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post #1 of 13 Old 01-22-2013 Thread Starter
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Chrome plating and powder coating

I am thinking of getting some work done when I return to South Africa. The following items need to be brought up to snuff with new coatings (chrome or powder coating).
  1. Many winches. These are the Lewmar ones with chrome-plated bronze drums and black anodized tops. BTW, how hard is it get the tops off? I see that that there are Allen screws joining them, not to mention 30 years of closeness
  2. Dorade vents and mounting rings
  3. Compass housing
  4. A few small miscellaneous bits

I assume that powder coating is cheaper and chrome plating more resistant to wear? That is about the limit of my knowledge so any advice is helpful.

Finishing our major refit. Our trip to Newfoundland is off because it is too late. Hoping to go to the North Channel instead.
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post #2 of 13 Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Chrome plating and powder coating

Killarney, with this sort of thing you do get what you pay for..

1. It won't be too difficult to get the winches apart (should be done occasionally in any case).

2. Chrome plating will be expensive. Make sure they copper-plate first after cleaning up (tell them it's for "marine use") or it'll just peel off in time.

3. IMHO, powder coating simply will not cut it for the sailing you want to do.

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post #3 of 13 Old 01-23-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Chrome plating and powder coating

The winch disassembly is not the standard one for maintenance, this is where the bottom 2/3 of the winch (chromed) is attached to the top 1/3 (black anodized). It looks like it should come apart but wonder with dissimilar metals if this will be a problem after 30 years.

Finishing our major refit. Our trip to Newfoundland is off because it is too late. Hoping to go to the North Channel instead.
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Chrome plating and powder coating

You may find that chrome plating of the dorade cowls is almost as expensive as purchisng new ones. If I remember some of the Bristol 45.5 we looked at had 5 or 6 of them ( added to their beauty). Make sure you get someone reputable as T37chef had a nightmare story about doing this. We replaced our ugly PVC cowl with a Yogi Vetus SS one. had I had 6 to do the price may have been prohibitive.

http://www.go2marine.com/product/211...-aisi-316.html

Here was the previous discussion thread

Re plating chrome dorade vents?



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post #5 of 13 Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Chrome plating and powder coating

When I was much younger (much, much younger ), we used to remove parts on our motorcycles to have them chromed. It looked great for a very short time and then became very obvious what was OEM chrome and what was after market. Of course, we were pinching pennies, so we weren't going to pay up for the better shops. In the end, it was really a total waste of money.

Chef is right. I top quality chrome job, which you absolutely require on a boat, can rival the cost of some parts. You might just buy a new drum or vent cowl. Saves the anguish of waiting and wondering.


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post #6 of 13 Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Chrome plating and powder coating

In my work we get many things plated to NOT have paint due to FDA rules

When plating things with precision parts INSIDE like bearing bores and winch paws there are various masking methods to avoid destroying the part which i can assure you a plating shop without the specific knowledge will do

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post #7 of 13 Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Chrome plating and powder coating

IMHO chrome has NO place on a sailboat - it will always pit and flake, sooner if a cheap job, later if a good job.

Strip the chrome off the parts and leave the bronze exposed, as God intended.

By the way, if your winches haven't been completely stripped down for maintenance before and during your voyage, SHAME!

If you must have them re-chromed, only triple plating will last any time - copper, then nickle, then chrome. The chrome layer is only there for the final brightness - almost like a clear coat on a car paint job. The nickle is the real coat that does the work. The copper is used as a filler for any imperfections, like primer surfacer on a paint job. A good job will get a bluish quality to its reflections

Bring money $$$$$$$.

P.S. re: separating the parts of the drum - I assume you mean pulling the self tailer component off the drum? I had some Barients that had that part slip inside the drum, like a sleeve with the stripper ring sandwiched between. I couldn't figure how to separate them but knew they HAD to come apart since they had been assembled at one time.

Turned out they were just seized together from neglect. Some penetrant and judicious prying got them separated. It came close to needing a gear puller though.
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-24-2013 Thread Starter
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Sorry I don't have a photo of the winches, but the winch is two main parts with the drum as high as to wear it flares out being plated bronze and the upper part including the ST jaws, but not including the line stripper which is plated, is anodized. For maintenance the winches are apart regularly as you would expect but the connection between these components looks like it was done at birth since there is no maintenance reason to take them apart. I suspect it would be very hard to get them apart without special tools.

Perhaps I have not been precise in my question. Lets say you have a dozen or so winches up to size 65 so replacement is not an option. They are showing their age (appearance only) and you would like them to look better - what are the options other than stripping down to the underlying bronze? As for the dorade vents and compass housing, would powder coating work since there is no real wear and tear with them, just sun.

Finishing our major refit. Our trip to Newfoundland is off because it is too late. Hoping to go to the North Channel instead.
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Chrome plating and powder coating

KS, this is probably evident. You don't have to replace the entire winch, just buy a new drum. It's probably a little more expensive than a quality re-chroming, but at least you know you have a durable product. You would get the teeth back too, assuming there are any on your drums.

I have no experience with powder coating, but I've seen my fair share of painted dorade vents. I would think you would be repainting with some regularity, but it would be fairly simple.


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post #10 of 13 Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Chrome plating and powder coating

don't waste your time or money ...as mentioned, you could probably replace your cowl vents/dorades with SS at about the price and you know they will last. as for the winches, idk ...but I wouldn't do it.

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