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Genoa winch replacement

Category: Technical Help
Forum Name: External Fixtures and Fittings
Forum Discription: Questions about external fixtures and fittings (pulpit, deckgear, handrails, etc)
Printed Date: 19 May 2019 at 7:34am

Topic: Genoa winch replacement
Posted By: Colin Pritchard
Subject: Genoa winch replacement
Date Posted: 06 Oct 2016 at 10:40am

Posted By: Colin Pritchard
Date Posted: 06 Oct 2016 at 11:04am
Well my initial post was very informative, so here's my real question...

We're going to replace our original Lewmar 40 genoa winches on Rampage with shiny new Lewmar ST 40 or 45's, final size to be decided when I've properly checked the coaming width.

Access to the nuts on the existing securing bolts is the issue. The nuts are glassed in and impossible to get at easily. I've loosened the bolts from the top but the whole bolt/nut assemblies are rotating so I have to get at the nuts from the underside of the cockpit coaming, but the cockpit side lockers are in the way. I would like to know how other owners have managed to get at these awkward nuts.

Any suggestions will be gratefully received.

Many thanks

Colin Pritchard

Posted By: Brigitte
Date Posted: 06 Oct 2016 at 11:08am
I gather many people cut a hole in the top of the cockpit cubby.

I'd be interested to know of an alternative though because we are idly considering replacing our winches and I hate the thought of extra holes.

Posted By: waratah912
Date Posted: 06 Oct 2016 at 8:12pm
That's why I gave up and there's an ST40 sitting in the garage waiting to go back on eBay - and check the bolt spacing, I think that also contributed to giving up when I realised that I couldn't re-use the existing holes. I ended up buying "Winchers" which work surprisingly well so long as you're not racing.
I struggle to think how to cut a neat hole in the top of the side locker, there's so little access and you're then working through a hole to get to the glassed over nuts (Jeremy, we love you! and more every time we come to maintain these inaccessible places). Easiest way might be to cut the whole locker off leaving a small stub, have easy access to the underside of the winches (and adjacent stanchions) and then glass the locker back on once you've made the mods.

Paul Smith
Contact details available from the members only area

Posted By: Keny
Date Posted: 21 Oct 2016 at 4:50pm
I've seen a few with neat and not so neat holes so I guess its time to bite the bullet.
A previous owner did mine very neatly and I must say access is very easy.
If you want a template Brigitte you're welcome to copy mine.
It does of course leave you with a draughty hole but this can be overcome with a cubby hatch.
Ken Young

Posted By: Brigitte
Date Posted: 26 Oct 2016 at 4:31pm
Thanks Ken! We have no immediate plans but we'd definitely like a look at yours before we do anything.

Posted By: Colin Pritchard
Date Posted: 28 Oct 2016 at 8:50am
Thank you for the replies. I had been wondering if the best way for access is to cut the whole locker away, but people are saying a hole in the top is sufficient, can anyone confirm? Ken, can you tell me if the access hole which you have is just in the top part of the side locker or does it extend down the sides as well?
Many thanks.
Colin Pritchard

Posted By: Keny
Date Posted: 29 Oct 2016 at 9:25am
It's in the top but I think it extends down the side a little - will let you know.

Posted By: Richard Ritchie
Date Posted: 31 Oct 2016 at 9:11am
It is just the top on mine...

Richard Ritchie
Badger of Baltimore
IRL 120

Posted By: Keny
Date Posted: 31 Oct 2016 at 9:59am

Posted By: Keny
Date Posted: 31 Oct 2016 at 10:05am
Managed to get image above. The hole is about 14cm x 7cm and about 2.5 cm from the inside combing.
From memory I think I used a crows foot spanner/socket to tighten the winch nuts.
Note that the top of the locker isn't glassed in - is yours?

Posted By: Colin Pritchard
Date Posted: 04 Nov 2016 at 7:23pm
I've successfully removed both winches now. I cut a hole approximately 150 mm long and across the top of the side locker (the top of the locker wasn't glassed in to the coaming) and extended down the outboard face of the locker about 50 mm. This hole allowed reasonable access to all the winch bolts, but a mirror lying in the bottom of the side locker helped me see what I was doing. The hole edges were tidied up and sanded smooth to remove rough glass. I wore thin gardening gloves while doing all the cutting and hacking to stop glass strands from irritating my skin.

I had used an impact driver gently on the screws from above which loosened some of them, but this didn't work on all because some of the glassed in nuts stubbornly turned within the fibreglass. Using a chisel I cut away the fibreglass from around the offending nuts, which could then be held with a spanner while turning the screw from above using a large screwdriver bit.

The winch body was then removed easily and the nuts still left glassed in were drilled out from above. From start to finish each winch took just under 3 hours to remove and I didn't have to do any work from inside the main cockpit locker or the quarter berth. I will epoxy the old fixing holes and then fit the new winch, which is going to be a Lewmar 45ST, the coaming is wide enough to take it. I'm going to get a local metal worker to make me 2 covers of thin stainless steel plate, folded to suit the profile of the locker top/side which will be screwed in place to cover the access holes and give a proper wearproof seal.

I hope this helps anyone else who is thinking of doing this job.


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