How to Service Lewmar Winches

June 2, 2014 at 11:09 pm

Duet has a lovely pair of Lewmar 8 sheet winches which I wanted to service as part of her annual maintenance (can’t call it ‘winter maintenance’ any more as it is now June!) It’s recommended that winches are serviced (basically taken apart, cleaned and regreased) every year to remove salt and grit that might have worked up into the innards, and as she’d been sand blasted it definitely needed doing this year.

Now, although I’ve grown up with a Trapper 500 which we fairly comprehensively refitted (a couple of times!) in the course of 20 years of family ownership, I don’t think her winches ever got serviced, and I’ve actually never seen it done!  I’ve certainly never done Duet’s before…

There was a bit of shopping to do first though;  Lewmar actually sell a Winch Service Kit which consists of a tube of winch grease, a bottle of light oil (or Race Lube as they provocatively call it), 10 pawl springs, a disposable paintbrush and some written instructions and this retails for about £42.

However, I was able to buy the same size tube of grease for £11.50, the Race Lube was £6.99 and pawl springs are 6p each from Force4.  So effectively with the ready made kit that’s £23 extra for a disposable paintbrush and some instructions which are freely available here! Daylight robbery Lewmar!

To complete the job I also needed some white spirit, a tray to make a bath and a cloth.  Tools to take the winch apart are straighforward; I used a small precision screwdriver to get the circlip off and a normal philips to get the top of the drum off.

Service Lewmar Winches

Collect everything you need:
White Spirit, tray, cloth, Gear Grease, Race Lube, Paintbrush, Spare Pawl Springs, Precision Screwdriver, Phillips Screwdriver

So, even though my little winches are relatively simple (one speed/ not self-tailers), it all looked a bit daunting to start with… but it actually turned out surprisingly straightforward and the second one was a total doddle. However, I do have an admission to make… I put the money I ‘saved’ on the kit towards a pair of Barton Winchers which are rubber cuffs that effectively turn the winches into self tailers.  However I can’t get them on! I’m not done with them yet. I will keep you posted on that…

Anyway, here’s some step by step pictures:

Service Lewmar Winches

1) Remove the circlip on the top of the winch

Service Lewmar Winches

2) Remove the shiny disc on the top of the winch

Service Lewmar Winches

3) The whole drum should now easily slide off

Service Lewmar Winches

4) The 2 bearing drums should all now slide off. Also remove the white plastic clip halfway down the drum (I poked it out with a screwdriver). Once this is off the centre of the drum should also lift off.

Service Lewmar Winches

5) Wash all that lot off in white spirit.

Service Lewmar Winches

6) Once it’s clean, reassemble in the reverse order

Service Lewmar Winches

7) To get at the pawls, undo the 3 screws on the top of the winch and remove the top

Service Lewmar Winches

8) Check and oil the top pawls, replacing the pawl springs if necessary (I didn’t)

Service Lewmar Winches

9) Turn the drum over and check/oil the bottom pawls

Once it’s all clean, just put it back together in the reverse order! Service Lewmar Winches Really glad I’ve done this – there was alot of blue and grit left in the bath at the end which presumably was detritus and antifoul from the sand blasting.  Job done.