4 Speed Aluminum "Trimmer" Self Tailing Winch
The Cruiser's Choice Ultra Power When You Need It Eliminates the Need for any Upgrade
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This winch is going to change sailing.
While the Pontos Grinder winch is designed to move a lot of line really fast (especially attractive to racers), the Trimmer winch featured here is more in line with the realities of everyday sailing, allowing for easy incremental tensioning and adjustment of lines under high loads — but with just 1/3rd the effort of a conventional two-speed winch.
The Trimmer self-tailing winch makes easy work of tweaking a tightrope tight genoa sheet, or hauling up the last few inches of a heavy mainsail. For cruisers and weekend sailors, this winch is a delight to use. It is a great choice for all but the serious racer.
Trimmer winches feature 4 speeds — the first two are the normal high and low speeds you'd expect for the size winch you select, while the two additional speeds are geared specifically for the requirements of trimming highly loaded sheets and halyards. They engage after the first two speeds become too hard to crank.
In use, you sheet in your sails as you normally would, reversing the winch handle direction to move from first gear to second gear. But for the the final few feet of what would otherwise be strenuous grinding, reverse the handle direction yet again to engage the Trimmer's extremely powerful ultra-low-speed third gear, where the drum only makes a fraction of a turn for every turn of the winch handle — but with very little effort.
Wait, there's more... The Trimmer's fourth speed is similar to its second, allowing club racers and performance sailors the option to continue sheeting by "pumping" the winch between 3rd and 4th gears until the load is so high that you drop to the super easy 3rd gear to finish trimming. Normal folks can just remain in 3rd gear the entire time, for near effortless final trimming.
For subsequent sail adjustments you have the choice to use super easy cranking for tough trimming, or more powerful cranking should the sail luff and require a coarser adjustment.
All this is accomplished without any complicated maneuvers or extra buttons to push. The Trimmer's operation is completely seamless and intuitive — just keep reversing direction any time the winch gets too hard to crank! The ease with which you can wind in a heavily loaded sheet with the Trimmer is truly astonishing.
With 2 sets of two gears, the purchase of a Trimmer is like getting two separate 2-speed winches for the price of one!
The Trimmer winch is a natural fit for performance cruisers, but it is also ideal for families and older cruisers with larger boats or oversize sails who may have considered the need for an electric winch for the extra power it affords. The Trimmer can provide that power - but without the hassle and the expense of purchase, installation, and maintenance of an electric winch.
• Mechanical advantage of additional gears provides more hauling power with one third the effort (really!)
• Eliminates the need to upgrade to an electric winch to obtain more power
• 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 gears by changing direction
• Available in 3 sizes (40, 46, 52)
• Floating self-tailing jaws accept a range of line sizes
• Black hard anodized aluminum
• Sized to retrofit most standard winches
• Corrosion resistant components
• Easy to maintain
• 5 year warranty; springs are guaranteed for over one million compressions
• Line recovery per rotation in the Spec Table is the length of line brought in with one rotation of the winch handle
4-Speed "Trimmer" Gearing Compared to Conventional 2-Speed Winches
• Gear 1 = first speed of a conventional winch
• Gear 2 = second speed of a conventional winch
• Gear 3 = ∼0.33 x second speed of a conventional winch - only 1/3 the effort required to trim!
• Gear 4 = ∼1.4 x second speed of a conventional winch - for coarse adjustments
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 — Trimmer winches are named after their "standard" power ratios for easier comparison with competing winches, but they all have a second set of two additional gears for extraordinary high load performance and power 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 Trimmer Gearing Works in Actual Use
As you progress through the 4 gears, the effort required to turn the winch drum changes 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 - just like a conventional winch. 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 the super powerful 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.)
Once gear 3 (the "easiest" gear) is engaged, reversing the handle yet again will engage gear 4 (a higher speed gear similar to gear 2). This set of gears allows you the option to "pump" the winch as you continue sheeting by alternating between 3rd and 4th gears for somewhat faster sheeting until the load is so high that you drop to the super easy 3rd gear to finish trimming.
For racers and performance sailors, "pumping" utilizes only a fraction of a winch handle rotation, but allows you to haul in the sheet in 4th gear using your strong biceps, and perform the recovery motion in the very easy 3rd gear, using your weaker triceps. The end result is somewhat faster final trimming than you could achieve using only 3rd gear - which brings in the sheet relatively slowly (the price you pay for super low gearing).
Once again, for subsequent sail adjustments you have the choice to use super easy cranking for tough trimming, or more powerful cranking should the sail luff and require a coarser adjustment.
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, as required, to maintain perfect sail trim.
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.
To see the amazing Trimmer winch in action, visit Pontos Trimmer - A Winch for the Entire Family
To download life-size mounting templates for the Trimmer winches visit
Pontos Winch Mounting Templates.
Note that Grinder and Trimmer winches of the same size use the same mounting template.