Winchers: Good Stuff for Good Old Boats

Note: Last week we published a review of an incredible 1940 Wooden Ketch named Flying Gull. Due to some over exuberant button pushing, the first link sent out for the post was password protected. This may have thwarted your blog reading experience and for that, we do apologize. We hope you will take another look at the post and enjoy this Sparkman and Stephens masterpiece as much as we did.

Now, back to our current post, already in progress.

The weather in the Pacific Northwest has become eerily pleasant. The big yellow warm thing has been out more than twice in a single month and if I were a superstitious man, I would worry that the gods want to fry us up with a little butter and garlic.

But I am not a superstitious man, and so I have gone sailing not once, but twice in the month of March. This is quite a feat since Moonrise has been denuded of every trace of our existence as a part of our effort to sell her. Presently, Moonrise is a blank canvas onto which her new owners can project their own happy, future selves. We are happy to do this but it does present a problem. We have nice weather and we want to go sailing while we still own the old girl.

Our solution was to create a tactical sailing container which we call the Mopey Sailor Runaway Kit. The kit consists of the bare necessities for getting out on the water: bibs, boots, PFDs, binoculars, and a few other useful items to have when we are out.

Mopey Sailor Runaway Kit

Mopey Sailor Runaway Kit

So, with our runaway kit, Melissa and I have enjoyed two pleasant afternoons sailing about Commencement Bay.

But I digress. As usual.

What I really wanted to show you are the little blue [amazon_link id=”B00AMNOL96″ target=”_blank” ]Winchers[/amazon_link] that we use on our old Barient 21 winches. Being humble, non self-tailing winches, the Barients were a bit of sore spot when we bought Moonrise. We would love to have self-tailing winches but the prices are just laughable.

So, shortly after we bought Moonrise, I picked up a pair of Winchers and we have been most impressed with their usefulness.

Winhers on a Barient 21

Winchers on a homely but entirely serviceable and reliable  Barient 21

We find that we do have to hand tail the sheet if the line is not fully up against the bottom of the Wincher but the main advantage is that we can easily cleat off the line with a simple wrap around the top portion of the rubber as shown in the photo above. In a fresh breeze we always take the sheet to a proper cleat, but in the majority of sailing conditions, we can safely leave the line as shown.

We have had these Winchers on Moonrise for almost five years now and they are still perfectly serviceable. Sunlight will be their biggest enemy, so a proper winch cover when not in use is advised.

Top of Wincher

Top of Wincher

At about $60 a pair, Winchers aren’t exactly cheap but for those applications where you need a quick way to secure a line we have found them to be a real value.

1 thought on “Winchers: Good Stuff for Good Old Boats

  1. I read your blog with interest and I wondered if you’d considered registering as a contributor to the World Cruising and Sailing Wiki (, where you could share the benefit of your cruising experiences with a wider audience.

    The Wiki, as you probably know, is a collaborative effort by cruisers all round the world to pass on their knowledge for the benefit of others who follow in their wake. Many sections are already the best online resource available, and with the help of more contributors such as you the Wiki could so easily become the most up to date and reliable source of information for cruisers everywhere.

    I hope you will consider registering and helping to update the pages in the sections where you cruise. If so, you would be welcome to post a link to your blog in the Personal Notes section of the relevant pages so that Wiki users can access your blog directly from the Wiki. This is easily done once you are logged in using the format * [http://www.(your blog URL) – your vessel’s name Cruising Blog].

    Contributing to the Wiki is simple once you get the hang of it and the Wiki sysops are happy to help new members in the early stages. It’s also very rewarding to know that your contributions will be helping other cruisers for many years to come – possibly long after your blog has been consigned to history!

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