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Old 19-03-2017, 10:17   #16
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

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Originally Posted by Crew of Turning View Post
We have Barlow 27,s as our primary self tailers, going onto their 40th year this summer. Chrome plating is holding up very well. The tailer jaws are getting a bit worn and I can adjust them with the the shims. New jaws would be nice. Old stuff is often very good when taken care of and well built.
You can get parts for Barient & Barlow winches here --> HUTTON-ARCO Yacht Winches
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Old 19-03-2017, 10:29   #17
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Re rinsing after each sail, waxing and always covering winches:

Not on most boats that are actually cruising! We rinse ours each and every time it rains, we've never waxed or polished a winch in our lives, and threw away the cute little covers long ago. And our winches have lasted pretty much indefinitely (by yottie standards), both anodized and chromed models. And I reckon that we use them a lot more than most boats' winches get used.
We do strip and clean and lube them annually... IMO much more important than any of the above mentioned "musts".

One thing no one has mentioned in the chrome bronze vs anodized aluminium war: the bronze ones are LOTS heavier,,, if that matters to you.

Jim


Jim,
Please do not take this question/remarks as sarcastic or critical but rather as a source of information for those interested in winch/boat maintenance. I want to make this very clear. You say in regards to rinsing winches: "Not on most boats that are actually cruising! We rinse ours each and every time it rains, we've never waxed or polished a winch in our lives, and threw away the cute little covers long ago." Jim Cate. So, Jim, do you ever wash your boat? If you wash your boat, do you ever wash and rinse the winches with fresh water? Do you rinse your rope clutches, cowl vents, steering pedestal, sheets, anchor winch, etc? Do you ever wax your boat? When you wax your boat, do you ever wax/polish stainless cowl vents, wheel, stanchions, pedestal etc.? If there is surface rust, do you just leave it since it is a cruising boat. I'm happy to hear you service your winches yearly. I think, however, the bottom line, is that boat maintenance has nothing to do with miles sailed but rather is a reflection of your personality type, personal ideas of cleanliness and how you perceive yourself and your boat. At least, that's my opinion. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 19-03-2017, 10:54   #18
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

It seems that the jury has submitted a clear verdict: chromed bronze is the way to go. Thanks for all who responded.

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Now i have a question for you guys. I have seen Jim's comment about winch covers. I have aften wondered if they are a good idea or not bec they tend to retain the moisture inside so you get more, not less, corrosion
Andrew
I believe that covers made of bare Sunbrella (not backed with vinyl as some people like to do) would do a good job keeping dew off and breathing out any moisture that does get in.
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Old 19-03-2017, 11:31   #19
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

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It seems that the jury has submitted a clear verdict: chromed bronze is the way to go.
I'd say that this isn't necessarily the case, based on several decades of racing, sailing, & delivering boats with winches made of materials of all types. Few winches are what you'd call fragile. And with even the lowest levels of care, they last for decades.

The biggest care items are; cleaning, & fresh lube regularly. And ensuring that the drain ports in the winch bases are working, so that the winches aren't permanently resting in puddles of salt water. Otherwise, rinse your winches when you can, & they're good.


The shift away from bronze winches happened in the '80's with the advent of cordage that was repacing the rigging wire commonly used for big boat sheets. Since up until that time, on serious boats from about 40' on up, you needed sheets & guys made of wire spliced to rope in order to handle the loads & stretch on the running rigging. And of course such lines are fairly brutal on aluminum winch drums. But once Kevlar became common for sheets, guys, & halyards, this changed. As did the metals used for winches. With racers being the first to switch to aluminum winch drums. And as usual, recreational yachts followed this trend, much like has happened in the last 2 decades with self-tailing winches.
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Old 19-03-2017, 12:02   #20
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

Winch covers also keep out dust and other debris. The cargo ships that pass right by my harbor dump an awful amount of soot like material from the fuel they burn. Makes a mess on deck and cannot be good for any equipment with moving parts. I keep covers on. Loose enough for moisture to exit
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Old 20-03-2017, 00:39   #21
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

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Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
Jim,
Please do not take this question/remarks as sarcastic or critical but rather as a source of information for those interested in winch/boat maintenance. I want to make this very clear. You say in regards to rinsing winches: "Not on most boats that are actually cruising! We rinse ours each and every time it rains, we've never waxed or polished a winch in our lives, and threw away the cute little covers long ago." Jim Cate. So, Jim, do you ever wash your boat? If you wash your boat, do you ever wash and rinse the winches with fresh water? Do you rinse your rope clutches, cowl vents, steering pedestal, sheets, anchor winch, etc? Do you ever wax your boat? When you wax your boat, do you ever wax/polish stainless cowl vents, wheel, stanchions, pedestal etc.? If there is surface rust, do you just leave it since it is a cruising boat. I'm happy to hear you service your winches yearly. I think, however, the bottom line, is that boat maintenance has nothing to do with miles sailed but rather is a reflection of your personality type, personal ideas of cleanliness and how you perceive yourself and your boat. At least, that's my opinion. Good luck and safe sailing.
Well, you should understand that we often go more than a year between marina visits... the kind of situation where you get a hose and wash everything down. So, my sorta silly comment about rinsing in the rain isn't really so silly. We don't have a watermaker, and we don't waste water washing the boat or sloshing out the winches. And to say it once more: despite this crass dismissal of the gotta wash everything mantra, our winches have performed well for decades of heavy use. And our clutches, cowl vents, steering pedestal, sheets, anchor windlass etc also work just fine and don't look much different from those on other boats... even the marina dwelling ones. They do get serviced regularly (the things that need servicing), but not ritual washing or waxing.

Wax the boat? Nope, never. Our boat, being timber/epoxy construction, is painted, not gelcoated, and the painter said waxing was not particularly necessary for the first decade or so. She's still pretty shiny, but not up to powerboat standards of gloss... nor do I care much! We've got the usual stainless stanchions, rails and solar arch. Those do get shined up when surface staining appears, as it will. We have but little exterior bright work. But what is there is kept up well, with recoating when due... but not washing or rinsing or wiping off of the dew.

So, I guess by your implied standards, we're slobs with low expectations of personal cleanliness, etc. But most visitors to the boat seem favorably impressed, the gear all works... and despite slowing down some of late, we are still averaging around 4000 miles per year of actual cruising usage as well as permanently living aboard.

YMMV, if you have milage, that is.

Jim
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Old 20-03-2017, 00:47   #22
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
...............

So, I guess by your implied standards, we're slobs with low expectations of personal cleanliness, etc. But most visitors to the boat seem favorably impressed, the gear all works... and despite slowing down some of late, we are still averaging around 4000 miles per year of actual cruising usage as well as permanently living aboard.

YMMV, if you have milage, that is.

Jim
I will attest to the appearance of Jim and Ann's boat; excellent is an understatement. All shipshape and Bristol fashion.

As for their personal cleanliness, that seems to be in order as well
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Old 20-03-2017, 04:26   #23
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

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Originally Posted by AmericanVagrant View Post
West Marine is having a deal on Lewmar winches (buy one get one free) so I'm thinking of picking up a couple size 40 Self-Tailers to replace the standard winches on my HR33 Mistral. Unless someone informs me otherwise, I don't see any compelling reason to go with their "Ocean Series" over the standard EVO (even though I intend to circumnavigate with the vessel).

I'm deliberating if I should go with chrome plated bronze or aluminum. Chrome plate looks good when new and would match the classic style of the HR better, but much of the chrome plated bronze installed on the boats I see is pitted.

Thoughts? I'm concerned more with the longevity of the finish than the initial $80 difference.
I can't speak in regards Lewmar winches, but on my Arco winches, the aluminum drum versions use a plastic roller bearing, whereas the bronze drums have ss rollers.

Also, the bronze drum versions have a lifetime warranty, the aluminum drum versions don't.

For longevity, I'd choose the bronze drums.
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Old 20-03-2017, 07:45   #24
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

"So, I guess by your implied standards, we're slobs with low expectations of personal cleanliness, etc. But most visitors to the boat seem favorably impressed, the gear all works... and despite slowing down some of late, we are still averaging around 4000 miles per year of actual cruising usage as well as permanently living aboard." Jim Cate/Post #21


Jim,
I guess, contrary to my disclaimer of not intending to be sarcastic, you have taken my previous comments personally. However, your statement in post # 13 gives a quite different impression of how you maintain your vessel. Again, criticism was not my intention but rather an attempt to provide an example to our readers how some people maintain their winches and perhaps, their boats. I'm sorry you misunderstood my remarks and intent. I suppose the old proverb remains true: there's more than one way to skin a cat. Best, Rognvald
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Old 20-03-2017, 20:55   #25
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

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Originally Posted by SaltyMetals View Post
Now i have a question for you guys. I have seen Jim's comment about winch covers. I have aften wondered if they are a good idea or not bec they tend to retain the moisture inside so you get more, not less, corrosion
Andrew
This why I suggested Sunbrella above. It sheds the moisture on the outside but breaths on the inside. And one can spray them with 3M Scotchguard when the get a bit old and soft.
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Old 20-03-2017, 21:28   #26
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

One guess as to the origins of winch covers has to do with the utter sloth some cruisers are when it comes to winch maintenance. I've run into folks who've not seen the insides of theirs despite having owned & cruised their boats for over a decade. So covers would make it easier to "defer maintenance".

And I've run into folks who wouldn't hesitate to tear an engine all the way down to bare pistons, but that visibly shudder when one even brings up the idea of cleaning their winches.
Some examples of which were truly scary when I later took them apart. Ever see sand pour, yes pour, out of one? Yet amazingly after a bit of TLC they worked just fine.
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Old 20-03-2017, 21:45   #27
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

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Some examples of which were truly scary when I later took them apart. Ever see sand pour, yes pour, out of one? Yet amazingly after a bit of TLC they worked just fine.
And this sort of observation is why I believe that beyond annual (+/-) cleaning and lubing, winches don't need ritual rinsing, washing, waxing or covering.

To be honest, if I sailed in the Red Sea, where sand blows through the air nearly 24/7, I might reconsider this attitude. But for most sailors who sail in "normal" atmospheres, I reckon that they will last longer than most any other bit of hardware on a yacht with only the care I mention above.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 20-03-2017, 22:17   #28
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

You must know that there are some bargains on used winches.
Some boat owners want bigger winches, so they sell their perfectly good, although used winches and... being good quality, they still look and perform as new.
This is now Marine Flea Market season and a good time to buy or sell any of these nautical goodies.
Just remember the backing pad underneath for thru-bolting, that pad must fit whatever newer winches you get, and of course, the bigger bolts and nuts.
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Old 21-03-2017, 05:18   #29
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

For the record, I have used Sunbrella winch covers on every boat I owned for the last 30 years. They are used exclusively when the boat is not being sailed. They protect your winches from dust, salt air and,(the polycarbonate parts), from UV damage. When we are cruising, we do not use them unless we return to anchor/dock for an extended period. When we lived aboard/cruised full-time for ten years, we serviced our winches annually. After returning North with a shorter season--every 2-3 years has been adequate and because of the winch covers, they are usually quite clean. Maintenance levels are obviously different among boats/owners since, I believe, it is a result of personal values. I believe covers are a valuable addition to a clean, well-founded vessel. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 21-03-2017, 06:40   #30
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

I cover mine, with Sunbrella covers. They came with the boat and I think why not? Takes just seconds to do.
If I went to the boat right now this time of year, I am certain the winch covers would be covered with yellow slightly sticky pine tree pollen, cause its the time of year for that.
I just got my boat out of the yard where she sat for two or maybe three weeks, I didn't believe the layer of filth, dust and dirt that covered the boat. I guess sand blasting hulls, sanding bottom paint and grinding fiberglass does settle everywhere doesn't it?
I was glad they were covered after looking at the boat.
I have a cover for the steering binnacle that I use, it covers the compass and plotter, and I even cover the wheel, that covers the belt for the autopilot as well as it's plastic wheel the belt drives and the drive motor (CPT Autopilot).
I believe UV ages pretty much anything, that is why covers wear out, maybe not SS and chrome, but for sure the plastic pieces.
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