Give your winch a bit of care and they will serve you well for a lifetime

The following article can be found on We have loosely translated it for you if your Danish is a bit rusty.

Andersen winches are famous. Not just because they function well, but because they are almost indestructible. For this reason you may be tempted not to maintain them. But they do need to be serviced and lubricated; typically every two years, depending on use.

Martin Bøjsen, Ronstan DK’s winch Service and Maintenance Specialist, has a plethora of good advice to keep your winches running smoothly.

“An Andersen Winch will keep for many years. Our winches have obviously evolved the last 45 years, but the Andersen Winches core concept is still to construct and design easy-to-service winches that will last a lifetime” says Martin.

An Andersen Winch should be disassembled and lubricated, preferably every two years if you are recreational sailor, and once per year if you have many hours on the water. “As a racer you will probably feel when it's time,” says Martin “and it's maybe a couple of times per season.”

1 What you need:

  • Allen keys (if you have the original Andersen Winches packaging, use the Allen keys included)

  • Screwdriver, small

  • Winch handle

  • A small soft brush

  • Benzene/petrol/gasoline

  • Andersen Winch grease

2 Download the manual for your winch
Go to the Andersen Winches Product Manuals and download the product manual relevant to your winch (downloadable pdfs). You will find product guides for all Andersen winches. Follow the instructions for service.

3 Separate and clean your winch
Clean all parts in benzene with a small soft brush (e.g. a paint brush) and check the springs to see that they are returning the pawls correctly. Make sure any plastic parts are intact and in working condition. We recommend to change your springs regularly for safety reasons - other parts only if they are broken. Remember to clean all bearing surfaces, including the inside of the polished drum.

4 Lubricate and re-assemble your winch
Re-assemble your winch, taking care with a soft brush to lubricate all moving parts with a thin layer Andersen Winch Grease, which is what they use at the factory, and what is recommended. Martin says that you can also use sewing machine oil or another liquid lubricant around the pawls.

5 Check that it works!
Once the winch is re-assembled, it is important to check that everything works. Make sure all pawls are working by pressing the pawl against the spring tension. The pawl should rotate smoothly and automatically return back. If the pawls don’t spring back, take the springs out, clean and lubricate again to ensure proper functionality. Should the problem remain, you might need new springs. Remember that a winch not working properly, may pose a potential safety hazard.

If possible, separate and keep the individual gear parts on a newspaper or a tray. Place a rolled up towel or some rope around the winch area to capture any parts that fall free. Little things tend to get lost! However, should you lose a small part during service, help is not far away. Andersen Winches have Service Kits for all winches, which contain the required springs, but also some extra small Andersen Winches parts (balls, locking rings, etc.), which can get lost during regular service.

If you are unable to perform the services of your winches yourself or encounter problems, contact your closest distributor who can service the winch for you or arrange to have it sent to the factory for refurbishment.


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