Our SB Lewmar Genoa winch was acting a bit strange in the beginning of the season.  When I pushed the button it was turning slow for 10-20 seconds before it reached normal speed.

One day when I was reading the Blog of HR 43 Yarona, owned by Barrie and Kath, I did find that they had experienced the same symptoms.

I emailed Barrie who suggested that the problem could be carbon dust inside the electrical motor.  He included some valuable tip for the repair.  With Barrie’s instructions it was an easy fix.

I would think this is something that will happen to all electrical winches sooner or later, and want to share how to fix it.

On Bella, it was the SB Genoa winch that needed to be cleaned. This is also the winch that is used most, as we also use it to furl in the genoa.

I removed the end cap to the electrical motor. (2 Philips screws) Inside the motor I did find a tablespoon of dust.  Next step was to clean the motor with help of the   vacuum cleaner.

After the first try there was no change.  But second time with the vacuum cleaner the winch was running normal again.

Total time for this operation was not much more than 15-20 minutes.

If that would not help, I suggest that you remove the brushes for better access to the rotor.  It is the rotor you want to clean.  With the brushes in place, you will not be able to remove all the dust. This was he reason why I had to do it twice.

It is difficult to remove the brushes with the motor attached to the winch. Fortunately it is easy to unscrew the motor from the gearbox.  Just loosen the 2 long bolts that hold the motor in place.  The bolts are accessible after removing the end cap.

Sorry for not having any pictures to this post. Will correct that when it is time to fix the port winch:-)




  1. Sebastian Barth

    Da habe ich vor kurzem viel gefährlichere Erfahrungen gemacht. Auf meiner HR43 sind eine Genua Winch und eine outhaul Winch ohne den Taster zu betätigen sporadisch angelaufen. Es besteht erhebliche Verletzungsgefahr. Angeblich sind die Taster nach 4 Saisonen undicht geworden und haben durch Feuchtigkeit kontakt gemacht. Nach meiner Erfahrung ist das Problem allen bekannt, wird aber irgendwie verschwiegen.
    In der Autoindustrie währe da wohl eine größere Rückrufaktion gestarted worden.

    1. Roland Post author

      Hi Sebastian,

      Sorry about your problems with the buttons. We are still on the original set of buttons after 11 years!!
      We carry spares onboard as rubber will not last for ever. Perhaps we have been lucky so far. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Al Sadler

    I know this is 4 years later, but I’m hoping that’s all that is wrong with mine? Going to try your fix. Thanx for the hint!


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