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Old 12-10-2015, 09:16   #1
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Fragile LEWMAR EVO winches and expensive spares

Dear sailing friends,
I have mounted a LEWMAR EVO 45 ST winch to handle the main sheet of my Privilege 435 catamaran.
The main sheet is a 2 part purchase affair at the end of the boom. So the pull is reasonable on this size of winch and indeed only normal effort is required on the winch handle, even when sailing upwind in 25 knots of wind

As can be seen on the photo, a black plastic nut cum washer is screwed on top of the winch and locks its assembly, notably the circular self tailer.

I discovered that if the sheet is turned only twice around the drum of the winch (a common mistake with amateur crews), the sheet not only slips but breaks the black plastic nut cum washer, allowing the top crown of the circular self tailer to escape.
Have you experienced similar failures ?

To worsen this case, LEWMAR sells the plastic nut cum washer (a few grams of plastic 2" in diameters) sells this spare part for ....53 € French retail price
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:14   #2
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Fragile LEWMAR EVO winches and expensive spares

Interesting, we have the 40s as our jib winches, which are fully loaded over 20kts. 3+ years and they have worked flawlessly, regardless of how many turns are on them (they will slip if too few turns and load is too much, of course). Is you sheet too thin to properly engage in the jaws?

If you just bought it, I would try warranty claim.


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Old 12-10-2015, 10:24   #3
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Re: Fragile LEWMAR EVO winches and expensive spares

My main sheet is 12 mm thick and engages properly in the self tailer.
With only 2 turns on the drum, the sheet forces upward the top crown of the self tailer and breaks the black plastic nut cum washer
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:25   #4
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Re: Fragile LEWMAR EVO winches and expensive spares

We have the same winches and have never had this type of failure. I can't even envision how it would occur. Without looking at it I am not sure, but if I remember right it doesn't have any load on the nut, it just holds everything in place perpendicular to the load.

I am pretty sure Lewmar makes a stainless version instead of plastic if you want to go this route.
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Old 13-10-2015, 09:53   #5
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Re: Fragile LEWMAR EVO winches and expensive spares

Curious if it might be an issue with the lead angle of the mainsheet to the winch, itself?
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Old 13-10-2015, 10:10   #6
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Re: Fragile LEWMAR EVO winches and expensive spares

Riding up on the drum with force? Sounds like you need to adjust the angle your winch is mounted with an angled base plate.
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Old 13-10-2015, 10:14   #7
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Re: Fragile LEWMAR EVO winches and expensive spares

Doesn't sound like a durable winch regardless of sheet angle to me.
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Old 13-10-2015, 14:36   #8
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Re: Fragile LEWMAR EVO winches and expensive spares

Neophyte and Spencer both mentioned what I was thinking. The load should not be causing the line to ride upward with any significant pressure. If there is that much pressure, the drum is not perpendicular to the lead of the line. A new baseplate may be required. Definitely not a very durable design either...

Now with that being said, 53 euros is pretty boaty!

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Old 13-10-2015, 15:53   #9
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Re: Fragile LEWMAR EVO winches and expensive spares

Dear all,
LEWMAR tech support has just proposed the same answer

Quote : If I was to have a guess it would be that the leading angle on the winch is not correct. So that under load the main sheet line is pulling the drum upwards and course the plastic top nut brake. The leading angle should be 5 degrees in the downwards passion. It would be good for us to see a photo of the winch with the main sheet line loaded so we can see what is going on.
Actually, the main sheet is properly angled 7° down and is certainly not pulling the winch Upward .
The main sheet’s diameter is 12 mm.
With 20 knots of wind and only two turns on the drum, the main sheet does force apart the two crowns of the self tailer, breaks the plastic nut and lifts the top crown.
I am in france now and will make and mail photos when back aboard early November
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Old 13-10-2015, 16:16   #10
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Re: Fragile LEWMAR EVO winches and expensive spares

I would be interested in the results of this. I too was thinking of lead angles but if they are correct another possibility is that the rope maybe rolling on itself. Sometimes modern rope can twist it self. Try pulling the line out of the sheaves and fix one end and then grab it and pull it through your hands. This might release tension. Just a thought.
New Harken self tailers have pressed horns instead Of forged that are considered replacement item they flex like crazy
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Old 13-10-2015, 18:18   #11
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Re: Fragile LEWMAR EVO winches and expensive spares

The problem is only having two turns on the drum. There should be almost no load on the line where it enters the self-tailer. You would not try holding it by hand with only two wraps in 20 knots and you shouldn't expect the self-tailer to be able to either. If you can't hold it with two fingers you need another wrap. Not a design issue, more a misuse/abuse situation. With that much load the line will be trying to separate the jaws of the tailer and that is what is creating the excessive upward load on the locking nut.

All that being said, 53 Euros does sound a bit excessive, even for a boat part.
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Old 13-10-2015, 21:36   #12
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Re: Fragile LEWMAR EVO winches and expensive spares

So to be clear, the part that broke is the plastic nut holding the stainless (or at least some sort of metal bit) on the top of the winch. Back to warranty, unless this has happened multiple times, I think it might be as simple as build defect. We have overloaded our Evos, and I give up trying to imagine how the nut could break. Other winches are held together with equally weak systems, such as split rings.

Yes overloading with not enough wraps is no good, but it should just slip, not break, this happens to us frequently, going down wind with a wrap or two, start to harden up, it starts slipping, add some wraps, and away you go.

I think your nut slipped (no pun intended) through the qc checks at the molders.


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