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S&S Swan Maintenance - Swan 38 mast winch and clutches
21 September 2014 - 13:59
Join Date: 22 July 2013
Posts: 10

Swan 38 mast winch and clutches
Dear Friends,

I am planning to install a Lewmar 30 ST winch also to the port side of the mast. In addition, I am considering to have Spinlock XTR clutches for the halyards and lifts (6-7 pcs all together).
To end up with a good working solution I would very much appreciate to hear your experiences and to see photos of existing solutions.

Thank you in advance!

Fair winds!

Esko H.

Nobile, 38/104

22 September 2014 - 23:03
Join Date: 29 January 2007
Posts: 1025

Dear Esko,

I have two Lewmar 44 ST and Lewmar clutches, I am very happy with the winches but I can't say the same about the clutches, not a very good quality product.

I will take some pics in a few weeks time

Fair winds

matteo (38/067 Only You)

23 September 2014 - 10:43
Join Date: 01 July 2010
Posts: 48

Dear Esko,

in this jpg you can see the Spinlock clutches on 47/013 VERA. These are the 0812, which are far stronger than the 0814. The 0814 with aluminum side plates might suffice on a 38 though. We cut threads into the mast and used short fasteners. This is not ideal, as the wall thickness of the mast is not huge. The blue halyard that you see in the jpg is the staysail halyard. We used the top of the Jockeypole track and cut the tread through the track and the mast to make it stronger. All in all these clutches are strong and work brilliantly. Its much easier to get a person up the mast safely, or hoist a gennaker.

Kind regards, Michael

25 September 2014 - 07:13
Join Date: 20 February 2007
Posts: 119

Dear Esko:

When considering halyard clutches at the mast you may want to think about the following.

I do a lot of single and short handed sailing and racing and do not like halyard clutches at the mast (or anywhere for that matter) as it interferes with hoisting a halyard quickly.

I typically "jump" all of my halyards when hoisting and do not use the winch until the very end. Hoisting with speed before the halyard loads up is key to getting the halyard up and I find that a halyard clutch interferes with this. A halyard clutch requires the halyard to be pulled exactly in-line with the clutch to avoid unnecessary friction. In addition this means the halyard has to be hoisted close to the mast (since the halyard exits the clutch very close to the mast) and does not allow you to pull down and away from the mast during the hoist.

If you always use the winch from the very beginning of the hoist then the clutch will work well. I also realize that having clutches can reduce the number of winches but I prefer to have the winches instead.

Of course this is a personal preference and not necessarily correct or wrong but it is based on actual long time experience.

Fair winds,

Hiro Nakajima

25 September 2014 - 11:05
Join Date: 01 July 2010
Posts: 48

Dear Hiro,

discussing the clutches and their positioning:

On 47/013 VERA, we were able to place the clutches high enough on the mast, so that one can rip the jib and genaker halyards up manually just as easy as before. The Spinlock 0812 clutch is very forgiving if you do not pull exactly inline and has very little friction. The advantage here is that, if the genaker loads up prematurely, it is not ripped out of your hand. It is also great for securely hoisting someone up the mast. That said, we do not use a clutch on the mainsail halyard, as this leads to a self tailing Lewmar 46 at the mast side. I usually get the main up to the top by hand, it just needs a couple of turns at the winch to tension it then. The two main genoa halyards lead to the mast base and back to 2xLewmar 55 three speed winches as original, and are usually not touched, since the genoa is set on a furler.
The main reefing lines lead to another pair of 0812 clutches on both side of the spray hood. With these in place, it is really easy and safe to reef in any condition + there is a nice winch free again for another job after the reefing is done.

There are some disadvantage that I can see though:

- The Spinlock 0812 is expensive and so are the spare parts. Check e-bay, the sometimes come up there.
- It is not original. To me, the stronger argument here is the way we sail the boat. To us, she is a couple cruiser now, sailed by my wife and me, usually alone, not by a race crew of 12. For that reason, we added 4 pairs of self tailing winches, all Lewmar, some Spinlock clutches, a furler, a bimini top, an autopilot and a washing machine + some more stuff. Otherwise, we try to preserve 47/013 as original as reasonable.

So far, this whole setup worked great for us through 50000nm + and around the world between 2006-2009, and hopefully will continue to do so in the future.

Kind regards, Michael / 47/013 VERA

25 September 2014 - 18:55
Join Date: 01 March 2007
Posts: 147

Hi Esko,

I think Hiro and Michael have given you very valuable comments and in the end it comes down to the type of sailing you want to do. Like Michael, we have some clutches on the mast, but only for certain lines. "Sweating" a halyard up quickly requires enough scope and free movement, and it sounds as tho Michael has achieved this by locating it high enough and choosing a make which is "forgiveable'! Lowering sails is also crucial, sometimes you need to do it fast, and sometimes it is very helpful to stop quickly using a clutch.
Using clutches, and when to do so, comes down to technique, and in good hands are invaluable. My advice would be, fit them on the mast as high as you can reach on tip toe.
Sarabande. 47/029

30 September 2014 - 17:27
Join Date: 22 July 2013
Posts: 10

Dear All,

Thank you very much your advises, comments and pictures.
I will post some pictures of my solution after finishing the job.

Fair winds!

Esko H.

Nobile, 38/104

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