End of Season Winch Service

This is a great time to think about servicing your winches to have them ready for spring when your mind might be thinking of painting, waxing, the bottom of the boat and other commissioning items. IT’s a great idea to think of winch service as a fall project and this video helps you with all the various moving parts and pieces – all of which require attention and inspection and many of which will want to be greased.

Skip takes you aboard his Swan 42 and shows you one way to deal with winches if you are not interested in removing the winch from it’s seat. We recommend removing the winch whenever possible and bringing it to your workbench or a stable area where parts and pieces can’t get lost. It will also save your deck from lots of messy grease and staining that no one wants to deal with.


6 thoughts on “End of Season Winch Service

  1. It’s not real convenient, but if you start with an open-top cardboard box, cut a winch-size hole in the bottom, place the box over the winch, and tape the box to the deck, then as you remove the winch parts, (1) parts that fall out, like bearing races, land in the box rather than overboard, and (2) those same parts don’t leave grease all over your deck. Best of all, (3) if a pawl and spring happen to fall out, the chances are good that you’re going to be able to hang onto them. I like to even throw an old towel in there, as it tends to catch pawl-springs better than the box does.

    The right set of tools to start out with for this project are (1) screwdrivers and needlenose pliers, (2) a coffee can with some solvent in it, (3) a toothbrush or brass wire-brush, which should not melt in your chosen solvent, (4) paper towels, (5) a trash bag, taped to a corner of the cockpit so it can be held open, (6) that cardboard box (7) tape, and (8) a piece of cardboard or other protection for your cockpit seats if you’re going to do the work there (9) at least two sets of thin nitrile (or similar) gloves. It’s also nice to have the parts diagram for the winch, and tape it to a bulkhead where you can see it while you work.

    The two sets of gloves are for (1) disassembly and cleaning (use the solvent and the toothrush), and (2) reassembly. No reason to carry some of the junk you just cleaned off back into the winch as you reassemble, right?

    BTW, many pawl-springs have one straight arm and one bent arm. The straight arm goes against the pawl, the bent arm against the side of the socket into which the pawl fits.

  2. To reduce the likelihood of losing any parts, first cut a hole slightly larger than the winch base into a small box and place the box over the winch. That way if any parts do fly out during disassembly they will remain in the box and not be lost overboard.

  3. The video mentioned greasing versus oiling of some parts. What grease and what oil should be used for the gears and pawls, respectively?

  4. Pingback: Winter Winch Service Tips | TotalBoat Show

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