Capstan Winch: What and How Does It Work?

Winches come in different types and they come with different purposes and use. There are electrical winches, PTO winches, hydraulic winches, portable winches, ATV/UTV winches, chainsaw winches, tugger winches, hand winches, etc. As mentioned, earlier each and every type of winch comes with different purpose, use and application. In fact, if you are planning to go on sailing, we highly recommend the capstan winch.

Advantages of Capstan Winches Over Standard Winches

No Rope Length

What is amazing about Capstan winches is that it does not have any rope length limit. The reason behind this is because the drum is not limited to its case. Hence, there is no limit as to how many line layers your rope could spool around the drum as with capstan winches, you would not need to spool ropes on the drum. The only way that your rope could be limited is the availability of how long your rope is.

Can Go Running for Indefinite Amount of Time

Capstan winches does not overheat like electrical winches which means it does not need to stop working to cool down. Hence, if it does not need to cool down then it could deliver power and performance for an indefinite period of time. What is impressive about this is that it could also deliver and ensure the same amount of pulling power consistently.

Winch Range of Applications

Capstan winch could be used in the following industries:

  • Mining
  • Construction and demolition
  • Forestry
  • Sailing
  • Industrial

How a Capstan Winch Works?

This type of winch comes with a rotating cylinder which works like a winch drum. It is where the rope is wrapped around where the cylinder provides friction which would allow pulling. The rope does not accumulate on the cylinder nor does it spool.

Capstan could be set up horizontally which could be used highly applicable in sailing. Since it is set up horizontally, you could pull it on a vertical axis. Through this winch, you could pull sails and even maintain pressure on the ropes that you find on the deck of your boat. However, if you wish to pull horizontally, you could also set up your winch vertically. This is possible as there is not limit to the pull length on a Capstan winch. This means, you could be creative when you are rigging.

Both steel wire cable and synthetic ropes could be used on this type of winch. This means, depending on your preference, you could choose one between two rope types that are used for winches.

Capstan winches is easy to manage. In fact, it is easy to change the winch drum of capstan. You could even change it to a different size which could determine the speed and torque of your winch. Moreover, this type of winch is very light in weight which means it is easy to transport and travel with it. It is easy to install and as mentioned earlier, easy to maintain as well.

Types of Capstan Winches

Electric Capstan Winch

As its name indicates, this type of capstan winch operates on an electrical system. This means, it would be better if you place this type of winch safely away from water. Hence, you will have to be creative when using this type of winch.

Hydraulic Capstan Winch

This type of capstan winch is operated by a PTO marine capstan machine. This type of winch does not have any risk of overheating which means you could use this winch and expect to have consistent amount of power indefinitely.

Manual Capstan Winch

This type of capstan winch is for light type of jobs. Since it is manual, you must have to vertically or horizontally crank it.


We hope that through this article, you were able to learn a lot about capstan winches. They are highly recommended especially for marine purposes. To ensure that you would accomplish many tasks, you will have to be creative. Let us know what you think about this winch and do not forget to leave us a comment.

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