A winch is a mechanism used to reel in, to let out, or otherwise adjust the tension of a rope, wire, or cable. Boats and ships make use of multiple winches to handle halyards, sheets, as well as anchor or mooring lines. The basic mechanism consists of a spool or winch drum to wind in and store the line. The line can be manipulated by something as simple as a hand crank, but larger winches may incorporate gear assemblies and are powered by electric, hydraulic, pneumatic, or internal combustion drives. Some use a mechanical or a solenoid brake to control the line; occasionally a ratchet and pawl setup prevents the spooled line from unwinding. Some types of winches, commonly referred to as "self-tailing", make use of a "stripper" or cleat to maintain the proper level of tension on the line.

In larger forms, winches form the mechanical base of tow trucks, steam shovels, cranes, and elevators. Outside of their marine and industrial uses, winches are used to tow all kinds of vehicles. Planetary winches and worm gear winches are two winch types currently in use for this purpose. Planetary winches are commonly found on the front of road vehicles such as trucks and SUVs. They have a fast line speed, but should be restricted to light duty. A worm gear winch is designed to have a slower, consistent pull in order to hold a heavy load. These types of winches are usually seen on car hauling trailers, and larger work trucks.

Tags: Winch

The enhanced winch control provides a safe, efficient and reliable way of deploying water sampling equipment at depths up to 5,000 meters in even the roughest sea conditions. Photo courtesy ABB

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(Photo: MacGregor)

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(Photo: Robert Allan Ltd.)

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Svitzer North (Photo: bert Allan Ltd.)

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Svitzer Australia recently took delivery of a new RAstar 3000-W series ASD tug, Svitzer North…

Chartwell Marine selected to design and specify build for new low emission university research vessel, in collaboration with BAE Systems and Derecktor Shipyards. Image: Chartwell

Derecktor Wins Deal to Build Hybrid RVl for University of Vermont

The University of Vermont (UVM) has ordered what is touted as the first hybrid research vessel…

(Image: Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation)

Associated Federal Pilots Orders Launch From Gladding-Hearn

The Associated Federal Pilots in Metairie, La., has ordered a Chesapeake Class pilot…

(Photo: Robert Allan Ltd.)

PSA Marine Takes Delivery of Two New Tugs

Singapore's PSA Marine recently took delivery of two new 32-meter harbor tugs, PSA…

(Photo: Armstrong Marine USA)

Armstrong Delivers 45' Pilot Boat to Alaska

Port Angeles, Wash. boatbuilder Armstrong Marine USA said it recently delivered the…

R/V New Ocean Researcher 1 equipped with three full MERMAC LARS solutions. Photo courtesy MacArtney.

MacArtney LARS for Fifth Asia Pacific Research Vessel

MacArtney completed its order of a launch and recovery (LARS) system for Taiwan National University…

(Photo: Kongsberg Maritime)

Kongsberg to Deliver Large Electric Winch Package for JFK Trawler

Kongsberg Maritime said it has signed a contract with Turkish shipbuilder Tersan…

(Photo: Marcon International Inc)

Crowley Sells 44-year-old Tug: 'The Fastest in the Puget Sound'

Crowley Marine Services Inc. has sold one of its 7,200BHP Invader series tugs, Hunter…

(Photo: TSGI)

LAD Delivers Dredge Barge

A 200- by 60-foot walking spud dredge barge built by LAD Services in Louisiana has…

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