Anchor Winch Replacement
Husky came with an anchor winch made by Leroy Somer, which is a big industrial
motor and gear manufacturer. In the end of the 90'es someone at Leroy Somer
must have said: "How hard can it be to make anchor winches for boats?" And
so they did. However they basically did everything wrong, mixing aluminium and
stainless steel, not knowing how to seal things, and generally just doing all
the wrong engineering decisions when manufacturing for salty environments. Thus
less than a decade later they seem to have ceased production of marine equipment.
Husky was born with one of the later units. When I took over the boat it could
not release the chain (it just gave a clunk-clunk-clunk sound), but it could
still lift it. A year later when I was lifting the chain that joy stopped too.
A while later I had a big fight to get it out of the boat, due to the poor design
choices of Leroy Somer everything had corroded and many of the screws were completely
stuck. Anyway I managed to get it out, took the gear box apart, and discovered that
the grease inside was full of what looked like sand, but probably was something
else that should not be there. It turned out that the top bearing in the gear box
was completely stuck. It also turned out that the reason I initially could not
lower the chain was because of a clutch mechanism that didn't engage, probably
because the bearing was already requiring too much force at that time. Finally
the reason the motor didn't work was because a fuse had gone in a combined
I briefly tried to get hold of a replacement brush-fuse assembly, but that didn't seem
to exist anymore. For all of these reasons I decided it was not worth starting a repair job, but
better to get a new anchor winch. Unfortunately all modern winches needs a significantly
smaller hole for the capstan compared to the Leroy Somer solution. A "correct"
solution would be to fill the existing hole with fiberglass and drill a new one,
however the anti-skid surface then also had to be replaced, and I didn't like the
cost of that.
Instead I decided to make a set of adaptor plates in stainless steel. One on each
side of the fiberglass deck. I drew them in Autodesk Inventor, and had them
manufactured by http://lasergist.com
Before I found and contacted Lasergist I had tried to talk to a handful of local manufactures, but they
either didn't answer, didn't have time, or could not deliver AIS316, but only AIS304,
which is not good enough for the marine enviroment. I didn't even get as far as getting
a quote for something useful!
Lasergist on the other hand have my highest recommendation. On their website they
list only 1 to 3 mm tickness, but a quick inquiry revealed that they also manufacture with
5 mm, which I preferred. In fact their support was really quick, they even answered
on a Sunday! The result was that I ordered Sunday evening, they manufactured it on
Tuesday in Athens, Greece, and on Friday it arrived in my mail. All for the cost of
100 USD, including shipping. They put your design on spare area on other production
runs, which would otherwise have been wasted material. Hence the good price, and the
quality is as good as it gets too. Highly recommended!
Below are a few images. Please click on each image for a higher resolution.
The top part, covering the old hole, and a few cm outside the new anchor winch base,
to cover remnants from the old winch, and covering the chain hole, which had to be
moved a bit.
The bottom part.
The received parts.
How it's going to fit.
Mounting of the adaptor plates, I reused the holes in the deck from the old winch
for the bolts. One had to be countersunk because it goes right over the base plate
of the new anchor winch. I had the counter sink done locally.
The plate underneath.
The final result!