Asama has a pair of Lewmar 16 ST winches. They are very good but very underpowered. After nearly 20 years of struggling in anything more than a light wind when tacking I have decided to invest in larger winches. I am tempted by Lewmar 30's, but wonder if 40's would be better. I don't want to damage my genoa using winches that are too powerful, but conversely I don't want to spend a large amount of money on a set of winches and end up wishing I had forked out for larger ones in the first place.
Any advice would very much appreciated.
The Lewmar 40 are worth the extra. I don't think there is any risk to the sail.
I would note that long ago I had a customer who made parts [the bronze gears] for Lewmar. He was amazed at the sale price of the winches compared to the price he charged; noting also that he made a good margin as Lewmar were insistent on very high quality materials and workmanship.
I also recall that at one time they were considerably cheaper in the US...but I have just looked and it seems prices are similar.
Thanks for your advice Peter. I did look at Lewmar 40's when I first bought the boat. They were half today's price then but still an eye watering sum.
A job best left for the winter layup, given the position of the current winches and issues with lifeline stanchions etc. Jobs on boats are rarely straightforward. I replaced my 26 year old bow fitted Stowe depth sensor this winter and that turned out to be a much bigger job than anticipated. Luckily the glassfibre is very thick in that area of the hull. A story for another day?
I had better get saving!
Another vote for the 40s. I fitted a pair at the beginning of this season and they have transformed sail handling. The lower gear is just right for being able to get the sheet in tight in a strong breeze, so I think the spec is right for the boat. Self tailers too if you can afford them - money well spent.