Categories Sailing

How To Free Up A Stuck Sailing Winch? (Best solution)

What happens when you release the winch on a sailboat?

  • If you release your winch too soon, your boat will lose speed and fail to complete the tack. If you release your winch wraps too late, your jib can get stuck up on your mast or life lines and may make the boat over tack or turn too far down wind.

What is winch override?

No matter how careful you are, if you do enough sailing, you’ll probably end up with the occasional winch override. The override, or riding turn, often occurs when the lead angle to the winch is not correct (the line being trimmed should be lead to the winch on a slightly upward angle).

How do you free a riding turn?

How to free a riding turn

  1. Using the fairlead to the left of the photo would have given a better angle onto the winch and avoided a snarl-up.
  2. Use the palm of your hand to keep the turns against the barrel.
  3. Take the line anti-clockwise around the jammed winch.
  4. Wrap one end of your surrogate rope around the jammed rope.

How do self tailing winches work?

Self tailing winches are winches that wrap the tail in a round jam cleat that is located on the top of the drum. When you crank the drum, the winch will pull the tail simultaneously eliminating the need for a crew member to pull your tail for you.

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How do you dismantle Arco Hutton winches?


  1. Insert a 3/16″ screw or a small screwdriver or similar, into one of the two holes.
  2. Insert your winch handle into the Main shaft of the winch and turn the handle against the screw, in a CCW direction, to unscrew the Retaining Nut.

How do you clean a sailing winch?

To clean winch parts, use a bucket or tub with some solvent-based cleaner (mineral spirits, diesel, or any commercial degreaser, but not gasoline, which can damage plastic parts) and a lint free cloth to remove existing grease. Small gears are the most challenging to clean (old tooth brushes work well for this).

How do you avoid the risk of a winding turn on a winch?

Easing sheets too aggressively. If you let it surge around the winch, chances are you’ll induce a riding turn. Instead, ease slowly and carefully, with a hand on the outside of the wraps to control it. Pulling hard on a line with too many turns around a winch can cause a snarl-up.

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