VIDEO – Winch Maintenance Guide


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Harken Winch Performa 55.3

Winch maintenance is among the easiest jobs to perform on your own, and should be done at least once a year. In the video of the fourth episode of SAIL School, our experts show us how to disassemble the winch bell and access the internal gears to be cleaned and oiled.

Do-it-yourself winch maintenance

Winch maintenance on cruising boats should be carried out on average once a year at the beginning of the season, or as soon as the rotation of the mechanisms becomes unsmooth. The winch is a robust mechanism, but sand, salt, and dirt can damage the internal bearings, which must therefore be kept clean and lubricated .

Opening the bell and disassembling the mechanism is an easy operation that requires no special tools; one must be careful not to lose any parts during disassembly, and to photograph the disassembly sequence.

Winch maintenance using the Leatherman Charge + multi-purpose winch.

Cleaning all components can be done with diesel fuel, using a small brush or a basin in which to dip the gears. Once cleaned, the mechanisms should be lubricated. The oil and grease to be used in modern winches is specified by the manufacturer, so it is good to read the manual and follow the directions. For example, this is the maintenance guide for Harken winches

Some plastic parts may be damaged by incompatible lubricating products. However, very little grease should be used, which tends to accumulate dirt, and use an oil for mechanical parts, or silicone oil for plastic parts. You should never put grease in the castanets, which are the no-return mechanism of the winch (the one that clicks click click), because they might stick and never click again.

Sail School’s  video

The fourth episode of SAILINGSCHOOL, Winch Maintenance, is also available on the SAIL Newspaper youtube channel where you will findall episodes of SAILING SCHOOL, including beginner and expertepisodes!



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