SailNet Community banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

· Registered
‘77 Pearson 10m
Joined
·
660 Posts
Reaction score
465
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Boat Naval architecture Watercraft Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies Wood

Installing new to me Lewmar Wavegrip (circa mid-80s) 40 ST winches, but the chrome is very finely pitted, or “etched”. I’m wondering it I can buff it out and with what? It might just flake off more chrome. Thanks for any tips!
 

· Registered
Moody 376
Joined
·
504 Posts
Reaction score
355
options
1 run some 600 grit over your sunglasses.
2 keep some line neatly wrapped around it
3. keep the cover on

utilizing a combination of the above, you won't notice it... :)

honestly no idea. but maybe start with some nevrdull or brasso and work in a small area...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,759 Posts
Reaction score
852
IMO, don't use anything aggressive. When the metal is eroding, it won't help to remove more metal. I'd use chrome polish, available at Walmart or any auto parts store. That will remove the cloudy corrosion stain without removing metal. Nothing will restore them like new, but they'll look cleaner and shinier. Regularly rinse salt off them with fresh water to preserve them. What really matters is that they function smoothly and grip the line.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,554 Posts
Reaction score
245
"semi-chrome polish" which is a mild abrasive, fair amount of elbow grease and time will do wonders.

stay away from steel wool - as the filings will rust and any crevice with filings in it will do the same. Bronze wool is safe, as long as you don't take a machine to it.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,460 Posts
Reaction score
1,078
There are companies that can re-chrome those nasty looking winches on your boat.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MarkofSeaLife

· Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
Reaction score
73
We all have different standards, but those drums look pretty good from here!

Regardless, don't believe you can 'buff' out pitting w/o doing further damage to the finish. Even dense chrome plating is typically very thin (thinner than wood veneer). Re-chroming might be an option BUT... it's quite expensive and unlikely to have the same durability as OEM. The smooth surfaces could be entrusted to most automotive focused shops, but a particular expertise is needed to knurl the drums correctly. Too aggressive and they will chew through the lines, too conservative and the lines will slip. Lot's of threads on this topic across the various sailing forums.

If you find a competent shop that can reasonably re-chrom marine winches, please share with the forum. They're as rare as hen's teeth in the NE.
 

· Registered
‘77 Pearson 10m
Joined
·
660 Posts
Reaction score
465
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We all have different standards, but those drums look pretty good from here!

Regardless, don't believe you can 'buff' out pitting w/o doing further damage to the finish. Even dense chrome plating is typically very thin (thinner than wood veneer). Re-chroming might be an option BUT... it's quite expensive and unlikely to have the same durability as OEM. The smooth surfaces could be entrusted to most automotive focused shops, but a particular expertise is needed to knurl the drums correctly. Too aggressive and they will chew through the lines, too conservative and the lines will slip. Lot's of threads on this topic across the various sailing forums.

If you find a competent shop that can reasonably re-chrom marine winches, please share with the forum. They're as rare as hen's teeth in the NE.
Well, almost as soon as I pressed "post" i realized having shiny drums on my secondary winches on top of old teak and oxidized fiberglass may not, or should not, be anywhere near the top of my project list. I also recognize I can easily make it worse and making it better may not be possible.
 

· Registered
Argie 15
Joined
·
102 Posts
Reaction score
61
There is hard chrome plating and decorative chrome plating (and lots in between). Hard chrome plating is what is done on piston rings, the insides of pipelines, and other things that need lubricity or durability. Decorated chrome plating is usually done on top of nickel plating (maybe multiple layers) for its smoothness and is measured in millionths of an inch thick.

Here is a rechroming place in the UK that has pretty good reviews. They ship worldwide and provide free estimates.

Ashford Chroming - Marine Chrome Plating Parts & Winches​

There are also cheaper "silvering" solutions that can be sprayed on to provide a chrome-like finish on items:

How to Use PChrome (Spray-On "Chrome") by Peacock Laboratories, Inc.​

Disclaimer: I've never used this Ashford joint nor the spray on stuff, but I used to color anodize aluminum robot parts with a homemade rig. Lots of fun and not too hard to do!

~~ Red
 

· Registered
Catalina 315
Joined
·
1,291 Posts
Reaction score
516
This is a case where accepting some patina is the best course. Mild chrome polish and be done. Nothing you can do about the pitting, within reason.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,759 Posts
Reaction score
852
I had a radiator shell from an antique car repaired and re-chromed recently. The re-chroming took months and the re-chroming alone cost $900., and it had to be shipped to, I think, Detroit. I expect the cost of re-chroming two winches would be similar. Adding that to what you probably paid for the winches, you could have bought new winches. I don't think it would be cost effective. Your winches look much better than what I would expect for the age of the boat
 

· New to cruising
Joined
·
175 Posts
Reaction score
85
View attachment 146195
Installing new to me Lewmar Wavegrip (circa mid-80s) 40 ST winches, but the chrome is very finely pitted, or “etched”. I’m wondering it I can buff it out and with what? It might just flake off more chrome. Thanks for any tips!
Well, almost as soon as I pressed "post" i realized having shiny drums on my secondary winches on top of old teak and oxidized fiberglass may not, or should not, be anywhere near the top of my project list. I also recognize I can easily make it worse and making it better may not be possible.
Some pitting is good. It increases the grip of the drum on the line which can help when tightening. I polish mine regularly but don't worr about the "pitting" where the line goes. I actually find it somewhat helpful. But maybe I'm just wishful thinking.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top