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Old 18-08-2016, 23:18   #31
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Re: Servicing Winches - Frequency?

Originally Posted by barnaclejim View Post
I enjoy servicing my 10 Lewmar winches so much ita almost a fetish. Easy access, simple solid parts. Soak in Diesel brush the salt crust with an old toothbrush grease reassemble and repeat. So many other boat systems that are confounding and require some higher power knowledge. Winches are easy Wenches much more complicated. Surprising to me the ones mounted vertically on the masts aways look great and the much larger cockpit winches get a lot of salt intrusion, so they get the once over every season. 35 years and still working sweet.
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Old 20-08-2016, 12:33   #32
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Re: Servicing Winches - Frequency?

Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Mounting wenches vertically on the mast requires athletic ability beyond that of the average cruiser... sheesh, you could start a circus act with that! A sorta adult circus, I guess...

I suppose it would be dependant upon the length of the wench handle, whether it floats, locks . . . has a power, double or palm grip and, of course, the most important factor is the ID of the drum . . . perhaps easier than you think. Remember, a well-lubricated wench works well in all conditions . . . always service your wenches on a regular basis. They will pay great dividends and provide years of dependable service to the regular user. R

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Old 20-08-2016, 12:56   #33
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Re: Servicing Winches - Frequency?

I think that after about two years plain Lewmar grease becomes a bit too sticky.

So I would guess about 2 years is fine. You can just open the winch now and then and look inside - if it looks fine and works well, no need to do anything.


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Old 19-09-2016, 12:33   #34
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Re: Servicing Winches - Frequency?

Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
My guess is the respondents are the more maintenance-intensive that average. I would offer a bet that the average time between service for winches is closer to 10 years. I have also torn down many winches that were at 5-10 years on lightly used boats and they were still reasonably well lubed and without wear. But surely this depends on use, temperature, and whether the winches see a lot of salt (some boats are drier than others).

I imagine the lubricant products also make a huge difference. I've been doing some product testing for an up-coming article and the differences in corrosion protection and oxidation stability are startling to say the least. The number 2 product came from an autoparts store and was 1/8th the price of winch lubes. (Do you really believe winch lubes were developed for winches? Obviously billions have been spent developing vehicle and industrial lubes.) There is no question that some products will last 2-5 times longer than others.

It also strike me interesting that annual lube has been suggested for 30 years at least, while at the same time lube intervals for everything else have tripled. Could it be that winches use the same lubes they always did? I doubt that, as they all use synthetics now and I doubt they did before 30 years ago. Thus, is it plausible that annual lube is simply conservative advise?

As for machine oil, that has always struck me as a little light and poorly suited to a marine environment. In the days of conventional oils and grease there was a concern that the material would get gummy over time and things could stick, but with synthetics this has largely retreated to myth. I will have to investigate pawl oils in a follow-up.

Getting ready to service my winches before we head south. Can you name the "number 2 product" from the auto store?
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Old 19-09-2016, 12:38   #35
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Re: Servicing Winches - Frequency?

Probably Superlube.
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Old 19-09-2016, 15:39   #36
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Re: Servicing Winches - Frequency?

AquaShield (formerly called "AquaLube") is excellent stuff. We used to use it on subsea vehicles routinely as it isn't affected by salt water (or heat), it's good for o-rings and metal-metal or metal-plastic surfaces alike. I think they changed the name as a "personal lube" supplier recently used the AquaLube moniker and I'm guessing that wasn't the market they wanted to be associated with: One for winches, one for wenches...

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Old 19-09-2016, 15:53   #37
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Re: Servicing Winches - Frequency?

NOT Superlube.

Practical Sailor published a review this month. This month is winch lubes. Next month is grease in general... some or which may be superior winch lubes. It included both corrosion and high temperature oxidation testing.

Winch Grease Corrosion Tests - Practical Sailor Print Edition Article

Surprisingly, there were significant differences.

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enc, winch

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