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One of the tasks we were always very diligent about on ZTC was servicing the winches. Because of that, the 4 self-tailing winches on our cat never missed a beat. When we sailed Frost to Carriacou a couple of weeks ago, we noted that one of the main sheet winches, while still functioning, was groaning a bit. This told us that disassembling and servicing the winches on the boat, all 10 of them, would need to be pretty high on our maintenance to-do list. Little did we know how much this was true.

The other day we decided to begin the process by tackling the smallest, and simplest of the boat’s winches. It was obviously due for service as the tiny bit of grease that was remaining inside it had long ago ceased doing its job properly.

What we found when we opened the larger sheet winch, the one that we determined was less-than-happy when we were sailing, was unpleasant, to say the least. I am happy to report though that with some time and TLC, the winch is all back together and performing as designed. Now we only have 8 more to go.


…and after!


  1. That was one nasty looking winch. Nice job cleaning it up. Hope the rest clean up as nice.

  2. Yikes! That item moved right to the top of the list! Good to see you didn’t fat finger the tittle.. 😉

  3. And don’t forget backing plates.

    I recently had a pair start to come loose after 18 years of service. Of course, I am guilty of souping-up the rig a bit, and the PO did move them and remount them wrong… all of which are reasons to check on them.

    And don’t use standard fender washers. They always fold-up right when you need them most.

  4. Wow! Good think you didn’t wait any longer!

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