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Discussion Starter #1
(I'm saying this in my best Seinfeld voice)

I need a little assistance understanding winch sizes and what they mean and why is it so important. I have done some research, but I have not seen any info on what the "#" represents.

I have two winches, one is good and one needs to be replaced soon. The good one is a Lewmar and is marked with a #10. The other winch is not marked with a #, but it looks to be the same size.

I understand the reasons for larger or smaller winches, but is the # relative to the size of the winch or does it indicate something else entirely?

I have a Catalina 27 for reference.

Thanks,

Chris
 

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ancient mariner
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439 Posts
try the sailnet thread --- sizing winches--- also go to lewmar to get the info you want
 

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ASA and PSIA Instructor
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4,101 Posts
I can't speak to how other manufacturer's come up with their model numbers, but you can find general info about Lewmars at:

Lewmar

including the following FAQ:
How is the size/number system worked out?
The winch size refers to the power ratio i.e. a Size 40 winch has a 40.2 : 1 power ratio. This means if you put 25kg/55lb of effort on the handle, the pull generated will be approximately 1005kg/2211lbs.
 

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This isn't an answer to your quesiton, but I discovered some other stuff about winches when researching a possible change to self tailers.

1) Winches are expensive

2) Different companies use different bolt patterns; In my case what started out as making a simple swap evolved into something more akin to fiberglass surgery. Same thing for different sizes. A small step up in size means a different center to center measurement on the mounting bolts.

3) Most winches can be rebuilt far more cheaply than replacing them and most companies sell re-build kits
 

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Not So Senior Member
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2,507 Posts
I can't speak to how other manufacturer's come up with their model numbers, but you can find general info about Lewmars at:

Lewmar

including the following FAQ:
How is the size/number system worked out?
The winch size refers to the power ratio i.e. a Size 40 winch has a 40.2 : 1 power ratio. This means if you put 25kg/55lb of effort on the handle, the pull generated will be approximately 1005kg/2211lbs.
Like sailingfool says, the # is a ref. to the power ratio. That being said, I can't find anything on a Lewmar #10. You may need to measure the bolt pattern and upgrade to new winches that have the same pattern.

OR, take the old ones out, ebay them to help fund new, fill in the old bolt holes, and start anew (good time to get two speed self tailing winches with a slightly larger power ratio for more mechanical advantage).

OR, call Lewmar and ask them about rebuild kits for a #10, rebuild them for about $50 each (or less considering they are single speeds), and go sailing.

You may not need to rebuild at all, a little winch grease goes a long way to make those puppies hum. If the drums surface is worn down you can have that fixed too.
 

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Telstar 28
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1,000 Posts
Be aware that some older winches, notably the Barient/Barlow winches, did not use the gear ratio as the size number. :) YMMV. Rebuilding is a better choice if you have that option, unless you need to go up a size in winches. It is far less expensive and far less work.
 
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