I just bought a Lewmar 16ST, and found out that unlike the 16ST on my old boat which required unscrewing four machine screws to take it apart, the new version has a plastic cap that unscrews and then the self-tailer can come right out.
This bothers me; it seems like it is too easy to come apart. One plastic screw-on cap with no locking device of any kind is all that keeps parts from coming out. My application is on the mast, horizontally mounted, so it especially bothers me that one plastic screw-on cap is all that stops parts from falling out and going overboard.
I'm considering taking back the winch and getting another brand. Am I overreacting? Is this really a good design?
Some background info for you.
When the ocean design was introduced aprox 18 years ago, the top cap was Brass material chromed, with an 'o' ring on the underside.
The 'o' ring acted as a good locking mechanism between chrome Feeder arm and the top cap, if fact it required a little grease on the 'o' ring otherwise the top cap was VERY hard to unscrew.
Some when in the last couple of years
Lewmar have changed some models to a plastic top cap.( cost reduction)
I am not sure how secure the new plastic cap is, does it have an 'o' ring under it as well.
suggest if you have any problems , you replace the topcap with a chrome one. they would not come undone unless you wanted it to.( they were bullet proof.)
If i can help you further , please let me know