding?

Question 2

Both boats have Gibb winches for the jib sheets. I also use one as a halyard winch. These winches are the type with the handle permanently fixed under the drum.

Barlow tell me that parts are no longer available and as both boats are having problems with dicky winches, I had hoped that someone had figured out a fix. Any clues?


Mike11-Jun-2003    Edit    Delete 
re:board wire &winches
Hi Mike, On Kanatamata I use 5mm stainless wire and it seems to work fine. I wonder if the 6mm wire round a small diameter winch could be causing it to fray you could try a larger drum on the winch although this would decrease your purchase.(just a thought). As for the winches, when I got kanatamata they were very loose and sloppy........all i had to do to fix them was machine up a new nylon thrust washer. They are very simple winches so it shouldn't be to difficult to get them fixed. Any company who has a lathe should beable to make the parts required.


Ben Skennerton11-Jun-2003    Edit    Delete 
My brothers ultimate 18 had similar winches.

The installation of the winches lead the sheet clockwise over one and anticlockwise over the other (most only sheet clockwise)

We swapped the pawls etc from side to side reversed the parts direction added oil and they worked fine.

Be careful not to loose little springs.


Greg11-Jun-2003    Edit    Delete 
Winch wire
Mike, you are absolutely right. Stainless cable has a tendency to work harden and become brittle when going around blocks or winches, therefore it is not suitable for winch wire, and that is why it frays. 5mm 6x19 Galvanised wire rope, properly swaged and fitted is appropriate. Due to rust, it will have to be replaced from time to time but it is not an expensive exercise.
James Shannon12-Jun-2003    Edit    Delete 
Re: keel wire and jib sheet winches
Rather than start a new topic I'll try adding here first. I have a lot of work to do on my RL24 Mk1, and one thing I wonder about is the keel wire. It seems galvanised wire is pretty standard, though my other swing keel boats had either rope or stainless wire to raise the centreboards.

I have had a wire fail, and a rope fail. In both cases it was at a very inconvenient time. There's also no real way to check the business end of a galvanised wire to see if it has rusted, and after comparing my old galvanised anchor chain that has lasted more than 30 years, with a new one I bought five years ago that is rusting in many places, I don't trust modern galvanising.

I've looked at the RL24 and can't see a simple way to replace or repair a broken wire or a broken shackle when on a trip somewhere, say 20 miles from the boat ramp.

Has anybody fitted their centreboard case with screw in access ports big enough to get fingers and tools into? It seems about 150mm diameter should be enough to get a hand in with tools from both sides if the boat was driven carefully into the shallows and allowed to dry out.

Just thought I should ask if anyone has done this before? or if there is any reason it could be a problem, although I can;t see that adding a waterproof port each side would make the centrecase weaker - quite the opposite I would think.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions, or pointers to other methods that have worked for people.
RossD10-Nov-2013    Edit    Delete 

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