Winch

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Modern self-tailing winch on a sailing boat. Here, the line winched is a jib or spinnaker sheet which runs from the sail (upper left, not shown) to a block (lower right,not shown) and from there to the lower part of the winch. The handle is detachable to facilitate handling of the line.

A winch is a mechanical device that is used to adjust how tight a piece of rope is. It can also be used to pull something. The rope can be made of natural fibre, but when heavy loads need to be handled, special ropes made of iron or plastic are frequently used.