2: Winter 2016-17: The centre-plate winch

The big difference between the UK- and Dutch-built Romilly boats is that the UK-built boats use a strap to raise the centre-plate, operated via a winch mounted in the cockpit. (See David Collin’s description of a UK-built Romilly here.)

The Van Veen boats use what I’ll describe as a “bottle-screw” mechanism situated in the cuddy.

Here’s a picture of Serina’s cuddy, just showing the winch socket in the centre. Note the absence of winding mechanism in the cockpit.

I’ve included a few other photos to give an idea of the winding mechanism.The photo above shows the reason behind this winter’s work.

I didn’t like the look of the cracks in the fiberglass “stump”, nor the way the black terylene washer was biting into it.

It’s also time to show what I mean by “bottle-screw”.

Instead of the strap used to raise the plate on UK boats, Serina has a solid bolt that screws into a threaded “cylinder”. The lower end of the cylinder is attached to the trailing edge of the centre-plate. As the bolt turns, it gets pulled into the cylinder and, in turn, the cylinder raises the centre-plate.

Here’s what it looks like when partially disassembled:img_3829

The wear to the “stump” is clear, as is the build-up of dirt on the bottle-screw.

Just one more picture to help orientation.

Here is a photo looking up inside Serina’s centre-plate housing:

Here’s what it looks like when dismantled. The cylinder I mentioned earlier is show below, with the screw below it. The winch socket is also shown on the right. It is held onto the bottle-screw via a cotter-pin that can just be seen in the winch socket.


And once Simon had cleaned it up it looked beautiful again!


The cylinder is shown above – and the jaws on the right fit over the trailing edge of the centre-plate.

The the jaws of bottle-screw (below left) attach to the centre-plate via a pin and a grub-screw below.

The pin fits through the jaws at the lower end of the cylinder, and the grub screw threads into both to hold them together.

And if none of that makes sense, perhaps a picture will help.



6 thoughts on “2: Winter 2016-17: The centre-plate winch”

      1. You’re right… something else to worry about! However, when I run aground the bottle-screw usually only protrudes by 2-3 inches so it would be bad luck to be hurt by it.


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