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How to Choose a Locking vs Non-Locking Winch Handle | Expert Advice

Locking & Non-Locking Winch Handle

Choosing the right winch handle can be a daunting task.  With many options to choose from, we’re breaking it out into 3 main categories: locking vs non-locking, handle length and grip type.

Locking vs. Non-Locking Winch Handle

First up is a non-locking handle, the Harken Non Locking Winch Handle.  With no locking mechanism, it allows you to easily take it from side to side during tacks, and remove from the winch without any buttons.  The one drawback?  Because it doesn’t lock into place there is the possibility of not putting it in properly and having it go for a swim.

Next, we show three different types of locking winch handles.  Each has a different type of mechanism to lock the handle into the winch.  A lock allows a secure, worry free fit.  The only negative is that it may take a bit more time to get the handle out of the winch and ready for the next tack.

The Lewmar Titan Floating Winch Handle  uses a traditional method, where the lever on the top of the handle releases the lock.  It remains in the locked mode until released.  An easier to use locking mechanism is featured in the other two winch handles shown; the Lewmar One Touch Winch Handle and the Ronstan Quick-Lock Winch Handle. The Ronstan version you don’t even need to push the button in order to put the handle into the winch.

Check out our next post on Choosing the Winch Handle Length for your boat.

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