HOW TO DO SOMETHING (Website or RC related) How to – RC related How to build a simple Closed Loop SailWinch

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    • #1751
      PredatorPredator

      Below Deck Closed Loop Sail Winch setup for Focus 1 metre RC Yacht

      After making 3 of these systems for Proboat Ragazza’s and another for my ETNZ recently, I thought the Focus would be relatively simple. Unfortunately, due to the limited access it was a bit more fiddly but still quite doable.

      A similar design layout to the others was used but the fiddly bits were customising it to make it fit inside the Focus as this particular vessel had been previously modified with a bulkhead fitted around the mast area and this practically blocked access to the front of the hull (see video attached).

      A quick measurement suggested that 360mm was the amount of sheet travel required so a beam of 460mm was settled upon for an easy 360mm travel between the two pulley blocks.

      The beam had to be fitted at a slight downward angle to clear the rudder recess and the centre of the beam required lifting by 20mm to line up with the existing winch. To achieve this a 20mm angle section was screwed to the servo tray then the beam was attached to it at the appropriate height and angle.

      1/8 brass tubing was used for front & rear fairleads & this was fixed into the existing deck fittings after they were drilled to accommodate the tube.

      The addition of the brass fairleads makes for much easier rigging should the sheets ever need replacing.

      As there was no easy way to attach a turning block to the front bulkhead (needed for the rear sheet) it was decided to fit an extension to one side of the beam for this purpose & use one of the original Focus turning blocks that was now redundant.

      Once all was set up a temporary string was run around all the pulleys and then the beam with all attachments was fed into the hull & screwed into place.

      Rigging was then carried out with 120lb 8ply Dyneema. A 20mm O Ring was used as a tensioner and the sheets were then attached to the load side of this ring.

      All appears to work correctly but the max travel on the winch drum is only 310mm even with the radio endpoints both set at 120% so hopefully this will be enough for full sail deployment.

      Click here for the Video

      To allow the closed loop system a bit more room it was decided to relocate the rudder servo to the opposite side of the tray.

      Bottom of post was silicone sealed into the hull & the top was also siliconed to prevent further movement as the hole in the deck is quite a bit larger than the post.

      Rudder arm was refitted and the rudder safety split pin replaced. Also took the opportunity to relocate the adjustable end from under the rear rudder cover to inside the hatch (seemed to make much more sense)

      As the electrics were showing signs of salt water ingress a new IP67 rated switch with waterproof toggle cover & a new led was fitted.

      An escutcheon plate was used for mounting & to seal the original deck switch penetration.

      All wiring & plugs/sockets were also replaced at the same time. All have now been filled with Vaseline to help protect them in the future.

      After tidying up the servo tray the battery pack now fits in the correct location to keep it out of any water that may end up in the hull.

      The Rxr has now been fitted with antenna support tubes (silicone sealed) and the entire unit velcro’d to the side of the hull up under the deck (hopefully well clear of any water – but it has been waterproofed anyway just in case).

       

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