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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-09-2006
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mast winches

I have a 1977 Pearson 30. I want to move the winches from my mast to cabin top. One problem-the screws that hold the winches to the mast are frozen. I even tried to drill one out-yea right. Ay suggestions? Bob
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Old 05-09-2006
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Ahh, the joys of galvanic corrosion. You will need to drill out the screws holding the winch in place. The screws have galvanically corroded, and are now bonded to the mast via the corrosion.

Ideally, you could just drill out the screw heads and then lift off the winch, and then deal with the remaining parts of the screws once the winch had been removed, but I don't know how likely this is to work. It depends on the number, location and alignment of the existing screws.
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Old 05-09-2006
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Bob,
I checked photos of my mast winches and found they are secured by what appears to be bronze rivets. If I were to remove them by drilling, the drill bit would need to exceed the rivet shank diameter by a slight amount. The rivet backers would then simply fall to the deck mount base, freeing the winch base.






If your SS screws are galvanically bonded to the aluminum mast, as sailingdog suggested, drilling out is the preferred method. The drill bit would of course, need to be large enough to bite through the screw shank. The remaining portion of screw head should then fall free, with the shank bits ending up in the mast's base - keel or deck stepped.
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Old 05-09-2006
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DeepFrz is an unknown quantity at this point
You could try soaking them with penetrating oil, even over several days and then using an impact driver to remove them. I have also heard that touching the head with an arc welder will often loosen them up. If these procedures fail then it is back to drilling...

hth
Phil
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Old 05-11-2006
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That's a lot of trouble to go to for what are probably not new winches. Why not leave them there, and put other winches, either new or used, on the cabin top?
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Old 05-11-2006
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They could be in the way

The only problem with that idea is that often the old winches on the mast interfere with the lead from the exit holes to the turning blocks on deck.
It's surprising to see how an impact driver can in fact remove what originally appear to be solidly frozen fasteners. Failing that, drill the heads off the bolts/screws that are there as previously described.
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Old 05-11-2006
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I would a dremel with a small grinding wheel. I think that would be mush easire than getting a drill bit to stay centered on a screw head.
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Old 05-11-2006
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PB Blaster

Although you may ultimately have to resort to drilling, try PB Blaster over a couple of days. If you have only used other penetrating oils like liquid wrench, I think you will be amazed at how much better PB Blaster is.
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Old 05-19-2006
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Impact Wrench

Bob -

First try an impact wrench. They cost about $20 - best investment ever!

If that doesn't work, try heating the area with a blow-tourch..then hit with either the impact wrench or just a large screw driver. Try working some WD40 in there at some point but be very careful with the heat. Do not use the heat if your mast is still on the boat.

I just did this on my '78 Cataline 30 and they came right out. The mast was off the boat.

Good luck - Rob
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