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Old 23-11-2015, 12:36   #1
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Merriman centerboard winch will raise but not lower centerboard - stuck in la paz

we are in la paz getting many repairs made to our boat.

We broke the pawl in the centerboard winch on our way south due to the nasty seas we encountered.

I had a local make us a new pawl out of stainless, but it only works in one direction, like most winches with a pawl.

I can't figure out by what trick of physics it should allow the winch to lower itself, so I can't even troubleshoot why it doesn't work.

Does anybody have any info or can shed any light on this? We are in La Paz, are first month of full time cruising... and this is item #428 on our broken boat list. (We heard the first 6 months are the hardest)
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Old 23-11-2015, 12:53   #2
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Re: Merriman centerboard winch will raise but not lower centerboard - stuck in la paz

1. I assume you could raise and lower the centerboard before the repairs?

2. I also assume this is a reel winch IE one that wraps a wire cable up around a drum like line on a fishing reel?


If yes to #1 and #2 then

- Is the new pawl exactly identical to the old one?
- Was there a spring or lever to release the pawl to allow the cable to unwind and the CB to lower? Is that still there and properly installed?

3. CBs usually lower by giving slack to the cable and letting gravity do the job. Have you checked to make sure the CB isn't jammed or bent, the CB trunk is clear of debris or to verify there is no other reason to prevent the CB from dropping?
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Old 23-11-2015, 13:07   #3
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Re: Merriman centerboard winch will raise but not lower centerboard - stuck in la paz

I would guess it's been knocked off center by bad weather.
If you haul out or dive on it you'll probably find the problem.
Just a guess.


Sent from SV Cloud Duster
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Old 23-11-2015, 13:12   #4
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Re: Merriman centerboard winch will raise but not lower centerboard - stuck in la paz

1. I assume you could raise and lower the centerboard before the repairs?
Yes, when we raised the centerboard you could hear the pawl go click-click-click by turning the handle clockwise. Turning the handle counter-clockwise would lower it with no noise. Now when I turn the winch clockwise it goes click-click as expected, but it binds up when turning it counterclockwise.
2. I also assume this is a reel winch IE one that wraps a wire cable up around a drum like line on a fishing reel?
Yes

If yes to #1 and #2 then

- Is the new pawl exactly identical to the old one?
the new one is stainless steel instead of brass/bronze. It is very close to the same, I can keep trying to get it exact but soon I'll have removed too much material. I am trying to get somebody to braze the old brass/bronze piece back together to see if that makes a difference.
- Was there a spring or lever to release the pawl to allow the cable to unwind and the CB to lower? Is that still there and properly installed?
there was no manual process needed to lower, it went up or down depending on which way you rotated the handle. I searched but could not find any other parts.
3. CBs usually lower by giving slack to the cable and letting gravity do the job. Have you checked to make sure the CB isn't jammed or bent, the CB trunk is clear of debris or to verify there is no other reason to prevent the CB from dropping?
The CB is free. We have been keeping it up by tieing off the winch handle to a winch on the cabin top.

I posted some pics in another thread, let me know if posting any more would help--I'd repost those but the internet in the marina is hit and miss as to speed.
Please help identify this bronze centerboard winch

Thank you for your help!
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Old 23-11-2015, 13:21   #5
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Re: Merriman centerboard winch will raise but not lower centerboard - stuck in la paz

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
1. I assume you could raise and lower the centerboard before the repairs?
Yes, when we raised the centerboard you could hear the pawl go click-click-click by turning the handle clockwise. Turning the handle counter-clockwise would lower it with no noise. Now when I turn the winch clockwise it goes click-click as expected, but it binds up when turning it counterclockwise.
Have to admit I have not seen a winch that worked like this. All the ones I'm familiar are the old style (arm breaker) reel winches with no pawls and a friction brake or a winch with pawls but some kind of button or lever to release the pawl.

It sounds like this winch had some way to release the pawl automatically when turning CCW. My first guess, somewhere next to the pawl is a small cam, metal projection of some kind or a trip lever that holds out the pawl when you turn the handle CCW. That could have broken or broken off when the pawl broke?
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Old 23-11-2015, 13:28   #6
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Re: Merriman centerboard winch will raise but not lower centerboard - stuck in la paz

By the way, I cannot think of any reason why a new pawl from SS or any other metal would work differently than the original of bronze so I wouldn't think that's the problem.

Bottom line, when you turn the handle CW the pawl works and keeps the CB cable from slipping. When you turn the handle CCW the cable unwinds and the CB drops. For that to happen something has to hold the pawl away from the teeth of the gear so you can turn the handle. What does that? Was there a spring or some small part that fell down into the guts of the winch?
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Old 23-11-2015, 13:39   #7
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Re: Merriman centerboard winch will raise but not lower centerboard - stuck in la paz

The only thing I could think of was the friction of turning the handle counter clockwise was enough to pull the pawl back. Maybe the stainless is too slick? I checked the thickness of the part and it's close enough that you can't tell a difference by eyeballing it, but I didn't take a micrometer to it.

I was thinking of putting some kind of a washer in there to see if it needed more friction to pull the pawl back? I cleaned all the grease out while I was taking it apart/putting it together a million times, so I tried re-greasing it, and it runs smoother but otherwise it didn't help. I can't imagine it getting enough friction from just turning it to disengage the pawl though.

Attached is a picture of the old pawl with spring, you can see the break. Do you think that spring might have had something to do with it? The machinist who took the old part to make the new one straightened the spring somewhat so I had to rebend it... it looks the same but it could be off slightly, but I figured that just kept the pawl engaged.
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Old 23-11-2015, 13:58   #8
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Re: Merriman centerboard winch will raise but not lower centerboard - stuck in la paz

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
while I was taking it apart/putting it together a million times.
I feel your pain. Went through a similar headache when I took apart my 2-speed sheet winches. Couldn't get the drum to sit all the way down after re-assembling all the gears. I only took it apart and put it back together a couple dozen times instead of a million.

Finally had a friend look at it and he suggested one of the gears was upside down. If you looked really close you could see the teeth were cut back on one side and not the other. Just enough to let the drum sit down that last fraction of an inch.


Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
Attached is a picture of the old pawl with spring, you can see the break. Do you think that spring might have had something to do with it? The machinist who took the old part to make the new one straightened the spring somewhat so I had to rebend it... it looks the same but it could be off slightly, but I figured that just kept the pawl engaged.
I would look at the spring but not having seen it before can't really say if that relates. Any slight flat spot or fat spot or lump or something out of round on the original pawl that could have been part of the design to reverse?
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Old 23-11-2015, 14:16   #9
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Re: Merriman centerboard winch will raise but not lower centerboard - stuck in la paz

Attached are two close-ups of the old pawl.
The side with the T's on it is the top.
I also attached a pic that shows where the pawl sits.
The pawl goes on the side of the small gear opposite the square post for the winch handle, and that goes in the offset spot in the housing.
The gear and the housing are smooth, so not sure how it would work, but if you think I should try putting those smooth spots in I've still got the dremel out
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Old 23-11-2015, 14:26   #10
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Re: Merriman centerboard winch will raise but not lower centerboard - stuck in la paz

If you've still got the camera out...

Can you assemble the pawl on the shaft and place it in the housing and then take a top-down picture? I'm thinking your problem has to do with the shape/positioning of the spring arm, but having a hard time working out the overall geometry in my head. A picture of it 'assembled' (without the drum in place) would go a long way.
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Old 23-11-2015, 14:42   #11
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Re: Merriman centerboard winch will raise but not lower centerboard - stuck in la paz

Attached is the pic. I'm approaching nascar efficiency at taking this thing apart and putting it back together.

I tried grinding those groves in, it didn't make a difference.

I've tried the spring with less bend, but started experimenting a few hundred assemblies ago.
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Old 23-11-2015, 14:42   #12
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Re: Merriman centerboard winch will raise but not lower centerboard - stuck in la paz

Well obviously, it's the little T stamped on the pawl that makes it reverse.

The smooth spots just look like wear marks to me. Where the gear teeth on the drum rubbed on the pawl.

I would check the thickness of new pawl on the round shoulder area next to the hole in the pawl.
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Old 23-11-2015, 15:37   #13
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Re: Merriman centerboard winch will raise but not lower centerboard - stuck in la paz

Are you sure you have the pawl in the right way? Looking at the assembled view when you rotate the handle CW the geared drum rotates CCW which raises the CB and you have tension on the cable. The cable tension would then be pulling the gear teeth into the back, sloped side of the pawl IE pushing it towards the shaft it mounts on. I think of a pawl as working the other way IE when there's tension on the teeth that meet the pawl the teeth push against the flat part on the inside of the pawl instead of the sloped tip.

If you reverse the pawl the teeth will hold against the flat part on the inside of the pawl which just looks better to me.
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Old 23-11-2015, 15:42   #14
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Re: Merriman centerboard winch will raise but not lower centerboard - stuck in la paz

Maybe disregard the previous idea since you said the top was marked and you seemed pretty certain. Also the wear patterns on the old pawl seem to match the way you have the new one installed.

I'm baffled. Maybe if you bring it to my house I could figure it out. If you wait until next week my buddy with the machine shop will be back from Turkey day.

Oh wait. You're in La Paz where it's warm and I'm in north Florida where even this far south its getting close to freezing tonight. Time to go put another log on the fire.
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Old 23-11-2015, 16:12   #15
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Re: Merriman centerboard winch will raise but not lower centerboard - stuck in la paz

I'm trying to envision how it would work, but is the spring supposed to be angled down just slightly so that the tip rides on the drum edge? Can't quite figure out how that would work, but the only thing I can think of with the spring that shape/size.

[Edit] looking at the picture of the drum in the other thread, the bottom flange seems to be the same size as the case, but the top flange seems to be smaller diameter, leaving a gap between the case and the flange? Just enough for that leaf spring to fold down slightly and ride on that flange?[/Edit]
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