Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: bringing the shine back to winch ... NOT
Perhaps they are older stainless steel that has given up the ghost? Even stainless can be overrun by rust in poor conditions, particularly lower quality stainless. If you get the surface rust off and leave it exposed to air, it's resistant quality will usually come back (somewhat). Hard to believe that the dimpling around the drum will remain effective and the pitting is never going to cure itself.
The first thought that came to my mind was wondering what the inside of that winch looks like. If the outside is any indication, they would be highly dangerous. If the pawls or gears failed, while under load and a winch handle is attached, it could break an arm. Have you pulled a drum off to look? Post a pic?
While I don't believe they are aluminum, Al can and does rust. However, it forms a white surface powder when oxidized (ie rust) and is not as pervasive as iron oxide.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.