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Keel winch failure... and repair...

Mar 30, 2014
32
Catalina 22 Indiana
So... about a week ago after a lovely late afternoon sail on our ‘86 C22, we were coming back into the harbor at our sailing club. I was about 10’ from the wall I typically tie up to before putting it back on the trailer for the evening (we keep the boat mast up on the trailer when not in use). As usual I was motoring in slowly while my wife was raising the keel, which we need to do since that part of the harbor is only a little more than 4’ deep. All of sudden instead of the nice steady click click you usually hear from the winch as the keel is raisesd, we heard a loud whirr/rumble of clicks... and then a thud from the keel. The next thing we know, the boat came to a sudden halt right in the middle of the harbor. My initial thought was that the keel cable broke off or somehow came loose... it took me a while to realize that it was the winch itself. Sure enough after getting a look at the keel winch by poking my head in by the port settee, I saw the following:

5C5FA9F0-FFAF-4279-AAB0-BBBC12130CD9.jpeg

The ratchet drive shaft was shifted to the right, with threads showing on the left side by the ratchet gear. And when I turned the handle I saw the ratchet gear slipping. My immediate thought was that the shaft was unscrewing from the handle... so I grabbed an adjustable wrench and tightened the bolt on the winch handle... it wasn’t super-loose and I’m pretty sure I only tightened it up about a half a turn... but when I turned the handle again, the ratchet held... and, praise the lord, I was able to bring the keel up all the way. Not wanting to press my luck... we quickly got out of dodge... i.e., got the boat tied up and back on the trailer.

Later, I found this image from the tech manual that suggests that the circle clip on the drive shaft (which is on the left side in this picture) let go.

CEA0C78D-47AD-4CE8-AD1C-CCFEF3D32495.jpeg

After I got home and looked the first picture over, I decided to bite the bullet and order a new winch from CD. And since I saw a couple of loose strands on the cable spool, and haven’t inspected the keel lifting components before, I also ordered CD’s keel lifting hardware kit, which includes a new cable, turning ball, hose and clamps, clevis pin, etc. Although it totaled a solid “boat buck” plus... it’ll allow me to get back on the water right away. And if it’s doable, I’ll see about fixing/rebuilding the old winch and selling it or passing it on.

I’ll return to outline what I learned during the repair. But for now, I didn’t see any prior posts on keel winches failing... I was wondering if anyone had experience with that happening or know what’s involved in rebuilding the winch itself? Tips on rebuilding a wench would also be welcome.
 

Lazy1

.
Aug 23, 2019
172
Catalina 22 13425 A driveway in Pittsburgh
It does look like the drive shaft handle threads are on the wrong side of the gear and the drive shaft is sitting too far to the right/aft
 
Mar 30, 2014
32
Catalina 22 Indiana
Had a chance to install the new keel winch and lifting stuff. As Lazy1 mentioned in his recent post, getting the cotter pin out of the keel cable was a true PIA. Interestingly, I think both of us have the same or at least similar trailer... one with a long rectangular tray that the keel sits in. Anyway, with the tray in the way, I couldn’t get at the pin with two hands. Eventually I found that if I clamped the clevis pin in place using vice grip pliers... I could work the cotter pin free using one hand. It took a while but I was finally able to remove and change out the cable. Here’s the new cable and pin in place...
65E03B4A-061D-409D-82AC-0A3C1C0B27CA.jpeg

Removing and replacing the keel winch itself was straightforward. Though I did discover a lovely mud-dauber bee condo complex on the inside of the fiberglass panel covering the winch... and a smaller one on the old winch itself.

One thing I learned was that the bolts holding the old winch were a little loose... something I had never checked before. I also found that the turning ball was flat on one side... which might/could explain the clunking I’d hear when lowering the keel... something else I’d never looked at before.
AA03449D-18B7-40C7-BA74-840C9CF87039.jpeg

EA9C663A-B027-4B49-A3E0-D09C685FDE8B.jpeg

F5A7AF5D-EABE-441D-9493-ACD3D604885B.jpeg

Here’s the new turning ball and cable in place... I came across a post from 2013 where someone suggested using a zip tie to hold the new ball in place while inserting the new pin... which worked like a charm.
269292AD-FD4A-4CF8-BBE5-4FD9D04B7F48.jpeg

Here’s the new winch in place... with the new/beefier handle.
B26E83C3-2704-4AD7-8381-87C9D74D4A80.jpeg

2B910DE1-A0FB-44A5-887D-D937D3D0B0D9.jpeg

And here’s the shiny new cable on the spool when the keel is up...
62E86578-E502-44D3-BCF7-51891128F090.jpeg

And when it’s down/lowered. A tip I found on the Catalina Direct Forum suggested winding a full layer of the cable on the spool before remounting the winch... I think that helped too.
BB4A20EF-4E1E-431B-A29C-4F884013A814.jpeg

The keel lowers and raises so much smoother now. In retrospect, I’m fortunate the winch let go when I was in our harbor... i.e., in a relatively shallow area... and where a friend was available to help. Had the winch failed when I was somewhere deeper, I wonder what type of damage I might have experienced?
 
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Mar 30, 2014
32
Catalina 22 Indiana
In looking over the winch that failed on my ‘86 C22, I found that it’s a Fulton model K1050... and it was not designed to have a retaining ring (aka e-ring, circle clip, etc.) on the drive shaft. According to a 1995 catalog for Genie Industries I located on the inter-web, the K1050 was available from 1985-1986. Interestingly, the next model in the catalog, the Fulton K1051, added a retaining-ring on the shaft “to limit it’s side to side movement.” The K1051 was listed as being available from 1986 to 1995 (and possibly longer since that was the year the Genie catalog was published). One of my friends has a1987 C22... and at my urging he peeked in and found that his keel winch does have a retaining ring on the drive shaft. So I’m thinking that the risk of a keel winch failing, at least the way mine did, may only be relevant to those that have an early new design model; and maybe those with an original style 1985 C22 that also have the K1050 Fulton winch.

As a notable aside, when he checked his winch, my friend found that both of the bolts holding his winch were loose... and one was very loose. It was an easy fix to tighten them... which he did right away... but over a beer the other night, we both admitted that given how easy it is to do... we should check our winch bolts on a more regular basis.
 
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Rillo

.
Apr 21, 2019
16
Catalina C22 Bear Lake
Thanks for the great write-up DBK. I also replaced my winch after some misbehaviors. I had an incident where our keel somehow swung down suddenly. It was after a crew member attempted to lower the keel. Not wanting this to ever happen again, I replaced the winch and turning ball. The turning ball had a fresh, shiny flat spot in the groove, much like your picture shows. I’m still not sure where the fault occurred, but I do not regret replacing the winch. We now count the turns when when we lower and raise the keel. 30 turns of the handle!
 
May 4, 2019
4
Catalina 22 Fairfield Harbour
I too am having winch issues. While raising and lowering the keel I feel and hear thumping and popping sounds from the winch. I had the marina I purchased the 85 C22 from replace the cable and connections. The bottom of the winch is tilted toward the cabin and the keel cable clamp is protruding into the spool area. I think the cable is riding over the clamp bolt and causing the cable to seat unevenly in the spool. Should the winch sit straight up and down? It looks like the cable is reeling onto the backside of the spool where the clamp is. Any help would be appreciated.
 
Jul 13, 2015
768
Catalina 22 #2552 2252 Kennewick, WA
I think you will find the factory cockpit step to be less than even, and the underside of which the winch is mounted to leads itself to a wonky (highly technical term) cable angle. Two pics attached for the before and after-- I had to replace the entire step from scratch, but kept the angle in the process and added a shim as others have done to level out the cable:


IMG_1558.JPG
File_003 (1).jpeg
 
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May 23, 2016
1,014
Catalina 22 #12502 BSC
Rick....winch should be vertical, not tilted, if tilted it would cause the cable to load on the spool to one side. Check the mounting bolts on the top of the winch to be sure they are tight, and that the attachment point (companionway) is intact. The clamp bolt should not be interfering with the cable....pclarksurf's shim is a good fix if that's the culprit.
 
Mar 30, 2014
32
Catalina 22 Indiana
I too am having winch issues. While raising and lowering the keel I feel and hear thumping and popping sounds from the winch. I had the marina I purchased the 85 C22 from replace the cable and connections. The bottom of the winch is tilted toward the cabin and the keel cable clamp is protruding into the spool area. I think the cable is riding over the clamp bolt and causing the cable to seat unevenly in the spool. Should the winch sit straight up and down? It looks like the cable is reeling onto the backside of the spool where the clamp is. Any help would be appreciated.
The keel cable clamp should be on the outside of the spool... not protrude inside... I suspect the marina installed the cable and clamp wrong. As shown in this pic, the cable should route thru one of the holes in the spool and wrap partway around the spool axle... (the pic which shows how the cable was positioned in my original winch... but with the clamp removed). Insert the screws for the clamp from inside the spool and bolt the cable clamp on from the outside.

IMG_0620.JPG

Reinstalling the cable and clamp should be straightforward... and may well do the trick. But if your still having issues from it tilting, the pclarksurf shim fix would be easy enuff.
 
  • Like
Likes: rpludwig
Sep 30, 2013
3,283
1988 Catalina 22 central Florida
FWIW, the cable never winds perfectly anyway, at least not on our winch. It always makes spooky noises when cranking it up or down.
 
  • Like
Likes: rpludwig
May 23, 2016
1,014
Catalina 22 #12502 BSC
Rick....I think dbk may have nailed it...is your clamp INSIDE the spool?
 
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May 4, 2019
4
Catalina 22 Fairfield Harbour
Rick....winch should be vertical, not tilted, if tilted it would cause the cable to load on the spool to one side. Check the mounting bolts on the top of the winch to be sure they are tight, and that the attachment point (companionway) is intact. The clamp bolt should not be interfering with the cable....pclarksurf's shim is a good fix if that's the culprit.
I took the winch off and reinstalled it. I am going to fashion a metal strip under the winch bolts to make the winch vertical. The marina that installed my new cable put the bolts into the spool backwards which made the cable ride up over the extend blot and nut. Also they did not wrap the cable around the shaft. (See pictures of the right way, new winch and the wrong way, my rusty winch.) I am very lucky I found this before the cable broke. I will repair both.

I too am having winch issues. While raising and lowering the keel I feel and hear thumping and popping sounds from the winch. I had the marina I purchased the 85 C22 from replace the cable and connections. The bottom of the winch is tilted toward the cabin and the keel cable clamp is protruding into the spool area. I think the cable is riding over the clamp bolt and causing the cable to seat unevenly in the spool. Should the winch sit straight up and down? It looks like the cable is reeling onto the backside of the spool where the clamp is. Any help would be appreciated.
 

Attachments

May 23, 2016
1,014
Catalina 22 #12502 BSC
yikes! good you got to the bottom of it....when you re-install, be sure to chk the cable for new meathooks from catching on those bolts...
 
May 4, 2019
4
Catalina 22 Fairfield Harbour
yikes! good you got to the bottom of it....when you re-install, be sure to chk the cable for new meathooks from catching on those bolts...
All is well in winch-world. Straightened up the winch so the cable comes onto the spool correctly. Rethreaded the cable onto the spool with the correct wrap around the axle, and installed new bolts and nuts.
 
Apr 11, 2017
564
Catalina C22 Solomon's Island, MD
The marina that installed my new cable put the bolts into the spool backwards which made the cable ride up over the extend blot and nut. Also they did not wrap the cable around the shaft. (See pictures of the right way, new winch and the wrong way, my rusty winch.) I am very lucky I found this before the cable broke. I will repair both.
Unfortunately, that's been my typical experience. I've been criticized for doing everything myself - but 90% of the time I've paid someone else - it either winds up installed wrong (the above winch issue is a perfect example), or mysteriously, something else nearby ends up broken. Basic, qualified professionals are very few and far between. Brain challenged "technicians" being billed out at $60 an hour are more the norm.
 
  • Like
Likes: Gene Neill
Sep 30, 2013
3,283
1988 Catalina 22 central Florida
Allow me to substantiate. Last week I happened to air up the tires in my wife's new Beetle right before she went in for a rotation. She came home with her tire pressure light on. All four tires had been deflated by exactly 18 PSI. "As a courtesy." ;)

I had a brain hemorrhage.

The data is printed on every friggin' tire! The guy who did this inflates friggin' tires for a living! How do you F that up? How??

The friggin' world's a disaster. And I'm way too young to sound like my dad. I need a beverage. Rant over ... :angry:
 
May 23, 2016
1,014
Catalina 22 #12502 BSC
here's my (similar) substantiation....took wife's car in for an oil change. As usual they check tires, show you the air filter (and try to sell you one)....

Next day the check engine light came on yikes! Took it to the dealer, sat for two hrs in waiting room reading old magazines and watching CNN (another yikes!)....

Associate comes out with the invoice for diagnostics = $55.00!....verdict, the air filter cover was loose, unsecured, thus the engine was "getting too much air"!

Drove pissed off straight away to the oil change place and handed them the invoice....reply "oh shit, next oil change is on us AND a free air filter"..... no brain hemorrage, but a wasted day nonetheless., and to quote Gene..."and they do this for a living!!!!!"

(I'm old enuff to remember Larry, our Texaco guy with the necktie and the cap ("you can trust your car to the man who wears the star...")...he never screwed up tire pressure, air filters, or put winch bolts on backwards...AND pumped the gas and cleaned the windows too, with a smile! ...but I digress.)
 
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Apr 11, 2017
564
Catalina C22 Solomon's Island, MD
Not to get too far off on a rant - but often times the issue is - you pay for the privilege of having someone else do the work, and then you spend an equal amount of time, which you previously paid for - going back and fixing the repair. Add in the significant time to originally take whatever to the repair shop, go home, go pick it back up, and then go home again - and it's actually a massive time and money savings to just do it yourself from the beginning. Plus - you learn a lot doing it - and later, very often times, that knowledge comes in real handy at a future inopportune time.
 
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