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  #1  
Old 02-10-2008
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Removing the mast winch's

As the title states, I was wanting to remove both winches located on my mast and put them on the deck, so I could run all my lines to the cockpit. Is there any reason as to why I couldn't do this. Also, would I have to take down the mast to get them off?
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Old 02-11-2008
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No.. and No... To properly service most winches you must be able to remove them (conceivably twice a year??).You must disassemble the winch to remove it. Try to find a good schematic or original instruction manual for the specific model.
However.. from personal experience they may be extremely difficult to remove. On my boat the corrosion was so severe that both winch bases were cracked and had to be replaced.
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Old 02-11-2008
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they are removable from the top and i would suggest leaving one for the main halyard incase you need to rethread the main sail by yourself
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Old 02-11-2008
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This is do-able, but as Sailboy indicates it can be really tough to get those winches off if they've been there awhile. An impact driver may be required to remove the base bolts due to corrosion, assuming that the bases are sound.

The other consideration is to ensure that your proposed location on the cabintop is adequately reinforced to handle the torsional loads that grinding a winch can place on that panel. A substantial backing plate and maybe even a pad under the winch itself (which will also help the lead angle to the drum) will be helpful here. If cored make sure you don't compress the core and make sure the core is well laminated in that area.

Follow the usual good practice when drilling the bolt holes in the core: drill oversize, fill with epoxy and re-drill proper size after curing.
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Old 02-11-2008
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A note about deck coring: The standard drill, epoxy and drill method has some major flaws. The epoxy plug is brittle, and may not be able to take compression loads without cracking. IMHO it only seems to be effective since the bedding compound is actually keeping the water out.
I think a far better solution would be to bond fiberglass or brass tube between the upper and lower skins for high load applications. When I rebuilt my bowsprit, it originally had 4 1/4" bolts through the deck with the epoxy plug method.. The holes were badly distorted and water had penetrated to the core. My solution was to drill from the bottom just into the upper skin, I then saturated with penetrating epoxy. After the epoxy dried I coated 1/4" NPT pipe nipples with thickened epoxy and threaded them from underside up to making contact with the deck skin. I then ground them flush. My bet is this system can handle far heavier compression and torsional loads.
Anyone else try anything similar?

Last edited by sailboy21; 02-11-2008 at 12:58 PM.
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