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Old 03-08-2015, 23:06   #1
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Upgrade using kit for Lewmar 48 ST winch

My husband and I are on the verge of buying a Fountaine Pajot Belize (43ft) and want be able to handle the sails easily. So we want to upgrade a Lewmar 48 to electric to operate the headsail and possibly upgrade another winch on the mast to raise the mainsail.

Any opinions on the quality, reliabilty, performance of Lewmar winches upgraded with kits? Or should we just put in a new electric winch instead? Can we run both both headsail sheets to one winch? Has anyone tried to run the mainsail sheet back to the cockpit and an electric winch?
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:27   #2
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Re: Upgrade using kit for Lewmar 48 ST winch

Hi Eve, I would think that the jib sheet that the current winches would be more than adequate to operate the sheets. I don't see the need for the electric winches. We have ST 40's on our Lagoon 410 and my wife trims the sails very easily. We do have an electric winch for the mainsheet which we use to also raise the main halyard. It is a ST 40 and in my opinion a bit small but still does the job adequately. I would love to upgrade to a unit that would not only be strong enough to raise the main but have the oomph to get me up the mast so the admiral does not struggle so much. Normally I send her up the mast as she is very capable as it is easier for me to raise her up the mast. I don't where you are located but here in Australia I would recommend the Australian winch company over Lewmar any day for quality and price. All our lines run back to the cockpit so I see no reason why this can't be done on the FP.


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Old 04-08-2015, 04:22   #3
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Re: Upgrade using kit for Lewmar 48 ST winch

If your going to upgrad to an electric winch it should be for the main Halyard. Done properly you can route the halyard and the jib furler to one electric winch.
Jay
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:39   #4
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Re: Upgrade using kit for Lewmar 48 ST winch

I have one ST 44 winch which was converted to electric by the previous owner, and is used for the main halyard.

Reason he fitted it was that he had been in the Parachute Regiment, specialising in HALO jumps, one which did not go to plan, and badly injured his shoulder, so hence the winch.

I've been using it 6 years, and there has never been any fault with it.

With two persons onboard, hoisting the main is easy without resorting to the electrics, one person sweats the halyard at the mast, and the other takes in the slack in the cockpit.
But I mainly single hand, and the electric winch is a real help.

I would not use the electric winch for furling the foresail, if you get a halyard wrap, you could easily damage the forestay using an electric winch, by hand, you would feel that things were not right.
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Old 04-08-2015, 09:52   #5
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Re: Upgrade using kit for Lewmar 48 ST winch

Palarran has two electric winches, one for the main sheet, jib furler, and one side of the traveler, and the second for the main halyard. One (main sheet) was upgraded using the kit from Defender/Lewmar. It was pretty easy for the average mechanic but would require quite a bit of work for the average sailor. Love it. Only problem was the deck switch rubber cover wore out after 4 years. It still worked but I replaced it before salt did the job.

By far the most used electric winch would be for your main sail halyard though. Mine is deck mounted which makes it very handy for many things, like when deploying a second anchor or tightenening a difficult mooring line. We use a snatch block right at the base of the mast which makes it easy to change lines if you need to.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:16   #6
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Re: Upgrade using kit for Lewmar 48 ST winch

I think you may be able to do it all with one electric winch. I looked at a Belize before buying a Lagoon 470. Don't remember the specifics of the Belize but will tell you what I did on the Lagoon since probably pretty similar. The Lagoon had all halyards at the mast and separate sheet winches on the cabin top. Raising the main was a pain so I installed an electric winch at the helm. Led the main and spinnaker halyards to the helm, along with the reefing lines. Now can do everything associated with the main at the helm. Would like to have the mainsheet at the helm also, but that would require more re-rigging and the boat already had an electric which in the cockpit for the mainsheet and traveler lines.

I can also trim both job sheets on the electric winch. I just put one wrap on the respective winch and then lead it to the electric winch at the helm. It there is too much deck crown on the Belize you could put a roller bar midships to lift it above the cabin top.

Sorry that I can't address your question about the conversion kit, but hopefully this might save you the cost of a second electric winch. And the hassle because it takes big wire for them.
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Old 04-08-2015, 13:32   #7
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Re: Upgrade using kit for Lewmar 48 ST winch

Thanks all for these really helpful suggestions. You guys are amazing sources of information and experience. Just a note about the "need"... didn't want to whine, but have some kind of arthritis/tendonitis in both hands and wrists and surgical repair of both shoulders. Plus the current winch is placed at above chest level with the bimini above it, so no room to get above the winch. I don't want to rip out all my expensive and painful shoulder repairs (or cause more damage) by awkwardly winching a 140% genoa in a stiff breeze.

My skipper is quite strong and fit, but it seems wise to fit out the boat so that I can raise sails or trim jib at times when his greater experience is needed at the helm.
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Old 04-08-2015, 13:44   #8
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Re: Upgrade using kit for Lewmar 48 ST winch

I upgraded a Lewmar40 to electric 3 years ago. Is for hoisting the main on my Hunter 38. If I had to redo it I would have installed a complete new electric winch, Lewmar, Harken or other. I found the price of the Lewmar kit for electrification very close to a complete new electric winch. Before committing on a Lewmar kit look for offers of a complete new elevctric winch, especially since you want to electrify more then 1 winch, and you can maybe negociate a quantity discount.
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Old 04-08-2015, 13:50   #9
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Re: Upgrade using kit for Lewmar 48 ST winch

good plan Eve. I'm not a huge fan of electric winches, but everything on a boat should be sized so the smallest member of the crew can handle everything.


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Old 04-08-2015, 14:29   #10
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Re: Upgrade using kit for Lewmar 48 ST winch

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailormed View Post
I upgraded a Lewmar40 to electric 3 years ago. Is for hoisting the main on my Hunter 38. If I had to redo it I would have installed a complete new electric winch, Lewmar, Harken or other. I found the price of the Lewmar kit for electrification very close to a complete new electric winch. Before committing on a Lewmar kit look for offers of a complete new elevctric winch, especially since you want to electrify more then 1 winch, and you can maybe negociate a quantity discount.
This is good advice. You may be able to buy a new electric winch and sell your manual winch and end up with a swap out for 1/2 the cost of a conversion kit.

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Old 04-08-2015, 14:39   #11
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Re: Upgrade using kit for Lewmar 48 ST winch

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Originally Posted by captainjay View Post
If your going to upgrad to an electric winch it should be for the main Halyard. Done properly you can route the halyard and the jib furler to one electric winch.
Jay
NEVER under any circumstances put a furling line on a winch let alone an electric one! That's a recipe for a damaged or broken forestay!!!
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Old 04-08-2015, 14:47   #12
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Re: Upgrade using kit for Lewmar 48 ST winch

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Originally Posted by sailormed View Post
I upgraded a Lewmar40 to electric 3 years ago. Is for hoisting the main on my Hunter 38. If I had to redo it I would have installed a complete new electric winch, Lewmar, Harken or other. I found the price of the Lewmar kit for electrification very close to a complete new electric winch. Before committing on a Lewmar kit look for offers of a complete new elevctric winch, especially since you want to electrify more then 1 winch, and you can maybe negotiate a quantity discount.
Regrets are very useful information! What were the downsides to the upgrade compared to a new electric? With all the advice on how to manage with only one winch, we are leaning that way, but maybe one new electric would be better than one upgrade.

It looks like the upgrade would require cutting into the ceiling of the stairwell down to the master cabin in order to make room for the electric mechanism. So that will involve extra labor costs, not to mention the possible impact on headroom in the stairwell. If a new electric would be entirely on the cabin roof (except for wiring), that might make the upgrade and new come closer to each other in cost and pros and cons.
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Old 04-08-2015, 14:50   #13
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Re: Upgrade using kit for Lewmar 48 ST winch

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NEVER under any circumstances put a furling line on a winch let alone an electric one! That's a recipe for a damaged or broken forestay!!!

No worries... only want to electric winch the main halyard and jib sheet. Don't think we would want or need it for a furling line.
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:05   #14
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Re: Upgrade using kit for Lewmar 48 ST winch

Hi Eve,

I fully understand your requirements as a Belize owner for the last 8 years.
I have changed the set-up of the winches for the headsail by moving the port winch over to starboard side and rearrange the sheet so that it goes via a footblock at the port side back to a bloch attached via flat webbing at the mast and then back to the winch.
Next job will be to electrify one of the winches, which will be the original located ST48 since there are a hatch plate inside the stairwell that would allow for the electric motor to protrude down.

To use this winch for the main halyard you will need to fit a block at the mast which must be installed so that the angle of the halyard prevent the halyard to roll over itself on the winch drum.
This set-up will allow you to use one electric winch for all your needs. Forget an electric winch at the mast for the main, too bulky and problematic when reefing.

Not sure if upgrading or buying new electric winch, but would be easey enough to find out I guess.

Good luck with your Belize.
Happy lead free sailing from Lucky
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:22   #15
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Re: Upgrade using kit for Lewmar 48 ST winch

Thanks, Lucky, for the advice. It's really helpful to hear what worked on an FP. We are really hoping that whatever we do to upgrade that Starboard winch doesn't protrude to much into the cabin, but don't have the boat yet to check. We did agree to buy it after a clean survey. Out first order of business will be to take it to the yard to get the winch upgraded, and we will bring the suggestions from these posts to discuss the options. It sounds like one starboard winch upgrade will do the trick.
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