Friday, 15 April 2016

Harken Winch Maintenance

After our wildly popular Lewmar Wavegrip winch maintenance post from 2013 in our Spray days, I didn’t think I would even write a post about Mareda’s Harken 40.2 ST and 35.2 ST winches since, unlike the Wavegrip series, they are brand new and the documentation is easily available.

What could possibly go wrong that might justify a few helpful hints?” we asked. 

On page 10 of the 40.2 ST manual, all goes well down to Step 10: Remove drum support No. 15.  The image as well as an on-line video show a hand simply lifting the drum support up and off.  We lifted.  We pulled.  We shoved.  We twisted.  We swore.  We pulled some more.  We finally called the boat yard technician who said sometimes new winches get a little stuck and that we should tap it with a hammer.  We tapped it with a hammer.  We tapped it to the left, we tapped it to the right, we tapped it to the side.  We tapped until we didn’t dare tap any further.  Today, the technician was on board for another problem, and we DEFIED him to get No. 15 drum support off the winch base. 

He looked over it carefully, positioned himself with knees slightly bent in front of the winch, then hauled back his arm and gave the top of the drum support a sharp karate strike with his palm.  The drum support popped right off. 

The moral of the story is that 1) you can trust the Harken instructions with an addendum or two, and 2) anything capable of lifting 850 kilos (or 1874 pounds) can take a little slapping around.  Go for it.

All went well down to the now-infamous Step 10...

REVISED Step 10: Remove drum support No. 15 (with forceful lateral karate strike...)

...which reveals dirty gears that need cleaning.

Clean the gears with diesel using Patrick's patent-pending bowl-in-a-bowl method.
Re-grease the gears with winch grease.

Use pure vaseline oil in the paws.

And have fun putting all these little slippery bits back together again !  (The Harken diagram and all those photos you took in the dismantling stage are helpful here.)

6 comments:

Astrolabe Sailing said...

Thanks for the reminder i must look at my winches! I like the look of the bowl in bowl method!

Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor said...

We need to service our winches. Of course, the big worry is something flying off and into the water. We'll definitely be taking photos every step of the way so that we can put them back together correctly.

Cheers - Ellen

Sailing Mareda said...

Hi Ellen - this is one job we try to do while the boat is on the hard, since we DID lose a piece overboard once and it cost $100 to replace it ! Things get very slippery with all that grease, plastic gloves, etc. Work down in the cockpit floor if you have to.

LittleCunningPlan.com said...

This is a helpful post! I'm thinking I could learn to maintain our winches if given the opportunity. Ours were serviced by the previous owner, but they will be due another servicing before long. Nice photos!

Doc Smart said...

get a plastic box type container , cut a hole in the bottom the size of the winch base and put the container over the top. Hold down with duct tape , and when you take the winch apart it will catch and parts that fall. destroys the box but its a lot cheaper than buying winch parts

Sailing Mareda said...

A Little Cunning Plan: it's actually not that hard (and kind of fun in a geeky way). You just have to be careful and lay out all the pieces one by one in order of removal to help put everything back together again.

Doc Smart: Brillant idea ! We try to always do this job when the boat is out of the water, but in the coming years in the Med we may not haul the boat out every year, so this will be a great technique for us. We could also use a sturdy cardboard box with a plastic bag liner, I suppose. Thanks for the great tip !