The best sized winch for any yacht will depend on a number of factors: the type of boat; the type of sailing you do; and the expected loads on the boat’s gear.
Pontos have produced a guide to help match winches to boat size:
The mechanical advantage of a winch is calculated as a power ratio which compares the effort applied to the winch handle to the force that the winch exerts on the rope, in its lowest gear. With a Size 40 winch, a 10kg force applied to the handle will typically result in a 400kg pull on the rope.
Power ratios have been used for some time to describe the size of winches, e.g. Size 28, Size 45, Size 52 etc., with physically larger winches generally having higher power ratios. However Pontos winches have now upset this convention, as the Pontos range packs far more pulling power than other winches of a similar physical size.
With a Trimmer 40, the first two gears you use will be very similar to a conventional Size 40, but the Trimmer’s two additional gear ratios are much lower. A Trimmer 40, in its lowest gear, has an incredible power ratio of 112.9, giving a huge mechanical advantage for the size of the winch.
With a Pontos Grinder 40, the lowest power ratio is more similar to conventional Size 40 winches from other manufacturers. The Grinder’s advantage lies in the additional two gears which aid fast line retrieval.
The Pontos Compact, typically the same physical size as a conventional Size 28, provides the same pulling power as a conventional Size 45 in its lower gear ratio! The Compact is ideally suited to smaller boats, but could well be the solution when there is not enough room to fit a Grinder or Trimmer on some larger boats. Close attention should be paid to the likely working loads involved and professional advice sought about installation.
The chart below compares the power ratios of all the winches in the Pontos range.