As the avid follower may remember, we posted several weeks ago about our unfortunate problem with the winch rigging, in which the sheeting would easily get tangled when the winch let out slack which was not immediately taken up by the sails. At the time we threw together a hack solution, designed a slightly better solution, and shook our heads in dismay at the fact that this seemingly obvious problem didn’t have an obvious solution.
Well. We discovered that there is an obvious solution, as anyone who isn’t completely brand-new to the field of RC sailing is probably already aware. In the course of ordering a new RMG Sailwinch, we discovered an explanation of a self-tensioing drum: https://www.rmgsailwinch.com.au/rmg/pages/Self-Tensioning-Drums-Description-and-Use.html. We were initially confused when we saw the rigging plan – it looked nothing like our current solution, in which we used the two grooves in the drum to directly control the main and jib sheets. In this set-up, the winch would pay out slack which could easily get tangled around the rotating shaft.
A much more intelligent solution is to set up a loop between the winch drum and another pulley, like the diagram above, such that the winch is simply rotating the loop. Thus, slack in the line is impossible.
With our boat done drying from her new paint job (more on that later!), and with the replacement circuit in for our previously-broken winch, we finally got to try out the new rigging system. It worked beautifully!