New Halyard Winches

Originally, the mast featured a single Southcoast No. 1 halyard winch, probably intended for use on the genoa halyard, since the main was set up with a sliding gooseneck and downhaul for tensioning.

I fixed the gooseneck in place, and found that the halyard winch was more useful on the main halyard.  The winch was anemic, tended to slip, and wouldn't hold a handle.  I always knew I'd replace it, but it worked, and was non-critical, so it got postponed for two years.

Then, one fateful day during our summer 2002 cruise, I dropped the precious winch handle overboard--the only handle I had that fit this winch.  On top of that, handles to fit the No. 1 size winch are next to impossible to find.  This was the inspiration I needed to buckle down and replace the thing once and for all.

During the winter, I prowled Ebay for suitable winches, and found (separately) two nice Lewmar #8 single speed winches.  I bid on, and won, both.  One is a bronze finish (nice), while the other is the standard chrome-plated finish (nice too).  I set them aside, since I couldn't easily work on the mast with the boat cover in place.

When spring finally arrived, and the cover was off, I removed the original winch.  It was installed on an aluminum base, held in place with two stainless steel bolts running through the mast.  I had previously replaced these two bolts, which were originally made of aluminum, during my initial restoration of the boat.  They should have come off easily.

For whatever reason, the nuts would not loosen beyond a certain point--I'm not sure why, but it was as if they were cross-threaded somehow (which seems impossible, since I had installed them easily with no cross threading).  They had to come off, so out I dragged the trusty sawz-all, and cut them off.  Back in the shop, I removed the original winch and  prepared to install the new one (the bronze one) on the base.  I could see that, given the spacing of the two large bolts that hold the base to the mast, it would be a close fit with the new winch--which is a slightly larger diameter than the original.  Still, it looked do-able, and after some mockup I drilled new holes and bolted the new winch to the base.

When I went to install the winch and base on the mast, I ran into a slight problem:  because of the alignment needed to get the bolts to come out the holes on the opposite side of the mast, I had a clearance issue with the winch drum and one of the bolt heads.  I didn't want to change the big holes at all, or move the entire base to a new location, so instead I found that if I removed a portion of the offending hex head on the bolt, I could make the winch drum fit.  I ground off part of the bolt head with my bench grinder, and the winch drum fit perfectly.  I had to grind a touch more off after the first attempt, as the drum was apparently slightly out of round, and one side of it would rub as I turned the winch. 

The bold that I had to grind down to fit

This is the other bolt, which fit perfectly

mainhalyardwinch2.jpg (166983 bytes) 

mainhalyardwinch3.jpg (194084 bytes)

Project complete!

I have a second winch, identical except that it has the standard chrome finish, which I will install on the other side of the mast for the genoa halyard.  But first I need to make  a wooden base for it.  That's all coming soon, I hope!

Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

We recommend viewing this site with your screen resolution set to 1024 x 768 or larger.  Problems?  Email the webmaster.

1999-2014 by Timothy C. Lackey.  All rights reserved.  No duplication of any portion of this website allowed without express permission.  Permission may be obtained by emailing the webmaster.