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Old 05-12-2018, 05:00   #1
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Location: Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Boat: Columbia, 8.3 and 8.7 (1977)
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Electric Primary Lewmar 46 winches

Hello. I am looking to purchase a 37' tartan that has 2 Electric Primary Lewmar 46 winches. Is anyone familiar with these as far as effectiveness and reliability. I have never used electric winches and I'm a little wary of them through my ignorance. Thanks
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:32   #2
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Re: Electric Primary Lewmar 46 winches

I can’t give you first hand experience but I have always had great faith in Lewmar products. I am 61 and outfitting my Acapulco 4o for world cruising. I have considered powered winch is but they are just too expensive. I would just make sure that they will operate manually if the electrics go out, cheers
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Old 07-12-2018, 13:44   #3
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Re: Electric Primary Lewmar 46 winches

I have two electric Lewmar 66 winches that came with the boat, and this spring I put in two Lewmar Evo 45 winches. Mechanically, the smaller winches are the same as the manual ones where the important bits are. I think any Lewmar electric winch that's bigger than 65 have a button to disconnect the motor from the winch when a handle is inserted. The motors are just standard dc motors with a gearbox. Any alternator/ motor guy can fix the motor if they go bad. Not sure about the gearbox, but it's a simple worm gear reduction. The simplest setups have just a thermal switch to protect the motor. There's an option for load sensing, which measures current to switch the motor off when it hits a certain amp setting to prevent overloading. The larger winches are two speed, that reverse the motor to get better gear reduction, hence the need for the disconnect. Maintenance is the same as the manual winches. Overall, I love having them. I essentially run my boat solo since my crew, even though sailing with me for years, have yet to learn to even drive the boat straight while under power. Having the winches makes my life much easier.

Edit: Watch the tail! It's very easy to forget to pay attention and not watch as the tailing gets sucked in causing an override, one that is really tight. I almost had to cut my jib sheet when a crew member wasn't paying attention. We were close hauled and in a narrow inlet, luckily going against the current so I had time to clear the jam.
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