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      A lot of the Bavaria sheet winches are undersize. It has been known for the pawls in the winches to snap with the result that the winch locks or worse, releases causing serious damage to your hands. I had a Lewmar 40 lock and found 2 pawls inside had broken. The reason was that the winch was undersize for its purpose and broke when I had to use all my strength to get that last inch of sheet in.
      I think Bavarias could be at risk here as their winches are minimal size.

      So – make sure you check your winch inside regularly as if one pawl breaks you dont know as the others will still be there.


        I wouldn’t say an ST40 sheet winch is undersize for a 37. Pawl failure can happen at any time on any winch and is normally down to lack of regular cleaning and maintenance.
        They should be fully serviced once if not twice a year and the pawls and springs lightly oiled monthly to keep a winch in good order.
        It is rare for more than one pawl to fail at the same time so regular servicing will normally pick up any single failures that can easily be replaced.


          Following on from yesterdays post about winch sizes I decided to check with Harken on what would be their recommended size for the genoa winch and they said a 48 would be recommended for my Bav 36 that has a standard sail area of 36m2 on the genoa.
          I then realised that my newer genoa is shorter in the foot so probably about 3 to 4 m2 less in total, so that partly explains why I don’t struggle winding the genoa in as much as you do.
          They also confirmed though that the additional loadings on the smaller winch should not cause the pawls to break. Mind you they would say that anyway.
          As you say it is disappointing to find out that Bavaria have fitted winches 4 sizes (42,44,46 and 48) lower than the winch manufacturer recommends so in these days of litigation could Bavaria be accountable for any injuries that occur?


            I agree that Bavaria could be liable but I doubt anybody would take them on. My 2007 37 has Lewmar40ST genoa winches that are just about ok if you are fit. However, when you get older……………Hence my other thread asking about 43’s that might be for sale.
            What I do have is a product I think is called ‘easy winch’ which I bought some years ago with a 3 or 4 to one reduction ratio. It works fine if a bit slow. No good for tacking up the Medway. By the time you have the sail winched in its time to tack again! Phew.

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