Westerly Centaur Winches

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zambra
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Westerly Centaur Winches

Post by zambra » Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:46 pm

I'd be very grateful if anyone could assist. I have a pair of old Gibb winches on my Centaur and one of them has seized up. Its the type with the permanently attached handle. I had a terrible job taking it apart as it just would not come off the spindle. In the end I had to drive wedges to lift it off. Anyway its off! I've read the other posts on the forum and the consensus appears to be that the winches respond to a bit of cleaning and TLC so that's the route I'm going down. When I took the winch apart I was shocked to see how simple it is but then thought how brilliant, a really old thing that works well (we should all take note!). However, one of the springs is broken so the first question is can they be got or made or does anyone have an old winch I could buy for parts? I'm intending to use wire wool on the spindle and probably reassemble applying a modern lithium grease. Is this a good idea? Does anyone have any experience of these winches? I don't really want to buy new modern ones as I think the originals suit the boat and previously they were working well. Its quite tempting to have self tailing but............I already have a mortgage! All replies gratefully received.

poachers lady
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Re: Westerly Centaur Winches

Post by poachers lady » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:59 pm

Hi. I believe thick grease is to be avoided. You may find spares but thought you'd like to know I've been using one of my winches with only one spring for about three years! They are nice and simple aren't they? and with no handle to lose!
Regards

Mike

Poachers Lady
Centaur

zambra
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Re: Westerly Centaur Winches

Post by zambra » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:40 pm

Many thanks. Very reassuring! I had heard they worked with only one spring so that would be my fall back position. It would be nice to do the full restore though.

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Re: Westerly Centaur Winches

Post by ndt228 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:24 am

If you want to try a "budget" self-tailing option, you can buy sets of rubber "grips" that snap onto the top lip of an existing winch. With 3-4 turns of sheet on the winch drum, the top turn is squeezed against and held by the base of the rubber whilst you are winching, then as appropriate you move the sheet tail upwards to engage between 2 jaws moulded into the rubber which then acts as a sort of cleat. Simpler to use than describe ! They cost around £60 for a pair - saw some in my chandlery 2 days ago, and thinking of getting some myself once I am afloat this season.
cheers, Nick

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Re: Westerly Centaur Winches

Post by Chris H » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:26 am

The rubber grips are "Winchers" and they work very well if you follow the instructions!
They enable my wife to use both hands on the winch handle when it is needed.

I never use the top section which is as Nick said for cleating off as I have traditional cleats available.
Fitting is tricky but with the recommended hot soapy water (plenty of soap!) they do go on.
I have made a pair of winch covers so the "rubber" is not left exposed to sunlight when not in use. Probably not necessary but ......
Chris GN400

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Re: Westerly Centaur Winches

Post by zambra » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:13 pm

Many thanks for the replies everyone. I've not seen winchers in action and they sound interesting (and within budget!).

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Re: Westerly Centaur Winches

Post by Wolfgang » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:17 pm

poachers lady wrote:... but thought you'd like to know I've been using one of my winches with only one spring for about three years! ...
Don't want to spoil your enthusiasm, but with 2 working springs one can break and the winch still works. But with only one??? :(
Wolfgang - s/v Adventure Galley, OR2

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Re: Westerly Centaur Winches

Post by zambra » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:08 pm

Well, my stuck winch is now working perfectly after disassembly, cleaning and a light oil. Does anyone know what size of Barton winchers fit the old Gibb winches on a Centaur? I ended up taking a spring one of the old mast winches by the way.

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Re: Westerly Centaur Winches

Post by ndt228 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:37 pm

Barton Winchers come in "small" "medium" & large. The small size fit the Lewmar 7 winches on my Jouster. The Barton pack was very clear about which size was needed, for quite a variety of winches. When I am next at the boat I'll look to see if they list Gibb winches.

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Re: Westerly Centaur Winches

Post by Christian Brewer » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:21 am

You need to check measure the drum diameter. Between 64mm and 70mm the small wincher fits, part number 21641 £63.00 or less per pair, between 70mm and 80mm the medium wincher fits, part number 21642 £64.50 or less per pair. There is a wincher fitting guide on the Barton website which will give you an idea of what is involved.

http://www.bartonmarine.com/pdf/Wincher ... 202013.pdf

Christian

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Re: Westerly Centaur Winches

Post by ndt228 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:35 pm

Further info from the "Wincher" pack - the stated sheet sizes are as follows:
"small" - 8 - 10 mm diameter
"medium" - 10 - 14 mm diameter
"large" - 12 - 14 mm diameter
These size ranges will be to enable the "cleat" part to grip the sheet properly, but the self-tailing should still work with a different sheet diameter.
I paid £45 :D for a pair of "small" Winchers in my local chandlery.
PS No mention of Gibb winches on the pack, but drum dimensions are as stated in previous post.
PPS The link to the fitting guide is useful - wish I had seen it before. Even after the hot water softening, it is still quite a struggle. NB It is much easier to fit the Wincher upside down. If this happens do not wait and allow it to cool & stiffen.
cheers, Nick

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Re: Westerly Centaur Winches

Post by zambra » Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:41 am

OK so its a while since I got my winches working and though I was very happy at the time that they responded to a clean and some oil, they have now stiffened up again making them a pain to use. I think I'm going to bite the bullet and replace them. Lewar st16's seem to be a popular choice for a Centaur. Anyone got any other ideas? I think the old ones have had their day. Is this a DIY job?

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Re: Westerly Centaur Winches

Post by smudger » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:08 am

Hi,Gibb Genoa Winches x 2 for sale on ebay :wink:

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Re: Westerly Centaur Winches

Post by zambra » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:20 pm

Thanks! Now I'm thinking do I need to spend £700!

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