I had the same problem this spring. However, I had serviced the winch before winter and was quite surprised that it had jammed. I also had to use brute force to remove the drum. The bearings, drum, and base were not the culprit. The little shaft (pinion spindle) that holds the idler gears between the drum and the center mainshaft had seized. I had to hammer the thing out of the winch base with a brass drift... The corrective action was simply a little emmory cloth and then a good polishing.
EDIT: Separate question that is pertinent to the discussion: What type of grease is best? I had used the brown stinky Lewmar stuff before the winch sized, and as it seized in 6 months with minimal use I decided to try something new. After I serviced the frozen winch I used Superlube... I love Superlube. Great for steering, salt water impervious. Then I go to the arco site and they advise not to use grease with added teflon.. so is Superlube (with PTFE) somehow bad???
Last edited by sailboy21; 07-27-2008 at 02:53 AM.