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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Winch covers--are they worth it?
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Thread: Winch covers--are they worth it? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-21-2009 01:33 PM
MJBrown We had them on the last boat and now on our current. IMO they keep the winches cleaner and help keep the sun from baking the grease inside of them. And yes they do look nice with all the other canvas. BTW mine have elastic inside of them so they wont blow off.
09-20-2009 07:34 PM
hellosailor Why would you cover your winches, when you could always just build a proper boathouse to keep your boat docked in?

Lifelines, spreader boots, running rigging, glazing in the hatches, the gelcoat on the deck and topsides...All these things need protection just as much if not more than the winches do.

I suspect you'll need a lot more Sunbrella if you're going to leave your boat parked outside of the boathouse!
09-20-2009 07:14 PM
arf145 Not just frippery, IMHO, and not really about protection from the rain. It's UV that I'm thinking about when I cover my Lewmars and their plastic parts. UV-weakened stuff works great right up until it snaps, like the handle on my old line clutch and one of my original mainsheet blocks.
09-19-2009 06:11 PM
roline For complete metallic winches, covers may not be important, but for winches that have polymer stripper rings, the covers will reduce the UV exposure and subsequent UV aging. For my Barient 27-48's the upper stripper ring is a polymer for now, but I have a plan to make a metallic one. Parts are few and expensive should you find them.
09-19-2009 05:55 PM
sailstoo They blow off. There's little more useless tham one winch cover...of course you can just switch that one back and forth on even/odd days and.......oh, I'm so confused!!!
09-19-2009 04:59 PM
Omatako I think winch covers were born back in the days when winches were made of stuff other that stainless steel (Tufnol, et al) and needed protecting from the sun.

Maybe the non-stainless parts of a self-tailer could be protected but my winches are nearly 20 years old, been in the sun all that time and are still good.

The mission of covering, uncovering, stowing covers, fixing covers, making new covers every 2nd season, doesn't have any appeal for me.
09-19-2009 12:53 PM
RealityCheck In Florida, I had cover on my little 26 Commodore for 7 or more years and never had any problem with them... actually didn't even know they should probably be serviced regularly.

In the Caribbean, on my 36 after 3 years I had one winch that would stick and not lock immediately a couple of times and had a guy show me how to clean it. Only then did I find out I should service them about every year!

I don't see anyone in the Caribbean with covers, well actually maybe twice as I recall but only one seemed to have a full complement. That may be the reason, they can be so easily lost and just something else you have to store and retrieve between sails. I think if I were someplace where lots of dirt or possibly ice could accumulate I would consider them. Until I see some $$$ value to having them in the Caribbean I'll probably pass.
09-19-2009 11:39 AM
AlanBrown Pro: They look pretty when color coordinated with the sail cover and the bimini.

The winches on my 1981 Hunter have never been covered, have sat out in the Bahamas sun for the past 10 years, and still work fine.
09-19-2009 11:13 AM
capttb Pro: you don't need to clean the bird **** off the winch before you go sailing.
09-19-2009 02:43 AM
CalebD Umm, winch maintenance should be done like reefing your mainsail. When you think it needs to be done it is already too late.
It is not that difficult to clean and re-lube a winch but it takes some time to first figure it out and is best done tied up at a dock or on the hard rather then when it jams in a storm.
I can't weigh in on winch covers as they seem like extra frippery to me, like a chefs hat or a car cover. Waterproof grease and proper maintenance will do the most for extending the life of your winches.
We have some original 42 year old winches on our boat that need a good cleaning and lubricating. The winches tell you when you need to do the maintenance by the sound they make when pulling a line around them. Listen to your boat and it's parts; they are all talking to you.
My best.
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