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Old 22-01-2021, 16:53   #1
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Winch pad exploded

How should I remount a winch to the mast?
Backstory:
So 3 1/2 years ago when I got the boat I replaced the old Merriman steel cable mainsail winch/halyard that was screwed directly into a flat built in part of the mast.
When I replaced it with a Lewmar winch it either needed to be mounted on an additional winch pad (that mounted using the existing merriman holes) or the mast needed to have holes drilled and tapped for the much smaller lewmar base.
I went with mounting a teak winch pad to the mast (boat yard had them on hand) and the Lewmar winch to the pad. Seemed pretty simple and robust....

Well when pulling the dinghy up for the night (it weighs total ~170lbs so not that heavy in my opinion) the entire winch ripped right out of the teak and nearly ripped my hand off when the dinghy fell crashing to the sea.

Ok so the question is how should I go about remounting the Lewmar?
Should I get another teak winch pad? Last time I just screwed directly into the teak perhaps I should have drilled oversized holes, filled with epoxy and then mount the winch (now that I know how to do that)?
Should I drill and tap the mast? Itís pretty thick aluminum and thatís how the original was mounted. This is potentially the uglier solution (the merriman mount huge by comparison and the teak pad hid the unfinished area under mast).

Any thoughts are appreciated thanks!
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Old 22-01-2021, 17:08   #2
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Re: Winch pad exploded

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailing Ohm View Post
How should I remount a winch to the mast?
Backstory:
So 3 1/2 years ago when I got the boat I replaced the old Merriman steel cable mainsail winch/halyard that was screwed directly into a flat built in part of the mast.
When I replaced it with a Lewmar winch it either needed to be mounted on an additional winch pad (that mounted using the existing merriman holes) or the mast needed to have holes drilled and tapped for the much smaller lewmar base.
I went with mounting a teak winch pad to the mast (boat yard had them on hand) and the Lewmar winch to the pad. Seemed pretty simple and robust....

Well when pulling the dinghy up for the night (it weighs total ~170lbs so not that heavy in my opinion) the entire winch ripped right out of the teak and nearly ripped my hand off when the dinghy fell crashing to the sea.

Ok so the question is how should I go about remounting the Lewmar?
Should I get another teak winch pad? Last time I just screwed directly into the teak perhaps I should have drilled oversized holes, filled with epoxy and then mount the winch (now that I know how to do that)?
Should I drill and tap the mast? Itís pretty thick aluminum and thatís how the original was mounted. This is potentially the uglier solution (the merriman mount huge by comparison and the teak pad hid the unfinished area under mast).

Any thoughts are appreciated thanks!
My 2c worth, remove the teak pad, refinish to remove damage to top of pad and bolt winch to the pad with appropriate bolts and refit to mast mount.
That said, the correct way would be to bolt directly to mast mount.
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Old 22-01-2021, 17:30   #3
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Re: Winch pad exploded

Here’s what I would do. Buy some G-10 fiberglass laminate in whatever thickness you feel is appropriate. Shape it with any woodworking tools you have. Drill holes in it to match the drilled and tapped holes you already have in the existing mast mounting pad. Use stainless steel flat head machine screws with lock tight on the threads to mount it to your mast. Before doing this drill holes in the G-10 which match the hole pattern of your winch and epoxy nuts in the base of the G-10 so you can mount your winch to the threaded holes also using lock tight.
Your teak base was the weak link. The G-10 will last a lifetime and is stronger.
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Old 22-01-2021, 18:34   #4
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Re: Winch pad exploded

G 10 sounds like a fine upgrade. We carry a 4/1 tackle for man over board retrieval and use it for lifting our dinghy with less stress on our system.
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Old 22-01-2021, 20:52   #5
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Re: Winch pad exploded

1/4" (6.35mm) FR4 is a staple for us at work. If this were my project to do, I'd design it to be made from 3 x 1/4" plates with the various bolt and clearance holes drilled into each plate.
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Old 22-01-2021, 20:55   #6
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Re: Winch pad exploded

Were the winch bolts through the pad and into the mast or was it just screwed to the pad.?
If it’s the latter then that was the problem.
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Old 22-01-2021, 21:17   #7
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Re: Winch pad exploded

Drill and tap the lewmar directly to the aluminum pad. The reel winch and about 99.9% of all mast winches in the world are done that way. Why fight success??

Face the base of the winch with an insulator like electrical tape or dodger window material to prevent electrolysis between the winch base and mast. Use TefGel/LocTite/Lanocote on the threads of the fasteners.
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Old 22-01-2021, 22:58   #8
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Re: Winch pad exploded

Your failure was using screws. Not the teak pad
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Old 23-01-2021, 05:34   #9
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Re: Winch pad exploded

Wood screws into a teak pad are a recipe for failure. The winch need to be bolted to the aluminum. You can do this through the teak pad, or with no teak pad.
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Old 23-01-2021, 05:53   #10
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Re: Winch pad exploded

Remove the old Alu base from the mast and re shape the alu to suit the new winch,re bolt the winch and alu pad to mast ,bore and tap fit with epoxy ,job done ⚓️⛵️
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Old 23-01-2021, 09:19   #11
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Re: Winch pad exploded

I gave the old winch base along with the new winch to a machinist and he made an adaptor plate, could be made out of alloy, G10 etc.
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Old 23-01-2021, 09:59   #12
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Re: Winch pad exploded

Attaching a mast winch with wood screws into a Teak pad feels very inadequate to me and I am surprised it lasted any time at all.


I had a similar issue when adapting a mast and I had Alloy Plates made up which would use the existing holes in the mast (I used rivets to attach those to the old mast holes) and then I fitted alloy dedicated winch bases to those, with machine screws tapped into my new white plates.



I used the seperate allow winch bases as I did not have a flat area on the mast and I also wanted to get the angle of the winches correct.



You probably can get away with just a thick alloy pad in place of your teak pad. Then tap holes in that to take the winch fastenings.


My mast has been in use for over 10 years and thousands of miles without problems since I fitted these plates.


And if you are not certain about a fitting get an engineer/rigger to calculate the strength of it and its attachment - if anyone had done the calcs to see if a few wood scews into a teak block could sensibly secure a mast winch you would never have tried it.
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Old 23-01-2021, 15:19   #13
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Re: Winch pad exploded

Hmm seems like mounting directly to the mast is the way to go. It really doesn’t need the winch pad as the old mounting position is flat and more than large enough and as someone said why fight success..
G10 with nuts epoxied in sounds like a pretty good solution if I need a pad.

I’m not sure why I did it this way other than not knowing better and listening to boatyard advice (which was clearly unqualified). ☹️
Live and learn I guess.

On a bright side it has got me thinking about a backup main halyard. I am looking into adding a Boomkicker or a rigid vang so the old topping lift (which is run to the other side and another winch) can be used if need be.

Thanks for the input y’all! I really appreciate it. It’s refreshing to ask a question online and actually get helpful answers...and only answers.
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