So how many of you sailors have ever had to crank someone up the mast? or Take in the jib before a squall is about to hit, or raise the main sail? Well if you are live aboards like us than you probably answered yes to all of those questions!
Being new to sail boats, all of these tasks were new to us and very challenging. Matt seemed to have no problem as long as he didn't mind having a sore back for about a week, and well I just had a hard time, because well.....hand winches aren't easy. So, we knew right away, that if we were really going to be cruisers, there would be many times when we would be hoisting sails, and potentially people up the mast, so there had to be a better way to get sails up (or down) quickly, or to get someone up the mast to do work. After a little research, Matt seemed to have found a solution to our problem: The Harken winch bit, and a Milwaukee cordless right angle drill! These two things put together make the hard parts of sailing that much easier!
It seemed like any time Matt put the main sail up, or tried to pull the Jib in he would have a sore back for weeks, from pulling lines and cranking the winch. After we put together our drill and drill bit set up, putting up sails and taking in the jib seemed like a piece of cake and there were was no residual back pain which was a plus!
For those of you who sail, and have a similar problem, we HIGHLY recommend investing in a set up like this! It makes 'sailing' that much easier and enjoyable! A main sail can go up (with the right positioning) in under 30 seconds, and a Jib can come in just as quick if a sudden squall looms on the horizon. Being cordless too is a plus, because the battery life is usually 2-3 days and with a spare you can go a whole week without charging. We generally just stick our battery on the charger for a few hours when the sun is really cranking (thank you solar) and it will keep them charged up for when we have a sail coming up.
Huge thanks to Harken for making the winch bit adapter, and we went with a Milwaukee Cordless Right angle drill, but I imagine any right angle drill would work (we started with an old one that had a plug and quickly realized the cordless investment was worth it) just fine.
If anyone else out there with hand winches, uses a set up like this we would love to hear from you and how you like it.......And to those with power winches, lucky you!
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