So the weather has upgraded from ‘god awful’ to ‘really depressing’ (another record – it rained 29 days in March. Wooooooo) and to celebrate I decided to finally clean and strip my two companionway winches.
Also known as the piece of shit winches or ‘garbage monsters’ as
- they are very small and therefore take a lotta cranking
- despite the above they still manage to interfere with the side of the dodger when you are trying to use the winch handle on them, meaning you can only get half a turn, crank back, repeat. Sometimes you’ll bang your knuckles on the frame as well, just to add a bit of va va vroom to the proceedings.
Before I post any pictures – Disclaimer: I Am A Filth Raccoon (it’s been a looooooonnggggg winter with 6 months of near constant rain or cold and I haven’t got round to the spring clean yet. SO NO JUDGING). You can see them on either side of the companionway hatch here.
So, the first fun thing was discovering that there were THREE models of Barient 10P winches, which confused me greatly at first when I tried to figure out why the inside looked nothing like the diagram I had. Eventually, I found the original 36-year-old manual and we were away!
So the winch was removed by taking off the retaining clip, removing the main bit and unscrewing the retaining screws that screwed into a plate embedded in the fiberglass.
I had basically finished cleaning all the old grease and gunk off and regreasing/oiling (only use oil on the pawls, not grease) when I found the top would not fit back on the stem! (may not be correct names for parts)
Basically, because it was what I can only imagine as a ‘sod it it’s friday’ level design, it has no separate ball bearings bushings, instead, the whole thing spins around that black nylon stem. Which had expanded? Somehow? And now the top wouldn’t fit back on.
If you are thinking ‘but isn’t that a lot of friction’ CONGRATS! Turns out that the reasons they kinda sucked weren’t due to lack of maintenance, the design is just awful.
ANYWAY, at this point I just said bugger it and sanded those bad boys down
Surprisingly, once I’d done that, lubed and put it back together, it did actually work a lot better. Though still not as well as my big 2 speed winches with the separate ball bearing bushings.
Here is the completed article. Note the caulk everywhere. I hate caulking, though I took the opportunity to countersink the screw holes in the cabin deck like a pro.
And there you have it. Three winches down, one left to go (the port jib one).
Oh, I also fixed my autopilot (the gale and crappy seas had wrenched the tiller arm off to one side, partially jamming the steering column and also explaining why my steering partially crapped out in that gale the other week) an unjammed the starboard jib winch (one of the cogs had a burr in it which I buffed out)