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Early Nilsson Winches

Nilsson VEC Vertical Electric Capstans & Windlasses

S400, S600, M800, L1000, V1000,V3000,H3000,V700,H700E,H700M

PDF DownloadsWhat parts are available | Service tips and spares information

H3000-power nilsson-v1000-v3000 Nilsson-H700M (1)
Nilsson-H700-Power Nilsson V700 Windlass nilsson capstans

PDF Downloads:

The documents in the links above are all scanned from the originals from 1982 or earlier, hence the quality of the text.There are limited service manuals and spare parts available for these products.

What parts are available? 

"Nilsson" brand products were discontinued in 1982/3 and many parts are no longer available. However, as engineers, the Company will always try to find a solution to help service the early models which are still in use today. If you cannot locate the part you seek, please Contact Us as we may be able to help.

Click here to see what spare parts are available.

"Nilsson" brand winches were last produced by James Nilsson Ltd in about 1982. They were first manufactured in the late 1960's and many early winches are still giving good service. If serviced and maintained regularly, the expected life is indefinite.

The original vertical capstans manufactured in the late 60's were used on pleasure craft in the 20ft / 30ft range as anchor winches. Under the severely restrictive import regulations of those days, the only practical and available DC motor were automotive starter motors. These old motors were single direction with frame to earth – not ideal in damp marine situations. Jim Nilsson soon arranged for motors to be modified locally to provide an insulated return. This helps to identify the age of this range of winches as the earliest units only have a single electrical terminal.

Conversion to chain winches: This is not a practical engineering proposition and no conversion parts are available.

Service tips and spares information:

Under deck | Above deckGearbox removal | Clutch cone removal | Gearbox | Gearbox lubricationV1000, L1000 replacement motor and adaptor kitMotor Motor alternative V1000 / V3000Motor Alternative H3000Motor kit order numbersPart numbersOther sparesRefitting windlass to deckQuotations and ordering parts 

Under deck: 
Inspect under deck every three months. The most common cause of failure of vertical, through deck, winches is failure to maintain the under deck parts in good condition. Check for corrosion and take immediate action to remove rust or aluminium oxides as soon as visible. We recommend CRC "Soft Seal" or similar for good medium term protection. Thin film water repellent sprays only have a short service life and are not recommended. After cleaning, spray all under deck parts including cable terminations.

Above deck: 
At least twice per year, remove the central slotted screw at the top of the winch. Remove the drum and clean all parts. Lightly lube the main shaft with a light water repellent grease. Give several shots of grease to the grease point on the deck plate. If necessary replace the "V" seal under the drum.

Gearbox removal: 
It is very difficult to work on the gearbox without first removing it from the winch installation. To do this, all the above deck parts or outer casing parts must be removed including the clutch cones and (H3000) capstan.

Clutch cone removal: 
In very early models manufactured up to about 1978, the lower / inner cone is secured to the shaft by a 3/8" (10mm)x 3" tension pin. This must be driven out using a long close fitting punch. When refitting this pin, replace if it is not a tight drive fit in cone and shaft. A loose pin will quickly fail. In later models, the cone is driven by a short key and supported by two half rings under the cone. The half rings locate in a groove in the shaft. The cone may also have a slot head bronze grub screw to assist with location during assembly.

After removal of the lower cone, there are (V1000/V3000) six slot head screws visible from above deck which must be removed. To access the H3000 gearbox the casing must be split.

Split the gearbox and inspect the gears. These transmissions will wear to an extreme point before failure, so moderate wear on gear teeth is acceptable. All bearings and seals in the gearboxes are standard proprietary items. Main shaft clearance was 0.005"/0.008" (0.1/0.2mm) when manufactured, so again, wear has to be really excessive to justify replacement or repair.

Gearbox lubrication: 
Standard lubricant is Castrol "TC" which is a flowing grade 00 grease. Fill gearbox about half way. Available from James Nilsson Ltd in 1 litre containers.

V1000, L1000 Replacement motor and Adaptor Kit: 
All replacement motors for V1000 & L1000 winches are reversible.

DC powered units were fitted with a highly customised Lucas 3M100 starter motor. There are still auto electrical service shops that can work on these motors, but since the originals were modified significantly, replacement Lucas motors are no longer available. The motors fitted to hydraulic winches were "Gresen" brand (made in USA) which are still available with spares support

Motor alternative V1000 / V3000:
Only James Nilsson Ltd can supply a modern 12 or 24v DC winch motor with adaptor kit to replace the old Lucas motor in vertical winches. Fitting of the new motor and kit requires some minor engineering work that should be carried out in a properly equipped workshop

Motor Alternative H3000
James Nilsson can supply a customised motor (12v or 24v) to replace the old Lucas motor. The new motor will only fit into winches manufactured after (circa) 1975 when the new seperate gearbox was introduced. Services of a good mechanical work shop are necessary to fit these motors.

Motor kit order numbers:
V1000 (motor is at right angle to main shaft)
  • 12v motor part 336035
  • 24v motor part 336034
  • Adaptor kit part 436113

V3000 and H3000 (Reversing and Non-Reversing)
  • part number 436199 12v motor and adaptor kit
  • part number 436200 24v motor and adaptor kit

Reversing drives should only be considered for gearboxes in good condition. The non reversing transmission option will not run backwards under load.

It will be noted that the motors for either winch are the same. This reflects the efficiency gain of the V3000 spur drive over the V1000 worm wheel drive.

Gypsies (chain wheels): A few gypsies can be supplied to fit modern 10mm, 11mm and 12mm short link chains where L = 3D (L=inside link length & D = Wire Diameter) If in doubt, supply factory with chain link dimensions including inside link length(L), overall width and diameter of material (D).

Replacement gypsies may require replacement matching cones and it is advisable that old gypsy and cones are sent to James Nilsson for evaluation. A 10 link sample of the chain should also be sent.

The early patterns involved 55 chain tooth patterns and 4 different widths of gypsy. These patterns and associated drawings are no longer available.

It is essential that we receive a 10 link sample of chain to ensure that we can supply a gypsy before any work starts.

The geometry of the new gypsy means that both clutch cones will have to be replaced in almost all cases and ideally, we should receive the old gypsy and cones for cross checking.

The new gypsy is fixed width and the early gypsies were made in four different widths. It may therefore be necessary for the retainer at the outer end of the shaft to be modified or replaced.

The inner cone (H3000) and lower cone (V1000, 3000) vary in rear detail and must be made to suit old arrangement.

Part numbers
  • 120100 = gypsy (Tooth patterns 6t, 7t, 8t, ref V4000)
  • 106426 = outer cone
  • 106427 = inner cone (rear / lower detail varies to sample old unit)

Summary of actions for gypsy replacement:
  • 10 link chain sample required for testing on master patterns
  • Old gypsy and cones returned to us to be assessed for sizes
  • Costing agreed on and new part(s) made.

Other spares: 
The most common spare part in demand is the under deck plate that fits on top of the gearbox on model V3000. Replacement part 109311 can be supplied. Some spare gears are now available again. Most repair work can be carried out by professional mechanics or at the factory subject to agreed costings

Refitting windlass to deck:
  • (V1000 / V3000) As there is no automatic alignment provided in the design of these early winches, care must be taken to ensure the main shaft is not pinched when the deck bolts are tightened. Before fitting gearbox, grasp the main shaft and get a "feel" of the back lash (rotary movement). After the winch is fitted and the deck plate is screwed down the same backlash should be apparent. If necessary, shim the under deck plate to achieve required back lash.
  • H3000. Ensure the casing is completely sealed and the winch is sealed to the deck.

Quotations and ordering parts:

Quotations will be given for door/door delivery of parts to international destinations. Parts may be manufactured to order and may not be available ex stock. To quote goods and delivery, we need:
  • Part numbers required
  • Street address for delivery courier
  • Payment can be made by Visa, Mastercard or direct credit to our bank (a surcharge is made for international direct credits by the bank).
  • Credit card information should include: card number, expiry date, card holder's name as on card, issuing bank. Card holder's telephone number.
  • Pre payment is required for orders. Goods are not returnable except in the case of warranty claims.
  • If in doubt, please contact the factory at: or on our Contact Us page.


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(64) 9 444 5219
0800 4-WINCH




James Nilsson Winches
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Anchor Windlass manufacturers
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8:00am - 4:30pm (GMT+12)
8:00am - 2:00pm


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