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Winch removal

Jan 22, 2008
12
Beneteau 323 Toronto ON
I am a new proud owner of a 2007 Beneteau 423. The boat is in great shape. I have decided to convert the existing sheet winches to electric (Lewmar, size 54).
I bought the conversion kit, read the instructions, everything looked good. Then I tried to remove the existing winches. Big problem. The bolts holding them in place came out easily but they are also glued to the deck with something like 3M 5200 sealant adhesive. I tried everything short of swinging a sledge hammer but they would not budge. Has anyone had any experience in removal of deck hardware that was glued in place with permanent sealant?
 
Sep 25, 2008
6,039
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
Years ago, I removed some single speed winches on an Ericson we bought. They too wouldn’t budge because some PO used 5200 under them. No amount of coaxing or a variety of vulgar terms referring to the PO would help. Neither would a rubber mallet.
After tying a line to them, my son kicked it as hard as he could with the sole of his shoe and it went flying off.
Don’t try this with boat shoes.
 
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Jan 22, 2008
12
Beneteau 323 Toronto ON
Someone will know, but I think you can use wire as a saw to cut through the caulk
I use one of these for plastic pipe sometimes
The problem is there is virtually no gap between the base of the winch and the deck
 
Jan 22, 2008
12
Beneteau 323 Toronto ON
Someone will know, but I think you can use wire as a saw to cut through the caulk
I use one of these for plastic pipe sometimes
Years ago, I removed some single speed winches on an Ericson we bought. They too wouldn’t budge because some PO used 5200 under them. No amount of coaxing or a variety of vulgar terms referring to the PO would help. Neither would a rubber mallet.
After tying a line to them, my son kicked it as hard as he could with the sole of his shoe and it went flying off.
Don’t try this with boat shoes.
Interesting, I put a line on the winch and tied it to a cleat and kept cranking but the line just kept streching
 
May 27, 2004
1,623
Hunter 30_74-83 Ponce Inlet FL
dlochner has the answer. You can buy a multi tool for about the cost of a weekend rental.
You will find many uses for this tool, including sanding tight spaces, which will make the investment worthwhile.
 
Jan 22, 2008
12
Beneteau 323 Toronto ON
Use an oscillating tool with a scraper blade. Slowly and gradually slice into the sealant. The thin blade will eventually sever the sealant.
Unfortunately there is no gap between the winch base and the deck. I tried to use a sharp chisel and could not get it in
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,127
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Unfortunately there is no gap between the winch base and the deck. I tried to use a sharp chisel and could not get it in
There is space there filled with sealant/adhesive. Start with something thinner than a chiesel. Use a razor knife to gradually open up the gap.

If 5200 was indeed used, buy some Marine DeBond. This stuff will gradually weaken the adhesion. It is a long tedious process, cut the sealant, apply Debond. Cut the sealant, apply Debond. Repeat until things loosen up.
 
Jan 22, 2008
12
Beneteau 323 Toronto ON
There is space there filled with sealant/adhesive. Start with something thinner than a chiesel. Use a razor knife to gradually open up the gap.

If 5200 was indeed used, buy some Marine DeBond. This stuff will gradually weaken the adhesion. It is a long tedious process, cut the sealant, apply Debond. Cut the sealant, apply Debond. Repeat until things loosen up.
Unfortunately there is no space. Not even for a razor knife. Like I said, I tried everything. Pulling it by force seems to be the only option as far as I can see it but then I may pull a chunk of the deck with it. Thanks everyone for trying to help.
 
Jul 7, 2004
7,671
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
If you have to resort to force, I'm thinking laterally would likely be less chance of damaging the deck. Maybe hitting the side of the drum with a rubber mallet until it breaks free. Good luck ! Post your success!
 
Jan 25, 2011
2,195
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
Tie a long line around the drum very tightly. Run the line up to the boom through a turning block and back down to another turning block that gets you on another winch. Crank and leave it in tension until gap appears..
 
Nov 17, 2018
10
Wauquiez Pretorien Washington
Unfortunately there is no space. Not even for a razor knife. Like I said, I tried everything. Pulling it by force seems to be the only option as far as I can see it but then I may pull a chunk of the deck with it. Thanks everyone for trying to help.
If there's no space like you say, there can't be that much 5200 holding it. It's been squeezed out. I'd take a line to the winch across the cockpit from it and just put some tension on it. Slowly add a click or two every now and then to increase tension on it...or buy another boat :) Just my three cents
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,780
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
Tie a long line around the drum very tightly. Run the line up to the boom through a turning block and back down to another turning block that gets you on another winch. Crank and leave it in tension until gap appears..
This, combined with razor knife and Debond. I've got to believe that will open some gap, and the tension should help the Debond work.
 
Jun 15, 2012
548
Hunter 50 AC Greenport, NY
I did this exact winch conversion a few years ago. Forget the oscillating tools, chisels or pulling the winch off with a line. De Bond worked like a miracle along with a thin metal putty knife modified with the sharp edges rounded off.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,127
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Unfortunately there is no space. Not even for a razor knife. Like I said, I tried everything. Pulling it by force seems to be the only option as far as I can see it but then I may pull a chunk of the deck with it. Thanks everyone for trying to help.
Is the winch mounted on a nonskid surface? That would explain the lack of a gap yet tenacious holding.
 
Sep 25, 2008
6,039
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
What Justin described above is how we did it - leg power instead of a mallet. Very minimal cosmetic damage to the gelcoat which was obviously a non-issue under the new winches