what winch

first of all just want to say i cos its my first post

secondly i would like some advise on what winch to use for a mini40 multihll im building,it will only be sailed for fun and not realy for compation so idealy somthing in the sensable range rather than extravagent.ive looked around but not shore what i should realy go for many thanks

Because a Mini40 has a rather narrrow main hull, if you want an enclosed sail winch inside the main hull, you almost have to go with a drum winch. Not sure if Whirlwind are still being made/sold, but that is your local UK option if they are. The Futaba drum winch will work, but may be stressed with heavy winds. Finally, the cream of drum winches are those made in Australia (RMG) which work extremely well, are fast and a “tad” expensive, but allow you (like the above) to keep most if not all lines inside the main hull.

If an exposed arm winch doesn’t bother you from a “looks” point of view, the HiTech 815BB (it’s a monster) will be more than adequate. Unfortunately, more inside hull room is required for an arm winch than a drum type winch, and the arm may have to be above deck which can spoil the asthetics and look of the boat.

Regardless of what you choose, make sure you have sufficent torque to handle the wind on the sails, and also a fast winch to allow you to spill a lot of wind quickly if you become overpowered. Remember, these don’t have “Lead training wheels” to keep you upright.

Lastly, you could convert an arm winch to a drum winch if you are “electronics handy” and can handle an internal modification of a winch following the general directions located elswhere on the web.

ADDED: Ask around for contacts to the BMMA (British Model Multihull Association) if you can’t find them - or a member, PM me with your email address and I’ll get you in touch with one of my contacts over there.

yes i was thinking along the same lines as you in that the hull is to narrow for a arm style winch and it would be nice to try and keep it all inclosed and tidy.
ive just had a look at the rmg380hd (not shore if thats over kill) and it is fairly exspensif apox 5x as much as the hightech 815bb and also looked at the s5801 futaba drum winch i may be able to strech to the rmg but dont realy want to have to spend quite that much if posable. im realy not shore what speck i need,can you give me a ruf idea of what sort of power and speed winch i should be looking for for a mini 40?

ive also found the bmma and had a good look thorugh there and hopfuly found a few usefull links when i know more what im actualy after.

it may be posable to find someone that could modify the electrics to a big servo for me but id prefure not to have to go that rouite if posable.

any more info would be gratfully recived.

many thanks

thought id give ebay a try and have found this one
its a hitec 785hb

its claming 13.2kg at 6v. any one know if it is any good?


Everything is relative and for the money it’s very good. I havent tried it in my mini40, but it should work although being a bit slow.
Just make sure all your lines are nicely lead through the boat and it shouldnt be an issue.

thanks just did the math and comparing it to the rmg its way slow its like 7.8 seconds for 360deg,didnt realy realise it to start with, if im right that is prity slow isnt it?or ist it still usable

many thanks

:graduate: Keep in mind:

You aren’t on the boat, you when can’t feel windward hull getting light - suddenly (no lead) it’s up in the air - you can steer into wind (head up) and hope, or drop mainsheet tension and dump air to bring it back down.

Your choice - cause either way - if you don’t react - you are swimming or paddling to retrieve it. :mad:

No lead keel weight to save your b*** once the boat starts up and over - so for me, I would go with a faster winch and just use smaller sail area if overpowered and not enough torque. Sooner or later, there is a compromise if you can’t afford the fast AND strong winch.

Can I suggest a couple of things. A multihull reacts very quickly to any wind changes and you will need the the same sort of response out of the winch. The RMG 280d will do the trick for you, especially if you use the 45mm drum. The mini 40 has a pretty high sail area and this is another good reason to chose RMG over the others. It has a much higher torque and power and will sheet at a consistant speed across the wind range.

Whilst at this moment in time you do not intend to compete, believe me it will not be long before you are. Competition is inevitable and good for you and the only way the rules of sailing are really learnt. Buying cheap now and buying good later is not good value for money. Whirlwind is no longer available except second hand and you need to be carefull when buying. Both Futaba and Graupner will do the job but are low powered compared to RMG. HiTech and Robbe are very slow and low powered to Futaba/Graupner. If you want further info on RMG winches in the UK contact Neil Rothwell on 0117 961 5497

RMG…never again Hitec crap

gess il be loking further in to the rmg might have to waight a few mounths though to get teh money but as i know you might aswell get the right tool for the job rater than compramise to much.

msny thanks

i tried emailing neil rothewell but the adress didnt work do you have a working email adress for him?

many thanks

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. If you need information from Neil try rothwell.neil@btinternet.com or you could try bill_green@blueyonder.co.uk. Neil and I import RMG winches into the UK, we have had problems with our website and are currently trying to sort it out.

Alteratively you could ring either one of us and we can talk you through winch selection. My phone number is 0121 705 4478 I’m usually in after 7.00pm


hi uksail

this thread is spooky familliar as I am going through ecactly the same process as you.

Im in the UK too (Guildford), and im building a multihull from scratch. I started probably over a month ago and have’nt made as much progress as id hoped.

I had high hopes of using hydro foils and spinaker but all these seem a long way off now.

I’ve tried a couple of attempts at making my own sails and hulls. I bought a tiny speedo and motor to try and make my own sail winch, but havent hooked this up yet.

Im trying to make a cataman loosly based on the Volvo Extreme 40s.

but a little wider to aviod capsizing.

Anyway I thought it might be good to get in touch to share ideas etc. feel free to give me a ring or mail.

01483 533050


Charles Wilding

Try here as well - he’s connected with the BMMA (and so should you - unless you like recreating the wheel). BMMA = British Model Multihull Association.

Suggestion: hook up with others locally, they can save you a ton of time, money and frustration.
Anthony Wright

He won’t give away all of his secrets, but his knows and will share the basics.

Also look up Robbie Nevitt and Mike Dann - unfortunately Mike Howell passed away unexpectedly. All are/were part of BMMA too.

Thanks Dick, I’ve already been in contact with Robbie Nevett found through the BMYA

yea i managed to get hold of a set of hulls for a gost train, i was starting to build the fraight triain but when i found these hulls i opted to go that way instead.tbh the build has come to a bit of a halt as i realy dont get much time to build any more and i havnt got much cash at the moment toget the winch letalone sails so im thinking maybe i should get a second hand 1m boat or somthing thats redy to go but i would love to get the trimaran done as its been a dream since i was about 8

thanks for the link id never seen that befor i wish i new a year ago lol

just bringing this thread back to life. . . . hehe
I’m also building a cat from scratch, just wondering are you going to place the servos in the hull or in the middle? If in the middle as i want to do is it better to enclose them in something or are the fine out in the open???
Shaun RSA

any1 there?

Shaun -

while many winches are water “resistant” most are not water “proof”.

Some guys have buried winches, batteries, rudder servo and receiver inside the hulls, balancing weight as best possible. Others have opted for a “container” located between hulls to handle all radio gear.

All depends on how you want it to look - as some have no problem with a “pod” - while others want to look as realistic as possible so will spend time getting everything inside. For sure “internal” location will take more time and effort - unless you get up to 2 Meter size boats where weight isn’t so critical and you can offset one hull with free weights in the other. But - it’s a mighty big boat to haul around.

Sorry - It’s all about compromises. :wink: