Drum sail winches

Well, I got bored and got my google-fu on and started searching for drum winch servo’s. Found more than I expected, so I created a spreadsheet of what I found.

It’s a basic Excel spreadsheet, with minimal formatting (but is a ZIP file. So download, unzip, then open ). There are empty cells, because I couldn’t find those specifications. The majority of the available data is in metric units!Why? Because it’s the most common units in the world, and what was available. If you want imperial, you need to do the conversion yourself, so don’t ask me to add imperial units to the spreadsheet.

I’ve left out the “Arm” style, and RMG winches. The RMG are a breed of their own and are well documented. The “Arm” style just don’t interest me, so I left them out.


I don’t trust the current data (amp) that is provided from the manufacturers.

well done…

Hi Guy’s,

I’ve just purchased a VIGOR VSD-22YMB winch from Hobbyking. I believe its a copy of the Eurgle. It has plenty of torque/power. The good thing about it is that the winch runs full speed and stops instantly - unlike others that slow down at the end of their travel, and even over run.

Price Aus $20 landed. I know it will never be as good as a RMG and will probably breakdown like the Eurgles have a reputation for but “the price is right”.

I’ve ordered the next model, a bit heavier but more power. Will be interesting to see how that looks and goes. at this price you can afford to throw a few away if they break.


tonny I noticed the 6 turn series have similar stall numbers to the RMG’S similar weights and they are water resistant

is it possible for a $20 winch to surpass the RMG…

my biggest issue would be that I run lipo’s and makes me wonder how long it would enjoy the 8+V of the lipo cells…

makes me think about it. I am building a Skipjack,

Hi Mark,

I don’t think there is any winch around except for the Regatta? that’s equal to RMG. The Vigor is not as fast as RMG, but is way faster than the HiTec drum winch. I’m sure the Vigor will eat batteries and I can see why they stop - the thing is only the size of a regular rudder servo.

Theres an interesting discussion on RC Sailing Groups about winches with a video where 3 cheapies are trialled.



no doubt the RMG is the best of the best. I have one in my Ec12 and I love it. I’m building a skipjack, and have been thinking about other options for winches other than the RMG these may prove to a nice cheap alternative…to the $200 plus RMG.

my concern isn’t whether to nor the vigors would eat batteries but whether or not the batteries would overload the servo with the extra volts…

the IOM group on rcgroups.com has a couple of links to new drum winches out of Italy. I love my RMG, but there are a few competitors out there now.



http://www.barcheradiocomandate.it/verricelli-servi-e-accessori-winchs-fittings/ (brush up on your Italian)

Is there any simple way to check if the Vigor is likely to self destruct before going to the effort of fitting it up in a boat? I plan to fit it to an IOM. I understand these are a copy of Eurgle. If so does the Eurgle get into meltdown mode - is this is why they stop?

With the digital Eurgle’s, I’ve found if they are over torqued, they stop working. BUT, I recently found that on the first time they stop, bring the boat in, without trying to move the winch and minimize the load (a royal pain BTW), turn things off, and let it cool down for about 30 minutes, they might come back to life. :confused:

They also quiet down after that, and quit being jittery.

Previously, I had just power cycled the boat and kept on sailing (being in the middle of a regatta forced me to do this if I wanted to finish), they would repeatedly go silent, then eventually go completely dead.

I figured this out by accident. I was lucky that the last time my winch quit working was right after a race that was just before our lunch break. I pulled out the boat, powered it down and thought “Well, it was fun while it lasted.” and ate my lunch. On a whim I powered up to test. Sure enough it came back to life. I finished the day’s regatta (came in first overall) and I still have the winch in my boat. I’m waiting for it die, but knock on wood it still hanging in there.

So, if you could rig up something on the bench that could overload the winch, then let it cool down, it might help. But I’m just speculating.

You could be onto something there with torque over-load Guzz, while looking at the inner workings of the winch I found is that the O’ring that sits on the drums spline shaft (above the bearing) was binding against the top casing it compresses the O-ring against the case and creates a lot of friction & heat, tested it and could just barely turn it with my fingers and without the O-ring it turned easily (trash can for the O-ring)

I visited the guys in HK with handful dead Eurgles and questions & ideas as feed back, but they had no idea, just gave me handful replacements that are sitting in the bottom of servo box.

Subject covered in previous threat http://www.rcsailing.net/forum1/showthread.php?6401-Eurgle-Winch-problems/page3 post # 26.

Cheers Alan

Hi Alan,

At least they replaced them for you - I guess they don’t get many westerners beating a path to their door!!
Just out of interest, did you learn a bit of ‘chinglish’ for the ‘confrontation’ or was their english/NZ easy enough to understand? (Thinking about Chinese produced ‘instruction manuals’!!)
Also, with the link in your last post, Claudio asked where your replacement metal gear came from - was that the one you got a watch maker to do? If so, what was the cost?

Cheers for now & happy sailing,


TF, how’s your Vigor holding up?

Hallo everybody,
I have bought this:
And it is a copy of the very expensive RMG and it is working perfectly on my Marblehead for 2 years.
Just have in mind that is quite heavy.

Back in the 90s, we made lightweight drum winches from converted standard servos. The used about a 1-inch drum, so you could use them on 1Ms. We also did the same to 1/4-scale standard winches to turn a 3 or 4 cm drum/sheeve.

A question ---- why do the users mount the drum in a horizontal mode, rather than vertical? How many blocks do you see that are horizontal other than turning deck blocks? If a drum is vertical with the line fed to the top of the drum, it wouldn’t come off as easy as if the drum is horizontal. Then you need some kind of elastic/tension device to keep pressure on the line. This in turn causes additional drag. Not sure I understand the thinking behind this kind of mount. Anyone seen any wreckers, jeeps, ATV’s with their winches mounted horizontally?

Comments and opinions “why” we (they) do this.

So they can get the screws out the top? :wink:

It is common with the A Class boats in my area for the RMG winch to mount through the deck. Then a continuous loop up toward the bow with some tensioning, the sheets are taken off in the appropriate places. All running rigging is above the deck. Simple; works fine. Good for a racing boat as it is easily maintained without having to unseal the boat, not a good look for scale models though…

I second this - I also mounted the RMG vertically through deck. Although it is less pretty I gain in efficiency - less resistance of the sheeting system and it allows me to repair my sheeting system quickly avoiding missing the next race - this happened to me when at a leeward mark another boat’s boom got cought somehow in my sheeting system and snapped the elastic I use to self tension the sheeting system which also doubles as the part that break when under exterm load to minimise damage - I managed to bring the boat to the pontoon and re-set the sheeting system in less then 5 mins.