Registered users don't see ads

Hunter 36 Windlass leak

Discussion in 'Big Boats' started by Shearwater 36, Jul 28, 2015. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Shearwater 36

    Shearwater 36

    Joined Jul 21, 2015
    3 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 36
    US Deltaville, VA
    Hello, have leak dripping down through windlass exiting through center shaft at bottom and running down sides of V birth. Unfortunately brings down the black lubricant along with a mix of mildew. Looking at the parts diagram it appears a wiper seal and new sealed bearing will help correct problem but what concerns me is that when it rains water puddles on the ledge just in front of the top portion of the windlass. I can see a water line that extends over the center line of the top of windlass. The ledge actually does not fall towards the chain locker as expected and looks to pool water in this area and on top of windlass. Anyone else have this problem? Thinking I need to drill a drain hole and connect a pipe on the underside attaching to the chain locker to fix permanent. Thank you for your help.

  2. Lee Coller

    Lee Coller

    Joined Oct 22, 2005
    251 posts, 1 likes
    Hunter 44DS
    US Redondo Beach, CA
    Lots of Hunter owners have had this problem - it's actually a design flaw the way they've set up the windlasses that exacerbate this problem as the leak doesn't just go into the anchor locker. You'll probably need to replace the wiper seal and the sealed bearing (which is rusted through - the black is the remains of the bearing, not the "waterproof" lubricant).

    Unforunately, Lewmar no longer stocks parts for the Sprint Atlantic windlass you have (at least that's what I presume you have). You will need to find another source for them. I believe they are standard sizes and shouldn't be too hard to find.

  3. sailboss


    Joined Jul 7, 2004
    23 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 35
    US Augusta Sailing Club and Boca Chica
    Parts for your windlass may be found at I had to replace the motor and gearbox on mine in my H36. They are very knowledgeable and the customer service is topnotch. Resealing the base is a two-person job with one inside. I keep a small winch cover over the capstan when not in use to cut down on the intrusion of salt water down the shaft.



    Joined Sep 11, 2017
    1 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 36
    Fr Toulon

    Im am a new happy french 2007 Hunter 36 boatowner since 2 years. But I have to replace the original QUICK Windlass (produced in Italy) probably installed by the British shipyard building Hunter ships during a couple of years. The gearbox breaks in two parts because of metal destroyed by water (Rain and/or sea water). Apparently water puddles on the ledge just in the back of the top portion of the windlass and enters through the holes for the axis of the upper part and the 4 studs.

    Because many files are dedicated to this problem on Hunterships, could any one of you be kind enough to give me a solution for efficiently watertighting these passages through the hull for my new windlass ?

    Shearwater36 suggested in july 2015 to «drill a drain hole and connect a pipe on the underside attaching to the chain locker to fix permanent.

    I personaly think to enhance the support of the windlass by fixing tightly a polyester plate of 5 to 10 mm between deck and the upper part of the windlass in order to avoid windlass remaining in the water puddles.

    Which solutions did you choose for solving this problem and what do you think about these two ones exposed here above ?

    Best regards and hoping one day to meet some of you on the american or european side of the Atlantic ocean.

  5. seadaddler


    Joined Dec 19, 2006
    5,319 posts, 109 likes
    Hunter 36
    US Punta Gorda
    A few years ago I also had a minor leak as you describe and contacted The windless maker and they gave me a repair near by in Tampa and he replaced the bearing and wiper seal but a few years later it is leaking worse now.
    I have been able to add grease a few times and it came apart easy but they say some times it will maybe impossible to take apart for repair but mine was ok.
    I have water sit on the ledge since 2007 and never did anything and not looking for trouble drilling any drain just been dealing with it not a big deal and just clean it off for me and drilling a hole and making maybe more clogging or leaking.
    I have not taken apart yet but will return home soon.

  6. Jerry Clark H356 SV Persi

    Jerry Clark H356 SV Persi

    Joined Mar 3, 2003
    610 posts, 40 likes
    Hunter 356
    US Grand Rivers
    I have had similar leaks on my 2003 H356. I have siliconed the base of the windlass as I think most of my water is from the windlass leaning forward after the anchor tensions up the chain and brings the top of the windlass forward. If you look carefully when you use the windlass the mounting flat part will flex and if you stress the mount when the anchor hits the stops, you can easily get water between the bottom of the windlass and then it can find it's way down into the v berth. Since I have been using the silicone annually, I have not had a big problem but still get some water. I pay close attention to it.

  7. Rick486


    Joined Oct 1, 2007
    891 posts, 134 likes
    Hunter 44DS
    US Pt. Judith
    Yes I have had this problem also. I did as Jerry suggested above with the silicone and also made a canvas cover for the windlass when not in use to prevent water leaking down inside. The windlass design and the Hunter structural design are both flawed. Water intrudes inside the windlass from the top, and the shelf on which the windlass is installed pitches aft for some strange reason and allows pooling of water around the windlass base. Very annoying and a poor design. However, the two measures I have taken solves the problem for me.

  8. seadaddler


    Joined Dec 19, 2006
    5,319 posts, 109 likes
    Hunter 36
    US Punta Gorda
    I think the water that leaks the bottom of the windlass shaft is when the anchor is pulled up and it the chain is wet and that water makesit’s way down into past the bearing and wiper seal and yes rain too.