Mindy Abbott Sailboat February 12th, 2018 - 11:49:59
Sailboat Winch Maintenance is Greasy and Messy If youre like most sailboat owners you havent serviced your winches since you owned the boat. Every year you say this is going to be the year you clean and grease the winches but something more important always comes along. Servicing sailboat winches is a greasy messy job that intimidates even the most boat-savvy person. However winches need to be greased because they are among the most expensive items on the sailboat! The Sailboat Winch Jigsaw Every winch is different so theres no good way to memorize how a winch goes back together. However a sailboat winch can not be put together wrong because the parts only fit together the right way - with the exception of maybe getting a washer in the wrong place.
After soaking take the small brush and work off any old grease from the winch component. Dont forget to clean the winch gear ring on the inside of the drum. Now that youve removed the grease and grime rinse the parts in hot water to remove the mineral spirits. If the spirits are left on it breaks down the grease. Dry the parts with a clean rag or paper towel. Reassembly of Sailboat Winch As you put the gears back into place take a close look at how the pawls are working. If they dont open and close smoothly then the drum could spin backwards. If theres any question that the pawls are not working properly it is much easier to replace them and the little springs. It is very important NOT to grease the pawls because grease causes them to stick. And if they stick the gears wont engage. To lubricate your pawls use any light oil that might be on hand; something like a 3 & 1 oil.
Disassembly of Sailboat Winch To disassemble remove the drum from the base of the winch using the screw at the bottom of the winch handle socket. Simply unscrew it pull the socket out and the drum will lift off. As you lift the drum be aware the winch roller bearing cages may momentarily stick inside the drum and could unexpectedly drop out. Make sure they dont bounce off the deck into the water. Now you can remove all the winch gears and bearings for cleaning. Even though the sailboat winch only goes back together one way it wont hurt to take a good look at everything.
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