The CSW-6/7/9 Classic (number designation assigned based on overall size) is a small footprint highly configurable open-drum winch for light to medium duty oceanographic and geophysics research applications.  It is characterized by a welded aluminum tube frame with the drum positioned over top of a horizontally-oriented motor + gearbox stack.  It can accommodate the addition of many standard AGO winch add-ons, including a levelwind, drum ratchet, drum enclosure, and more.

Unlike the CSW-7VK model, the CSW Classic models are nominally unenclosed open-drum winches, but can all have a drum enclosure added to meet safety requirements.



Typically oceanographic applications:  CTD profiling, side scan sonar and magnetometer towing, Rosette water sampling, towed instrument sleds, environmental and pipeline monitoring, lightweight grab samplers, small capture nets

The CSW-7 Classic in particular is commonly used with instruments such as Klein and EdgeTech side scan sonars.  Some instrument manufacturers such as  Klein Marine Systems and Marine Magnetics also offer it equipped for use with their products as a complete winch + instrument package.


Motor Variants:

CSW Classic winches can be made as a motorized or manual winch with two- or three-speed gearboxes (with optional drill adapter for power driving with an electric or gas drill).  Available power sources at point-of-use dictate how powerful of a motor can be used for each winch application.

Motor options for different input power sources:

Winch input power Motor options
12 VDC* Up to 1HP DC motors
24 to 48 VDC* Up to 2HP DC motors
110 VAC Up to 1HP** DC or AC motors
220 VAC Up to 2HP DC motors
Up to 3HP AC motors

* Winches built to be powered directly from DC sources are much less cost effective than winches built to take AC input power, which can be powered from a DC power source using an inverter to convert the DC source to an AC source.
** As long as the power source can supply enough amps, 110VAC power sources can also power up to 1.5HP AC motors.


Standard specifications:

  • Standard frame dimensions:  27"W x ~33"L x ~43"H (varies by application - L & H strongly dependent on drum size)
  • Standard drum size:  12" face width x up to 26" flange diameter
  • Nominal weight:  360lbs (varies by application)


Video shows a CSW-7 Classic winch configured with an electric freewheeling clutch for rapid vertical profiling.

Keywords:  marine winch, research winch, side scan sonar winch, sidescan sonar winch, CTD winch, oceanography winch, marine research winch, small marine winch, portable marine winch, custom marine winch, surveying winch

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