Monday, October 4, 2010

Winch cleaning 101

Is the saying "A family that cleans winches together, stays together?" For us it is.
This was a lot of fun and a chance for us all to get dirty. The assembly line was a thing of beauty.

Allan on disassembling, Simon on degreasing, Izzy on buffing, Devon on sanding. We had so much fun that Devon wants to start a winch cleaning service for the yachties... when we sail from island to island this winter. He has his bucket filled with all the tools and oils/grease he will need. He has even come up with a name, Wright and Sons Winch Cleaners. I think it's just an excuse so that he can run around in the dingy by himself... at 15 and living on a boat, he has no car in his near future, so a dingy is looking pretty cool about now.

Devon at his best.

Doreen joins in

The final result

A broken winch is just a bad anchor or a toe jammer, so basically completely useless... service your winches every 12 months, more if you're sailing a lot. When you buy a boat, check the winches thoroughly, they cost a small fortune. The small mast winches we're doing here are Lewmar 30ST (self tailing) and one Maxell two speed, they're $900 each new and we have 5 winches on the mast and boom, so about $4,500 to replace them all. 

We have 12 winches on the deck which include some big pricy ones so $15,000 if we had to replace those. All in all we had one winch on the mast that was too far gone, so we stripped it for good parts and only need to replace one... I'm hunting around for a deal as it's low season right now. I think that we'll probably have two bad ones on the deck, but the big pricy ones are in great shape and the main winch was replace with a lovely $5,000 Harken electric jobby two years ago. So when buying a boat, make sure that the winches don't make a big dent in your refit budget.

I think that the happy smiles in the pictures might be because we're not living aboard Odessa while she's in the yard and have a lovely villa to work in... for now.

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