Article from "Voile et Voilier" by Sébastien Mainguet on the 24th September 2017
Beside the existing models which had some trouble convincing us, this electric handle, marketed under the name of Ewincher is different clearly. First, it is quite light (2.2 kilos). Then, it has a length of 254 millimetres, like a standard handle, so that we can use it in manual mode. It was even conceived to this end, with the possibility of combining the electric mode and the manual mode. Eventually, it functions with very powerful battery lithium-ion 24 volts, offering a good density of energy and a sizeable autonomy (the capacity of the battery is of 3,000 mAh). Our test, carried out on board a Sun Odyssey 379, at the port, with a rise at the top of mast, and to sea, with a succession of transfers under genoa, confirmed very intuitive instructions and a completely succeeded design. The most remarkable point is the change of direction of rotation: it is enough to make swivel the handle of 180 degrees. The software detects engine magnetic field and rotation is reversed at once. Thus, we are from the start in the good position – with knowing that we retain the handle while pulling and not while pushing, which is easier.
Power and autonomy
There is in addition an ad hoc button to manually reverse the direction of rotation. The other button, which orders rotation itself, makes possible to control its speed (from 15 to 80 turns per minute), by adjusting the pressure which one applies above with the finger: nothing easier. In all the cases, the couple is automatically adjusted so that the power does not exceed 350 Watts.
About autonomy, one can largely hoist a person of 80 kilos at the top of mast and renew the exercise (for a mast of about fifteen meters), with the same battery. For a sailboat of 12 meters, according to the manufacturer, autonomy corresponds to three sending of mainsail and a dozen of veering. Except use at the day, one will advise to buy the second battery in option for more comfort. The change of this one is simple and fast.
The ergonomics of the handle, for the use in manual mode, is also very satisfactory. Last but not least, the charge is done in less than two hours out of the 220 volts, and a converter cigar-lighter 12/220 volt is even provided!
Another important point: according to the physical capacities of the user, the maximum necessary force to hold the handle can be adjusted, by means of a small application to be downloaded on a smartphone.
The setting by default fix this force with 23 kilos, which is already not bad. We can lower this value with 15 kilos… or assemble it to 32 kilos. But to go until such a force does not seem very useful to us… At all events, these possibilities of personalized setting are very appreciable.
A small regret: Ewincher is locked on the winch like a normal handle, but it is necessary for that to open locking with a second hand, the first being already used to hold the machine. It is a little the only defect of this handle: it is impossible to pose it on a winch of only one hand. However even if Ewincher is relatively light, it is heavier all the same than a classical handle – which can be positioned with only one hand on the winch. By formed sea, the risk exists to be unbalanced and to possibly make fall to water the invaluable electric handle. It is necessary to take the practice to handle it in sitting position when the sea is formed. In the same way, the adequate pocket for the handle (59.90 euros) appears more or less impossible to circumvent to us.
Ewincher is extremely well thought, even if its price is not negligible… Compared to the cost of an electric winch, it is a little less expensive than a winch of size 46, and it is more or less the price of a kit of electrification for a winch of this power. The electric handle has all the same the advantage of being able to be used on all the winches of the boat!
When one turns the handle of 180 degrees to use the other speed of the winch, rotation is reversed automatically.Difficult to make simpler!Effective and simple to use, this new equipment remains expensive, but few defects well were found to him.Here is thus a rather credible alternative to the electric winch!
A custom-tailored bucket is proposed by the manufacturer. And it is quite useful, even essential.
_Distributors:Accastillage Diffusion, Uship, online sales on the site www.ewincher.com
_Battery capacity:3,000 mAh.
_Time of charge:approximately 90 minutes (given manufacturer).
_Price: €2,600 (basic kit with a battery), and €2,990 with additional battery (charger and converter 12/220 volts provided in all the cases).
PHOTOGRAPH SEBASTIEN MAINGUET - Find the video of the test on www.voilesetvoiliers.com