Frequently Asked Questions
Old windlass replacements with current products
There are a lot of old products now that are no longer available or have spares for. If you have any queries then please contact us for further advice.
Obsolete Windlass Information
How do I service a winch?
Servicing our winches is very easy and very little is needed to do it. The attached manual will take you through step by step to make sure your winches are running smoothly and ready for the season.
winch service manual b2304 iss6.pdf
Low/Medium Hatch - Lid Replacement
What’s the difference between a pro-series windlass and a pro-fish windlass?
They are the same except the pro-fish has the automatic free-fall as standard. This is an optional extra on the pro-series windlass.
Are spares available for my hatch or portlight?
Spare parts can be supplied for all our current hatch and portlight ranges. For older hatches which are no longer manufactured a selection of the most frequently requested spares is available. It is necessary to identify your hatch/portlight to determine which spares you will need. Your local Lewmar retailer should be able to order the spares for you. If they have any problems ordering the spares please contact your nearest Lewmar retailer as listed in the Dealers section of this website.
What grease to use on Mamba universal joints?
We use Ceran WR2 which we don’t sell, but it is ok to use the Winch grease which can be found on our site. Just enter ‘grease’ into the search box.
What Resin Is The Thruster Tunnel Made From?
The tunnel thruster is made from polyester resin. The specification is:
Resin : Scott Bader Crystic 397PA ( Isophthalic-NPG polyester resin)
Reinforcement : Vetrotex R099 EC24 2400 tex P122 continuous filament rovings
Aerator : K&K Polymerics BYKA501
Catalyst : Luperox GZS (organic peroxide type D liquid)
Finish : peel ply
Remember to always take the peel ply off the tube before bonding.
What if my windlass does not have a solenoid, can I still use a wireless remote?
Yes. But you would have to purchase and fit a solenoid & rocker switch. Some of the small Lewmar / Simpson & Lawrence products are supplied without a solenoid. These units have the windlass power switched directly through a high current toggle switch. The high current toggle switch should be removed and replaced with a solenoid & rocker switch. The wireless remote can then be wired to the solenoid in parallel with the rocker switch.
TT Thruster problem solver
If your thruster is having an issue then it is easy to work through and find the fault. The attached file will walk you through step by step until you find the issue.
TT problem solver.pdf
ELS box wiring upgrade
Our older ELS boxes have now been changed and to replace one will take a little change of wiring. The below document will show you how this can be quickly achieved and all the required parts needed.
ELS wiring upgrade.pdf
What Rail should I order when I plan to mount electronics on the pedestal?
Lewmar supply 1 ¼” guard rails in order to accommodate the ever increasing socket and cable sizes for modern electronics. They come in various sizes. click here for further Information
How to identify my portlight?
There are a couple of styles of portlights and the attached PDF will help you work out which ones you have.
Identifying my portlights.pdf
Is my hatch an Mk1 or Mk2 ?
There are some small differences between the Mk1 and the Mk2 hatches. Please have a look to see which one you have on your boat. This is very important for when it comes to ordering spare parts for you hatches.
Low & Med Pro - Mk1-Mk2 identiification.pdf
How to identify your hatches
This PDF will show you the identifying features to work out what type hatch you have.
Can I fit a chain counter to my windlass?
Yes. V1/2/3/4/5 & H2/3, come with magnet and sensor fitted as standard. In most cases older Lewmar windlasses are pre-drilled to take magnets and sensors. Lewmar have a range of chain counters for use with our windlasses, please see "Chain counters"
Should I use a chain stopper when anchoring?
Yes. Lewmar recommends that when mooring, the rode is attached to a suitable strong point. If using a rope / chain rode then the rope should be tied off to a cleat or suitable strong point. If using a chain only rode then a chain stopper should be used. If the load is left on the windlass during mooring, shock loads could lead to damage of rode or the windlass. With rope rodes left under load in the gypsy the rope can get jammed into the gypsy causing damage to the stripper & rode when next operated. There is also a risk that the clutch nut could come loose causing the boat to slip its mooring. For our range of chain stoppers, please see "Chain stoppers"
How do i install a Pad Eye
What spares are available for ocean cars
In the attached PDF you will find exploded diagrams and part number listings for all size Ocean cars. Please bere in mind that some part as no longer available due to there age.
Ocean Spares Data.pdf
Deck Switch Identification
Can a manual winch be converted to a powered winch?
Yes, Lewmar winches size 40 to 65 can be updated to Electrics. Please click here to see details.
Can a Gypsy Only Deck Unit be converted to Gypsy Capstan Unit?
Yes, it is possible to convert any of the H2/3, Concept / Ocean 1/2/3 and V2/3/4/5 range deck units to, or from a Gypsy Capstan. All you need to do is drop/remove the motor gear box. Take the circlip of the bottom of the shaft and replace it with the new shaft and then replace the circlip and motorgear box. You should not have to remove the deck unit.
What type of rope can be used on a combined rope/chain anchor rode?
Lewmar recommends a premium quality, windlass grade, medium lay, 3-strand nylon rope or a premium multi-plait nylon anchor rode. There are many different rode applications based upon windlass, anchor size, rode length and the anchor locker's depth and volume. For a list of recommended rode choices for your Lewmar windlass please see selection guide below.
Will my Lewmar instrument pod fit another manufacturer's guard rail?
Some of our instrument pods have been designed to fit 9.5” centre guard rails as well as the standard 12”. Please click here for more information
What size Thruster do I need for my boat?
It depends on your expectations. Please have a look at the size and power guide below to help you choose the thruster that best suits your needs.
Thruster size guide.pdf
What parts are available for NTR cars.
Every part is available as a spare for the NTR range. For all parts, upgrades and track please have a look at the attached document.
NTR Spares Data.pdf
Are swing thrusters easy to install
The installation of a swing thruster takes a good level of fiberglass skill and we would advise this to be undertaken by a professional. We have attached the manual for you to have a look at to see what the install process is.
Lewmar Swing Thruster manual S1.pdf
Can i upgrade my standard winch to a self tailing.
Sorry to say it would not be cost effective to you to try and convert a std winch into a selftailing winch , as you would have to change approx. 90% of the parts that include drum, centre stem, main spindle, some gear stacks etc + all crowns.
I can't read the gauge on my backstay adjuster any more. What can I do?
The lenses on the gauges over time become faded and clouded from direct sunlight. Unfortunately there is no way to reverse this process. Please note that Navtec does supply a clear plastic sticker that can be overlaid on top of some gauges which allows the gauge to read actual pull force rather than hydraulic pressure. If the overlay is clouded it can be cleaned off with soap and water. Please note that some cleaners and solvents will cloud the lenses, so use only soap and water. If cleaning doesn't work, your only option is replacing the gauge. Please contact your nearest Navtec agent to order the parts.
How is rod rigging size measured?
Rod is sized according to rated breaking strength as measured in pounds. The prefix "-" is called the "dash size" and is placed before the rated strength in thousands of pounds. -12 (dash twelve) rod has a rated strength of 12,000 lbs.
How do I convert the pressure reading on my hydraulic gauge, read in thousands of pounds per square inch (KPSI), to actual pull force in lbs. for my cylinder?
Actual pull force is determined by multiplying the hydraulic pressure (KPSI) by the pressure area of the cylinder. Please note that different cylinders have different pressure area, so 1000 KPSI in a -10 cylinder will not give you the same pull force as 1000 KPSI on a -22 cylinder. Refer to Support Documents on the appropriate cylinder page for Cylinder Specifications.
What information is needed to determine the correct size on a boom vang order?
Please contact any Navtec agent for a vang sizing data sheet, or use our online vang sizing calculator. You will need to know E, P, weight of boom and weight of mainsail along with the placement of the boom vang lug and mast vang lug relative to the gooseneck in order to fill out the sheet. Once the sheet is completed Navtec will recommend a vang size.
How does a mechanical locking cylinder work?
The current Navtec mechanical locking cylinder uses an extended piston rod with a long thread (equal to the cylinder stroke length). The extended rod is housed in an extended tube at the rod end of the cylinder. When the cylinder is adjusted hydraulically, the nut can be adjusted, following the movement of the piston rod. When the cylinder is adjusted to the desired point, the nut is brought up snug, preventing the cylinder from extending even if the hydraulic pressure is released or lost. The nut can also be set at a given point to act as a stop to limit the extended position of the cylinder. For example, if you release your backstay when running downwind, the nut can be set to limit how far the cylinder releases when the valve is opened.
What is the rod in rod rigging made of and how is it so strong?
Standard Navtec rod rigging is made from cold drawn Nitronic-50, which is a nitrogen strengthened austenitic stainless steel. It has higher concentrations of Chromium, Nickel, and Manganese than 316 stainless steel, giving it significantly better corrosion properties than 316 stainless. It is cold drawn to strengths of 180kpsi to 220 kpsi for use as rod rigging. At the cold work level required to reach these strengths, the ductility is still excellent giving an elongation of 12% or more.
Can Navtec hydraulics be powered by the boat's powered hydraulic system?
Yes, most ship's powered packs can be connected into the Navtec systems. Navtec has worked closely with Lewmar and Harken to interface Navtec hydraulics into their winch/windlass hydraulic power packs. The major problem is that most powered units are 2000 - 3000 psi, where the Navtec systems is a 5000 psi system. Cylinder size may need to be increased due to lower pressure. Please consult you nearest Navtec agent with details on your boat's powered hydraulic system and they can then specify the best way to interface to the Navtec system.
How can I clean out my hydraulic system if it has become contaminated?
If the oil becomes contaminated the whole system needs to be flushed with new oil. Fully extend all the cylinders so all the oil is drained from the cylinders into the reservoir. Then drain all the contaminated oil from the reservoir and fill it with new oil and replace the filter. Then each hydraulic line will need to be bleed individually at each cylinder. Then pump each cylinder down all the way down and then fully extend them to flush all contaminated oil from the cylinders. You should then re-bleed the hydraulic lines.
What can I do if my Integral Backstay adjuster does not hold pressure?
The most common reason for an integral not holding pressure is an air lock or worn out seals. You can get rid of an air lock by going thru the bleeding instruction in the owners' manuals. If you don't have the manual please look under manuals on the web site. If bleeding does not cure the problem the cylinder will need to be sent to the nearest Navtec hydraulic service center for new seals.
How can I tell what Hydraulic system would be best for my boat?
The correct hydraulic system for any boat depends on many variables such as type of boat and use. The best thing to do is consult your local Navtec agent and discuss your particular boat and what you want the hydraulic system to achieve.
How tight can I coil my rod rigging without damaging it?
You should not coil rod tighter than 200 times the diameter of the rod. If it is coiled tighter, the rod will retain some of the bend when uncoiled.
Can I use a failsafe turnbuckle on my integral backstay cylinder?
No. Due to the design of the integral, the only fitting that can be screwed on the rod end is the alloy jaw supplied from the factory.
How can I tell if I have steel or bronze turnbuckle screws?
All of our bronze screws have been chrome plated so a close examination will need to be dome to see what you have. The easiest way is to take a file and lightly file the end of the stud on the flat side next to the cotter pin hole. If the stud is bronze, you will see the golden color of bronze in the file mark. If the screw is steel, the file mark will show a silver steel color.
Where can I find some one to service my hydraulics or rod rigging?
Please refer back to our agent list and the chart of service provided for the closest servicing agent.
How much air pressure should there be in my Hydraulic Backstay Adjuster?
The normal recommended pressure is 100 psi. with the piston rod fully extended.
How much weight will I save by using Kevlar for my runners?
Kevlar is less than half the weight of comparable Nitronic 50 rod rigging or 1x19 wire. The length and size of the runner will determine the weight savings. The larger the wire or rod size the more the savings. For example, a 1/4" wire runner 50' long with eyes on both ends will weigh 6.92 lbs. A runner made out of -6 rod would weigh 5.66 lbs. and one made out of 3.8T kevlar with the same length and end fittings would weigh 2.55 lbs. Therefore in this example kevlar runners would be 8.74 lbs lighter than 1x19 wire and 6.22 lbs lighter than -6 rod.
What type of Loctite should I use in Navtec fittings?
Navtec uses Loctite RC 680 compound. It is very important that the surfaces be cleaned and free of dirt and oil before applying Loctite. While it is not necessary, we also recommend the use of Loctite Primer T to prepare the surfaces before the application of Loctite. RC 680 is a fairly high temperature high strength-retaining compound. To remove it, requires fairly high temperature. This temperature is too high for Navtec insulators so a lower temperature compound should be used on insulator fittings. Lower temperature thread locking compounds include Loctite 290 (green) and 277 (red). Both can use primer T or primer N. When using Loctite to retain rigging fittings, it is important to test the part for locking after the Loctite has set.
Do I need a different cone in a swageless fitting for 1 x 19, 7 Strand, or Dyform wire?
We make 3 different style cones for each of these types of wire constructions. Since the individual strands in each case are of different diameters, the cone shapes and diameters must be made to fit accordingly.
What kind of sealant should I use when assembling swageless fittings?
Use a non-corrosive marine sealant (DO NOT USE DOMESTIC BATHTUB SEALANT AS THIS CONTAINS ACETIC ACID, WHICH IS HARMFUL TO STAINLESS STEEL).
Do I need to replace the cones when replacing my wire rigging if I have swageless fittings?
Yes, when replacing the wire Navtec recommends that the cones be replaced also.
What do you recommend for lubricating the turnbuckle threads?
For turnbuckles with dissimilar metals, for example a bronze screw (chrome plated or exposed bronze) in a stainless steel body, any good waterproof grease is adequate. Lanicote is also used frequently. Oil, especially some of the oils with Teflon can also be used. For turnbuckles with stainless steel screws in stainless bodies, a grease containing Molybdenum Disulfide should be used. A dry lubricant containing Molybdenum Disulfide can be used. At this time, we know of no lubricant which comes close to the effectiveness of Molybdenum Disulfide in preventing galling. Note that Molybdenum Disulfide is black and makes sails and hands black very effectively!
How often should I inspect my rigging?
Navtec recommends that rigging be inspected annually and before major offshore passages.
What if any lubricant should I put on the rod heads when I reassemble my rod rigging?
Navtec recommends the use of a good waterproof grease on rod heads. Many riggers use Lancôme, which is a lanolin containing grease and is reputed to reduce staining of sails from grease.
How often should I change the oil and filter in my hydraulic system?
The filter should be changed one year after the system is initially installed. After that, the filter should be checked every year and changed at least every three years. The system should be flushed and new oil and filter should be added every 5-7 years.
Can I repair my own hydraulics?
Navtec hydraulics should be repaired by authorized Navtec agents. Special tools are needed to insert the new seals in place in order to ensure zero leakage. Please check the list of authorized dealers for the agent nearest to you.
What kind of oil do I need for my Integral backstay adjuster, hydraulic panel, or hydraulic cylinder?
Hydraulic oils used with Navtec equipment should be premium petroleum based, antiwear oils that have anti-foam and anticorrosion additives. They should have the following minimum properties: Viscosity grade of ISO 32, viscosity index of 95, and a pour point of -10 degrees F (-20 degrees C). Navtec recommends the following oils: Shell Tellus T15, Mobil DTE 11M, Texaco Rando HD215 and Royal Purple Syndraulic 15.
Can a Lewmar Thruster replace my existing installation/ I have a tunnel and standard fit by another manufacturer?
Yes in most cases providing the tunnel has the same internal diameter.
Can I install the Thruster myself?
The majority of the work involves choosing the location and installing the tunnel. A suitably qualified person should always carry out this work.
What Battery power do I need?
Thrusters have very powerful electric motors and it is recommended where possible to have a dedicated Battery close to the Thruster with a separate charger. This saves the problems of installing expensive, large cables from the main battery bank.
I am buying a new boat but haven’t decided to have a Thruster installed can it be fitted later?
Yes, there are plenty of installers around. It may cost a little extra and will involve hauling the boat and a few days of installation.
Why do I need a Thruster?
A Thruster makes boat handling, especially in tight harbours, much eaiser by gently moving the Bow with a small independently driven prop without having to use the main engine.
What Autopilot manufacturers will your drives work with best?
Lewmar drive units are compatible with all autopilot equipment and they are very easy to install.
What kind of lubricant should I use on my steering system?
For Cobra, Mamba and chain wire type steering systems, we strongly recommend Lewmar grease, designed for marine environments, in order to provide the best from your equipment. Part number: 1970110.
For conduit type steering systems such as Constellation, a lighter grease is required. Part number: 89100120.
Do you have an input socket repair kit?
Available from September 2003 through our distributors is a repair kit to service the input sockets of Cobra and Constellation systems.
After years of service, I've recently noticed play/lost motion at the Wheel - are there any checks I can do myself?
There are a series of basic checks you can do to identify the cause of this problem, which may occur when regular servicing is not maintained. Depending on the steering system employed:Constellation
- If it appears fore and aft - check all circlips on the steering shaft to see if they are all in place.
- If radially - check the cable tension and readjust to Lewmar's recommendation at quadrant.
- Check the steering shaft key - if it is loose replace it.
- Check the draglink rod ends and replace at the first sign of wear.
- Check to see if the input socket needs reshimming
- Look at the steering shaft key - if it is look replace it.
- Check the draglink rod ends - replace at first sign of wear
- Check to see if the input socket requires reshimming
- Inspect the bevel and reduction boxes - reshim if required or contact Lewmar.
- Look at the steering shaft keyway - if it is loose replace it.
My hatch/portlight is leaking. What should I do?
If a Lewmar hatch or portlight does start to leak it is important to establish the leak path. Where the water finally appears in side the boat is not always a good indication of the leak path. The easiest way to trace a leak is to wait for a dry day and use a marina hose. Establishing the leak path may be difficult if there is a significant level of condensation on the hatch/portlight.
Possible leak paths are:
Under the lower frame. This is caused by insufficient bedding compound between the low frame and the deck, or the compound breaking down over time. It may also occur if the cut out in the deck is too big or the hatch/portlight is not mounted on a flat surface. This is a build or installation problem.
Between the lower frame and the rubber seal (gasket). This may be caused by the upper frame being distorted or a loss of seal pressure. Lay a straight edge along the sides of the hatch and also diagonally across the lid to check for twist. Also check the seal for dirt or damage. Try closing the lid down on a sheet of paper. If the paper can be slid out when the hatch is closed the seal is not compressing.
Through the holes in the acrylic used on some products to fasten the handles, hinges or friction levers. The handles have a standard O-ring under the plastic moulding on the outside of the acrylic. This should be cleaned and lightly lubricated with silicone grease.
Between the acrylic and the upper frame. (Not Standard portlights and Concept hatches.) This is caused by a breakdown in the adhesion between the sealant and the upper frame or acrylic. Try gently pushing the acrylic up out of the frame and look for movement. This type of leak is the least common.
Can I replace another manufacturer's hatch or portlight with a Lewmar hatch or portlight?
Yes. However if you cannot match up the old hatch or portlight with the existing range of cut outs, the only solution may be to build an intermediate frame from timber.
If I am replacing older Lewmar hatches or portlights and I would like to find a direct replacement, have the sizes remained constant?
The Lewmar standard cut out sizes have remained constant, however the corner radius may have changed on certain models.
What can I use to clean my hatch & portlight windows?
Wash the windows with warm soapy water. All solvents should be avoided as they will cause the acrylic to craze.
Some of the Lewmar windlasses have fall-safe. How do I use it, why do I need it?
Fall safe is a safety feature we have added to our new products. It is used in two ways. When the anchor is stowed, Fall-safe should be engaged to stop accidental deployment of the anchor. For windlasses not fitted with Fall-safe, an anchor safety strap or similar should be used. Fall-safe pawl should also be engaged during manual recovery to act as a ratchet.
Can I use a wireless remote with my windlass?
Yes. Lewmar have recently added a 3 button windlass & 5 button windlass / thruster wireless remote to its range. These can be used on any windlass / thruster that is operated via a solenoid. The wireless remote is simply wired in parallel with the standard switch.
Can I fit a chain counter to my Pro-series?
Due to the size and construction of the Pro-Series, it is not prepared for the installation of a chain counter. This does not stop the enthusiastic owner having ago but Lewmar cannot help with the installation or provide recommendations.
Can I get the anchor up if I lose power?
Most Lewmar windlasses have a manual recovery option however the method varies across the product ranges. Some Lewmar windlasses have built in manual recovery and others require an emergency manual recovery kit. Please consult your windlass manual for clarification.
Can I drop the anchor without having to power it down?
Yes, all Lewmar windlasses have a manual free fall function as standard. To free fall the anchor, you simply manually undo the top nut half a turn. This releases the gypsy allowing it to free wheel. You can control the speed or stop the descent by re-tightening the top nut. Some of the larger windlasses with brake bands fitted work slightly differently. Please consult the manual for free fall operation.
Why do I need a drum on my windlass?
Lewmar's range of windlasses allows the drum to be operated separately from the gypsy (independent warping). Once the primary rode is secured, the clutch nut can be slackened off ½ a turn. Now when the windlass is operated, only the drum will turn. This means that you can use the drum when docking or for a secondary rope only rode.
Can I use a combination rope chain rode on my boat?
Yes, All of Lewmar's High volume ranges of products take rope and chain in the gypsy. The gypsy's are design to take a range of chains and ropes without the need to remove the rope or chain from the gypsy during recovery. This means you can use a spliced rode effortlessly, reducing both weight and cost of the rode. Check the rope/chain chart in the windlass section of the catalogue or your windlass manual for the correct rope/chain and gypsy match.
Can I change the size of the chain on my boat?
Yes, Lewmar make a range of different size gypsies that will handle a wide range of good quality, calibrated chain. Check the rope/chain chart in the windlass section of the catalogue or your windlass manual for the correct rope/chain and gypsy match.
When should I replace my blocks?
Blocks and deck gear should at worst be replaced when standing rigging is replaced e.g. every 8-10 years for an average boat. This is due to the fatigue of metal components.
Can I fit cleats onto Ocean cars?
Yes. Cleats and control lines fit end stops on all cars.
If I want to build up a control line system, where do I start?
Beckets and control lines are already inside the Ocean cars and ends. Additional purchases can be added.
What is a ratchet block?
Ratchet blocks combine all the features of ball bearing blocks, with a highly efficient ratchet mechanism; this allows the crew member to hold much greater loads. They are often used on mainsheet systems, jib sheet and asymmetric spinnaker systems.
How can I stop my rope chaffing on the block cheeks?
The Ocean range of blocks feature universal heads enabling the block to be fixed in line at 90° or swivel through 360°.
What types of line can a clutch hold?
All types of line can be used with full holding power.
Can you control the release of a clutch under full load?
Yes, but this only applies to Lewmar clutches.
When I am ordering hardware, should I choose Ocean or Racing?
If you require easy control and rugged capability, you should choose Ocean hardware. However it is not only the Grand Prix racing yachts that could benefit from upgrading to the Racing range.
Can you convert T-Track genoa cars to a control line version?
Yes, Lewmar offers T-Track genoa cars with control line sheaves which can be moved under low load. We would recommend for adjustment under high load to use the recirculating ball genoa cars.
Can slide rod cars be upgraded to re-circulating balls to reduce the friction?
Size 0 to 3 Ocean cars can be upgraded to torlon recirculating balls.
What winch handle is better, a plain or locking handle?
This depends upon how you use it. For racing or cruising locking handles are more secure and less likely to be knocked out of the winch and lost overboard. Plain handles are easy to insert and release and some racing crews prefer them as they are quicker to insert/remove.
Do all winches have the same size handle sockets?
Yes, after 1972 all winches and handles have the international standard sockets.
How do Lewmar winches grip different line diameters?
Lewmar's self-tailing jaws incorporate our 'Wavespring' solution. This is where the jaws are held together by spring tension which self-adjusts to grip the size of the rope used.
How many speeds does the electric winch have?
One speed electric drives provides adequate power and speed for winches up to Size 64. Size 66 and above have two speed electric drives. Line speed varies according to load i.e. heavy load = slow line speed.
What makes the Lewmar Ocean winch easier to service than any of the competition?
A screw off top cap means that no tools are required to strip the winch. All Lewmar Ocean manual winches can be serviced above deck without having to unbolt the winch.
What carries the full load on a Lewmar winch?
How is the size/number system worked out?
The winch size refers to the power ratio i.e. a Size 40 winch has a 40.2 : 1 power ratio. This means if you put 25kg/55lb of effort on the handle, the pull generated will be approximately 1005kg/2211lbs.
What is the benefit of choosing a self-tailing winch?
Self-tailing winches enable one crew member to easily trim or raise sails. Self-tailing also removes the need to hold the sheet whilst winding the handle.
What gives the Lewmar winches that distinctive 'clicking' sound?
This sound is made by the spring loaded pawls engaging the drive tracks.