Re: Manual or Electric Windless??
One more vote for the power windlass. I have an older SL 1500 horizontal windlass that lives undercover in the anchor locker on my boat. With a purported 1800# pull, I am able to recover the anchor while singlehanding. It has a chain gypsy and a capstan for rope as well; this is very handy for hoisting someone up the mast and I once used it to kedge off the beach when the boat went ashore during a hurricane (windlass paid for itself right there!)
I have a 210 AH house battery bank that is connected to the windlass by 2/0 cables. As others have suggested, I usually run the engine while recovering the anchor, so the drain on the batteries is minimal.
Without my powered windlass, I would probably would not do the kind of gunkholing I enjoy.