Few seamen float without their favorite brew, but now Milwaukee may soon be better known for something even more comforting than its beer.
Seasoned sailor, Ed Silvers, admitted that at 76 raising the mainsail was becoming increasingly more difficult. The thought of giving up his 48-foot Swan – which he sailed through the Panama Canal to his home in the Caribbean – wasn’t an option.
Enter Geoff Cooke, well-known marine engineer and owner of The Workbench in Virgin Gorda’s yacht harbor, with his secret Milwaukee weapon.
“Take a look at this, Ed,” Geoff pulled a 28-volt cordless Milwaukee angle drill from the bed of his truck. “I don’t need to tie a halyard to my pickup truck anymore to hoist me up a mast, with this drill and winch bit!”
Both men jumped aboard Into the Mystic and Geoff inserted the drill into the mainsail winch. Ed gasped. He still can’t remember if it took five or ten seconds to raise the full-battened main to the top of the 62-foot mast, but the moment he got home, he called Milwaukee and ordered the drill!
Ed also discovered that the use and performance of the Heavy Duty Milwaukee drill depends on weather conditions. The drill is reversible for a two-speed halyard winch. Running it in second gear slows the rise of the main and makes it more controllable should a full batten catch in the lazy jacks. The drill can also be used to power any sheet winch aboard.
Whether you are young or old, looking for an alternative to expensive electric winches, or a way to preserve body and bones for better things, Milwaukee fits the drill!
This must-have drill for serious sailors and those who prefer using brains rather than brawn, can be purchased from Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation. www.milwaukeetool.com. Cat. # 0721-20, V28 Â½” right angle drill. Parts include a charger, a steadying handle, and a wrench and key for the chuck all neatly packed into a heavy duty carrying case. Info on the special bit to fit this right-angled drill that is compatible with all winches is available at: www.winchbit.com
Jacky Silvers is a writer, editor, media events coordinator, and environmentalist. Her book, Saltwater Adventure in the Florida Keys, is the first how-to fishing primer for children. She co-starred in a national television fishing show and received the Don Hawley Foundation’s Conservationist of the Year Award. Jacky lives in Virgin Gorda, BVI, with her husband, Ed.