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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-04-2009
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winch maintenance

I have a 1986 Cal 22 and the winches are working but a little slow. I suspect they need some maintenance but I'm not all that handy and am not too confident in taking them apart to grease them. anyone know a good resource for this? if not, any guesses what I should expect the yard to charge for doing this? thanks.
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Old 03-04-2009
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If those are Lewmars, the rebuild kit (available from Defender and others) will have instructions. If you google around you can find some pretty good pictorials. Here's one:
http://c36fleet5.org/PDFs/Winch_Maint.pdf

It's really a doable thing--cleaning, greasing, oiling.
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Old 03-05-2009
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Winches are modern miracles of science that are engineered to give you leverage on your lines. They are not savage beasts. We made them and we are their masters.
That said, what brand of winches are they? That might help in finding a web resource you could use to DIY. I have found maintenance manuals for Lewmar winches on the web for instance.
I consider myself moderately handy but confidence comes with doing the proper research and having the right tools and approach.
If you are unsure you should get a cardboard box about 1' square that you can cut a hole in the bottom of to fit over the winch. This is to help catch any parts that want to fly off the assembly and overboard. Make the hole large enough to tape it down around the winch.
Once you find the 'key' to dismantling your winch (the Lewmar uses a stopper fitting that is shaped like a round "C" IIRC Lewmar ) the rest is pretty easy. Photograph the dismantling process if you are really unsure of how to put it back together (also examine the exploded winch picture on the Lewmar website I already linked to have an idea what to expect to find inside. Print this if you need to.).
Basically you want to clean and re-lube the winch. Wipe down the parts that have any dirt, grime or grease on them (soaking in mineral spirits would work too).
Based on the Lewmar winches the only springs that can really fly off the thing are behind the 'pawls', the things that catch on the winch body to keep it from spinning freely in a backwards direction. The 'pawls' have springs behind them that push them out so they catch the winch body (sometimes these need to be replaced although I have never done this).
Read the details specified by the Lewmar website I have already linked that tell you how to re-lubricate the various components of the winch. Do not use any grease on the 'pawls' as this may make them sticky and inoperative.
There may be winches with a different kind of inner-workings but I really doubt it. Why re-invent the wheel. Most winches I have dealt with have a different 'key' to opening them up.
If you have the 'yard' do this for you I would think you might pay over $100 dollars for what is essentially about 3/4 hours worth of work (loser). If you do it yourself you will gain both financially and in your own confidence level.
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Old 03-05-2009
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Did my Lewmars

last summer, completely stripped, soaked & cleaned all parts in Kerosene, relube & re-assy in 1 to 1-1/2 hrs each. They were quite dirty, so they needed a full stripping. If they are not that dirty & just need lube its a pretty quick job, but it sounds like yours have not been done in a while. For the Lewmars the main sparse to have on hand are some pawls & pawl springs because they can go boing!
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Old 03-05-2009
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I have one lewmar, and that thru me for a loop, vs the barbarosa, Now harken winches I have. The lewmars have a c-clip as mentioned on the top that holds the body on. Harken has a bolt on the inside bottom of where the winch handle goes. Reverse thread too IIRC. but do not quote me!

Otherwise, the how to grease is about the same, replacing palls and springs are similar too. Are you located anywhere near Seattle? My YC is doing in conjunction with local WM a winch maintenance class with a lewmar rep in may.

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Old 03-05-2009
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As a helpful hint... get a box and cut a hole in the bottom about the size of the winch. Put it over the winch before disassembling the winch. It will help corral any parts that fall free...
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Old 03-06-2009
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I'm not a handy guy, but I took apart our Lewmar's a few days ago and it was really easy! The only caveat is that the bigger the winch, the more cogs it will have. Our small ones only had 3 cogs on the outer ring and 2 in the center. Our larger ones had a lot more. Keep track of what goes where and you'll be fine.
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Old 03-06-2009
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Digital photos of the disassembly can make reassembly a lot easier. If you end up with spare parts that you didn't have when you started, you probably did something wrong.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 03-26-2009
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My Cal 22 has Barient winches. She is an 85. My understanding from Google searches is that Barient is out of business, but Lewmar took over their business. Found this link about Barient winches http://www.ewmanchester.com/CalDocs/...ts-Service.pdf

Ron
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Old 03-26-2009
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Actually, Arco-Hutton took over Barlow and Barient winches IIRC, not Lewmar.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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