Barients were the Rolls Royce of winches in their day. Their Stainless drum winches are works of art, have two NST 22's on my boat, that don't show any sign of wear and could be 38 years old. If you are buying
used, suggest you jump on any Barient
that meets your needs.
Currently am in the process of replacing all my halyard
winches with Anderson 12st winches. They work fine though are at most a couple of years old.
I've had Lewmar
and Barlow NST winches on other boats and they all worked fine
Rumor has it that Lewmar
to get the patent on the Barient self tailing
Most winches came with stainless, chrome plated, or aluminum
drums. Any manufacturers plated winches will show signs of wear on the plating. It's largely a cosmetic issue and shouldn't affect function. They can be rechromed if you want them to look new. Aluminum
can suffer from corrosion
. I wouldn't buy any used alumninum drum winch
unless I had the opportunity to take it apart and personally inspect. FWIW, the aluminum drum Lewmar 43's were going strong after 10 years when I sold our W32. That was after 10's of thousands of mile, all in the tropics.