Another Geeky Boat hack... this time for Winches!
Winches.... a staple piece of hardware that sailors rely on to haul sails up, and to keep them trimmed. They can also be used to haul people up and down the mast or out of the water, and are used for many utilitarian purposes such as putting Dingys in and out of the water, and even hauling the engine out of the boat. It is NOT a piece of equipment that you want to fail at those critical times when they are under load. Yet this is possible if they don't have proper backing plates. When I went to remove all my winches so I could take them home and clean them this past winter, I found a surprise on my primary winches. I have removed the nuts from these bolts. Note how the washers have sunk into the plywood.. That's right... they had no backing plates. just some small washers. Now why is this a big deal? well, if you have ever been sailing close-hauled (the fastest point of sail) in 20 knot winds, you know that some incredible pressure can be applied t