Worn holes for the Winch Pawls - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 21 Old 11-28-2012 Thread Starter
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Worn holes for the Winch Pawls

I have a set of 40 and a set of 8 two speed Lewmar winches. They are over 30 years in use, everything works fine, except that the holes where the pawls sit in have worn out and they just drop out.
This seems like a rather weak link in this critical system. I have asked Lewmar about this but get no reply.
Has anyone heard of a fix. Like drilling the alluminum holes out and replace with a larger diameter pawl? Seems silly to spend a couple thousand bucks in replacement for an otherwise functioning device.
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post #2 of 21 Old 11-28-2012
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Re: Worn holes for the Winch Pawls

I'm trying to picture what you are describing. It seems the spring would hold the pawl in, even if the pivot hole has worn.

Can you just replace the worn part, rather than the entire winch? Pawls are a very serious safety issue. If you have a handle in a loaded winch that fails, it will break your hand, wrist, arm, etc.


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post #3 of 21 Old 11-28-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Worn holes for the Winch Pawls

Thank you Minnewaska for your suggestion.
I am going to try and attach a photograph of the problem.
In the picture you'll see that the one pawl can be pushed in with ease from the side. It should however only be pushed in from the top down. The spring does not hold it any longer in the opening, it falls right out from the side.
The next lesser expensive option would be to replace the alluminum outer housing. But I am not certain that Lewmar has that option. All in all there ought to be a much better mouse trap than this. And I agree, this is a very dangerous problem. I always have to feed the sheet around a cleat to prevent the danger of losing my hand. Maybe I'll just let that happen and sue the mfr for enough to replace the winches and a larger boat....
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post #4 of 21 Old 11-28-2012
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Re: Worn holes for the Winch Pawls

That's not worn, that's broken. You could try and take it to a fabrication shop. They should be able to weld/press in a bushing and cut a slot in it. Looks like there's enough material left to make something work. Machine shop/ fab shop should be able to help ya.

And "a better mouse trap"? The thing lasted 30 years with minimal/no maintenance, I'd say the mouse trap is pretty well thought out. How many 30 year old cars do you have sitting around that never needed parts replaced or repaired?
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Re: Worn holes for the Winch Pawls

Try going online (ebay and other online consignment shops) and see if you can find a used winch. I found an old Lewmar 43 for $100 that I have in reserve to scavenge for parts.
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post #6 of 21 Old 11-28-2012
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Re: Worn holes for the Winch Pawls

It's an aluminium drum - take it to a machine shop and have them build it up with weld and re-drill the pawl opening. It shouldn't take more than a couple of small tack welds to close in the circle enough.

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post #7 of 21 Old 11-28-2012
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Re: Worn holes for the Winch Pawls

Take it to s fab shop like zz4gta said they should be able to weld back the missing material and then machine a new hole for the pawl. I assume it is aluminum. To me it looks as though that pawl did all the work. the other looks to be stuck or the spring is broke or missing? the arm should be pushed out away from the pivot point into the the center hole when the drum is off the center post
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post #8 of 21 Old 11-28-2012
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Re: Worn holes for the Winch Pawls

I'm also voting for a machine shop. And guessing that the best way to reinforce the area would be to drill out the "socket" hole to make it larger, then drop in a piece of rod stock to completely fill the hole, which will also reinforce the sides of it. Then drill a new properly sized hole/seat in the now solid metal. So it is filled, reinforced, made all new. Welding not necessarily required, so the question of proper and compatible welds also would be eliminated.

Should be a simple job but I'd guess $150-250 depending on how fancy the local prices are.

Odd how one side blew out and the other didn't.

"Thou shalt lube thine winch pawls."
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Re: Worn holes for the Winch Pawls

I'm amazed you got 30 years out of them given the obvious lack of maintenance. Buy a $20 service kit for your other winches and avoid these hassles.
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Re: Worn holes for the Winch Pawls

You may still be able to get the part.

Lewmar Early Standard Winch Parts 8

Not a recommended vendor, just a random search.


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