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post #2 of Old 04-04-2002
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winch overhaul

Cleaning and lubing the inside of winches can be a messy operation that results in patrs going over the side. To prevent that I take a corrigated carboard box and cut a hole in the bottom bigger than the winch. I put the box over the winch and use making tape to seal the hole to the deck and then start taking the winch apart. I use lots of paper towels and either alcohol or mineral spirits to clean the parts well, (I have also heard of using diesel fuel to clean parts but you should never use gasolene.) Once clean I usually use a proprietary winch lube like Harken or Lewmar. There are also some really high grade McLube marine lubricants for this purpose that I have heard people swear by. You will need a little high grade machine oil for the pawl sockets as typical winch grease can cause the pawls to stick a little. Put the winch back together and you should be good for the next year or two depending on where you sail and how often.

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