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Old 20-05-2016, 13:50   #1
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How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

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 20-05-2016, 14:22   #2
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

I service my primary winches (on the cockpit coamings) about once a year, when I feel they make a different noise or when the pawls stop working properly.

The halyard winches on the coachroof are less exposed to seawater. and need less frequent servicing.

Alain
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Old 20-05-2016, 14:39   #3
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

Schedule it every 6 months, get around to it every 18 months.
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Old 20-05-2016, 14:45   #4
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

I pretend I service them once a year. In reality it's whenever I think about it and can't remember if I serviced them in the last year.

Speaking of I think I may need to service mine as well....
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Old 20-05-2016, 14:58   #5
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

The Lewmar recommendation is 2-3 times per sailing season.

'Seems a little excessive and time consuming. The Lewmar windlass gets serviced once or twice per season, but it's right up there getting soaked with seawater all the time. The winches aren't as exposed.

I can see doing it three times per season on a racing boat where they get water dumped on them more often.
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Old 20-05-2016, 15:24   #6
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

damn, I've been meaning to do that .............................. for a couple of years
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Old 20-05-2016, 16:11   #7
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

Racing we serviced them once or twice a year, cruising maybe every couple of years. Keeping them covered in real hot weather helps the grease last longer. Not a big job but a bit messy, I need cooler weather to motivate me, too damn hot right now for outside work.
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Old 20-05-2016, 16:16   #8
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
damn, I've been meaning to do that .............................. for a couple of years
+1

And I think if people are honest, it's fairly typical.

Ken, I have been through exactly the same thing as you, and I have two things to tell you:

1. It depends very much on how many miles you do under sail, but these winches seem to work ok for several years without service.


2. HOWEVER -- once you learn to do it -- it is actually an extremely pleasant job. Lewmar winches are works of art inside, and they come apart very easily -- the way you'd disassemble a fine shotgun or a Leica camera. You might want to take them apart just to fondle them.
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Old 20-05-2016, 16:21   #9
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

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You might want to take them apart just to fondle them.
It's been a long day. At first I read the last word in the subject line as "wenches."

Then I read the line above.

I need to log off now.
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Old 20-05-2016, 16:22   #10
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

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+1

And I think if people are honest, it's fairly typical.

Ken, I have been through exactly the same thing as you, and I have two things to tell you:

1. It depends very much on how many miles you do under sail, but these winches seem to work ok for several years without service.


2. HOWEVER -- once you learn to do it -- it is actually an extremely pleasant job. Lewmar winches are works of art inside, and they come apart very easily -- the way you'd disassemble a fine shotgun or a Leica camera. You might want to take them apart just to fondle them.
Fondle Them!!! Now you are taking this job a little too far.
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Old 20-05-2016, 16:47   #11
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

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Fondle Them!!! Now you are taking this job a little too far.


Any owner of really beautiful equipment -- like mechanical Leica cameras -- knows what I am talking about.

What's inside a Lewmar winch is like that. Taking them apart is a pleasure just for its own sake -- hold the bits in your hand, feel the weight of the bronze, admire the mechanical design, hear the mellow clicking of the pawls . . .

Don't forget to clean and lube them, by the way
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Old 20-05-2016, 16:49   #12
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

I'm pretty sure mine haven't been touched in 30 yrs, it's on my list, honestly.
I had a Zeiss Ikon Contraflex, does that count?


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Old 20-05-2016, 16:56   #13
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

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. . . I had a Zeiss Ikon Contaflex, does that count?
Oh, yes!!

If anything, that's even more beautiful than the Leica, and 1000x less well known. A work of mechanical art indeed And optical.

I never owned one of those, but I did -- errr -- fondle one once, or twice
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Old 20-05-2016, 16:56   #14
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

My 40 year old winches, that may have been serviced twice in that time are still going.

I'd bet if you could remember to take care of them Every 5 years you'd be ok.

I do have to admit that I was sucked into a 2for1 sale and just bought new lewmar winches for the 40 year old boat.


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Old 20-05-2016, 16:58   #15
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Re: How Often Do You Service Your Winches?

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Any owner of really beautiful equipment -- like mechanical Leica cameras -- knows what I am talking about.

What's inside a Lewmar winch is like that. Taking them apart is a pleasure just for its own sake -- hold the bits in your hand, feel the weight of the bronze, admire the mechanical design, hear the mellow clicking of the pawls . . .

Don't forget to clean and lube them, by the way
Can't deny I also like we'll built things but cleaning winches,even Lewmars has never given me any feeling of ecstasy. 😗
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