Umm, winch maintenance should be done like reefing your mainsail. When you think it needs to be done it is already too late.
It is not that difficult to clean and re-lube a winch but it takes some time to first figure it out and is best done tied up at a dock or on the hard rather then when it jams in a storm.
I can't weigh in on winch covers as they seem like extra frippery to me, like a chefs hat or a car cover. Waterproof grease and proper maintenance will do the most for extending the life of your winches.
We have some original 42 year old winches on our boat that need a good cleaning and lubricating. The winches tell you when you need to do the maintenance by the sound they make when pulling a line around them. Listen to your boat and it's parts; they are all talking to you.
"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen
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