The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

Retire early, be passionate, don't worry, die poor

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Unloved Winches

As I wrote in a previous post, my Barlow 24 halyard winch totally seized on me. Luckily, I have 6 winches and quickly rigged an alternative with a snatch block that kept me going.

I finally got around to pulling both Barlows out for servicing. As you can see, it wasn't a pretty site. When was the last time you serviced your winches? You may ask me. I can't remember. 

The main problem - besides rust and thick grease - was a broken pawl, and the inner roller bearing shall I describe it...lopsided. The pawl would be easy to replace with a Lewmar part, but the bearing makes repairing it more trouble than it's worth. I'll keep one winch and use the other one for spare parts.

Barlow 24 winch parts
Barlow 24 winch sabotaged by a careless owner.
Barlow winch pawl
A broken pawl.

Barlow winch repairs
"Almost" clean using diesel and a toothbrush.
An equivalent self-tailing winch will cost about 800 euros. I could buy a used car for that much. Why hasn't somebody started making winches using a 3D printer? When are the Chinese going to start manufacturing disposable winches? Why did I buy a 39-foot boat? It ain't easy being a boat slave, I tell you.

I'll be looking for one on eBay. But it has to be purchased within the EU or the ridiculous and somewhat arbitrary import taxes will most likely negate any advantage of buying a used...a used anything, pretty much.

On the bright side, I'm looking forward to having my very first self-tailing halyard winch. Two years ago I succumbed to a roller furling genoa, now a ST winch. What next? 


  1. Dude, them some nasty stuff on yo winches. I did mine last year (no idea when/if they where previously done). They looked like yours (minus the rust!?!) Looked like Godzilla crawled up and died in them! A friend advised me not to leave them apart for too long or I'll forget how to reassemble them. And he was right! Schematics and common logic saved the day.
    Importing stuff into EU blows! The tax is a deal killer. And all the everyday "new" taxes... their getting ready for a new "boat" tax here(GR), And then they'll say it's in effect from...2009... so cough it up. NARF!
    Ouuu... a new ST winch! Whi(n)ch one??
    Why did you buy a 39ft boat anyway??? (just kidding)

    1. Whi(n)ch one? Hahaha, I like that.
      The cheapest one I can find on eBay or Amazon. So far no luck. I'm not yet emotionally prepared to fork out 800 euros, so I'll wait. Summer is still far off, and in last resort I can have a new one shipped from Spain in no time. That's right, there's a Spanish online shop that has incredible prices. Check it out at

  2. Nice shop and hey!.... stuff cheaper over there. A good 15-20%.