Winch Maintenance

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tim_farrell's picture
tim_farrell
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Joined: 3/15/11
Posts: 117
Winch Maintenance

Yesterday was spent aboard doing general maintenance - getting Kailua ready for the season. One of my tasks was to service my winches. This was my first time attempting this. I thought I'd share a couple observations - probably things you already know.

1. It is a lot easier than I expected it to be. Lewmar designed the winch so that pieces can go in only one way. The first took about 40 minutes - but I was being cautious. The second took around 20.

2. They were filthy. I bought Kailua in March 2011. Not sure the last time they were serviced - but this was long overdue. The action on the winches is 100% better now (and sound better as well).

3. I had a broken pawl in my starboard jib sheet winch. It was snapped in half - leaving me with only 3 pawl holding the load of the jib. My understand is that if the others failed under load, the winch (perhaps with handle in) would spin under the load of the wind. This could leave a serious mark.

4. I went online to order new pawls (I am going to get more than I need and keep some aboard) - and the price differential was staggering. West Marine was more than twice the price of defender. I like the guys at west - but that is simply silly.

Hope this encourages you to check your winches if you don't already. A good investmetn in better performance as well as safety.

Tim Farrell
S.V. Kailua
C36 - 1986
Hull# CTY0678A886

plaineolde's picture
plaineolde
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Joined: 11/4/08
Posts: 753

One nice easy piece of maintenance that you can do sitting down without playing contortionist.

One tip. Take a nice big towel and drape it around the winch so that small parts can't drop and roll overboard.

Gary and Cathy Price
1997 C36 Mk II Tall Rig/Wing Keel Imagine...
Hull # 1617
Worton Creek, Md.
Northern Chesapeake Bay

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ProfDruhot
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Posts: 354

What I do is pick up a small cardboard box (approx. 12" square). I cut out one end exactly the size of the wench at its base. Then, before I attempt working on them I slip the box over it and it prevents me losing any parts overboard.

Glenn Druhot
Carpe Diem
New Bern, NC
35* 6' 10" N / 77* 2' 30" W
2001 C36, Hull #1965
Std Rig; Wing Keel; M35B

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John Reimann
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Joined: 12/2/08
Posts: 321

You mention the price difference at West Marine:
They have a well-followed price match policy. Simply print out the page with the price on the item from the online store (Defender or wherever) and bring it in. They will match that price. I just did that for a foot pump -- saved $60.

SF Bay
1998 C36

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StephenK
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Posts: 129

I had it on my maintenance list for the last year, but just got around to servicing my winches. Evidently they had not been serviced in a long time as they were gunked up with hardened grease. I used a wooden dowl (formed the tip into a flat surface) and scraped the hardened grease from the "gears" before soaking and brushing with diesel fuel. I also favor the "box" method that Glenn mentioned, so I don't lose any parts overboard.

As to the price match, my local West Marine honors the price match... if you bring in a printed competitiors price.

Stephen Kruse
Kruse Control #1428
1995 C-36 MKII SR/WK
Lake Lanier, Ga.

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Steve Frost
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Posts: 788

Arrrg, servicin them Wenches can be a nasty job, I have tried using a towel around thar base, this keeps the mess down, never tried the cardborard box method, me thinks it could effect the mood. Gota service them tho or they get salty about being in the galley all the time.

Thanks for the note, it is a job I have not done and have been falsely intimidated by it as I have never completed the task, my assumption is it would be like open heart surgery on a fine watch completed in salty moving conditions. Your discription makes it sound like a minimal task and considering the cost of these winches likely well worth the time.

Cepheus dream
C36 MK I # 825
MK I Tech Editor No Mas

deepdive's picture
deepdive
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Joined: 3/17/11
Posts: 26

No problem at all..I did mine recently, all it took was a bubble bath, glass of wine and me to polish her toenails and she is good to go for a good while!!

David Edwards
Bridgeton, NC
C36 MK I hull # 11
S/V Starting Over

tim_farrell's picture
tim_farrell
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Joined: 3/15/11
Posts: 117

I didn't realize West Marine had a price match. That is excellent and will test it out at my local.

Glad it was encouraging. Reading the replies made me think of one thing I left off - This is a VERY MESSY job. So towels (maybe gloves) are in order. I used two buckets - one to soak the parts in and one to let them dry.

As to losing parts. I heard this was a potential problem and considered the cut-out box method. The only parts that are at risk is the pawls and the springs. I chose to remove the pawls/springs from the gears when the gear was soaking in the bucket. Had no problems with parts disappearing at all.

Tim Farrell
S.V. Kailua
C36 - 1986
Hull# CTY0678A886

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Stevenjones
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Posts: 74

This article and associated YouTube instruction video does a great job at the disassembly, maintenance, and reassembly.
I've done this before, albeit a bit hesitant initially (like another above mentioned, like heart surgery!), it is not difficult!

https://distantshores.ca/boatblog_files/servicing_your_winches.php

https://youtu.be/6WNY3p2ytlw

Steven Jones

C36/375IA FaceBook group administrator

C36/375IA Jib Sheet Editor 2012

Seal Beach, CA, USA
C36 #2164 Maléna  2003 Mk-II SRig/FullK,  Long Beach, CA

stevenjones21@gmail.com

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Stevenjones
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Posts: 74

How to service a Lewmar Ocean Winch, YouTube by Lewmar

https://youtu.be/OqCunPhQHw4

Steven Jones

C36/375IA FaceBook group administrator

C36/375IA Jib Sheet Editor 2012

Seal Beach, CA, USA
C36 #2164 Maléna  2003 Mk-II SRig/FullK,  Long Beach, CA

stevenjones21@gmail.com

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pkeyser
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Joined: 5/18/13
Posts: 573

Just putting a plug in for winch maintenance. It's been one of those chores I've always put off and now the years have added up. Similar to some comments in the below threads- its really not a bad job, especially with the Lewmar winches.                   The top chrome cap is removed by placing a screw driver or wood dowel in the indents and lightly tapping at an angle to start the unscrewing process. Once the cap is removed, there are three Phillips screws that secure the black rope clutch disc.  After that, no tools are needed for complete disassembly. The crank shaft pulls up and out after two keys are removed. Bearings, spacers slide off after that. The gears slide out horizontally after their pins are lifted out. Inside the gears are the pawls. If removed, there is a little spring that will need to be oriented correctly when the pawl is reassembled. Clean the old grease and replace with new (lithium based winch grease). Grease the gears and bearings. Oil the pawls (Grease may inhibit their function, especially as it ages). Attached is a picture of the internal workings after the rope clutch, chrome drum, top cap and crank shaft have been removed.  

When reassembling, stick your fingers inside the crank shaft and lift it slightly so the two keys can be readily put in place. That little trick took me about an hour of frustration to figure out. 

Ours had never been cleaned/ re-greased since new (unless the PO did it) and the grease had dried to the point that it resembled wax. It had to be scraped off for removal and that took about an hour per winch.

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

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