Took care of the lint build up on the fridge condensers and the leaky shower sump this weekend. Then went to the electric cabin top winch to disassemble, clean and lube only to find the top cap wouldn't unscrew. It should have by light tapping with a screwdriver but to no avail.
So I stepped it up a notch with a brass drift and screwdriver and again, no go. I then tried a steel drift and the cap never moved in the slightest. It is as if it was secured with permanent Lock Tite.
Now when I say its jammed in the title its because one cannot pull line through it and barely winch it with a handle however it will work electrically.
Could there be some type of load internally in the winch or be bent preventing to top cap from unscrewing?

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Replies to This Discussion

I can't imagine anything in the winch top that would bend. Other than the electric drive and a disengagement pin that activates when the winch handle is inserted the winch is the same as the others. It sounds like the collar is jammed due to dirt or salt build up. Have you tried spraying WD40 or something similiar on and around the collar and letting it soak? Spray inside the opening for the winch handle as well as that's where the pin to disengage the electric drive sits. You may need to use a heavy hammer such as a couple pounder to knock the collar loose.
Good luck

Thanks Mike. I did use a light hammer but I do have heavier ones at work and I did use WD40. As for a disengagement pin, I didn't see one when I looked down in the top of the winch. I did see a small circular pattern in the bottom that I assumed was a machining mark but never had looked in there before so I never knew there was a pin. Reflecting on what I observed it could have been about 1/4 inch diameter and I never sprayed it. Darn it!!!!


Wayne, just curious as to how you made out in freeing up your cabin top winch.


Hey Mike, got back to the boat this past weekend and hadn't replied.  Took a three pound brass hammer and drift and went to town!  Apparently on the last sail I must have overloaded the winch enough to cause the tripper arm to flex which then caused the two clips to pop out and lodge under the stripper arm thereby putting extreme pressure against the cap. 

The cap was so tight I had to hammer the cap about 270 degrees counter clockwise before it STARTED to free. Luckily the cap is brass and I was able to use the hammer and drift to flatten out the flesh cutting burrs I put in it.

I then disassembled, cleaned and serviced. All went back together well and is now better than the other three. So now I will have to service them! Also, there is no disengagement pin when using the handle.

Thanks for inquiring. Guess next project is to install a chart plotter in the cockpit and perhaps incorporate a large inverter.

Wayne, thanks for the update. You must have really put some pressure on that arm for it to flex that much. Glad to hear you got it apart and serviced. As an FYI next time use an appropriately sized piece of hardwood as the drift. Or lay the wood against the impact point. While it wont always work when it does you'll spare the impact point the sort of damage you experienced. Glad you're back in business.

Good luck with installing a chart plotter. Running the wiring will be challenge if you install it in the pod on the aft end of the cockpit table. 

You'll love the inverter. Just keep an eye on what you're powering with it or you'll run your house battery bank down in a hurry. The microwave is the biggest offender. So much so we always run the engine to keep the alternator compensating for the power consumption.


Thanks for the tips!

After reading this I've decided to service my winches this week! Its been 8 years so they're do. Thanks for the motivation!

Yep my boat is 8 years old, fresh water use only until last Aug, decommissioned for three years and the grease inside was more like a sticky paraffin wax if there is such a thing. Totally unacceptable. 

Make sure you inspect the forward edge of pawls when you remove them. This is the edge that engages the teeth on the inside of the winch drum. Their job is to  prevent the drum from spinning backwards. If they're worn they'll slip creating a rather dangerous situation if you have a fully loaded sheet on it. Replace them (they're cheap) if you have any doubt.


Mike is correct. The is a vertical pin in the middle of the winch handle hole that pushed down and disengages the electric motor on the winch. Also, on my Oceanis 45, there is a circlip that holds the top on. I don't remember if the 40 electric winch has the circlip or just rotates off. I would also use a heavy spray of water around the collar to flush out any salt or grime. Then, a penetrating oil and let sit for a few hours or days.

There's no circling on the 40/43 winches. It's simply a screw off collar. WD40 and a heavier hammer should get the job done.

I found that five wraps of line on the cabin top winch is required to prevent slippage and possible bending the stripper arm. I had one bend early on.

 and replace it.



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