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.