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  #1  
Old 09-03-2011
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Winch trouble

We were sailing along today with a nice gentle breeze when I went to bring in the genny sheet a bit. Not being too much wind, I took a few wraps on the winch and pulled. I was standing behind the wheel and so was pulling up a bit.

Well, I suddenly lost my balance, lots of noise, and the genny sheet started to take off. I looked down and this is what I saw.



A bit disconcerting to say the least.

Amazingly enough, thanks to my wife's quick action, we didn't lose any of the pieces of the winch overboard. This was the first time I have seen this Lewmar 54 winch apart. After a bit of thinking, I was able to reassemble it.

It appears that for some reason the top screw piece that holds the whole thing together back off and popped off. When it did, the self taling section came off as well as the two small geared sections that hold the tailing "thumb" in position. Still can't believe we didn't lose any of those bits overboard.

Anyway, I put it together and it works fine. My concern is why it came apart to begin with? Any ideas? When I get back home, I now know that I need to lubricate the winches as well. It looked like the inside could use a cleaning and regreasing.

Dave
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Old 09-03-2011
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1. Loose screws?
2. Worn threads?
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Old 09-03-2011
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Probably just worked loose. May not have been tightened properly in the first place. At least now you know how to take them apart and that they need regular lubrication. I do mine each spring. May have saved yourself a costly rebuild or replacement.
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Old 09-03-2011
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If this is a modern lewmar that has a center plate that screws off, that plate that isn't made to be mechanically tightened. On the boat I use to race on I was always making sure that it was snug when we left harbor.
Check these videos out. You'll see how easy these caps are to remove.
Lewmar Winch Servicing - Ocean Range - YouTube
Part 1 - Lewmar Winch Servicing - stripping down the winch - YouTube
dhays likes this.

Last edited by saillife; 09-03-2011 at 10:21 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 09-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhays View Post
This was the first time I have seen this Lewmar 54 winch apart.
I suspect that is the essential reason the winch blew apart. They are simple, robust bits of machinery but they do require SOME attention.

They should be pulled apart (one at a time), cleaned, inspected and re-lubricated at LEAST every couple of years. Look after them properly and they should outlive your grandchildren.
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Old 09-03-2011
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Rush out and buy a lottery ticket NOW. Did not lose anything - Perhaps the luck is still with you.

More seriously a touch of BLUE loctite on the securing threads should avoid a repeat.
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Old 09-03-2011
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+1 on the non-permanent Loctite.

Oh, and nothing went overboard?! Not a bad place to spend all that luck I guess!
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Last edited by arf145; 09-03-2011 at 08:15 PM. Reason: Addition
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Old 09-03-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saillife View Post
If this is a modern lewmar that has a center plate that screws off, that plate that isn't made to be mechanically tightened. On the boat I use to race on I was always making sure that it was snug when we left harbor.
Check these videos out. You'll see how easy these caps are to remove.
Lewmar Winch Servicing - Ocean Range - YouTube
Part 1 - Lewmar Winch Servicing - stripping down the winch - YouTube
Thanks, that helps. Yes, one of my next purchases will be some winch grease and I'll take apart all 4 winches on the boat and clean and lubricate them.

I also know to check to make sure that ring stays tight.

Dave
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Old 09-03-2011
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Not able to find the winch grease locally at hand, so I ordered it from Defender. At the same time I ordered some extra pawls and springs. So, sometime next week I'll see if I can dissemble, clean, oil and grease, and reassemble the winches.

Thanks to all for your suggestions and advice.

Dave
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Old 09-03-2011
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+1 on the blue loctite on the cap screw that holds it together.
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