Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Windlass Service"
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Thread: "Windlass Service"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Windlass Service

Gary and Charlotte Burton

You might have the 510 hyspeed model
There is a manual available here:

Alan and Sue Johnson

Is anyone familar with the Simpson Lawrance 555 windlass. I hear it is a good one but mine needs serious service. The manuals show that the 555 is gear driven but mine is chain driven? The single largest issue is the stainless bolts to aluminium housing is siezed reeal good. Any advice to unsieze this?

Kevin Donahue and Marilyn Falconer

During the height of the Taiwan boat building days in the 1980's there where some chain driven look-a-likes of the Simpson Lawrence 555 Seatiger windlass coming to North America from Taiwan. It's possible you may have one of those units, or as Gary mentioned you might have a 510 Hyspeed. Inspite of its name the 510 Hyspeed has only one operating position for the lever. The 555 and the chain driven look-a-likes had two positions, one for high gear and one for low gear.


Dave King

Alan and Sue are correct. The Simpson Lawrence 555 was chain driven before it was converted to gear drive a long time ago.
I successfully disassembled one after soaking it in diesel fuel for 2 days. It did not come apart easily. A tip: Before I reassembled the unit I over-bored the main phenolic bearings by a couple of thousandths. I added 90W oil to the unit before the bottom was installed and put in more than the standard reservoir held. No more problems occurred. The unit would seep oil past the bearings at a very slow rate. About a drop a month.
I'm sorry to bore you all with this - but - I'll continue for the benefit of all those who still have one of these. Operating the unit in the normal fashion DOES NOT lubricate it internally. The chain will only rock back and forth with the operating motion. The same part of the chain is always in the oil bath and does not carry the oil up and around. In order to get the oil to be carried up, so that it will flow down, is to fully rotate the operating lever(s) in one direction at least a couple of full rotations. This would be recommended at least once a month - forever. Also. carry an extra master link for the chain. They are easily available.
Good luck,

Dave Kall

I helped a friend on a 43 years ago that had one. After we disassembled it and discovered the innerworkings we packed it FULL of grease and put a grease nipple on it to be able to keep it lubricated. Never heard if he had any further problems or not. Just another idea. And with todays stuff I would recommend PB Blaster for breaking any of the parts out. That's just magic stuff.

Fair Winds

Alan and Sue Johnson

How can anyone with a Westsail not afford all this wisdom for the small price of a membership. Thanks for all the advice. I feel better about hangin on to this and saving $$$$$.

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