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Old 18-01-2021, 21:21   #1
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Lewmar winch maintenance

Ahoy. We recently purchased a 1979 Tartan 37. Today's project was servicing the primary winches. They are pre-1983 Wavegrip Lewmar 44's. I watched all the YouTube videos so I was ready to go.


Getting the drum and bearings off was straightforward. Then the next step is to pull out the shafts that hold the gears in the base. Except on this winch there's nothing on the shaft to grab on to. Are they supposed to come out the bottom after unbolting the winch from the deck?



How do I take apart the gear stacks and access the pawls and springs?



Thanks.
Mike
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Old 18-01-2021, 21:44   #2
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Re: Lewmar winch maintenance

Apparently the "Wavegrip Self-Tailing Winches were produced between 1983-1991 (approx.) and are identified by 4 metric cross head screws securing the top cap. They also ..."

https://www.p2marine.com/lewmar-wavegrip-winch-parts

Yours is the model preceding that?
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Old 18-01-2021, 22:18   #3
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Re: Lewmar winch maintenance

Yes, we have four 1/4-20 socket head cap screws.



According to Lewmar, "Wavegrip winches made prior to 1983 were made to imperial dimensions and parts are no longer available."


I don't need parts; I just need to know if I can take it apart without breaking the seal on the thru-deck screws.

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Old 19-01-2021, 09:01   #4
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Re: Lewmar winch maintenance

Take a look at this service manual:

https://www.lewmar.com/sites/default...2304iss9_2.pdf

It appears from it and from your photograph that the gears exit the bottom, so you'll need to flip it over to get at them.

That said, do you really need to? The winch looks like it needs cleaning and re-greasing, but that can be done with solvent (messy, I know), drying, and then re-greasing. I know the urge to go all the way to the component parts, but it doesn't look necessary here.
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Old 19-01-2021, 18:22   #5
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Re: Lewmar winch maintenance

A word of warning!

I decided to service my brand-new Hutton-Arco 44 halyard winches. After greasing them both I couldn't get them back together again. I tried and tried for over a day but .... no luck.

My son came to see me so I asked him to re-assemble them for me (He's a Heavy Diesel Fitter by trade). After a few minutes he explained the winches were not identical. They had the circlip grooves in a different place on each winch and I had the parts mixed up!
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Old 19-01-2021, 20:11   #6
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Re: Lewmar winch maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkeithlu View Post
Take a look at this service manual:

That said, do you really need to? The winch looks like it needs cleaning and re-greasing, but that can be done with solvent (messy, I know), drying, and then re-greasing. I know the urge to go all the way to the component parts, but it doesn't look necessary here.
Seriously bad advice here... the KEY parts to service are the pawls, and to do that you need to remove the gears. Pawl failures from wear are common, I have never seen a gear in a manual winch go bad.

That said, it is a lot easier than people are making out. The shafts that the gears run on lift UP and you do NOT need to pull that housing off the deck.

Be sure you are using IDENTICAL pawls for replacement. They all look kind of sort of the same, but they do not fit properly except in the winch they were made for.
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Old 19-01-2021, 22:07   #7
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Re: Lewmar winch maintenance

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Originally Posted by BillKny View Post
Seriously bad advice here... the KEY parts to service are the pawls, and to do that you need to remove the gears. Pawl failures from wear are common, I have never seen a gear in a manual winch go bad.

That said, it is a lot easier than people are making out. The shafts that the gears run on lift UP and you do NOT need to pull that housing off the deck.

Be sure you are using IDENTICAL pawls for replacement. They all look kind of sort of the same, but they do not fit properly except in the winch they were made for.
I agree that you do need to disassemble the gears from the housing and lube the bearings and clean and lube the pawls. In all my years of sailing, I've never had to replace a pawl, FWIW, so unless there's something unusual, that should not be an issue.

But I don't see how you could lift the shafts out without removing the winch from the deck. Despite the above advice, and trying to remember way back when I had similar winches, I believe that I had to remove them... but that shouldn't be a big deal unless they were bedded with 5200!

Good luck with the job... your winches will thank you for the effort!

Jim
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Old 19-01-2021, 22:17   #8
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Re: Lewmar winch maintenance

The 1982 service instructions for the Wavegrip 44st and 48st shows the top part of the center stem and spindle (shaft) being lifted off after removing some (number not defined) socket head screws. The center stem on your winch seems to be one piece so I would guess that it’s pre- 1982. I can email a rather poor photocopy of the 1982 service instructions but I don’t think that it will help you resolve your issue.

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Take a look at this service manual:

https://www.lewmar.com/sites/default...2304iss9_2.pdf
That's a completely different winch.
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Old 20-01-2021, 00:03   #9
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Re: Lewmar winch maintenance

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Originally Posted by maddmike View Post
How do I take apart the gear stacks and access the pawls and springs?
Ach!

You need Lewmar Service Manual Volume II.
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Old 20-01-2021, 00:27   #10
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Re: Lewmar winch maintenance

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You need Lewmar Service Manual Volume II.
Lewmar Service Manual Volume II has handy pages of contents for both Volume I and Volume II. Some winches were discussed in both volumes.

The contents also gives the dates the models were current.
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Old 20-01-2021, 02:23   #11
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Re: Lewmar winch maintenance

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Ach!

You need Lewmar Service Manual Volume II.
Or the 1981 customer version:
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Old 20-01-2021, 16:38   #12
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Re: Lewmar winch maintenance

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Ach!

You need Lewmar Service Manual Volume II.

Thanks, Alan Mighty. That's the manual for the winch I've got. Sure enough: "To service completely, the winch must be removed from the boat," and "Using a flat-endied drift, tap out bearin spindles DOWNWARDS."


Now we know for sure. We took the shortcut this year: cleaning and greasing everything accessible. Next time we'll do the pawls and install belowdecks backing plates at the same time.
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Old 20-01-2021, 16:45   #13
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Re: Lewmar winch maintenance

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Originally Posted by maddmike View Post
Thanks, Alan Mighty. That's the manual for the winch I've got. Sure enough: "To service completely, the winch must be removed from the boat," and "Using a flat-endied drift, tap out bearin spindles DOWNWARDS."


Now we know for sure. We took the shortcut this year: cleaning and greasing everything accessible. Next time we'll do the pawls and install belowdecks backing plates at the same time.
That's the difference between regular or "routine maintenance" and "annual maintenance".
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Old 20-01-2021, 17:22   #14
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Re: Lewmar winch maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddmike View Post
Thanks, Alan Mighty. That's the manual for the winch I've got. Sure enough: "To service completely, the winch must be removed from the boat," and "Using a flat-endied drift, tap out bearin spindles DOWNWARDS."


Now we know for sure. We took the shortcut this year: cleaning and greasing everything accessible. Next time we'll do the pawls and install belowdecks backing plates at the same time.
I might suggest reconsideration. The parts you have not directly cleaned do include the pawls, springs, and internal bearings. Pawls themselves rarely fail but they can become sticky, and springs do break (also rarely).

The risk is that if the pawls stick it can allow the winch to turn backwards and spin the handle backwards, at a force approximatley 44 times the load (if I remember the naming convention for Lewmar winches correctly).

That is a dangerous situation and I've seen a wrist broken in four places by a spinning which handle, on a boat with lewmar winches by the way.

So take a day and remove the winches and service all the parts inside.
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Old 20-01-2021, 17:40   #15
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Re: Lewmar winch maintenance

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Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
Pawls themselves rarely fail but they can become sticky, and springs do break (also rarely). So take a day and remove the winches and service all the parts inside.
I agree with both of these statements with an additional caveat. I have never found a broken spring. But I did discover a missing spring the first time that I serviced the winches on a used boat that was new to us. I suspect that a PO lost the spring (they can sometimes be tricky to get back in place after oiling the pawls, along with greasing the gears, and shoot off into parts unknown), couldn't find a new one or didn't have time and thought it could be done later.

The sheet winches on this particular boat are recessed into the cockpit coaming and removing one set of gears requires removing the winch from the boat to slide them out. A very poor design. Of course one of the winches is located above a cabin that the PO relined with auto carpeting and glue.

I also use the Don Casey recommendation of attaching a large towel to the life line to minimize overboard loss of flying winch parts during the disassembly/reassembly process.
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