Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday Tips: Winch Preventative Maintenance

We thought we would start a series of DIY Posts called "Tuesday Tips"  that walk you through some of the most commonly asked questions we receive on our service desk.  This one is a recent one from one of our owners that called and asked about how to disassemble, check and lube his Lewmar Ocean Winches.

While the specific disassembly might vary from brand to brand- the essential components of the winch are similiar and the routine maintenance should be done routinely (i.e. seasonally at minimum or if you race the boat perhaps on a bi-seasonal schedule).

We thought that we would start with winches because it's often one of the most used, yet most neglected part of the sailboat.  When the fail (eg. lock or jam) it is usually because of a few reasons:

1. Lack of routine maintenance
2. Palls break. (fatigue due to low lubrication (see #1)
3. Excessive dirt/grime build-up (see #1)

So at the end of the day, by spending a few minutes this Spring, you might save yourself a bigger headache or worst yet, a failure when you need them most.    Spare parts can be ordered from Lewmar or Harken or obtained through your local ship store (eg. West Marine).

Bring in a photo of the winch (smartphones are great for this) and know the size (usually stamped on the head of the winch. 

Some other supplies you will need before you start:

1. Polyvinyl gloves 
2. Shop rags
3. Plastic bin to hold the parts
4. Winch lube

The videos we've enclosed here breakdown the process for each of the major brands of newer winches.  You tube has an assortment of other makes models etc. 

Have fun! 

For More Information Ask Karma Yacht Sales by email  or call 1-877-KARMA-Y-S (527-6297)