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bolts, which were originally made of aluminum, during my initial restoration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.