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Bronze Winches (updated August 1, 2017)  

October 4, 2016. We have had an exchange of emails regarding the bronze winches on Thistle, Yankee #99


Do you know what brand Yankee used for their bronze No. 2 winches? The stamp on the top is R C on either side of an anchor. I always thought they were Merriman.

Thanks for your help on this and the great Web site.

Thistle #99 is back in Olympia. Hope all is well with you and Marionette.

Rowland Thompson

Webmaster Comment: Not sure we have a definitive answer yet to Rowland's winch question but this is what we have. Steve Shumacher (his father, John Shumacher, built the Yankees) offers his recollections:


Hi Ron,
I think it was RC Marine, although I thought the anchor was a symbol for Merriman. I tried looking RC Marine up on line but only found power trailer winches. Were these the winches with the slotted head, into which you slid the winch handle from the side? Those are the ones I remember from our first Yankee (hull #71). I don't recall what we had on our subsequent boats.

Webmaster Comment: My original bronze winches on Marionette #12 are stamped #2 and engraved on top Merriman Bros, Boston - but no 'anchor' symbol.

It sounds like #71 (Yankee's first boat built in 1965 ) had the same winches as Marionettte (built in 1960).

The Merriman Bros. Inc. factory was located in Jamaica Plain, near Boston, Massachusetts, and subsequently moved to Hingham, Massachusetts. In 1963 Merriman Bros. Inc. became a subsidiary of UTD Corporation in Hingham. It ceased operations in 1967.

It should be noted that #99 was built in 1968!

Rowland replies (edited)

Yes. They look like Merriman clones.

at right is the engraved logo on #99's winch


October 6, 2016. We wanted to find out what Yankee #71 had for winches. We got the following reply quick from Charlie Drew (Arion) (edited)

Hi Ron

 I don't think I have the original winches, alas.  Mine are Lewmars. 




Any additional info welcomed - contact RonBreault@cs.com

August 1, 2017. We got the following from Scott Henry (Amaya, #95)

Hi Ron,

I was searching through the site for info about anchor rollers (there isn't much...), and I ran across the winches page.

My Yankee #95 also had the RC #2 bronze winches on it. I was always worried about losing the winch handle (or my crew dropping it overboard), as they are hard to find.

When West Marine had a "buy one get one free" deal on Lewmar winches, I bought a pair of Lewmar 14ST winches. They are a little harder to short-tack (you can't just pull the sheet straight up off the top, but have to actually unwrap them; and you can't "pop" them from the other side), they are so much better in all other respects for a short/single-hander like me.

The 8" floating winch handles fit the coaming pockets, too.

I put my old winches up at the "Blue Pelican" marine consignment store in Alameda, CA. They separated the handle from the winches, as apparently the RC #2 and Merriman #2 winch handles are interchangeable. Not true for the RC #1 on the mast for the jib halyard -- the boat was missing the jib halyard handle when I got it. I found a Merriman #1 handle at Blue Pelican that was just a tad too big, it took a little filing to get it to fit.

I ran across a floating winch handle in the bay, but it was toomrough for a single-hander to pick up (I made 2 passes to try).

fair winds, -- scott





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