How to Replace a Boat Winch Cable

What You'll Need
Scrap fabric or cloth
Combination wrench
Winch cable
Marine grease
Shop rags

Boat winch cables will wear out with time. You can opt to have a professional do this for you, or save some money by doing it yourself. It's not a difficult process, and most people can do this in a matter of hours if not less.

Step 1 - Grease the Cable

Start by attaching the scrap fabric to the cable. This should be about 6 feet from the drum end of the cable. Grease the cable by placing a shop rag in the marine grease. Wrap the rag around the cable where the winch will attach first. Grease down the cable at least 6 feet from this point.

Step 2 - Prepare the Drum

On the side of the winch you will see the drum plate. You need to locate the bolts that hold the compression strap in place. Remove the bolts with the wrench. The strap should swing freely. 

Step 3 - Place the Cable

Pull the cable through the drum plate. You need enough cable pulled through to pass underneath the strap. The strap will need to placed over the cable, and then you can tighten the bolts that secure the cable.

Step 4 - Tailing the Winch

Wrap the rag around the cable and use the winch. This will pull the cable back on the drum. As this happens, make sure the cable is wrapping around evenly. Stop the operation when you get to the scrap fabric you placed on the other end of the cable. Attach the anchor, and you're ready to go.