Ewincher - An alternative to electric winches?
An article from Sail World by Aleix Escorsell 11 May 16:00 UTC - view source
Electrification of winches can be a great benefit; reducing the strength and manpower needed on your boat and allowing many to sail short-handed or continue sailing longer in life. The standard option for most boat owners has been to upgrade all of their winches to electric, however, is the Ewincher electric winch handle a viable, cost-effective alternative?
The Ewincher is a power-assisted winch handle that can be used for either fully electric winching, assisted winching, or as a regular winch handle, depending on the level of assistance required.
Benefits of the Ewincher
For one thing, with the Ewincher you will only need to buy one product to electrify all of your winches. For approximately the cost of a single winch, you can power every winch onboard. The Ewincher could easily save you thousands of dollars/pounds/euros, and that's before you consider the additional cost of electric winch installation!
The Ewincher requires no installation. Electric winches have large motors that require a lot of space. That means potentially losing head room in the cabin down below or having a large motor sitting just under the winch on deck.. The Ewincher can be used with your existing winches, straight out of the box, with no setup or prior training.
Standard electric winches are powered by your boat's main power supply. These winches can be quite power hungry, consuming 150-200 amps meaning that you may have to sacrifice none essential electronics to ensure you always have sufficient power for sail-handling. The Ewincher is battery powered, with one battery lasting (in average conditions) a full day, on a 40-footer.
Therefore with a spare battery, you can embark on a weekend of leisurely cruising, safe in the knowledge that you can keep your beers cold!
Another benefit that the Ewincher has over both electric winches and other electric winch handles in the market is that you can fine tune exactly how much assistance you need, with fingertip controls on the handle. The variable speed Ewincher can provide anything from 15-80 RPM, or you can use it without any assistance as a fully manual winch.
Combining both manual and assisted winding, the Ewincher allows you to bring the line in much faster that a normal winch handle, if necessary. For example, if your manual winching in speed is 40rpm, you can combine your normal physical effort with the 80rpm of the electric motor, for a total speed of 120rpm!
This video outlines the three modes of Ewincher operation in more detail...
Weight: 2.2kg Length: 355 mm Height: 288 mm Thickness: 66 mm Torque: Up to 80 Newton metres Battery: Li-ion 25.2V
While the Ewincher is 355mm in overall length, it still maintains the circumference of a standard 10" winch handle (254mm). So, if your standard winch handle fits your restricted deck layout, the Ewincher will too.
Ewincher has a highly efficient 25V lithium-ion battery with a battery life capable of hoisting the main sail 3 times and tacking 35 - 40 times on a 40ft boat. Ewincher do recommend a spare battery for boats over 40ft, but these can be swapped out in seconds. It also only takes 90 minutes to recharge on 12v or 24v supply.
The Ewincher comes in two colours, the standard yellow and grey, or black and white, pictured below.
The Ewincher also comes with a convenient carrying case for storage and its own winch handle pocket for mounting in the cockpit.
The Ewincher is a great product if you are considering moving to electrification, without the installation, or hefty price tag, of 2-4 new electric winches. It can help you to continue to sail further in life, taking the strain out of winch operation, while still allowing for an active, more relaxed sailing experience.