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End of season guide – preparations for winter storage

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Correct use of the boat and winches

Winter is not a wasted time for our boats either. Some parts of the yacht can use a little maintenance after the season, so that the time on the water is really fun in the coming year. Immediately before storing, you should rinse your boat vigorously to get rid of salt and accumulated protection. In particular, the moving parts and the fittings will thank the owner in the coming year.

So that these first measures do not come at the expense of the environment, which you would like to enjoy as a water sports enthusiast for longer, you should make sure, with all your love for the boat, that the cleaners and care products are either environmentally friendly or under no circumstances should they be used in nature get into the water.

In the following, our guest author Michael Walther reports in detail about the professional cleaning of the winches on board.

Knock off the sails, screw on winches
If the first basic cleaning of the boat has been done before storage, I will first take care of relaxing the battens and folding the sails properly and stowing them properly. As a long-standing employee in the yacht accessories wholesale business, I would like to recommend to those of you who have one or more winches on your yacht to unscrew them and also to clean them.

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Old misunderstanding

From many conversations with yacht owners, I know that for many of them this happens very rarely or never. Mostly out of fear of losing parts or breaking something. Modern winches are relatively simple. It is more of a rumor that the first springs and pawls fly after dismantling the drum.

Of course, you should take your time to dismantle and clean the winch, but thanks to today’s widespread smartphones, all the steps and the construction of the winch can be well documented, which can certainly help with the subsequent reassembly. For most winches there are also appropriate instructions on the Internet or the friendly specialist dealer will provide further assistance!

Cleaning the winch

So if I dare to approach such a winch, I first dismantle the winch piece by piece and then clean the individual parts with a toothbrush and a good organic glass cleaner. When the springs, pawls and the small and large gears are shiny again in front of me, it’s time to grease again.

Fats & oils
I like to apply a mixture of winch grease and a few milliliters of winch oil to the coarse parts, i.e. the gears. Simply put both in a mug, stir with a brush and, when it’s nice and creamy, apply to the gears. The small parts, i.e. ball bearings, pawls and springs, on the other hand, should only be given a few drops of oil. The coarse fat would tend to cause the small parts to stick together. Overall, I use winch grease sparingly, as a winch doesn’t need too much of it in normal use.

Take care of the small parts
During the assembly that follows, I take a particularly close look at the locking blades and springs. So every now and then it happens that one of these small parts is broken and needs to be replaced accordingly.

Once the winch is reassembled and the yacht is otherwise clean, I quickly go through my clothing again. Automatic life jackets in particular have to be checked regularly. This can then be done in peace over the winter and does not have to be hectic shortly before the season. Then the quiet winter time can also come. The Christmas biscuits have been on the supermarket shelves for a long time and the first winter weekends at home on the sofa can also be cozy.

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