I have a Vancouver 27 yacht that I've almost finished refurbishing and I was given a SL555 Sea Tiger anchor winch by a friend who upgraded his 42' steel schooner with an electric winch. The SL555 was pretty well gummed up and would jam, but upon opening it up it was clear that it probably hadn't been serviced since new. Once the grease was removed it was obvious that the internals were still in pristine condition, so I stripped it down completely and reassembled it and thought that I'd try using gear oil as a lubricant, adding an oil stabiliser which would make it 'sticky' and enable it to work its way around the internals, keeping them nicely oiled. However, when operating the winch it would, after a few revolutions, lock up, until the lever was jiggled around a little, when it would free up for a few more revolutions then lock up again. It would appear that the sticky gear oil was affecting the action of the small springs that operate the two rachet gears. I changed the oil to a transmission oil, with stabiliser, hoping that the thinner oil would overcome the problem, and whilst the lock-up occurred less frequently it would still occur after operating the lever for a short while. I've drained the oil again and will now clean out the insides with a kero wash and compressed air and will pack it with grease this time, as was apparently intended by the maker. I've read the instruction sheet in relation to the disassembly and reassembly of the winch, but in relation to regreasing it simply says "Apply grease liberally to the internals". but before doing so I thought I'd seek some comments from the forum as to the best type of grease to use, and to confirm my impression that in regreasing the internals I should not pack grease around or too near the springs that operate the rachet gears.
I already have a manual Muir vertical capstan windlass installed, which requires me to kneel down to operate it with a winch handle, compared to the Simpson Lawrence which is operated with the lever whilst standing, a much safer and more comfortable position. The SL is relatively overkill for the Vancouver, but for the price of a little more weight the raw power and speed of the two speed SL has a lot going for it.
Anyway, I thought I'd throw the regreasing issue over to the forum to see what the experience of other members might have been when servicing their Sea Tiger.
Townsville, Queensland, Australia