Removing the Windlass

We have a beautiful old bronze Nilsson New Zealand V700 Vertical Windlass.  Who knows how old it is but as you will see it is in great condition (we think so at least!) and we really hope to be able to rehabilitate it. Here is a good picture in the light.  Unfortunately all the rest of the pictures will have a blue tint to them as they were taken under the tarp that is now covering the boat.   There’s a lot of pictures because I think step by step is fun for stuff like this.  At work I create step by step notes on taking apart and rebuilding equipment for other people who might have to do my job in the future. 😉

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The top unscrews counter clockwise after removing a threaded screw from the middle.


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The winch slides off the shaft.


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This little guy is called the Upper Clutch Cone and he slides off the top as well.


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Make sure to gently grab the long key, if its in good condition you can reuse it.


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The gypsy slides off once the key is removed.


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Now is about the time you give all the bolts a good coating of PB Blaster which is one of Gods great gifts on this earth.  If you don’t currently have a can of PB blaster go out and buy two, you will not regret it.


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Sit back and take a break.  The most important thing you can do is let the PB Blaster do the work so that you don’t BREAK SOMETHING as your trying to get the rest apart!

**I’m sure you can tell that I (Ryan) am speaking from experience here.  I’m a big fan of sledge hammers and angle grinders but I’ve learned to be a bigger fan of PB Blaster.


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Get your manual impact driver that we know you ran out and picked up when we told you how awesome they were a couple months ago!

This is where you get to use the sledge hammer! It was a bit difficult to take a picture so I took this one before beginning but you hit the end of the impact driver as hard as you can with a sledge hammer and that PB Blaster soaked screw that has corroded happily in place to never move again just starts turning!  Its like magic!


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Out with the screws 🙂


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This is where two people becomes necessary.  Luckily Erin had the day off and she was able to catch the gearbox and motor as I removed the last Lower Clutch Cone and key which was the only thing left holding it to the deck.


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While all the hardware on deck looked beautiful and was nicely greased up the more sensitive gearbox and motor did not fare so well.  The upper gearbox assembly was soaked and had water pooling inside of it and I think our motor is shot.

I have contacted Nilsson Winches in New Zealand and it turns out they still sell spares!  I hope they will have all that we need for a rebuild, a new windlass is not in the budget.


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