John--We have a Maxwell VW-1500 that easily handles 3/8" BBB that has been an excellent investment. Take a look at Vertical Windlass Range
. The only problem with these windlasses is the fact that the casing of the drive motor is made of painted steel rather than stainess or aluminum so one has to give them a periodic spray of corrosion blocker to ensure their longevity.
To employ SD's suggestion, you might make an HDPE "throat" that is mounted to the underside of the deck as a chain guide. Alternately, dismount your existing windlass and make an HDPE base plate to match with a slightly smaller opening for the chain guide. The following is our installation:
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
Last edited by svHyLyte; 12-23-2010 at 10:33 AM.