Sea Tiger SL 555 Windlass

A friend had two Sea Tiger windlasses which were well worn and neglected, neither of which was in  usable condition.  I wished to replace my windlass with a reliable and tough windlass designed for heavy duty usage, my friend wanted a good reliable tough windlass for his Westsail 32.  He offered his extra windless in exchange for me rebuilding both, we share costs and flip a coin to see who gets which.  A challenge too good to resist.

Seatiger Owner Manual

Seatiger Diagram

This is the primary supplier of Simpson Lawrence parts and new windlasses.


The first thing I did when I acquired the two windlasses to rebuild was to thoroughly clean the outsides, then I systematically disassembled the windlasses one part at a time.  Each part was throughly cleaned in solvent and assessed for usability or replacement.  The cases were cleaned in solvent to remove the last of the grease from the inside, then they were chemical stripped of any remaining grease and all paint.  Some repairs on the cases were needed and the aluminum was welded and machined as necessary.  Next the cases were cleaned again, then treated with an etch in preparation for paint.  

Four coats of System Three Epoxy High Build Primer was applied.

Painting Primer IMG_0413

Followed with 9 coats of System Three LPU finish coat (the last 4 coats were cross linked for hardness).

Meanwhile parts ordered from SL Spares were in transit and local sourcing of materials was underway.

Dri-fitting parts after necessary repairs/replacement.

Reassembly 3 IMG_0638




Reassembly 2 IMG_0637



Reassembly 4 IMG_0639


I machined new Main Shaft Bushings from Delrin.

Delrin 1 IMG_0634

 Next was reassembly of re-useable parts and new parts.  The old ‘V-seals’ were replaced with O-rings from NAPA.  New seal covers were machined as necessary.  Then the windlasses were fully assembled using assembly oil to provide some pre-lube, the insides were throughly covered with LPS coating which was allow a few days to dry,  then the grease was injected using a tube to completely fill the cavity.  I left a small amount of air to allow for any thermal expansion.   The grease is a very high tack waterproof grease available from NAPA.


Packed with Grease IMG_0718


I made new closed cell neoprene gaskets for the bottom seals and used a light amount of  permatex to hold them to the covers.  Some of the holes for the bolts which secure the cover to the case were stripped, but the holes in the case were deep enough to be tapped (this was done at the time the cases were cleaned and inspected) and longer bolts were used.

Finished w:o Gypsy 2 IMG_0721



Finished w:o Gypsy 3 IMG_0722



Finished w:o Gypsy 4 IMG_0723     



The Rope Drums were cleaned and smoothed on my lathe, they were both pitted from salt water so I worked them for use not for looks.

Painted and Assembled IMG_0640       


I machined new stainless 316L Chain Strippers which will be installed after the Gypsies are installed.

Looks like the entire project will come in about $350 or $175 each.  Not bad for something which can be bought new for over $3000 each.  I believe they are better than when new and will last for the rest of my boating needs with a little occasional maintenance.  At the flip of the coin I will be happy with either.  I am planning to sew up a sunbrella cover for mine.