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post #19 of Old 04-11-2013
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Re: Ever been injured on your boat? Just happened to me.

Originally Posted by BubbleheadMd View Post
I'd be interested in hearing some common sense safety for windlass operations because I'm not equipped with one, and my windlass safety knowledge is limited. Anyone?
It would be interesting to know how much the ever-increasing electrical mechanization we're seeing on modern boats has contributed to an uptick in injuries... My guess is that is could be significant, stuff like electric winches have contributed to some ghastly injuries, and an electric windlass has the potential for being one of the most dangerous pieces of gear on any boat...

Most obvious advice, of course, is never to get your hands or an item of clothing anywhere close to a windlass in operation... Furthermore, don't use the windlass to pull the boat towards the anchor, especially if there is enough chop in the anchorage to set up any potential snatching loads due to the boat's pitching.

I'm not a big fan of the modern trend of mounting the windlass in a locker below deck level. I find many of them can be very awkward to reach if need be, which could contribute to a potential injury, especially in the event you're attempting to apply some leverage to free a jam, or whatever...

And, I long ago came to detest deck-mounted foot switches for windlasses. I'm amazed builders/owners continue to go that route... They live in an incredibly tough environment, are often poorly designed/cheaply made, and few things on a boat are more prone to failure or malfunction (of which sticking in an 'ON' position is the most hazardous, of course)... In addition, it's very easy to forget to turn the windlass breaker off when finished, so the possibility of accidentally activating a windlass is very real... I think a FAR better solution, is to use a hand-held corded remote control run from a plug inside the boat, out through a hatch or port... I don't like the idea of a wireless remote for this application, I'd suggest a hard-wired remote, instead...

Another modern trend on the rise which I think is a very poor practice, is the operation of a windlass using a remote mounted at the helm... You always need to be WATCHING your windlass in operation, in order to be able to anticipate a jam, or whatever... Leave that sort of lazy deployment and retrieval of your anchor from the cockpit to the Sea-Ray drivers... (grin)

And, make a cover for your windlass to help protect it from the elements, that will definitely pay off in the long run...

Last edited by JonEisberg; 04-11-2013 at 09:33 AM.
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