One thousand miles in the Tyrrhenian Sea with the Quick Rider R3 winch
Among the many more or less complex nautical accessories available on board, there is one that certainly does not seem the most conspicuous, often remaining hidden inside the anchor locker. Ad yet, both for our peace of mind and for the safety of our boats, it is a fundamental marine accessory and must be absolutely reliable and sturdy: the windlass or anchor winch.
Our editorial staff’s lab-boat, the now famous Daydreamer, put the Quick Rider R3 winch from Quick Spa trough the wringer this year, borh during the spring and on the very long cruise that took her over 1,200 miles across the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The anchor winch was assembles by Ugo Soldi (Continental Marine), who carried our a substantial modification of the housing and structural supports that now support a more “important” anchor line than the previous one, consisting of 80 meters of 10 mm chain and a 27 kg Ultra Marine anchor. To support the more than 230 kilograms of this important weight, we relied on the 1,400 W of the Quick Rider R3.
The “One thousand miles in the Tyrrhenian Sea” set sail in mid-July and, after touching the most beautiful islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea, including the Aeolian Islands, headed up the Sardinian coast on her way home, the Marina di Varazze. The test, together with the spring period, led the Daydreamer to add up to a considerable number of anchorages, probably more than boats normally do in three years.
We anchored without any problems in the most beautiful bays of the Tyrrhenian Sea, but it was in the Aeolian Islands that test reached its climax. The Aeolian islands are known for their height depths, with anchorages often over 20 meters deep, and therefore require a longer and heavier than normal scope and , implicitly, a powerful and reliable anchor winch.
When analizing the Quick Rider R3, the first thing that strikes us is the speed at which the winch operates, both when lowering and ascending, from 16 to over 29 metres per minute depending on the loads involved. The operation of the winch is very smooth and silent, the barbotin is perfectly calibrated on the chain and there are no jerks when hauling, the rotation is always very smooth and progressive, even under stress.
The ease with which the clutch can be released to lower the anchor in free fall with a simple winch handle, a system known as the Free Fall System, is surprising.
With the Quick Rider R3 winch the rotation is always smooth and fluid. One thing you mustn’t do is haul the anchor in the wind, without helping the winch with the motor, because this puts too much strain on the windlass, with the risk of causing damage. In our case, however, wanting to test the product thoroughly, we did so and the Quick Rider R3 managed to tow the boat seemingly effortlessly! According to the technical specifications, the winch is capable of a maximum instantaneous pull of 1,100 kilograms, a maximum load of 470 kg and a working load of 160 kg. The current absorbed under working load, although declared to be 155 A, is lower than the 100 A of our contactor, which adequately supports the load.
Apparently not important, the CHC remote control with digital chain counter on the contrary, once correctly set up, turns out to be a truly indispensable convenience. On first contact with the remote control, you immediately notice the impressive section and robustness of the spiral connection cable, an element that is often subject to wear, breakage and malfunctioning; it is long enough for it to be used standing up without problems. The remote control is equipped with the two classic Down – Up buttons and a button that activates a very useful LED light. On the display, we can read very clearly and in an appropriate font how much chain we are releasing and the speed at which it is sliding. In short, the system is really intuitive and easy to use.
How Quick Rider R3 winches are made
First of all, it should be noted that Quick has always been attentive to environmental issues and has developed a production process that involves the entire supply chain, including subcontractors, focused on eliminating waste and optmizing industrial processes. The Italian company produces using the best materials of the market, such as Aisi 316 stainless steel for the bells, barbotins and masts, and anodised aluminium for the gearbox and motor.
All winch motors are water protected, tested and durable with a IP67 protection. The Quick Rider R3 range covers the size of boats between 12 and 15 metres, for 8 and 10mm barbotins, and with 12 or 24 V voltage. To ensure the smoothest possible operation, a chain detachment device has been designed to prevent any jamming of the links during rotation of the barbotin. Moreover, all winches are fitted with a magnet and sensor used by the control panel with chain counter.
The body of the remote control, amde of rigid plastic with soft non-slip rubber inserts, grips well and the buttons are positioned correctly. The two classic up-down buttons are accompanied by a digital display dedicated to the meter counter and a third multi-function button. The display shows the number of metres spun by the chain in two decimal places and the scrolling speed. The system knows the starting zero point and stops the motor when the anchor is in position. The multi-function button activates a long press to enter the setting menu.
This Quick Rider R3 winch proved to be a reliable and powerful cruising companion, comfortable to use and quiet: a really nice item.