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Discussion Starter #1
So it looks like I overtightened the cable after the install while the skiff was on the trailer. When we went to launch yesterday, we could not get the cable to release and it appears that some of the cable is buried under other wraps of cable, so it will not play out. How do I fix that? And, how do I prevent it from happening in the future?
 

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Your clutch system (the brake when launching, the "grab" when you're retrieving..) is pretty similar to the drag washers on a reel... When you over-tighten the knob they'll want to stick together. My first move is to simply tap the other end of the system (look on the opposite side of the winch where the shaft sticks out) sharply with the side of my pliers (or a wrench or a small hammer) that should free it up... Be careful to have the rig off of the ramp and absolutely level when you're messing with the winch - since if you're on the ramp and the cable suddenly comes free - you won't like what happens...

It is a pain when there's a lot of slack on the cable as it's retrieved before it comes under tension since that's when cable can get driven down into the spool (just like a backlash on a plug reel). What I try to do is have someone at the boat holding it in place so that I can re-tension the entire cable as I load my skiff if I've seen any loose cable underneath...

Remember as well that the manual advises to only have that clutch knob finger tight once the skiff is loaded in place on your trailer. That will greatly extend the life of your clutch system. PowerWinch does offer a re-build kit for that clutch system by the way and it has all the washers, clutch bearings, springs, and a schematic to help you do it right...

Forgot to mention... before tapping on the shaft to release locked up washers... make sure you back the clutch knob off until it's completely free - that's the main reason you want your trailer off the ramp when trying to clear it... You can do it on the ramp but there's a real danger that the winch will release completely and out of control unless you quickly tighten up the knob the moment the cable comes free... another of those "ask me how I know" moments...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Bob @lemaymiami . We got it loose, but some of the cable is a little twisted and a little is flattened. Should I continue to use it; replace it with cable, or replace it with synthetic rope or strap? If I go with the synthetic rope or strap, any idea how to rig it?
 

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Wire cable is a PITA... but really works well even as it begins to look really ugly... Replace it if you want, but it will work for years before it fails... All that's needed in the way of maintenance is to spray it down with WD40 or equivalent every third or fourth trip as you wind it back on at the ramp. Be careful with wire rope since it gets "whiskers" and will cut or stick your hands if you're not wearing gloves (and sometimes when you are wearing gloves...). If the big hook on the end ever breaks free (and the bitter, hook end of your cable will be what breaks, if and when...) all that's needed to get back in business is to take the end of the cable and tie it back on with a simple figure eight knot (this really works - I've done it more than once over the years....). The figure eight with wire cable does hold up for months as well (or just until you buy a new 25' cable and install it..). If you stick with PowerWinch parts - they're really good about providing good schematics and directions for installing parts like cables, roller clutch assemblies, etc.

Hope this helps
 

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PowerWinch sells both a 25 and a 50 foot replacement cable with hook -ready to install. The package comes with installation instructions as well.
I’ve replaced two cables in the almost 40 years I’ve been using PowerWinches...
 

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forgot to mention... the 25' cable is all that's needed for single line pulls... when you're using the block and doing double line pulls you need the 50' cable...
 

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My work truck's winch has a steel cable. Pain to use; it kinks, flattens, frays, and takes significant effort to rewind properly. Whips back if it snaps and you don't have it dampened. Heavy gloves are mandatory.

My personal truck's winch has a synthetic cable. Easy and painless to use, easy to rewind properly, and doesn't tear up your hands. Not supposed to whip back if it breaks (never snapped it, so I can't claim personal knowledge). No gloves needed. Just keep the abrasives (like sand & mud) cleaned out of it.

I don't winch the boat, so I don't know how much difference it'd make on something that light, but I still remember when they had steel cable on the OEM manual boat winches. I know I like the straps they come with now a whole lot better......
 

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Has anyone used the Fulton XLT power winch? It doesn't have the steel cable and is roughly $250-280 online.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My buddy Mike and I replaced the cable on the PowerWinch on Saturday with 3/8" Diamond Line Synthetic Winch Rope from Custom Splice. I had them splice an Excel Sling Hook on one end. The hook has a spring action clasp application for quick and simple attachment from the winch to the boat. Removing the cable wasn't too difficult--we removed the cover using a torque socket, pulled the cable off (make sure you loosen the clutch all the way, and wear gloves!), pushed the end of the cable through the small hole on the shaft, cut the cable, then pulled the end of the synthetic rope through, tied a knot, then carefully wound it on the shaft. We did find that the stainless steel spring snap hook for the safety chain would not fit so we had to get a smaller diameter snap hook. If I can help anyone with this, let me know.
 

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I don't think it really applies to boat winching(?), but wire cable can be pretty dangerous if it snaps while you're winching a 4x4.
Seen this. SCARY!

I would in interested in doing the same, synthetic swap! Just gotta figure out how to hold onto the end of the rope on the end of the spool.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
We
Seen this. SCARY!

I would in interested in doing the same, synthetic swap! Just gotta figure out how to hold onto the end of the rope on the end of the spool.
just tied a knot in the rope after pulling it through the hole in the shaft. You might consider a small stainless washer as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Thinking of putting synthetic cable on boat lift , any drawbacks
Check out the Custom Splice web site. They have all diameters and strengths. I think talking to someone there might be helpful too.
 
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