Thursday, April 21, 2011

That @$%#ing Winch

That @%$#ing Winch

On the cabin top just to port of the mast, there is a smallish winch used for hoisting the staysail into the roller furling. Two days ago we lowered the sail to re-sew some of the seams. When we tried to hoist it back up, we found that the hoisting winch was frozen, no matter what we did, it wouldn't move. In addition, it was supposed to be a two-speed winch, yet the winch handle spun freely in the slow direction. When we took it apart yesterday, we found that a pair of pawls were nonfunctional, and that the interior was covered in corrosion. We tried to take the drum off, but it stubbornly refused to budge. We ended up having to tie a spinnaker halyard to the top of the drum, tension it, and beat on the underside of the drum with a hammer. When it finally came off after literally hours of banging, we discovered that the drum bearings were firmly corroded in place. Dad and I got most of the corrosion off with a flathead screwdriver and some sandpaper, and Dad greased all the gears and bearings inside the winch. When we put the drum back on, it required still more banging to get it onto the mechanism. When we finally finished, we came below to find the entire port half of the main cabin covered in a fine layer of dust from the cabin top.
--Orion Date
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