Buchan Marine has added the Star Socket Bit as a companion to our successful Star Pattern T-Handle that replaced the “wire deck keys” for opening Deck Plate Caps. The Star Socket Bit fits into most deck and mast mounted winches and some anchor windlasses. When used with a fully charged battery operated cordless drill it can preform many useful functions around the vessel in place of a dedicated, expensive, fixed electric boat winch. Recently both Milwaukee and Makita have developed their own technology for anti-kickback safety in some of their cordless drills. Milwaukee’s Auto-Stop-Control is their latest safety device in addition to the Electronic Clutches in some drills that prevent over-rotation of the drill if the winch gets bound up while attempting to feed the line to the winch.
When the Star Socket Bit is installed to a fully charged cordless drill with suffient torque it can be used to raise sails or pull in furled sails. In addition to many other uses it can assist in lifting anchors, dinghies and small outboard motors. However, we do not recommend hoisting crew members aloft because of the potential failure of halyards lines or bosun chairs that may fail due to age and fatigue. The bosun chair must be in very good condition with strict adherence to weight limitations and other safety guidelines imposed by the manufacturer. As a safety precaution we highly recommend using two crew members to each operate a winch with separate halyards or a safety line attached directly to the harness of the crew member going aloft. If one halyard fails the second halyard will act as a safety back-up . Be sure to inspect the condition of all stainless steel hardware fittings often and replace any that are found to be in poor condition.
We designed our Star Socket Bit to be cast in one solid piece using Type 316 Stainless Steel for the greatest strength. It fits both 3/8” and 1/2” drill chucks. The dimensions of the star pattern bit fits in the majority of winches on the market. Please notify us if your Star Socket Bit does not fit your winch star pattern so that we can consider adding another bit size.