Last month we sent out our Laying Up 2014 email followed by our Engine Winterisation article, both positively received. In case you missed them here are the blog links:
Laying Up 2014 -
Engine Winterisation -
For those of you who are a little green (me included) when it comes to servicing our winches we thought it would make good sense to reproduce the excellent article that Geordie boy Mark Gardner of Harken UK wrote for us some years ago. Its been written for those of you that have Harken Winches, however if your yacht is fitted with say Lewmar, Andersen or Antal the basic principles are the same. Winch servicing can make your job easier and safer, and your boat faster.
1. Salt water will find its way into winches where it degrades the grease and can corrode the structure of the winch. A properly lubricated winch will drain freely. A blast of fresh water into the winches whenever you are washing the boat down will minimise any salt build up.
2. A complete overhaul of a winch involves a complete strip down to the component parts, a thorough clean and de-grease, inspection, re-lubrication and re-assembly. Cleaning and degreasing is best done in a bucket of commercially available de-greaser. Use a small stiff brush to remove all of the old grease and oil. Be careful of plastic parts degrading in the de-greaser.
3. A very important stage of cleaning is to flush the winch parts in hot water to remove any trace of solvent as this will degrade the grease you are about to put on.
4. Inspect the winch thoroughly, paying particular attention to the pawls and springs. Replace any pawls or springs that are not working perfectly. These parts stop the winch going backwards and are very important! Lubricate with light oil such as Harken Pawl Oil (BK4521) DO NOT USE GREASE OR TEFLON SPRAY as this will make the pawls stick.
5. To re-assemble the winch in the correct way, check the pawl gears are fitted correctly. Use the exploded views (available on the Harken Web Site) to make sure you are correct.
6. Re-lubricate the winch with Harken Winch Grease (BK4513) on all gear teeth, stainless roller bearings, and any other metal-to-metal wear surfaces. Brush the grease on with a small brush and work it into all of the gear teeth.
NB: Remember the ring gear inside the drum. A winch without sufficient lubrication will wear out much faster and will lose efficiency. The risk of mechanical failure will also be higher.
7. Use some anti-seize such as Tef-Gel on the fasteners to prevent any corrosion and allow easy removal for the next service. A well maintained winch is easy to service as it comes apart easily, is easy to clean, and is less likely to have any problems.
For more information and to download copies of the winch service manuals visit: www.harken.co.uk/article.aspx?id=18795
After all that work perhaps you should consider investing in some protective winch covers. Avalible in a number of sizes off the shelf or we make up here in our sail loft to the colour of your choice. For more information call us on 0191 2661037 or email firstname.lastname@example.org