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Old 09-04-2007
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Dumb Winch Question

Alright, I'm new to sailing and have recently purchased my first boat (a 1972 Newport 27). I'm having a great time and I'm starting to get the hang of it, but I have a really dumb question to ask. The winches which I use for the jib sheets (when the wind actually picks up enough to need them) are not fixed to the boat. Meaning that I could just grab one and lift it right of its base. Lifting them even one inch defeats their racheting effect and lifting them more obviously means it comes completely off. This has to be wrong, right? I mean, what if you accidentally gave a little lift to the sheet while you were easing it out or pulling it in? The winch could easily rise a little and you would suddenly have no more racheting resistance. I just want to know if for some reason they are supposed to work this way. I really don't see anything "wrong" with them or anything missing, so I don't get how they could even be held down if they are supposed to be. I have a strong feeling this is a stupid question, so have mercy on me and my winch. Thanks
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Old 09-04-2007
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Yes, the winches need to be secured to the boat.
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Old 09-04-2007
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Seems like your winches are missing the split rings. Assuming it's a non-self tailing Lewmar winch, such as like this:


You will notice a groove around the upper outer edge of the winch's top bushing. This receives a stainless split ring and locks the large stainless washer to the winch drum. They are available through Lewmar (or other mfgr) as spares.
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Last edited by TrueBlue; 09-04-2007 at 08:01 AM.
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Here are a couple photos which show this a bit clearer. . .

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Old 09-04-2007
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That looks like my winch. However my problem must be a different one, because I can just grab the whole winch and lift it straight off, stainless and all. Then, if I were to turn the whole thing upside down the whole stainless center shaft and ring would fall out of the winch body as one unit. So it seems my large stainless washer is fixed to the core of the winch, but that the whole winch body is not fixed to the boat and the center shaft and stainless washer can slide right out the top of the winch body. I guess the important part is that this is "wrong" and I need to fix it. If I can't figure it out, maybe I'll try taking some pictures to make my problem clearer.
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Old 09-04-2007
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Is there a brand and size on the winches?
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If that's the case, then the winches need to be refastened to the deck. Not many old style pics available online, but this is proabably how the base looks, once the drum is removed:



In this model, four screws secure the bottom flange to the deck (or combing). The holes could be stripped - which may have been caused by other problems, such as a wet balsa core. There should also be backer plates beneath the deck, for through-fasteners.
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I'll need to get the exact model and some pictures of my situation up here. The bottom flange of my winches are secured to the sides of the boat (?gunwhales?), but, the internal shaft of the winch is not fixed to the bottom flange for my model of winch. When you lift the entire winch unit off you are left with a base with just that bottom ring of teeth still fixed to the boat. Again, I'll get some model numbers or photos up here so I can start making some sense.
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Old 09-04-2007
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It sounds like the central shaft has come free of the base, since he says the bottom flange is attached to the coaming. It is probably missing the key that locks the shaft to the base... the white piece in TB's photos above IIRC. Sounds like the PO lost them when re-assembling or servicing the winches and neglected to mention that to the new owner...
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Last edited by sailingdog; 09-04-2007 at 09:19 AM.
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Yep SD, sounds like a good probability. IIRC, most of the early Newport 27s used Lewmar. Aside from variations of materials - such as the resin parts in the Model 6 above, the key locking the spindle to the base's keyway is typical with most smaller models.
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