Manual Anchor Windlass
PMFJI but here are a few comments I think you should consider:
1. You seem to be using your boat in a variety of cruising settings and not always where the weather is benign. The last thing you want to do is shorten the chain section of your rode, which not only offers a small amount of catenary (50'' of 5/16" HT only weighs about 40# in the water) but reduces bottom chafe, something you would see in your waters.
2. Lewmar did buy out the defunct S-L assets but invested heavily in moderizing their factory in Scotland. I don''t think the acquisition should affect your product consideration.
3. Having said that, the Anchorman is not IMO a great cruising windlass. The total rode/anchor weight in deep water that you''ll be raising is less than 100# but the problem comes when breaking it out gets tough, ungrounding the boat, hoisting a snagged underway cable, dealing with surge & wind chop, etc. Not only is the power limited (5.5:1 is a smaller power ratio than most mainsail reefing winches...) but you''ll find the ergonomics of developing all its claimed power will force you into positioning your body such that only a partial throw of the winch handle will be comfortable without putting various ligaments & muscle at risk. At a little over 1'' per revolution, trying to bring aboard the rode in 60''+ of water in a heavy wind alone will tax you to the limit, I would think.
4. I chose a manual windlass for the same reasons you did; I surely don''t think you need to justify your logic. But a Royal, Hyspeed, etc. horizontal, while not as streamlined or spiffy looking on the bow, will allow you to plant your feet, use your weight to advantage, and develop a much larger power ratio in the bargain. Moreover, you can increase the length of the windlass lever, offering you even greater leverage. OTOH having a longer winch handle welded up for the Anchorman will increase the challenge of swinging a full revolution uninterrupted while bracing your body. Of course, when the wind''s down, there''s little chop & surge in the anchorage, etc. the Anchorman will be easily used.
5. Definitely don''t hide the windlass in the locker. OTOH think about how you''re going to protect that windlass from the elements offshore or even in lousy coastal conditions.
6. Don''t overlook with fresh eyes that anchor roller arrangement. Adding any kind of windlass, with no offense meant to your son-in-law, is going to deliver a large increase in cantilevered strain on whatever is holding the roller to the deck. Best to check the roller platform structure and how it''s attached with this increased force in mind.
Good luck with the project; you''ll marvel at the improvement it makes to cruising, as you no doubt can imagine. The biggest disadvantage I can see to choosing a manual windlass is the lapsed wide variety of choices available in the marketplace.
WHOOSH, a Pearson 424