During the middle of the Pandemic we were asked if we could carry out a “quick” extraction of two large MUIR windlasses and gearboxes. We have worked with MUIR Europe for over 5 years now and have serviced every windlass in their range.
The yacht in question is a 40 metre composite explorer. She was in for a full refit and restyle of the interior having just sold to new owners. We have become accustomed to extracting the large units, (weighing in at around 700kg each). Through experience and practice, it has generally become a relatively easy process.
However, not so in this case, as the space within the anchor locker was extremely challenging! Being of composite construction, great care needed to be given to the load distribution, so as not to damage the hull. Our solution was to build a false steel platform in the anchor locker and steel lifting braces above. We were then able to use our hydraulic jacks to prise the corroded parts apart and then, aided by our big lifting gear, slowly move the gearboxes out piece by piece. A lengthy process and of course when you are working with such heavy loads it has to be done slowly and carefully.
The gearboxes and components were then craned off the yacht, out of the roof of the paint tent and taken back to our facility. These windlasses have not been serviced for quite some time so we have had to completely replace the gearboxes with new ones. The service and support we get from MUIR Europe on this is second to none!
We are now in process of stripping everything down, cleaning and dressing some of the parts and painting everything. Once complete they will then be going back into the yacht in as ‘good as new’ condition. Re-installation is a lot easier for us as we have all the tailor-made equipment that we require, know the exact methodology and of course newly greased components fit together far easier than old corroded ones come apart.
We always advise our clients with any winch or windlass to service them regularly, especially these large units which are capable of handling colossal loads. These latest one will lift around 40 tons. Windlasses are key to the safety of a yacht and it’s important that you have peace of mind and confidence that all will work when you most need it.
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