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Old 18-03-2017, 13:34   #1
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Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

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.
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Old 18-03-2017, 13:38   #2
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

The EVO have a lot of plastic. My chrome barients are 27 years old and still look pretty great
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Old 18-03-2017, 13:43   #3
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

I've had evo winches mounted for a year now, they replace a pair of 40 year old barients that had fallen usefulness. There is a lot of plastic but they're solid and I've not seen any degradation from the sun yet. I do intend to make some covers for them.

I got the chrome and would go this way again in a heartbeat, the originals were chrome bronze, and I've seen far more worn out aluminium winches than chrome.
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Old 18-03-2017, 14:04   #4
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

Reading the specs the EVO winches have a 7 year warranty vs 3 year for the Ocean series. If price differential is no matter how could chrome be wrong?
Wish I needed a winch.
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Old 18-03-2017, 14:23   #5
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOffice View Post
The EVO have a lot of plastic. My chrome barients are 27 years old and still look pretty great
Good to know, thanks for the info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
I've had evo winches mounted for a year now, they replace a pair of 40 year old barients that had fallen usefulness. There is a lot of plastic but they're solid and I've not seen any degradation from the sun yet. I do intend to make some covers for them.

I got the chrome and would go this way again in a heartbeat, the originals were chrome bronze, and I've seen far more worn out aluminium winches than chrome.
Thanks for the info. I didn't realize the EVO series used more plastic.

Quote:
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Reading the specs the EVO winches have a 7 year warranty vs 3 year for the Ocean series. If price differential is no matter how could chrome be wrong?
Wish I needed a winch.
Due to the potential for pitting, but I may go with the chrome anyway.
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Old 18-03-2017, 14:39   #6
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

If you think chrome pits, see what happens to aluminum with a salty sheet left on the drum for a few weeks!!
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Old 18-03-2017, 15:20   #7
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

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If you think chrome pits, see what happens to aluminum with a salty sheet left on the drum for a few weeks!!
Ditto! If aluminum capstans are powder coated or other baked on coatings, one scratch starts the erosion process. If HARD anodized they will last much longer.

Cast aluminum is porous. So when heated, to bake on coatings, it gases creating micro pits allowing intrusion of salt water. Hard Anodizing seeps into all the micro pours sealing off moisture. My 37 YO ROMs I had to recoat 10 years ago. The 37 YO hard anodized Lewmars are faded but still corrosion free.

Chrome over bronze is better, if it's a good coat of chrome they should be ok. Also the bearing surfaces hold up better with bronze.

Just make sure to fresh water rinse them well after a sail. And using Sunbrella covers helps keep the morning dew off each day.
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Old 18-03-2017, 17:42   #8
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

Chrome. And, if they're maintained properly and rinsed regularly, the chrome will last a long time(20 plus years or more). Polishing with a non-abrasive wax is important. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 18-03-2017, 18:10   #9
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

Minney's recently had a bunch of new Lewmar winches, they may not have many left, don't know if price meets WM sale prices.
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Old 18-03-2017, 18:38   #10
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

When doesn't Minney's have winches, & or just have a new lot of them in? As to aluminum, you can always get it re-anodized, as well as more grip texture added to the drums. It's done all the time. Sadly, I'm thinking that finding places to have chroming done is much tougher any more, thanks to the EPA.
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Old 18-03-2017, 19:00   #11
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

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. Sadly, I'm thinking that finding places to have chroming done is much tougher any more, thanks to the EPA.
There's a shop off of Madison St. in Seattle. They did my helm wheel for $100.
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Old 18-03-2017, 19:10   #12
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

I have seven 31 year-old chrome Lewmar Wavegrip winches, the predecessor to the ocean series. The chrome is fine. The only plastic on them is the top cap and the rope stripper, both of which are also fine.

I've raced on boats with the Evo winches. We cracked the drum on one that was around 5 years old. Trust me, that would not happen with the ocean series short of a catestrophic impact.
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Old 18-03-2017, 23:04   #13
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

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.

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Old 19-03-2017, 08:27   #14
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

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.
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Old 19-03-2017, 09:17   #15
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Re: Winch drums - Longevity of chrome plating?

I had a problem in the mid 1990's on a new Beneteau with Lewmar winches. The chrome wore off after about 3-4 years. Dont think it was corrosion, just wear from the genoa sheets and halyards. Lewmar replaced them, no question. Yes, i would go for chrome on bronze anytime. My current boat (12 yrs old) has chrome on bronze Harken winches. I clean and oil the chrome finish from time to time but that is all.

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
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