This page is under-construction. (Empty and short sections below will be filled in later)
A good page about winches is siege-egine.com's Winches Page
Types of Winches
There are three main parts to a winch. They are the spool and other parts related to holding the rope, strap or cable; the crank, power source, and gears; and the ratchet. These parts can be mixed relatively independently though some combinations are better than others.
The spool is the simplest part of a winch. It holds the rope. The bigger diameter the stronger, the smaller the diameter the more leverage. If the diameter increases significantly as more rope is added the leverage will decrease over time.
The Crank and Power Source
There are a variety of power sources. They can be electric motors, gas engines, hand cranked or pedal powered.
Winches powered by a humans turning the crank.
Simple Hand Crank
Classic offset shaft crank.
A ratchet is often not needed be makes winches much safer. There are a huge number ratchet designs. Sometimes a ratchet pawl can interact with the same crank as turns the spool.
Boat winches are for sale in many places and work great. Come-alongs work too.
Below are some sponsored links that may potentially go to sites that sell winches: