New halyard winch for the main mast

One thing we really wanted to do for a while is to replace the winch for the main halyard. Before it was a wire halyard fixed onto the old winch, which meant that the winch only could be used for the main halyard. That has been an issue for us when we have tried hoisting the staysail, as we have had to do that by hand and therefore not been able to get it up properly. It has also been a bit slow hoisting the main sail, as you have to use the winch all the way.

The old winch for the main halyard, which previously was made of wire. .
Wire removed, next up is to remove the winch itself.
It was not super-easy to get rid of the old winch, but finally we managed to get rid of it.
We filled the old screw holes with silicon.
Attaching the new winch and a plate for the rope clutches with pop rivets.
The new winch and rope clutches in position, first try!
The day after it was calm weather and we also tried hoisting our newly bought (second hand) main sail. The sail was perfect size for us, it just needs some adjustments of the battens and sliders before we can use it. The new winches and rope clutches worked really good as well.

We also chose to make a hole in the mast to let the halyard for the staysail and the topping lift go inside the mast instead of outside. The halyards for the main sail and the headsail are already inside the mast. As we have the mast steps it easy for ropes to get tangled around them and by being inside the mast, some parts of the halyard will get some weather protection. We made the cut in the mast as far away as possible from the other outlets for halyards to not weaken the mast too much.

After we’ve done the outlets it was time to climb up in the mast. We used a fishing line with a weight on, and when the weight was at the bottom we sewed the fishing line onto the rope. The weight and rope both gut stuck at some places but by shaking the mast a bit it managed to get down.

Enjoying the view from the top of the mast.
The topping lift, which we choose to let out at the bottom of the mast, below the attachments. Feels like this solution will be really good.
halyard winch main mast
A picture of our new solution with the new halyard winch and rope clutches on the main mast.
The new outlet for the staysail halyard.

Now we can’t wait to try sail, but a proper sail is quite far away for us. By the end of May we plan to haul out and go over the bottom, maybe we can take a short sail to the boatyard, but a longer sail will have to wait.

Service of our “new” Lewmar winches

The other day we started with some service of our “new” second hand Lewmar winches we bought this weekend. During the same weekend we managed to find both bigger winches for the genoa and also smaller, ones that we will attach on the mast for the halyards, on a second hand site.

For the genoa winches, we have been keeping an eye for second hand winches of the correct size for a pretty long time. The winches we have works, but they are really heavy to use, are probably really old and only has one speed. Maybe they would still work better after a thorough service, which would have been our option if we weren’t to find any good second hand winches.

When trying to understand how big winches we should have, we have used the table HERE. From the table it says that for our sail area for the genoa and size of the boat a winch of size 40 is a good size for us. That is a pretty big winch and a new winch of that size costs a lot! So we were really happy when a pair of  second hand Lewmar 43 winches showed up on a second hand site. They are pretty old as well, but probably not as old as the ones we already have. They have 2 speeds but are not self-tailing, which is something we definitely can live without, even if it would have been nice to have that feature.

Two days after we bought the bigger Lewmar winches, a pair of smaller Lewmar winches, of size 7 showed up, which we will use for the halyards on the mast. As it is now we have wire halyard for the main sail and the furling genoa, were the wire is attached to the winch. We have two winches of that kind on the mast, one for the genoa and one for the main sail. They can only be used for one halyard per winch, and as we have a cutter stay as well we have no means to hoist that sail properly, since we only can do it by hand. Our new plan is to remove the wire system and attach the new winches, add rope clutches and new ropes. With this solution we will also be able to use the winches as help to reef the main sail, which might come in handy.

But back to the service of the bigger Lewmar winches (the small seems we only took apart and they are in much better shape than the big ones). We took them apart and inspected all the parts to check if they were in good shape. Apart for some small spare parts that were broken, it looked good. The parts that were broken was a distance between two bearings and a spring. The spring is a common winch spare part, so it is easy to buy new ones. We also cleaned them thoroughly, to get rid of a lot of old grease and other dirt that has gathered in the winches over the years. Next step will be to buy the spare parts we need and mount the winches back together again.

service lewmar winches
Service of our second hand Lewmar winches; taking them apart and cleaning the internal parts, which were filled with a lot of old grease. We cleaned them with white spirit and a standard brush.

We have also updated our sailing plan a bit. Our initial plan was to sail to the Caribbean, leave the boat there and fly back home and then continue sailing later. But as we noticed, a few days after we wrote our budget blog post, was that it is really expensive to leave the boat in the Caribbean. Of course we hadn’t exactly expected it to be free, but it was way more than we had expected. So we had a gloomy couple of days, and had to re-think a bit. Then we realized that we could make our sailing trip a bit longer and sail back to Sweden as well, which felt like the right thing to do once we came up with the idea. Another thing that we like with this new idea is that we won’t leave the boat unattended and all the work we do now will be lost. By sailing back we can continue renovating our boat when we get back as well, sail and explore more of the Baltic Sea and eventually we might leave for another, perhaps longer sailing adventure in the future. If you want to check out how and were we plan to sail, you can visit About->The Plan.