Powerful and high quality sailboat winches are important for the types of high loads encountered on sheets, guys, halyards and other control lines. On larger boats, the ideal winch will help you reel in a line and increase tension, saving your arms for other tasks. Plain top sailboat winches will require you to tail the loose end to keep tension on your turns while operating the winch. Self tailing winches free up the hand from the loose end of the rope and facilitating better handling of the winch and winch handle. Electrical winches are available as a solution to short-handed or overpowered sailing. Winches are also sold based on material as well, whether you want the light weight of an aluminum winch, an appealing chrome sailboat winch or if you are looking for the visual aesthetic of a stainless steel yacht winch. Technical assistance is provided to help you select the perfect primary genoa winches, secondary winches, halyard winches or specialty winches for racing or cruising.Replacing old Sailboat Winches.When replacing an old sailboat winch, the new winch doesn't need to have the exact same specifiations as the old one. It is reccomended to select a replacement winch that is similiar in size and has at least the same power ratio as your old winch. Also, consider whether your old winch had sufficient power to bring your sails to full trim or hoist with a reasonable amount of effort. Many older boats used winches that are under specified by today's standards and in many cases it can be benificial to upgrade a winch to a more powerful size instead of just replacing your boat's old winch. Another consideration to remember is that in many cases Meissner, Barient and Barlow winches did not use the same numbering scheme as modern Harken, Anderson and Lewmar winches. In the case of Harken, Anderson and Lewmar winches the number of a winch is aproximently the power ratio of a that winch. So for example an old Harken 44.2 winch had a power ration of 44 and a Harken Radial 46.2 Self tailing winch has a power ratio of 46.5.