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post #8 of Old 01-18-2009
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I'm going to offer my 2 cents and suggest that you consider going with an electric windlass, rather than a manual. I offer 3 reasons for this recommendation.

1. You indicate that you will be doing a lot of single-handed sailing. The most dangerous time for any sailor is when he leaves the safety of his cockpit and goes out on deck. Going up to the bow to handle the anchor in rough weather can be a nightmare. With an electric windlass you can safely deploy and retrieve your anchor without having to go forward.

2. Given the size of the boat (27 ft.) and your cruising area, it is unlikely that you will be using all chain. You will most likely use a smaller-sized anchor and line, with a 10 ft, chain rode. You won't need a heavy-duty windlass to raise this combination. Muscle power will work just fine if you choose not to install a windlass.

3. As your engine will most likely be running when you engage your electric windlass, you'll put minimal stress on your battery bank.

I have owned two boats (25 and 35 ft.) on which I mounted electric windlasses. Both vessels had just starting and house batteries and I never suffered any electrical issues.

Finally, my present boat, a Hunter 30, has no place to install a windlass, so I must use muscle power. As I single hand most of the time, I do not enjoy having to go up to the bow to do the anchoring. I feel quite vulnerable out there. I would love to be able to install an electric windlass so I could just pick my spot, drop the hook, let out enough scope, and set the anchor, all at the push of a button. Seems like a smart and safe way to do things.

P.S. I'm also a Truman-era baby.
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