Cleaning winches - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-24-2012
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Cleaning winches

I broke down, cleaned, relubricated and reassembled all my winches today. Two Harken powered 66s, one powered 46 and one reg 46. The first 66 took me two hours. The next was easier, maybe an hour. By the time I got to the last, I was a pro. This will start all over next year.

I'm now ready to do yours if you like. My rate is $1 million......each.

Question. How often do you change the pawls and springs? I bought all new, but they would not actuate well and I just put the old ones back, which actually looked fine. Don't know why the new set was so finicky.
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Old 03-24-2012
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Re: Cleaning winches

I've changed springs, but not pawls. I haven't lost little pieces during my work myself, but I have heard of the technique of placing a cardboard box with a hole cut in the bottom over the winch to provide a work space that will confine anything dropped or springing away. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Re: Cleaning winches

Change the pawls when the edges of the pawl start to get rounded. I dont change the springs until they dont open crisply or more likely break.
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Old 03-25-2012
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Re: Cleaning winches

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
Change the pawls when the edges of the pawl start to get rounded. I dont change the springs until they dont open crisply or more likely break.
Well, I agree, but for some reason my pawls have never dulled or rounded, but my springs break or lose form. What's with that?
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Old 03-25-2012
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Re: Cleaning winches

I've done some design work with springs. Once you do all the calculations and see what a properly designed spring looks like you realize that a lot of the springs you see are improperly designed. The biggest problem is over extending a spring, which causes metal fatigue to set in. The proper spring would take a lot more space, so they compromise and expect them to be replaced regularly. There is a lot of research that indicates if a spring has stretched 1 million time without breaking, then it will never break!

Gary H. Lucas
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Old 03-25-2012
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Re: Cleaning winches

I do my winches once a year, maybe twice and replace pawls and springs if they are damaged or if they look or feel weakened. They are not expensive so go for it.

Gary
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Old 03-26-2012
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Re: Cleaning winches

A new set of pawls and springs are about $32 per winch, so they add up. My old pawls were nearly indistinguishable from the new set. The edge that rides over the gear is slightly rounded on the new set to begin with.

Anyone ever have trouble with a replacement set not working properly? Some new ones would stick, so I just put the old ones back.
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Old 03-26-2012
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Re: Cleaning winches

Just did mine last week. 2 springs had to be replaced but no pawls. The pawls in mine have been in since I bought the boat back in 2000. Still look and work good.
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