The Classic Winch Company is presently working on recreating
original classic winches as they were designed and built from nearly
100 years ago until into the 1960's for various classic yachts
currently under restoration or new construction in Europe and
America or undergoing an upgrade to once more make them
competitive in the growing circuit of classic events.
We not only build new classic winches but can restore and improve old, existing
winches as well. We can improve the gearing and access to
bearings and gears ensuring that maintenance can be reduced to a
minimum while the power ratio of the winch is improved.
Winter maintenance and upgrades
The 55 metre gaff schooner Germania Nova sent us two of their
large winches that were supplied by Holmatro when the yacht was
launched in 2011 and with which they were having minor problems.
Germania Nova is a replica of Krupp's famous racing schooner
Germania I which was originally launched in 1908. Both winches
were repaired and upgraded with new seals and bearings making
them much less susceptible to wear and tear from salt and sand.
One of the work horses of the original Meissner line of winches was
the 300STB. With differently styled drums in black aluminium or
nickel aluminium bronze, standard and self-tailing, this powerful
grinder winch was fitted on modern maxi's such as for instance
Nicorette as well as several large classics such as Eleonora,
Nordwind, Mariette and Sumurun. One of these winches that had
seen 20 years of faithful service on a very competitive yacht was
sent to us for extensive winter maintenance.
We dismantled it and gave it a full upgrade with a completely new
designed system for removing and cleaning the gears. This upgrade
makes it possible to remove the gears without dismantling
(unbolting) the centre stem so cutting the maintenance time per
winch from several hours to a matter of minutes. With a simple tool
the axles of the gears are pulled straight up and the gears slide out
to the side of the centre stem like on all our other winches up to our
selftailing and standard 67’s. (see image)
Following on but even improving on the way maintenance could be
done with Meissner and Holmatro winches, all winches from the
Classic Winch Company are extremely easy and simple to maintain.
Spin off the top and simply lift off the drum. No tools needed. Then
both the main drive shaft as well as the axles of the two sets of
gears can easily be pulled upwards and all the gears removed
sideways out of the centre stem. Once again without any tools being
needed. If maintenance is easy, it is done more often and with more
pleasure and care.
The 6 and 8 Metre Class
These two classes are growing and going from strength to strength
with many yachts under restoration and yards even delivering
meticulously researched and exquisitely built replicas of yachts that
have been lost or destroyed over the years.
Meissner and Holmatro already supplied a series of what were called Metre Class Winches, sheet, runner and halyard winches for these classes with low, wide drums for better grip and trimming. The Classic Winch Company
has continued this tradition and has already built several new
winches of comparable design but with improved gearing and even
lower styled gear housings.
We are now producing Metre Class winches for two 6 Metres as
well as a full set for the 8mR Vision, several times World Champion
in the Sira Class and now being restored to compete in the Neptune
Class. These winches will all be made in our renowned nickle-
aluminium-bronze but we are currently also making these winches
with an aluminium drum that halves the total weight of the winch.
These can then be anodised in the colour of choice: bronze, grey,
black or …. any colour you like.
The 12 Metre Class
We have delivered a complete winch package for the rebuilt 12 Metre Jenetta that was launched in Flensburg, Germany. For this project we made replicas of classic coffee-grinders as designed by Rod Stephens in the 1930's for several 12 Metres such as Vim and Evaine. With the identical outward appearance of the original winches but built lighter through the use of aluminium for the drum and centre stem.
Slide bearings versus needle bearings
Most of our winches are fitted with our renowned slide bearings although we of course also make them with needle bearings and an axial bearing under the drum to give improved freespin.
The grey anodised, aluminium drums that we made for Jenetta have the looks of original old winches. All these winches also have identical centre-stems and gears but differences in power ratios of 50, 55 and 60 are achieved by varying the diameter of the drums. Larger drums give more line speed in the locations where this is needed while a smaller drum increases the power ration where that extra punch is needed. So, a single spares set is all that is needed for all the winches. The use of aluminium in the centre-stems and drums means that for instance the large ST60’s weigh in at only 12.8 kilo!
We are presently hard at work on a complete winch package for the successful, Fife designed, 12mR Flica II which we will deliver in April. Eight custom made deck winches and two classic styled coffeegrinders with a large drum for faster sheeting speeds. Besides racing in the 12 Metre circuit in the Baltic Flica also intends to participate in CIM events in the Med where selftailing winches are penalised in the rating there. For this reason we have redesigned our centre stems for her so that both a selftailing as well as a standard winch drum will fit the same centre stem and these have already been made for this client. Spin off the top and swap the drums and in a few minutes she is ready for either regatta racing with standard winches with a full crew or cruising with a family on board and using selftailing winches.
In 2019 we delivered an electric Fairlie 50 winch for the 1913 gaff
ketch Tirrenia II. This yacht was relaunched after an extensive
restoration in Viareggio, Italy. We are proud to have delivered the
only winch that will be installed on this yacht which will be used as a
stern capstan during mooring and as a manual sheet winch while
sailing. At the request of the owner both the centre-stem as well as
the drum of this winch was machined from a solid block of Nickle-