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ismwo 03-17-2012 11:59 AM

Installing a new winch
Hi All

I own a 1977 C&C 26. This spring I'm running all my lines to the cockpit and installing a new winch on the left side of the companionway for the main halyard. I purchased a #8 Lewmar winch and the instructions basically said use 4 bolts. I thought there should be a back plate or something?? Is 4 bolts through the fiberglass enough? I checked my side winches and sure enough no back plate just 4 bolts through the fiberglass. Is the fiberglass thicker in the cockpit or I'm I just over thinking this??? Help please

sailingfool 03-17-2012 12:22 PM

Re: Installing a new winch
54 Attachment(s)
I see backing plates on deck cleats, but usually only washers under winch bolts. Be sure the lines lead to the winch properly so they dont override, use an angled pad if necessary. See Harken: Winches Magnify People Power

Be sure to seal any core that you drill through, see

jsaronson 03-18-2012 08:32 PM

Installing a new winch
My 35/3 has backing plates on the winches. They are about the same diameter as the winch base.

chef2sail 03-22-2012 02:00 AM

Re: Installing a new winch
Wouldnt hurt to add surface area by using backing plates. We have them under all of our winches. Hopefully you bought self tailing 2 speeds for you halyard winches for ease.


rhr1956 03-23-2012 02:23 PM

Re: Installing a new winch
I just finished installing all the same hardware on my Pearson 26. I made backing plates but didn't use them. I think I will go back and add them though. When I tightened the bolts and nuts (used fender wahshers) I could hear the fiberglass making that know...that crackling sound. I think backing plates would be a plus.

Faster 03-23-2012 03:02 PM

Re: Installing a new winch
A bigger issue adding winches to cabintops after the fact is the likelihood of crushing the balsa core, esp at the 'pressure points' of the bolts and small washers. A backing plate helps spread that out.

Seem this might be a good place to drill out a larger hole (perhaps leaving one skin intact, fill with thickened epoxy and then redrill the holes. This would leave solid material in way of the mounting bolts, eliminating the crush risk, and at the same time thoroughly sealing the core.

Kiltmadoc 03-25-2012 10:52 AM

Re: Installing a new winch
We have winches on our C&C 32 cabin top. They were put in by the previous owner.My cousin, a boat builder/restorer, recommended backing plates. We used aluminum stock that we bought at Home depot. It's a total pain in the butt to get them in. We pre-drilled and then struggled to get them between the cabin liner and the fiberglass cabin top (it had about 1/2inch clearance). Also, go look up maine sail's webpage about using butyl tape to prevent water leakage for projects like this.

Rich 03-10-2017 10:15 PM

Re: Installing a new winch
I'm adding a winch to the cabin top of my Catalina 25 and I am having a 5"x7" stainless steel plate 1/8" thick made should this do? A friend of mine also recommended that I drill the holes, fill them with epoxy and redrill them to keep from water damage.

FloridaBoy 03-11-2017 10:49 AM

Re: Installing a new winch
Ladies and Gentlemen, Installed some nice 35 yr old Lewmar 43's on my Morgan. No backing plates on original but did the aluminum stock from Home Depot , as the other gentleman did. Butyl tape as recommended. Filled in old holes with epoxy and redrilled and epoxyed new holes to prevent water intrusion. No sweat for me, easy access, more or less. I'm a backing plate man. Pulled all stanchions and did same. No backing plates on stanchions, either. Some of the nuts were buried in the fiberglass. Made it tough to get them out. Used aluminum stock for those , as well. 1 inch wide by 1/8 inch thick. Worked well. kevin

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