Monday, June 2, 2014

Winches Installed

Brand new, right out of the box.

I have finally completed the installation of new winches aboard Brigadoon.  These are five that I picked up from Defender at about 1/2 off. We saved thousands of dollars (literally), because they were demonstration models returned from retail stores. This means they were abused by people touching them and making them do "clicky" noises in the stores. We purchased five in total; mainsheet, two Genoa sheet, and two Staysail sheet winches.

Do you know how the story goes, that no job is easy on a boat? This install supported that story -- in spades. It basically boiled down to two things; 1) everything is hard to reach and, 2) everything is really hard to reach.

If it weren't for that, this job would not have been that bad.

The original and very nice Barients.

The first thing was to remove the old Barient non-tailing winches. That was actually not that difficult. They were sealed to the caprails with 5200, so the bolts were fixed security in place. All I had to do was crawl down inside a very small space and get the bolts off. Once that struggling and cursing was over, all that was left was the prying, the cursing, and the careful work with a chisel to get the winches and pads off.

Large winch removed.
I had planned on reusing the large pads, as they were fine for the larger genoa winches. I needed to use larger pads for the smaller staysail winches.

Staysail winch on new pad.
The gray stuff you see is butyl tape. I've decided to go with this instead of 5200 or some other adhesive because the adhesive is: a) messy, b) not necessary and, c) dries out over time. Butyl should perform better in a bolt-on application.

The view from underneath.
This is the underside of the caprail. This is the easiest spot to reach. All the others were harder. Each winch got brand new stainless hardware and nyloc nuts.

To put on one winch?  That took all damn day.

What it takes to install one winch on a boat.

But, after a few days, we had a finished product.

The finished product.
Port side install.

Varnish stripped, new pads installed for the staysail winches, and all four winches installed and bolted down.

Overall, it was a really tough job. Words cannot express the difficulty of fitting my body into very small places, the numerous cuts and bruises I have and how much I appreciate the help of my daughter, Sarah. Simple fact is, I can't tighten bolts when I'm deep inside the aft compartment without someone above to keep the screws from turning.

Thank you, Sarah.