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If he's got the older self tailing single speed Lewmar 16s, he'll be scratching his head how to get the retaining clips to slide back into their slots. Lift the center a bit and they'll go in. Learned after beating my head against the winches for a couple hours.
 

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You may not remember when this was true for you, but not everybody has been sailing forever or started sailing thinking that they knew everything that there is to know about boats. We all had to learn sometime and somewhere. The fact that the original poster wants to learn to maintain his own boat, and looking for advice from more experienced sailors before dismantling a winch and potentially not getting it back together again properly, shows that the original poster actually does belong in the community of sailors. He was willing to learn and to try something new, showed reasonable prudence, and wasn't afraid to expend a mix of a little humility, lithium and elbow grease to improve his boat. That all seems pretty admirable to me.
Very well said Jeff... And why so many admire you... Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Is a Lewmar 16 a two speed winch. Will check mine later today but think the 16's are single speed winches and are working fine from the OP's description. Will check mine later today to be sure. Need to sail more as I shouldn't have a question as to winches function.
I think 16 refers to the size and come in many flavors in that side. Starboard cabintop has a single '16' self tailer, port side is a 2 speed not self tailer. My primaries sail trim winches are #30s two speed and they are bigger.

It was fairly easy getting the clip back on.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
The fact that the original poster wants to learn to maintain his own boat, and looking for advice from more experienced sailors before dismantling a winch and potentially not getting it back together again properly, shows that the original poster actually does belong in the community of sailors.
Thanks Jeff appreciate all your advice and support.
 

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If you get the drum off the top, you might see what is broken. I’m trying to imagine how it could be a broken pawl. As I understand the issue, the handle will turn CC but does not move the drum. Almost wonder if any gears are spinning on their shaft.

I clean winch gears with mineral spirits.
Or a pawl is stuck in some ancient grease so is not swinging out and engaging.
 

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Or a pawl is stuck in some ancient grease so is not swinging out and engaging.
Could be and, as said in other posts, there should be no grease on the pawls at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Here is my collecton of cleaners and lubricants. Any of these recommended for cleaning and greasing? I am heading to the boat this week and want to clean this winch properly.

I was thinking mineral spirits for cleaning, marine grease for gears and 3-in1 for pawls.
136446
 

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Pictures, pictures, pictures. Take pictures of every step of dismantling the winch. I can't tell you how important this is for reassembly!
Absolutely right. But also YouTube, YouTube, YouTube because most things you want to do on a boat have been done by someone else who made a badly shot but useful but boring video of it that will help you do your own maintenance.

And don’t be put off by condescension from others who don’t have the guts to do what you are doing.
 

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Here is my collecton of cleaners and lubricants. Any of these recommended for cleaning and greasing? I am heading to the boat this week and want to clean this winch properly.

I was thinking mineral spirits for cleaning, marine grease for gears and 3-in1 for pawls. View attachment 136446
Mineral spirits and turps are much more expensive than diesel, just saying. We use the Lewmar lube on the winches, available at any chandler I should think. I wouldn't use any other grease unless I was at sea and had no other choice. You use so little a small quantity lasts quite a while. Light machine or gun oil only on the pawls only, no grease.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Mineral spirits and turps are much more expensive than diesel, just saying. We use the Lewmar lube on the winches, available at any chandler I should think. I wouldn't use any other grease unless I was at sea and had no other choice. You use so little a small quantity lasts quite a while. Light machine or gun oil only on the pawls only, no grease.
Because I live in a home which I am building I buy Mineral Spirit by the gallon and refill my smaller containers as I go. It is not so expensive that I want to siphon diesel from my truck. I took a photo of my chandler last time I was there. I did not see Lewmar grease on the 6 linear feet devoted to boating stuff. The next closest one is 8 hours away.

I did a search for substitute; on another forum someone suggested Lewmar and Harken did not build there own refinery to formulate their own oil, but just bought and rebranded something off a shelf, which I could figure out what that was. I will look for Superlube if I can't find it I will hold of winch maintenance until I can get something shipped.
136448
 

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I'm sure it is available from Amazon and deliverable in a day or two. I believe it's the same lube Penn uses on their reels, but that's even more expensive. It won't hold dirt and salt and doesn't dry to a hard paste. I've had to clean winches that people haven't used the right grease on and it is time consuming, hard work and frustrating.
 
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I use Synthetic Waterproof Green Grease. May not be the "Proper" grease but the folks at Practical Sailor were convinced by it as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
I'm sure it is available from Amazon and deliverable in a day or two. I believe it's the same lube Penn uses on their reels, but that's even more expensive. It won't hold dirt and salt and doesn't dry to a hard paste. I've had to clean winches that people haven't used the right grease on and it is time consuming, hard work and frustrating.
Things have changed with Amazon, in a significant way. When I lived in San Diego things would come overnight, even on Saturdays, or order on the weekend and show up on Monday. I thought they accomplished this by getting their own planes and couriers. When I moved back to a rural part of the country I found they stole from those days from the rural people and gave them to the people in big cities. I am lucky to get anything in under 4 days. If it is not prime it could take weeks. My last order from Jamestown Distributors took 8 days.

It's inconvenient but I would guess in some ways like living on a boat next to an island, it's the price you pay to live in a beautiful place. I looked around again at my local lube options and could not even find any of the recommended substitutes. so will order some Lewmar Grease and wait for next visit to service the winches.
 

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Things have changed with Amazon, in a significant way. When I lived in San Diego things would come overnight, even on Saturdays, or order on the weekend and show up on Monday. I thought they accomplished this by getting their own planes and couriers. When I moved back to a rural part of the country I found they stole from those days from the rural people and gave them to the people in big cities. I am lucky to get anything in under 4 days. If it is not prime it could take weeks. My last order from Jamestown Distributors took 8 days.

It's inconvenient but I would guess in some ways like living on a boat next to an island, it's the price you pay to live in a beautiful place. I looked around again at my local lube options and could not even find any of the recommended substitutes. so will order some Lewmar Grease and wait for next visit to service the winches.
Sorry to hear that but I certainly know how it feels to be far from civilization. A FedEx package 2 day shipment took 3 weeks to get to me last month. Such is life in the slow lane.
 
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When it comes to grease for winches I really don't think you need to over think it. I know the Lewmar brochure says " waterproof marine grade grease" but seriously ALL grease is waterproof! That is just marketing! Your choice of grease matters when you are dealing with high speeds, high temperatures and extreme environments, but a sailboat winch is none of those things! I have a tube of Lewmar grease that I bought years ago, but it is nothing special. The last time I serviced my winches I used Permatex synthetic grease. That's what I will use going forward. There is no need to buy "special" winch grease...the only thing special about it is the price!

Sent from my SM-G960W using Tapatalk
 

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There is one aspect of "any old grease" that is problematic, and that is it hardens and cakes over time and can be a real pain to remove. It seems to weld itself to the metal. Synthetics help a lot here.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #58
The last time I serviced my winches I used Permatex synthetic grease. That's what I will use going forward.
Thanks for that.
In my research I found the same analysis. A boat Winch is not exactly a demanding job for gears.
I have been looking for just one of the recommended alternatives. I will add permatex to the list.
 

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Grease isn’t termed waterproof, because it uniquely doesn’t dissolve. It suggests it won‘t wash off and many greases will. I often note that waterproof greases are also high temp resistant, meaning they won’t melt off. Another smart quality for grease that will live inside a metal drum on a wet boat. However, I have no idea if there are any commercial standards for waterproof/temp claims.

I would use an alternate, if I couldn’t source the OEM product. It should be applied very lightly, with a brush, so one tube lasts a very long time.
 
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