4 Speed Aluminum "Grinder" Self Tailing Winch
The Racer's Choice Faster Tacking Faster Hoisting Faster Furling
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This winch is going to change sailing.
Unlike any other winch you've ever used, the Pontos Grinder winch brings in more line faster - and with less effort - than a conventional two-speed winch. A hands down favorite with racers, the Grinder is perfect for high speed tacking as well as maneuvering in tight quarters under sail.
Grinder winches feature 4 speeds. Two of them are the normal speeds you'd expect in a winch of the size you select, but the two additional speeds engage earlier and are geared higher than normal winches - for exceptionally high speed retrieval, with the drum making multiple rotations for just one turn of the winch handle.
(In contrast, Pontos Trimmer winches are geared lower than a conventional winch, for easy line adjustments under very high loads.)
The speed of the Grinder is revolutionary - it will change how you tack. Simply preload the new sheet on the new winch, release the old sheet, and crank. Each revolution of the winch handle brings in over two feet of line - an astonishing feat. The winch brings the new sheet in so fast, you never need to handle it manually - thus eliminating that awkward transition from hand-tailing to grinding.
When the cranking gets hard, reverse the direction for more power. Repeat twice more, gaining increasing power each time, with each new gear. No complicated maneuvers or extra buttons to push; absolutely seamless and intuitive operation - just keep switching direction any time the winch gets too hard to crank!
During a tack, the 4-speed Grinder allows you to let off the old sheet and bring in the new faster than two people could perform the same operation with a conventional two-speed winch.
With 2 sets of two gears, the purchase of a Grinder is like getting two separate 2-speed winches for the price of one!
A lot of speed in a little package - the Grinder 40 weighs only about 10 pounds. To get comparable performance you'd have to buy a 3-speed winch from the competitors weighing 20 pounds or more, with a much wider base and heftier price tag.
The Pontos Grinder wins high praise from elite racers as well as cruisers. For racers, faster tacking means your crew will spend more time on the rail instead of down at the leeward winch.
Being so simple and easy to use, the Grinder is also an ideal winch for club racing and performance cruising. Short-handed? Put a smile on your first mate's face — with its huge gearing advantage even a novice sailor can comfortably and competently get the sheet in and the sail properly trimmed in record time.
• Mechanical advantage of additional gears allows you to sheet in 5 times faster than a two-speed winch - with no wasted motion or time
• Safety - no struggling with a whipping, slack sheet
• Four speeds engage with easy-to-understand reversing of the winch handle
• Internal trigger and clutch mechanism automatically senses increasing or decreasing load, allowing engagement of the proper gear by changing cranking direction
• Available in 3 sizes (40, 46, 52)
• Floating self-tailing jaws accept a range of line sizes
• Sized to retrofit most standard winches
• Black hard anodized aluminum drum
• Corrosion resistant components
• Easy to maintain
• 5 year limited warranty
• Line recovery per rotation in the Spec Table is the length of line brought in with one rotation of the winch handle
4-Speed "Grinder" Gearing Compared to Conventional 2-Speed Winches
• Gear 1 = ∼5.2 x first speed of a conventional winch
• Gear 2 = ∼1.3 x first speed of a conventional winch
• Gear 3 = ∼first speed of a conventional winch
• Gear 4 = ∼second speed of a conventional winch
Heavy on the technical side...
At first winches had no gears, and only the length of the winch handle and the diameter of the winch drum determined the increased leverage (power) the winch provided. Then gears were introduced to increase the mechanical advantage when hauling higher loads, making two-speed winches commonplace.
Now Pontos winches offer you four speeds. The revolutionary internal gearing on a Pontos winch substantially increases its mechanical advantage.
So don’t trust the old winch sizing charts — Grinder winches are named after their "standard" power ratios for easier comparison with competing winches, but they each have a second set of two additional gears for extraordinary line retrieval speed when you need it most.
It's like getting two winches for the price of one! Check out the Specification Table and Winch Selection Guide to see for yourself.
Although they look almost identical to other two-speed winches, Pontos four-speed winches incorporate an internal clutch and trigger mechanism which allows the seamless engagement of two additional gears besides the "standard" two.
The patented trigger mechanism moves up and down within the drum housing to engage the clutch; as the load decreases, the clutch automatically disengages.
In the Grinder the extra gears provide faster line handling at lower loads. In the Trimmer the extra gears provide more power under higher loads than the same size winch from other manufacturers.
More Details on How the Pontos Grinder Gearing Works in Actual Use
As you progress through the 4 gears, the number of winch drum rotations per turn of the winch handle decreases with each new gear.
When you start cranking, a load comes on the drum and gear 1 is engaged.
Reversing the winch handle direction engages gear 2. As the load on the drum increases in gear 2, a click made by the internal clutch mechanism will be heard. At this point, reversing the winch handle yet again will engage gear 3. (If no click is heard, the clutch has not yet been engaged, and reversing the winch handle will return you to gear 1. Simply reverse again, returning to gear 2, and crank until you hear the click of the clutch setting up for gear 3.)
As the load continues to increase in gear 3, reverse again to reach gear 4.
Think of the process as having two separate sets of gears within a single winch body.
Initially, gears 1 and 2 are engaged, and you can switch back and forth between them.
It is only after the load on the sheet reaches a pre-set threshold that the clutch switches ("click") to the second set of gears. As with the first pair of gears, you can now switch back and forth between gears 3 and 4.
How does the gear change work in reverse, from gear 4 to gear 1?
Once you are in the 3rd/4th set of gears, you will only release the clutch and go back down to 1st/2nd gears by either easing off the load significantly (typically by heading up, to luff the sail), or if the wind drops dramatically, releasing the tension in the line.
Can you "skip" gears?
The short answer is "no." However, if you crank hard enough and reverse the winch handle direction fast enough, you can go through the gears very quickly, and "skipping" becomes a moot point.
To see the amazing Grinder winch in action, visit
Pontos Grinder Winch Hoisting a Mainsail in 20 Seconds, and Pontos Grinder Winch Applications, or Pontos Grinder Winch 4 Speeds Demo
To download life-size mounting templates for the Grinder winches visit
Pontos Winch Mounting Templates.
Note that Grinder and Trimmer winches of the same size use the same mounting template.