Mr Fix It

Check this page regularly for information on fixing things on your J24, some of our best minds will be able to offer ideas, tips and tricks on things you should and should not do.

What to do? How do I fix it?

Hi everyone,  if you wish me to discuss any topics please ask.

Pete Stevens.

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Servicing your Barient or Barlow winch

Winches – while you have been being good little Victorians, locked down in your misery, your winches are likely to be drying out due to lack use and attention. So if you want to enjoy your return to sailing pleasure, check your winches, maybe even set aside a couple of hours to pull them apart and clean and grease them.
Start with a little spin, do they sound nice and clicky, smooth and freely spinning. Or do they sound and feel like they have half the Gibson Desert in them, dry as a …… well you know what I mean.
Not only is that sound irritating, but it can also be expensive. Once the grease has dried out and the little metal bits inside start to corrode, it’s a lot harder to bring them back to optimum condition. And if you use them like that you might as well get your wallet out already for the next pair of winches.

Some of you will know what to do, but for any that don’t, here’s a little checklist of the bits you will need to revitalise your winches and save yourself a few shekels – the way I do it.


You need: A bottle of kerosene, a plastic container large enough to get the drum of your winch in (but no larger or you will use too much kero, I use a 2L ice cream container), a few rags for cleaning and wiping away mess, a stiff one inch paint brush, a stiff toothbrush, a set of Allen keys, a small flat screwdriver (for scrapping corrosion off things and getting pawl springs out)), a flat fine file (for taking the burrs off items like the round back end of your pawls, filing dried corrosion off), a small square of 180 sandpaper (I use this around an Allen Key to clean out the circular Pawl housing if they are dirty, but use in a circular motion not vertically), tube of winch grease, a small bottle of light oil (for the pawls), clothing you don’t mind getting dirty, nitrile disposable gloves (unless you are happy to get your hands messy), barrier cream if you aren’t using gloves and don’t want to smell of kero for the next few days (you can get this at the chemist for about $5), a hat and sunscreen (a good brand is Sailor), phone and a couple of cold drinks of a preferred variety.


Method –  spread out a large rag on the deck around the winch, make sure all your tools and bits are within reach and start to take your winch apart (winches are different so not much point me trying to list each step here but mostly you will need to take the drum off first by undoing a screw at the bottom of the handle socket ). If you are not familiar with your winch I suggest you take pics on your phone of each bit of the winch before you disassemble it. Clean the cleanest bits of your winch first in kero (keeps the kero cleaner for longer) in the plastic container and then dry them off with another clean rag and lay out in a logical order for putting them back on. Clean all your bits in kero, scrape off any corrosion build up, dry grease and dirt very carefully. Some areas are very susceptible to damage if you are not careful (especially bearing surfaces and pawl housings) so use kero where you can to clean off items. Taking pawls out is something to do very carefully, use the small screwdriver to lift the pawl spring off its housing so you can lift them out (pawl springs will flick off a long way if you don’t contain them and you will almost never find them, so cover your fingers with your other hand or a rag over the pawl as you take it out if you are not confident).

Once everything is clean you can start putting it all back together, use a small amount of grease on bearings, bearing surfaces and cogs, use the light oil in your pawls (not grease) – there that wasn’t too hard was it.


Please dispose of the dirty kero, rags and mess thoughtfully.
As you’re going to be doing this outside, try to pick a day with not too much wind as it blows things all over the place and a warm sunny day is the most comfortable and enjoyable. Each winch is going to take you about 45 minutes, so that’s at least one if not two of those cans on the list above.
By Simon

Fixing a Rudder

I understand somebody trashed a rudder and it needs to be repaired.

The rudders are Balsa core so repairing them is quite easy.

1. Grind out the damaged section to bare balsa.
2. Identify the Damaged core
3. Route out or grind out the damaged section – be careful not to go through to the other side of the rudder as this is used as a backing plate.
4. Source some balsa from Nupol composites (formerly Huntsman)
5. Glue the balsa, shape to profile.
6. Layup glass work and top of with a layer of peel ply. Peel Ply gives you a nice flat finish.
7. Sand the Glass with 80 grid
8 Should not need any filler, if filler is required fill and sand
10. You can spray flow-coat :- match colour and Thin Mixture with acetone. approx 50%
11. Sand the top coat with 400, 600, and 800 wet and dry.
12. Buff to a mirror finish

Job done !!!!



By peter, on August 17th, 2009 | Category: What do I do? How do I fix it? | Leave a comment

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