HAPPINESS IS SELF-TAILING WINCHES
After looking for years for used self-tailing winches and researching cost, size and mounting requirements, I finally took the plunge a bought a pair. The OEM winches were Barient 25's which were very commonly used in the early 80's. They are 40:1 , comparable to Anderson 40:1, Arco 40:1, Harken 40:1, and Lewmar 40:1. The prices for new ones was a little scarry, so I scrounged for used ones.
The Barents 25's are chrome plated bronze, and after 30 yrs of use still work like new. For a replacement I was hoping for an equivilent size in power and the same mounting hole design. The Barient 27-48 winches had the same drum diameter and appeared to be modified 25's so I set my sites on finding a pair, perferably the bronze drums even though aluminum drums were also made. Comments made by hard core racers indicated that the alumunim drums did not hold up as well and got a little sloppy in the bearing race after years of hard use.
I did not want to take a chance and surfed the web for a set of the bronze ones. After 6 yrs of looking I found a set at a reasonable price, less than 1/3 the price of new Lewmar or Harkens. They were used by having been mounted, but were not used in application. The bearings and races and were as pristine as the day they were first greased.
I removed the drums and checked the mounting bolt pattern and they were a direct match to the Barient 25's.. It took an hour a side to remove the old winch, clean off the old sealant, clean the bolts, reseal and install the 27-48's. I had to cheat on the starboard side, I could not reach the nuts and screws at the same time so I used vice grips to secure the nuts on the inside and prevent them from turning.
I had my wish for a direct replacement by size, but now on to the power ratio. .........
They are 27-48's so 48:1 ratio with a 10" winch handle. If I were to use a 8" winch handle, they are about 39:1 equivilent to the Barient 25 with a 10" handle. There is an advantage to the smaller diameter of the winch handle, you can crank it at a faster speed, RPM's due to the smaller turning circle. If the wind pipes up, I can always drag out the 10" handles for a little more advantage.
I did a good lube on them prior to installation, oil in the pawls, ratchet gears, and gear shafts; greese on all the gears. To do a complete clean and grease in the future, I will have to remove the winches to do a complete disasembly. That is the only major disadvantage that I have found. The only replacement part that I should ever need to procure will be the upper clamp ring that appears to be made from a glass reinforced nylon 66 material. A few parts are still available frolm Arco Hunton in Australia. Just remember to use sunbrella winch covers to protect the nylon from UV and they should last my lifetime. I'm not a hard core racer and when we do race its a little more laid back that the racing in the SF Bay....
We are more like an eating club with a sailing problem. We have great overnighter raftups with culinary creations to die for.