using a drill for raising the main

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using a drill for raising the main

Postby ouroe » Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:34 pm

I'm a new owner of a Freedom 38, and I've seen some old posts about using an offset drill to help raise the main. Doe anyone have some current input on what works? I'm curious about:
using a battery operated or plug in? I have an invertor.
What brand ((I've heard Milwaukee)?
How much power I need- 7 amps, 18v.?
What kind of adapter do I need to specify to fit the winch?
thanks, in advance.
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Re: using a drill for raising the main

Postby rvivian » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:42 am

Heart's Desire
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Shelton, WA
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Re: using a drill for raising the main

Postby jdpandlp » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:18 am

I have used the Winchrite for 6 years on my 39 Express and have nothing but good things to say about it. Used a battery powered drill before that and though it worked it did not come close to being as good as the winchrite has been.
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Re: using a drill for raising the main

Postby Ereiss » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:03 am

Very happy with the Milwaukee right angle drill. Used it for eight years. No experience with the Winchright
Ed Reiss
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out of Marion, MA
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Re: using a drill for raising the main

Postby wcwcwc » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:29 am

I used an 18v Nicad battery Milwaukee 3/8 drill on my f36 for ten years. It was not a right angle and also not an impact driver. It raised the main to about 3 feet from the top requiring very little work to get it up and tightened properly. I would be careful not to get an impact driver or hammer drill fearing damage to the winches. A Winch Bit is all you need to connect drill to winch.
Bill Cormack
Formerly Sailing F-36 "Hard Earned" out of New Bedford Yacht Club, Padanaram, MA. Now a member of Pelagic Sailing Club a New England based club whose members are about half boat owners and half crew.
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Re: using a drill for raising the main

Postby rafontaine1 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:23 pm

I've used the Winchrite on my F36 for the last two years and works great. I used the Milwaukee right angle drill to raise my rigging guy up the mast and found the Winchrite to be easier in that it can be handled by one hand once fitted in place. Not as bulky.
Rich Fontaine
s/v Liberte
Freedom 36, 1986
Portsmouth, RI
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Re: using a drill for raising the main

Postby ouroe » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:37 pm

Thanks for all the input-good to know.
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Re: using a drill for raising the main

Postby sailmon » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:07 am

I bought the 28V half inch Milwaukee right angle a couple of years ago - does a great job raising main on our F38. Will also pull me up the mast for inspections/repairs. While I looked at the Winchrite and really liked it, I opted for the Milwaukee becasue I can also use it as a drill when doing installs/repairs on the boat that require the accessibility of a right angle drill or the power & chuck size needed by a larger hole saw.

One word of caution docunmented in a variety of commentaries on the Milwaukee. If you have a 2 speed winch and use the drill in the higher speed direction, the chuck on the drill tries to unscrew itself - resulting in the securing screw inside the chuck snapping off. This usually happens when the screw loosens a bit - allowing the chuck to begin unscrewing. While some people have addressed this issue by unsing locktite I am reluctant to install the screw in a way that makes it difficult to remove if I need to take the chuck off.

I've found a much better approach is to always use the drill in reverse - which operates the winch in the low speed highs power direction. While this does raise the sail a bit slower, it is easier on the drill motor and most importantly pulls the sail up slowly enough that damage to sail/rigging is less likely if something hangs up. I can think of no reason why it would be necessary to raise our main in 6 seconds. 30-40 seconds seems to work just fine.

Either way, I just retired and am making preparations for retirement cruising and really enjoy not having to pull our 85# main up by hand grinding.
Sailmon (Captain Bob Allenick)
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Re: using a drill for raising the main

Postby hxschiller » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:35 pm

Note that there are two flavors of Loctite. Blue Loctite is intended to secure the screw/bolt; red Loctite is intended for much more serious/severe vibration, and is much more resistant to being removed. I only use red Loctite when it's critical or dangerous if the screw becomes undone. BTW both Loctites do a good job of preventing the fastener threads from corroding. Assuming that the screw in the bottom of the chuck is NOT stainless steel, the anti-corrosive characteristic seems valuable.
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Re: using a drill for raising the main

Postby Kimber » Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:37 pm

I have been using an old 1/2" 120volt Milwaukee right angle drill to raise the sails on my Freedom 39 Express for about 4 years. It works great. I have a winch bit fitting for it
I plug it into the inverter and don't have to worry about a battery going dead or needing to be recharged. It has plenty of torque to get people up the mast and can still be used to drill holes at low rpm with lots of power if needed.
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