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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for advice on winch servicing. I have Lewmar winches, I don't know the sizes off-hand but there are two primary and two secondary on the coach roof of my Bavaria 33. Is it just a questions of taking them apart, cleaning them and re-assembling them or are there standard parts that need to be replaced regularly. I was not aware that this needed to be done annually so they haven't been touched since the boat was new in 2007.

Also, does the project have to be done on the boat or can they be taken off and done at home. About how long does it take for someone who is generally pretty good with tools? Any things to be particularly careful about other than parts going into the water.

Thanks.

Eric
 

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STARBOARD!!
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In addition note how the pictures show towels draped over the lifelines so hopefully parts don't fall overboard. Some people have suggested cutting a hole in the bottom of a cardboard box and placing it over the winch before tearing it down; but that might restrict getting at the gear pins too much.

Be careful when pulling the drum off because the caged needle bearings like to stick inside the drum and then fall out unexpectedly.
 

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The thing that seems to cause the most trouble is the small spring (really just a bent piece of spring wire) that controls the pawls.. It loves to jump long distances when you remove the pawls and if you are not expecting it............
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A great resource. It appears as if the author of the PDF did NOT replace any part but rather simply cleaned and lubricated everything. Is this correct?

Eric
 

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Tartan 27' owner
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This from a google search on 'Lewmar winches'
Lewmar
On new winches you would not expect to be needing to replace ANY of the parts. Just clean and re-lube as per instructions. Pretty straight forward.
Good luck.
 

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if you have Lewmar winches, they sell a relatively inexpensive kits. you will want a "Lewmar Winch Maintenance Kit"

the kit includes an instruction manual , winch grease, oil, a brush for the grease, and 10 pawl springs. The trick is that two speed winches use 4 pawl springs each, so you may have reuse some springs doing 4 winches. That shouldn't be a big deal on an 2007 boat.

The kit is under $30 and be found at about any store, WM, Defender, Sailnet Store:

Lewmar - Winch Maintenance Kit Shop.Sailnet.com - sailing resources, shopping, sail, blogs

url is crappy.... just click on the lewmar name
 

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Vikingsailor
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I just finished the winch maintenance on my boat. Boat is on the hard. Didn't remove the winches from the boat...and all went well.

Didn't replace any parts, as I did not see any signs of significant wear. Pawls, bearings, springs, all looked fine. I do have a good supply of spares for the eventuality.

Cleaned all the old, gummed up grease, oiled the pawls, greased everything else and reinstalled.

Not a bad job...
 

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I just finished the winch maintenance on my boat. Boat is on the hard. Didn't remove the winches from the boat...and all went well......

Not a bad job...
now that i think about it, in order to get the entire winch off the boat you'd have to strip it down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks much. Looks like a half an hour per winch once you get established. Will wait till weather is warm enough to work on the boat our of doors. Officially I can go sailing on Sunday when my insurance is valid. I will undoubtedly wait at least a few weeks though.

Eric
 

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I just did both Lewmar 48s on my boat the other day. It was my first time and I did not find it difficult. Take the winch drum off one of the other winches but leave it put together as it makes a good reference to how all the gears go back together.

I used grease on everything, including the pawls, when I did mine. It was only later that I read somewhere that the pawls should be oiled, not greased. I'm going to leave it as is for now and see how it does. If they are sticking I am going to have to re-do it.

Have lots of rags/paper towels handy as it is a messy job!
 

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Vikingsailor
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I have access to the through bolts holding my winches down, so I think I could have removed them...but...weather wasn't bad for Maine, this time of year...so...I did the job on board. Didn't lose anything...but did stab my finger with one of the springs...minor!

The single speed winches were very easy. The 2 speeds took longer...much more to clean. No surprise.

now that i think about it, in order to get the entire winch off the boat you'd have to strip it down.
 

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ASA and PSIA Instructor
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I just did both Lewmar 48s on my boat ...I used grease on everything, including the pawls,.... I'm going to leave it as is for now and see how it does. If they are sticking I am going to have to re-do it.
...
A way bad idea, as you run the risk of finding out they are sticking when a loaded winch unloads while the handle is in, you can take someone's teeth out or crack a skull. Note you will only notice the pawls are sticking AFTER the last one sticks...only one needs to be working for the operation to look normal. When the last pawl sticks open - BAM!

Take the winches apart clean and properly oil the pawls. Be sure that the teeth and races that the pawls set in have not been greased either.
 

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Thanks much. Looks like a half an hour per winch once you get established.
I'm wondering how a proper winch stripping & maintenance can be done in 30 minutes:

1. remove the winch from it's base (usually necessary to get all the parts disassembled) (est. 5 min)
2. disassemble the winch (down to singular parts) (est. 10-15 min).
3. soak all parts in solvent (gasoline, kerosene, diesel, or other solvent) (est. 10 min)
4. clean all grease and solvent off parts with tooth brush and clean rags (est 20 min).
5. reassemble and lubricate parts as reassembly proceeds (oil on pawls, light coat of grease on everything else, plus tefgel on dis-similar metals) (est 20 min.)
6. remount reassembled winch on its base (est 5 min).

....and those times are after you've been doing it for a while.

I've done it on and off the boat, but my favorite way to do it is sitting at my garden table, under the unbrella, with cold beer at hand. That way, it doesn't matter how long it takes! :)

Tip: Buy extra allen wrenches of the required sizes and other necessary tools and keep them, along with all the grease, oil and spares, in a separate box marked "Winch Stuff". That way when its time to mess around with your wench you just grab the box and have at it. ;)
 

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I noticed that the link in the second post suggested using "Lewmar grease" - whatever that is... I've always used and been pleased with the white lithium grease for this application.
 

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Vikingsailor
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I noticed that the link in the second post suggested using "Lewmar grease" - whatever that is... I've always used and been pleased with the white lithium grease for this application.
"Lewmar grease" is just a tube of grease w/the Lewmar name on it. Comes in the winch kit you can get from Lewmar. It's their special, proprietary blend. HA!
 

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A New Adventurer
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"Lewmar grease" is just a tube of grease w/the Lewmar name on it. Comes in the winch kit you can get from Lewmar. It's their special, proprietary blend. HA!
Mine are not that old either. Do I need to get the winch service kit or could I just use the lithium grease? What about the oil? What type would you recommend?
 

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Tausap—

I'd have to second what SF said, you really need to take the winch apart and clean off the pawls. That's really not a good idea to leave them as is.. A Lewmar48 is a decent size winch and the loads on it are going to be high enough to be dangerous. By the time they start sticking you may not realize it and you're risking getting mauled by it, like the old wire reel winches used to do to people...

I used grease on everything, including the pawls, when I did mine. It was only later that I read somewhere that the pawls should be oiled, not greased. I'm going to leave it as is for now and see how it does. If they are sticking I am going to have to re-do it.
Just be aware that there are commonly two spare parts kits for Lewmar winches. One is for their single-speed winches, the other for their two-speed winches.
 
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