In addition, there are five other control lines, (sheets), which are bent on the clews of the sails and lead into the cockpit through running blocks to their own winches mounted on the cockpit sides.
These are roller bearing pulleys which lead lines along the deck and eventually to the cockpit. I have a total of twenty two blocks, in singles, doubles and triple combinations.
I could not find suitable blocks to carry my lines up and over the coach-roofs into the cockpit. So I made my own, using very small diameter sheaves. I made one single sheave block, a double, a triple and a row of six. Making these babies in my garage was quite therapeutic, and they work marvelously well and were featured in an article in magazine January 2015. Click here for a reprint of the article.
These are exactly what they sound like—clutches which allow ropes to slide through, but lock the rope when the lever is operated. They allow multiple lines to be used on a single winch. When a line is correctly tensioned on the winch, the lever is applied which locks the rope and it can be removed from the winch and coiled round a belaying pin.
Not all lines need to be attended at the same time of course, and I arranged them so each sail’s lines are next to each other. Still, this means a lot of winch winding; for example, it takes 19 turns to wind the Fore Course square sail up into its yard.
I therefore invested in a ‘Winchrite’. This is really a powerful right angled electric motor with an adapter which fits into the hole in the top of the winch. As well as being variable speed it is also reversible, so a two speed winch can be worked in the slower but more powerful direction. This effectively converts all our cockpit winches into electric winches and saves a lot of effort and much faster than hand cranking. The machine is extremely well made and some sailing friends, Vic and Sandy on Wind Wanderer, have used one to cross half the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, and it's still going strong.
Some of the winches were seized up when I bought the boat, and a few rachets were broken. They were all Lewmar, so I bought spare parts, then had all the winches re-chromed, along with all other deck hardware. This really improved the appearence of the boat.
This is just my way of keeping the lines tidy and I also enjoyed turning them on a friend's lathe. This is now the “rope deck”