Ski Tow for Sleds

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Josh Smith of Pennsylvania built this tow rope with a friend.

This project started as an innocent “oh, I have an engine” comment and has turned into a really awesome project. I first blogged about it here but decided it needed a permanent home. The winch is now fully operational and worked well during our first major sledding trip. The final winch set up involves an 2100 foot long rope that is spliced and will run all day long in a continual 1050 foot loop. The rope alone weighs 70+ pounds and the winch without the rope is close to 200 pounds. The three different shafts and accompanying gears result in a final drive ratio of 30:1-4.5:1 so it is capable of pulling three adults up a 30 degree incline at comfortable slow speeds or a rather bumpy high speed.


My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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