Chandlery July 2009 Issue

Winch Makeover

Winchmate makes self-tailers of old deck gear.

The Winchmate is one answer for sailors who are considering upgrading to self-tailing winches but find the price tag too intimidating and have otherwise perfectly functional non-self-tailing winches that are too good to toss out. Now there’s another option: Older Barient or Barlow winches can be retrofitted with a carefully machined upper drum assembly that adds a rugged and reliable self-tailing feature. To test the concept, we retrofitted a set of near museum-aged Barlow two-speed 28s with the easy-to-install Winchmate system. Combining the upgrade with normal annual cleaning and maintenance makes the changeover quite simple and straightforward. The process can be "e-assisted" with Winchmate’s step-by-step online installation video. With the drum removed and bearings, gears, and pawls cleaned, greased and reassembled, a spindle extender is threaded to the top of the winch spindle. A Delrin spindle extension bushing is added, and attention is then turned to the drum itself.

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