Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mandeville, LA
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It's hard to say. The best advice I can give is to remove the winches from the boat, give them a very good cleaning, and reinstall.
Break the winches down into their component parts, but do one winch at a time (never mix the parts). Soak the parts in diesel fuel and clean them up with rags, a toothbrush and whatever other tools are necessary to remove all grime and lubricant. Rinse all the parts very thoroughly in warm water.
As you reassemble, be sure to check all parts for wear - particularly where the pawls sit in the upper part of the drum. You may want to replace the pawls and pawl springs while you're at it.
You should lightly grease the post and roller bearings. Do not grease the pawls at all. Some people (including me) hit the pawls with a very light coat of 3-in-1 oil.
This may not address the problem, but it might also! It may also help you find out what's wrong. I've never heard of metal contraction due to temps rendering a winch inoperable, though that's not to say it's possible.
I had a link to a detailed guide to breaking down and cleaning these winches - I'll see if I can locate it.
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