why does one winch always seize?

Burnham_Bob

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I have two old Gibb winches on my halcyon 23 for the genoa sheets. They both ran fine for two or three years. Then the starboard one seized up over the winter.

I took it apart, cleaned it and although it seemed stiffer than its counerpart it turned fine. It got a little stiffer over the season but no problem.

Then it seized again over winter. This is a regular occurrence now. The other never needs any attention and works fine. Every spring I have to disassemble the problem one, clean it and put it back together. I've tried oil, a light teflon grease (just in case I's got it wrong trying to remember which to use!) but it keeps happening.

I'm wondering if it got a bang when the boat yard lifted it out and the drum and shaft aren't quite true and as water seeps in it gets worse. But I'm guessing.

Any suggestions? Last year I followed the instructions on the Lewmar site as far as I could apply them to my Gibbs and it still seized over the winter lay up.
 

Seal_surfer

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Easy fix?
If its the simple sort with plain plastic bush in the drum bearing direct on the brass post, try dribbling a little White Spirit in the top recess of drum, after removing screw. I know it sounds unlikely, but it was the only thing that I found worked reliably for these old Gibbs, and easier than fully dismantling each time.
 

William_H

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Yes or flood it with WD type lubricant water dispersant as a quick fix.
I can't imagine why one seizes and the other doesn't unless the other is more worn. I would suggest that a quick dismantle and lubricate more often with WD and not thoroughly cleaning, than once per season would be worth while. I do. olewill
 

Krusty

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I have no experience of the Gibb winches, but what you describe suggests a dis-similar metals corrosion problem. Maybe that winch has had a part replaced, but not of the right material?
How about swapping the drums of the two winches? If the seizure goes with the drum, you may have an answer.
I had a similar problem with a mast-mounted winch, and tried using ACF (Anti-Corrosion-Formula) lubricant. It cleaned up the winch 'innards' better than anything else, leaving it free-spinning and easy-ratcheting. I have since been using it on all winches.
ACF is used on aircraft and by motorcyclists. I found it in a biker's shop. I have found it quite remarkably effective on everything from tools to chains. A can seems expensive, but a little goes a long way, so it is worth it!
 

MASH

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If, as has been suggested, the winch had a plastic sleeve bearing then WD or almost any other form of light oil is very possibly the cause of the problem. Some plastics swell in contact with light oil... try running it dry, or with a teflon based lubricant. Salt crystals often accumulate in oil or grease and can cause jams too.
 

Topcat47

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My main halyard winch is a Gibbs with a plastic sleeve. I replaced the plastic sleeve eight years ago and I've had no problems since. I haven't stripped or maintained it either as the new sleeve co-incided with a new mast and the mast builder used a type of fitting that doesn't give me room to get behind it at the fixings. I'll have to dril out the rivits and replace the whole thing if it ever goes wrong.
 
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