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Old 21-05-2016, 11:04   #31
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

I serviced all the winches when the boat was bought (used). I have not been back to them since. We do have covers for those exposed to the weather.....but Im not sure how effective they really are. The same applies to the windlass.




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What's the best service schedule for Lewmar Ocean winches, or any winches? It just occurred to me last season when I began hearing one of our primary powered winches sounding a little dry when under load, Hey... Do I need to service these things? Most likely, ours hadn't been touched for 12 years until earlier today. So after watching this YouTube video by Lewmar, I decided to prove with absolute certainty that their winches weren't "idiot proof" like the guy in the video kept saying.

Starting with the most difficult of course, a powered 64, Dismantling the monster, I nearly fell off the boat when surprised by how much the damn thing weighed, I lost my balance. Which would have ended quite badly since the boat is on the hard, and I was fourteen feet above terra firma. But after nearly two hours of cleaning, fussing and lubricating.... I'd finished the first of nine.

Four of them were in surprisingly good shape lubrication wise, but the others were way overdue for service. I eventually got the process down to an hour each. These things are bullet proof to have endured the neglect we'd bestowed upon them, no noticeable wear or rough bearings on any of them.

My question now of course is: How often do I need to do this?

Ken
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Old 21-05-2016, 11:46   #32
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

Fondling your winch bits? I do know what you mean, but you do know that's the final stage, don't you....
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Old 21-05-2016, 11:48   #33
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

It's right up there with polishing your (computer) macros..
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Old 21-05-2016, 14:15   #34
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

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I serviced all the winches when the boat was bought (used). I have not been back to them since. We do have covers for those exposed to the weather.....but Im not sure how effective they really are. The same applies to the windlass.
Then you're on borrowed time with the windlass. I service ours once or twice per season, I had it seize up a couple of years ago the same day the starter motor caught fire.... what a mess it was. It cost me 600 to get the thing working again, and all it would've taken was a half hour of service each year to prevent it. The windlass gets clobbered with salt and water all season long.

You need to service it.
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Old 21-05-2016, 14:23   #35
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

The Harken manual says every 6 months but I bet they consider a race boat raced almost all year long.

I used to do it every year but there is so much to do on the boat that I have become lazy and started to do it every 2 years.

A professional tip helped with my laziness. I have been told to just take away the outer part of the winch, exposing the mechanism, wash it thoroughly with fresh water and then spray everything generously with oil for guns. Sure it is not what should be done but is way better than nothing
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Old 21-05-2016, 14:30   #36
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

You are right, Ken, and I know I should. Its one of those jobs that seems always to slide. Its always been washed down very regularly with fresh water (as least once a week) and it does live inside a locker so it is reasonably protected.......my justification for a job not done!!


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Then you're on borrowed time with the windlass. I service ours once or twice per season, I had it seize up a couple of years ago the same day the starter motor caught fire.... what a mess it was. It cost me 600 to get the thing working again, and all it would've taken was a half hour of service each year to prevent it. The windlass gets clobbered with salt and water all season long.

You need to service it.
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Old 21-05-2016, 14:51   #37
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

I think u know when they need it. The pawl gets caught in dry grease. Or it sounds dry.

Sent from a stupid phone that replaces words with weird stuff.
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Old 21-05-2016, 15:01   #38
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

We feel bad about this but have never serviced a winch unless it was acting or sounding funny. Very irresponsible but did work well for 30 years of sailing, 10 of which were continuous. Most of the winches were never serviced.
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Old 21-05-2016, 15:27   #39
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

Well, let's see -

our boat is a 1979 vintage, so...
...every 37 years whether they need it or not?


JK, it's a good part of spring commissioning if you have time.
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Old 22-05-2016, 05:46   #40
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

On a related note, can anyone beat servicing a winch in less than an hour? That is about the fastest I can do it.
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Old 22-05-2016, 06:24   #41
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

I do mine every year. I think that it is a good idea to keep an eye on these things to avoid the unexpected breakdown at th4e absolute worst time, which is quite normal. I have old Lewmar winches from 1980 and I don't find them that difficult to service. I imagine the newer ones would be even easier.
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Old 22-05-2016, 06:32   #42
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

Takes me 15-20 minutes to do an Anderson, I maintain mine so it is no big deal. No solidified grease etc.
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Old 22-05-2016, 06:42   #43
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

Bought my my 23y old boat last year. Pretty sure winches were never been serviced cause I know well the previous owner. Grease was still present but sticky.
I desassembled one by one. Sprayed a degrease product (made in Brazil). And half of them I spread white winch grease and the other half litium grease spray (wd 40).
Racing winches have been serviced here only with silicon spray, but very often.
I really dont know if works...but think is worth trying.
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Old 22-05-2016, 07:03   #44
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

I don't know how the Lewmar guy in the video does it so fast, most of my time was spent cleaning off the old gunk then painting on the new gunk. Maybe... it's because he didn't do these two important steps?
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Old 22-05-2016, 07:23   #45
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How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I don't know how the Lewmar guy in the video does it so fast, most of my time was spent cleaning off the old gunk then painting on the new gunk. Maybe... it's because he didn't do these two important steps?

Agreed. Takes a good amount of warm soapy water, mineral spirits and scrubbing to get everything clean. I just took mine home to the double kitchen sink.

I probably won't completely clean mine again for another few years unless the grease looks really dirty. Just an inspection for wear and some new grease, as needed.

(Edit: PS, I use Super Lube 21030 Synthetic Grease (NLGI 2), 3 oz Tube https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000XBH9HI..._YlBqxb69SM3D2 based on recommendations from here and it has been working as well as any. Has found several uses on the boat so far. Just yesterday, I used it on my stay turnbuckles.)
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