How to fit Barton Winchers (the easy way!)

August 11, 2014 at 12:27 pm

I bought some Barton Winchers, which are rubber ring fittings to turn your normal winches into self tailers. They were, cough, nearly 60 quid if I remember correctly (Size Small for my Lewmar 8 winches). I think that’s alot for 2 rubber rings, but I do find it quite tricky sheeting in, and tailing the winch, and steering all at the same time.

Barton Winchers

The packet says they are easy to fit by stretching them over the top of the winch. I don’t agree. And after a couple of attempts, soaking them in hot soapy water to soften them first and trying to use a couple of screw drivers to help stretch them over the drum as directed, it became clear that I needed at least 3 hands, maybe four.

So I came up with a better way for my Lewmar winches: If you’ve ever serviced your winches you’ll know they come apart really easily. (I don’t know if this will work for other makes of winch – please let me know?)

Oh, and as for whether the Winchers work – yes they are great! My sheets are too big I think, but if I wind them round the winch 3 times, the ribbing on the under side of the Wincher seems to hold the sheet in most circumstances without even being fed through the groove. I was flying back across Torbay yesterday and they did slip. But in fairness I had full genoa up (and no main) on a beam reach and it was well over 20 knots steady. They slipped in a gust, but to be honest it was pretty clear that I needed to roll in a reef anyway.

As for winching in and steering singlehanded, I have that sussed now too: luff up just enough to take the fullness out of the sail but not enough to back it, give the sheet a quick heave and then bear away again. Sorted. And it’s all even easier if I don’t then have to lean over and tie off the sheet!

Moules Frites?

April 4, 2014 at 8:56 am

My insurance has just come round for renewal (which must mean I have now owned Duet for 2 years!) and my automatic renewal from CETA has come in at £141 odd.

This is a substantial increase on last year despite 2 years no claims now …and I don’t think it covers over 13 miles offshore anyway; and if you go from Weymouth to Dartmouth straight across Lyme Bay you are more than 13 miles off in the middle!

So I’ve just called GWJ for a quote and after answering lots of questions about the value of my outboard and whether I have a trailer, and what’s my dinghy worth, the nice lady listened with interest to my 2 years no claims bonus, and details of my Yachtmaster Theory and Powerboat Level 2 qualifications.  I was given a quote for £115 with a £150 excess for a total boat value of just under £5k fully comp.  This would cover me for all waters of the UK; so down to Scilly, and even over to Northern Ireland.  However, when I asked about cover for across to France I was told a flat ‘no’.  Apparently they don’t insure boats under 24 foot cross channel. So no to France and the Channel Islands.  No, no, no: The boat is too small.  The lady said I could put the boat on a trailer and take it on the ferry.  I said it kinda wasn’t the same, but she didn’t laugh. I could tell she thought I was a bit crazy.

So I asked the Oracle of all things Hurley and within minutes I had a suggestion to try Euromarine who apparently are one of the few who will cover Brest to Elbe, including all parts of the Channel, for boats under 24 foot.  I rang them and spoke to another nice lady who took my details and although she had to go and check with the underwriters for confirmation she came back and said they would cover me fully comp for UK Inland and Coastal Waters including Continental waters from Brest to Elbe including the Isles of Scilly for a cost of £133.64 which included No Claims Discount and IPT.  This is with a £100 excess, and on a total value of £4250 (not sure how it came in different, but at the end of the day my purchase cost was £3k and I’ve added equipment).  I did have to provide a scan of the Pre-Launch Report I had done by a Surveyor when I bought the boat in 2012.

So I’ve gone with them… Maybe Moules Frites after all?  …Maybe to supplement the pasties.

Moules Frites

Photo stolen from

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