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zz4gta 03-05-2008 08:31 AM

Winch re-build / lube time.
I have 4 lewmar winches. 2 - #7s and 2 - #16s. I've been looking at Defender to pick up a "rebuild" kit for them b/c they're pretty slopy, and could use a relube. I've found this one|118|3071|773796&id=4707&cartId=724857

Will I need more than one of these kits to do all 4 winches? Or should this one be enough? And is this what you all would recomend? Thanks.

BarryL 03-05-2008 08:40 AM


That is a decent kit to start with. Unfortunately, until you disassemble your winch, you won't know what you need to service it. If they have not been maintained, you may need to replace a few pawls and springs. The kit you are buying contains the springs, but no pawls.

Are there any local marine stores near you? If so, I would just buy some grease and some solvent, and start with that. If, after you take the winch apart, you decide you need additional parts, you can just buy them local. If you don't have any places local, then buy the kit and keep your fingers crossed.

Is your boat in the water or on land? If it's in the water, you really should follow the standard recommendation of taking a study box, curring a hole in the bottom and placing it over the winch. This way, if you drop any pieces, you have a least some chance of them falling into the box and not the bottom of the water (don't ask me know I know).

Good luck,

sailingdog 03-05-2008 08:48 AM

It depends on how old the winches are, and what kind of shape they're in. I would pickup at least two of the kits...besides, having spare parts on hand is never a bad thing and puts points in the Black Box for you.

Remember, the bearings get greased, the pawls get oiled very lightly. If you grease the pawls, they'll stick and the winch won't work properly.

I'd second the box idea... cut the hole in the bottom as close to the size of the winch and then use duct tape to seal it as close to the base of the winch as possible. The little parts have a habit of finding their way to the water if at all possible...and they don't float.

zz4gta 03-05-2008 09:12 AM

I've heard of the box trick, but this one is still on the trailer at the moment. The winches are original from 1984 and the last time the boat was registered was 1992. So I'm assuming I'm going to need the more complete kit. I'd rather have and not need, than need and not have. Does defender sell a kit with springs and pawls?

swadiver 03-05-2008 09:22 AM


I have 4 16ST and 2 40ST Lewmar winches on my boat which I rebuilt last year with this kit. I needed to buy extra springs and extra grease because they were very dry. Depending on the condition of the prawls you may need to buy them as well as those are not included in the rebuild kit you are looking at. I decided mine could go another season or two. It took some time to rebuild, but all 6 work like new. You will need some kind of degreaser as well. Check out the Lewmar site for detailed instructions, they are there with a little searching and helped me quite a bit:


sailingdog 03-05-2008 09:27 AM

Varsol or gasoline will work quite well to clean and degrease the parts. :) Be aware that the two-speed winches have a different kit than the one speed winches.

Northeaster 03-05-2008 09:30 AM

I rebuilt 4 of my 30 year-old Lewmar's last year. Didn't require any spare parts, just a lot of soaking the "gummed-up" parts in paint thinner, and then some new oil and grease, while putting them back together. Actually, I did replace the cir-clips, as I bent a couple taking them off - learning curve!!

one note: TAKE DIGITAL PHOTOS BEFORE, AND AFTER REMOVING EACH PIECE - YOU MAY THINK IT WILL BE ABLE TO REMEMBER, BUT IT MAY BE DAYS BEFORE YOU PUT THEM TOGETHER AGAIN!! I did have to go and look at the camera a couple of times, to see where spacer rings when, during the reassembly!

arf145 03-05-2008 10:20 AM

I did the two 30s and two 16s from my boat this winter using that kit, and I had more than enough grease and oil. You won't have enough springs to replace all of them though. Most of my springs seemed fine but I replaced what I could just because I didn't know how old anything was.

The taking pictures thing is a good idea--the kit comes with a pretty good diagram too and there are one or two good sites on the Web to help.

It's a satisfying job--a chance to take something gummed up and make it work pretty much like new.


Gary M 03-05-2008 02:44 PM

There is a real good chance you will need a couple of pawls and springs, so I would try to get a couple before you start. You can easily pop the drum off and take one from the top of the spindle so that you know o you are getting the right size. Yours should be all the same.

I would also print off the instructions from the Lewmar site for your particular winch. If they are not self tailing then they will be a piece of cake. The self tailers take twice as long. I used paint thinner on 6 wicnches last year that looked like they had never been touched since 1984. Makes a HUGE improvement to how they operate.

I put a cabin cushion along the lifeline beside where I am working to make it harder to drop little parts over board.

Have fun

SVDistantStar 03-05-2008 03:47 PM

Get the newest Good Old Boat, theres a great write-up in there for cleaning winches.

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