Grinder 4 Speed Winch

Extra Speed  For Racing Performance

The Grinder is the high-speed star of the PONTOS 4-speed range, The two additional gear ratios enable you to recover line amazingly quickly,  which transforms your sail handling and gives you a real competitive edge over boats with conventional two speed winches.

Pontos Grinder as a primary winch

The Grinder changes how you tack. This winch is so fast that there is no need to tail the sheet by hand in the early stages of the tack, and hold the load on the sheet while you lock it into the self tailer.

Tacking with a Pontos Grinder

  • Before the tack, load the lazy sheet onto the winch and lock it into the self tailer. Insert the handle, and take up any slack in the sheet
  • As the boat turns into the wind, release the leeward sheet, and start winching the new sheet, initially using the fastest of the two “Pontos gears” (around 2.3:1) .  This retrieves about 0.7m of sheet for each rotation of the winch handle
  • As the load increases, reverse the rotation of the winch handle to engage the higher of the two “Pontos gears”  (about 8:1, bringing in about 0.3m for each rotation).
  • As load increases further , reverse the rotation again.  The extra load will have automatically engaged the Grinder’s clutch mechanism so the lowest of the two “conventional” gears (eg 11:1) now comes into use.
  • Reverse the winch handle again to bring the winch’s lowest power ratio into play (eg 40:1).
  • It’s done. The sail is in, trimmed.

There is no need for another crew member to be in the cockpit to haul and hold the sheet. No time is wasted during the tack as the sheet is transferred into the self tailer.The tack is faster, the sail is trimmed in quicker, and there is more weight on the rail, so you get greater speed out of the tack. Best of all, it brings greater consistency to your tacking as there are fewer opportunities for mistakes

“Dream Pearls of St Malo” was one of the most competitive IRC yachts in 2015. Read what her owner, Eric Mordret, says about Pontos 4 speed winches 

The speed of tacking can be seen in this Pontos video:   JPK 10.80 short-handed tacking with Grinders – see how the sail is trimmed in on the new tack by a single crew member – just like tacking a dinghy!

Even on boats with big overlapping headsails, the Grinder makes tacks more efficient, as in this video: 8m “Hispania” Tacking:  Here, 12m of sheet has to be pulled in to complete the tack. Using Pontos Grinders, this is done by a single crew member. 

The high line retrieval rate also makes the Grinder ideal for short handed sailing, or managing large downwind sails.

Pontos Grinder as a halyard winch

On most yachts, halyards are initially hauled by hand, then loaded onto a winch. In the early stages of the hoist halyards are lightly loaded, but this load increases as  more and more sail is being pulled upwards. Conventional two speed winches are too slow to cope with the initial stages, but the 4-speeds of the Pontos Grinder can make this task much easier.

This video  shows a mainsail being hoisted by one person in the cockpit in 20 seconds

This link takes you to the Pontos.FR site where there is more information about the Grinder