Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
Join Date: May 2006
Thanked 124 Times in 112 Posts
Rep Power: 12
With minimal maintenance winch seem to last pretty much forever. The fact that these are self-tailing suggests they are not too old. Harken has not been in the business nearly as long as companies like Barient were and Barients are going strong after 40 years.
Most people don't seem to service winches as often as they should. Perhaps racers do a better job, don't know. Pawls do where and springs can break so it is a good idea on first servicing the winches to check these (and have a few spares on hand). Salt and sand into the bearings is not a good thing, but you can tell a lot by turning the winches and listening to the sound. Should be a silky, gentle clicking and even big winches should turn easily.
I doubt that surveyor will do more than give winches a cursory turn. Ask your surveyor what they are looking for with winches. Keep in mind you are paying for his expertise and it can be a good learning experience. Most surveyors don't mind (and some prefer) that you are there during the survey so he show you things and explain them to you - better than the written report that will folllow.
Not an expert on the advantages of Lewmar vs Harken. I suspect they are both just fine. Spare parts for both should be readily available which is a plus. I had Barients on a couple of boats and the only spare parts source (beyond springs and pawls) was in Australia.
After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.