Stuck winches

Slycat777 9:17am, 27 September 2010
Two questions about the winches on my Achilles 24. I've uploaded a photo of one of the (Gibb) winches which are very siezed!

First, what does the lever at the bottom do? Levers on both winches are stuck firmly in position.

Second, I've been trynig to get these winches apart to servie them but with no luck. After removing the retaining screw for the cylindar I've tried twisting, hammering up, levering up with a screwdriver... running out of ideas!

Any pointers?
G4NLA1 8 years ago
My port hand primary Barton winch had siezed solid when I bought Little Plum. I attempted a similar exercise to you with no luck. However an old hand came along and helped me out of my predicament. We sprayed in loads of WD40 ( on which LP runs really ) and then gently knocked in some very dry wooden wedges under the capstan. The wedges were subsequently soaked in fresh water. The general idea being that I was to keep tapping the wedges in further as the wood expanded. As it happens on the first knock the capstan lifted off.

What had happened was that the grease used on the capstan spindle had dried out solid. I cleaned all that off ( WD40 again ) and replaced it with copper grease.

Hope that helps.
Slycat777 8 years ago
Great idea!

WD40 rather than plusgas?

Wil try this tonight!
G4NLA1 8 years ago
I would imagine that plusgas should work.. but I am not that imaginative, and use WD40 for just about anything that needs a bit of help !

Good luck ..


blueachilles Posted 8 years ago. Edited by blueachilles (member) 8 years ago
The lever is a ratcheted winch handle.

Blue had these originally. Both were quite stiff; I tried squirting WD40 in but this seemed to displace what little grease was left, and made the winch even stiffer.

So I would suggest that if you use WD40 you do then need to get the thing apart and grease it.

We replaced both winches with Harken self tailers. Apart from looking nicer, and working better, you don't get the handle digging in your back!
Slycat777 8 years ago
Going to a boat jumble this weekend so may look for replacment winches. Problem is I prolly wont be able to remove the old winches without getting them apart anyway!
busy home [deleted] 8 years ago
Boil the the kettle.....
Wrap a small towel around the winch,,
Pour boiling water over towel .
allow to nearly cool off ''
use previous methods
Do not use parcel force when buying new, (they loose things.. ask pjb)
pjbharrison 8 years ago
Buy cheap secondhand. Send by Parcelforce, over insure, buy new ones!
No, really NEVER use Parcelforce
NormanKlipspringer 8 years ago
I think the Gibb winches with underhand lever are great. Why has the underhand lever gone out of fashion. I shall sorely miss the Gibb winches when I move to Klipspringer which has normal single speed Lewmars with no handle.
There is a picture in my photo stream of the inside of my Gibb winches
My problem was that they were too loose, which I fixed with suitable washers. I found that the polythene washers used by plumbers when fixing taps (I think bath type) fit perfectly.
I confirm that once the fixing screw is taken off the wich should just be levered up preferably both sides at the same time and yes the greese is probably the problem. I like Ron's idea of the hot towel.
We have had some discussion on this before. Have alook at the Flickr index on the main site:
Good luck.
gambling dice 8 years ago
Thanks for all these tips guys -- although gambling dice's winches are not siezed solid you would have to be a charles atlas type to operate them. When I was out (once this season) I had to luff up in order to tension the sheets. I will add this to my pre 2011 list of jobs !!!
Slycat777 8 years ago
Thanks for the tips guys, with the info on this thread I was able to take apart the first winch!

There doesnt seem to be any gears that I can see in this winch, is this normal for a gibb winch on an Achilles?
rothwell_neil 8 years ago
According to a link on t'interweb these guys do pawls for old Gibbs
busy home [deleted] 8 years ago
Norms got them..
gambling dice 8 years ago
hi Guys,

I am delighted to report that half a can of wd 40 has freed my Gibb winches.
Slycat777 8 years ago
I got one of mine working, using the hammer and chisel method!

The other is proving stubborn when I try to take out the retaining screw at the top. Going to try an impact driver to shift it.
busy home [deleted] 8 years ago
Remember Boat parts has one,,, If you can raise them...
Slycat777 8 years ago
Yup, thanks. Just got my hands on an impact driver so we'll see...
No joy with boat parts, if you're in the area again can you leave them a note with my details and that I'd like to buy something off them!

Chris Cartin 07759 228111
busy home [deleted] 8 years ago
Will do,,,
Ill be up there tommorrow as Goskar needs to come up the Beach more .... 5,3 tide today so she may just float, Ill check tommorrow
Slycat777 8 years ago
Both winches now disassembled!

After struggling for ages trying to get the retaining screw out (and a lot of penatrating oil later), I used the impact driver to move the screw and it worked inside of 30 seconds!

This one was easier to get apart than the previous winch.
gambling dice 8 years ago
good news well done !!
Slycat777 8 years ago
Looking good. One winch back together and clicking well. The other looks good but I discovered one of the spring is broken.

The springs are very simple, just stiff wire that flexes and springs when the winch is in use. I've uploaded a picture of a complete spring and the pawl.

Any idea what type of wire I should use to fashion a new spring?
busy home [deleted] 8 years ago
Piano wire,
There are a pair of 16 two speed on ebay @ at £50 now
I may buy them If you dont.. They have Winchers fitted.
Slycat777 8 years ago
Great tip thanks. Will sort some piano wire now.

I had both winches working well at the weekend, so will pass on the ebay winches. Will save the cash for getting the bits I need for the mast step (or getting one fabricated if I get lazy).
pjbharrison 8 years ago
Hi Chris
My boat came with one of these winches that had been mangled by the last owner trying to remove it! I've dismantled it and have the bits including some springs in OK condition. The pawls are worn but I'll post the springs and pawls to you if you Flickrmail me your address.
Slycat777 8 years ago
heh heh I came close to mangling mine in fustration!

Will mail you now
pjbharrison 8 years ago
I'll post them in the morning
Slycat777 8 years ago
Got the springs, and now have two fully rotating clicking working winches!

Thanks again.

Took some pics of the deck as I start work on restoring it, will post soon.
busy home [deleted] 8 years ago
Have you got the mast?
pjbharrison 8 years ago
Winches are no good without mast and sails!
Glad springs fitted though...
Slycat777 8 years ago
No, still waiting for the courier to sort their act out :(

They are (understandably) trying to time it with the delivery of another boat to NI, and it hasnt been the best weather for towing boats, so giving them the benifit of the doubt for now.

Will ring to chase them up next week again.
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