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I recall once hearing a crewman talk about the “wench.” She was on the aft deck making a strange noise, he said. He had me intrigued until I realized he was talking about the towing machine, like the one below on Nathan Stewart.
Nathan Stewart has a double-drum winch.
So does Turecamo Boys. Professional Mariner has a great introductory article on towing winches here.
To wind the wire rope onto the drum neatly, a winch has a level-winding device
Notice that on each of the fotos above, one drum has wire rope and the other, what a farmer like me might call rope. Here’s a clear article on “rope.” Oh, I know I’m going to be corrected for my use of the word “rope,” which might mean nylon and high-strength materials marketed as plasma and spectra that might be twisted or braided.
Lots of tugboats have no winches. Check June K. There’s a capstan but no winch.
More on this later. Now about the “wench,” I guess she just lives in sea chanteys and my mind.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
Unrelated: Henry’s sent in another message across the seas of time from the docks of Amsterdam. Check it out here.