How to Repair a Winch While Sailing

How to Repair a Winch While Sailing
When you are out at sea and your winch fails, the first thing to do is reduce your speed by letting out the sail. If you've already set up a cleaning station and stocked a cleanup area, it's not too difficult to repair a winch while sailing. The assembly of the winch is not complex, so as you take it apart, look at it carefully to note all the parts. If you get stuck during the repair, look at other winches on your boat as guides to reassemble your winch.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Screwdriver Cleaning station Mineral spirits Small brush Clean rag Light oil
  • Screwdriver
  • Cleaning station
  • Mineral spirits
  • Small brush
  • Clean rag
  • Light oil
Step 1
Take apart the winch by unscrewing the underneath section of the socket of the winch handle. Take out the socket and remove the drum. Take out the gears and bearings and store everything in a sack.
Step 2
Clean the winch's components at your boat's cleaning station. First, put the smaller pieces in the can, then add the mineral spirits until all of the pieces are covered. Leave the components to soak for 20 minutes. Mineral spirits are available at any boating store.
Step 3
Remove the components from the can and clean off the old, dirty grease with a small brush. Wash each component in water to rinse off the mineral spirits. Use a clean rag to dry the parts.
Step 4
Place the gears back in their housing. Check that the pawls open and close easily. Use light oil to lubricate the pawls; do not grease. Replace the rest of the components.
Step 5
Slide the drum into the housing of the winch and screw the socket of the winch handle into place. Run a quick test by spinning the gears and shaft to make sure that everything works properly.

Tips & Warnings

 
Set up an area on your boat stocked with cleaning supplies, so it's ready when you need it.
 
Set up an area on your boat stocked with cleaning supplies, so it's ready when you need it.
 
When repairing a winch, keep in mind that winch parts do not float. The winch assembly is one of the most expensive, basic items on your boat.
 
When repairing a winch, keep in mind that winch parts do not float. The winch assembly is one of the most expensive, basic items on your boat.

Article Written By Tzvi Raphael

Tzvi Raphael has worked with Fortune 500 companies helping them to maximize their online brand exposure through innovative Web design, content, and marketing. Additionally, Raphael is a writer for multiple high-traffic blogs and websites including eHow and Weight Ladder.

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