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S&S Swan Maintenance - Barient grinder arrangement - manufacturer & maintenance
19 December 2019 - 13:29
Join Date: 20 July 2017
Posts: 8

Barient grinder arrangement - manufacturer & maintenance

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if you could help.

We have two Barient grinders on Kairos (Swan 57); each drives one of the main Genoa winches. Alternatively, the main Genoa winches can also be operated via electric motors. There is a mechanical selector lever at the bottom of the grinder pedestal to switch between the modes of operation.

As you can hopefully see in the attached pictures, directly below the winch there is some kind of gearbox installed. The drive shaft from the grinder enters this gear box from aft, the electric motor is installed forward more or less directly on the gear box. The action of the selector switch is conveyed to the foreward side of gear box via a steel rod.

The grinder system works a treat and we wouldn’t want to miss it; however, we noticed what we believe must be some significant wear and tear in the last season. Firstly, the gearbox appears to have some problems with the transmission of torque to the winch from both the grinder and the electric motor. This isn’t as smooth as it should be anymore, feels like it’s jumping a tooth. Might be an internal alignment issue or a damaged cog.

Secondly and more worringly, the selector switches became very hard to operate and, at one occasion, did not prevent the grinder and the electric motor being connected at the same time. The selector was not properly operated to the fully switched position but this is obviously very dangerous as the electric motor then also turns the handles of the grinder.

We did notice that both electic motors appeared to have ‘dropped’ a bit, thus interfering with the end of the selector lever rod; probably also not good for the alignment.

Long story short, we will have to have the arrangement checked and serviced/repaired/made safe again. However, unfortunately we do not have any documentation on the system nor are there any clues with regards to the manufacturer. While our boatyard is quite happy to service all the ‘above-deck’ parts (and have done so in the past), they are somewhat reluctant to tackle the ‘below-deck’ mechanics without any idea what they let themselves (and us!) into.

I have tried to search the vast internet but no luck so far – therefore, if anyone would have any information or hint that would be great – thank you!

For example, is this a Barient or more likely an aftermarket arrangement? If the latter, would there be some ‘usual suspects’ that possibly could have fitted this? Probably in the Solent area or Ireland as Kairos was based here prior to us taking over in 2017 (ex ‘Serena B’, ex ‘Noonmark V’)…

I have attached a sketch and a couple of photos that you might find helpful (apologies for the quality of the below-deck photos, not much room there to take them).

Thank you very much for your help, and have a very Merry Christmas!



SY Kairos (57 - #43)

Sketch of system arrangement

System above deck; selector lever at the bottom of the grinder pedestal

System below deck - drive shaft from grinder on the right, electric motor on left; rod from the selector lever in the foreground

20 December 2019 - 12:54
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1375

Dear Stefan

It is likely that your grinder/electrical system is installed later, such refinements were not available when the yacht was built. It is quite sure that all components came from Barient.
I happen to have an old 16-page Barient winch brochure, showing electric winches but no grinder systems. Assume you would appreciate a copy? 
By Googling you can find the Barient patent for pedestal systems, and also some winch service manuals.
Where is your yacht located?
Merry Christmas!



22 December 2019 - 05:58
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1375


There is a website with complete Barient winch information except for the grinders.

22 December 2019 - 19:17
Join Date: 20 July 2017
Posts: 8

Dear Lars,

thank you very much for your quick reply, very helpful indeed!

Have downloaded the barient catalogue, the electric winsch system does look very similar to what we do have installed on Kairos - just the grinder connection and the 'selector switch mechanism' are missing.

Will search for the grinder patent later - if you could send me the barient manual that would be great, thank you!

Kairos is located in Glueckstadt, Germany at Yachtwerft Glueckstadt for the Winter.

Merry Christmas to you, too, and thanks again for your help!




23 December 2019 - 08:40
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1375

Dear Stefan

Also the winch service manuals are found on the above mentioned website.
The gearboxes and selector switches are probably worn so much that they malfunction. It is unlikely that spare parts or drawings can be found.
Repair would require disassembly of these components, determination of the proper dimensions to make them work, and manufacture of new parts as required. This is a job for a very skilled mechanic having access to a metal shop.
The suggestion is have these components removed from the boat, and sent away for repair, but the mechanic should finally re-assemble the system in the boat and demonstrate that it is working properly.



02 January 2020 - 13:00
Join Date: 20 July 2017
Posts: 8

Dear Lars,

a very Happy New Year to you, and thank you very much for your help!


I will post updates on process and (hopefully) the solution here when available.




10 February 2020 - 10:06
Join Date: 20 July 2017
Posts: 8

Hi all,

a brief update on the above. First and foremost a big thank you to The Professor for his help and advise!

Our boatyard has now managed to disassamble the port grinder system. Luckily this turned out to be pretty straight forward with no ceased bolts. It appears that no disassembly of any components above deck is required.

The electric motor driving the shaft had dropped indeed, it was only held in place by the four bolts of the flange to the 'Tee Bevel Box' (gearbox) below the Genoa winch. This meant it was resting on the selector rod thus causing misalignement of the fork used to switch between the two inputs of the Bevel Box. As you can see i the picture the fork is badly worn as a result.

The threads of the flange between the motor and the Bevel Box are still ok ish but will need re-cutting; the boatyard will also design a support bracket for the motor so that the force and momentum on the flange bolts will be reduced. Hopefully this will prevent any droping of the motor in the future.

All of the bearings and gaskets of the components below deck are badly worn and will need to be replaced. The same holds tru for gearbox fork, and the whole system will then be realigned. Our boatyard is awaiting spare parts, fingers crossed that these are available.

This should then hopefully bring the system back to good operating condition - in the meantime the boatyard will do the same on the starboard system.

I assume all the above is due to years of little or no maintenance on this (and other, but more 'visible') system(s), a backlog which we inherited when we purchased Kairos.

We are workig our way through but I guess it's also a matter of finding experts/people willing to tackle 'vintage' and unusal systems/solutions of which we have plenty on board. Needless to say that these systems tend to be very good  and work well on our S&S Swans but they nevertheless are not every technician's cup of tea ...



Worn Bevel Box fork

Flange and worn bearings of Tee Bevel Box

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