The starboard winch let go yesterday. The wind out of a SE’ly thunderstorm had ripped up to about 20kts or so and as we beat up the stretch toward Big Bend I was attempting to take in a few more centimeters of sheet when bang, the sail started to ease itself out. A quick turn around the cleat stopped the slip but the winch was now rotating freely in either direction. Seems like the little ratchet lever inside is either broken or dislocated.
One thing is for sure, it’s difficult to sail without the right gear. We made a plan with the secondary spinnaker winches and got going again, but the leads are all wrong and it was a continual battle with jams and more jams.
So, once again, there is a big spend looming. I’ll wait for a calmer weekend and take the thing apart – see if it’s repairable, but I’m thinking this may juts be the opportunity to upgrade to a new set of self-tailers. If I do that I kill two birds with one stone – easier solo-sailing on the primary winches and the remaining working port winch can be relocated to the foredeck as a dtm-design makeshift anchor windlass system.
One thing is certain, life requires continual maintenance and effort. nothing runs smoothly forever and you always need energy and cash in reserve to deal with the hiccups. Choose your focus areas wisely. You spread yourself too thin and life becomes a mission rather than a pleasure.