Windlass rewire - SailNet Community

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Old 07-19-2012
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Windlass rewire

On my 33fter the anchor windlass is wired so it can only work when the engine is running. This was set up by PO when the boat was in charter presumably to stop ignorant people running down the batteries.

However, I would like to have the windlass operate off the batteries when the engine isn't working in case, say, the motor dies and someone with limited strength needs to get the anchor out and can't do it manually.

Any ideas where I should start looking to rewire so I can get what I want?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-20-2012
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Re: Windlass rewire

You're going to have to explain how it is isolated from working if the engine isn't running. Is there a solenoid that closes when the ignition switch is on, or something similar? Have you traced the wiring for the windlass back to the batteries to see where/how it's switched?
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Old 07-20-2012
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Re: Windlass rewire

Thanks jrd,
Haven't traced back yet. Just wondering what I would be looking for and you've given me a clue. Cheers.
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Old 07-22-2012
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Re: Windlass rewire

Had a quick look today. A bewildering tangle of wires. The windlass works ONLY when the engine is running. With the ignition on and the alarm sounding the windlass still doesn't work.

The only other thing I've worked out is there is power to the windlass breaker from the moment the house batteries are on, even when the starter battery is off.
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Old 07-24-2012
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Re: Windlass rewire

Do you have dual battery banks? It is pretty typical to have the windlass wired so that it will work only with the engine running charter boat or not. A windlass draws a lot of juice and will quickly drain a battery. I'm not an expert by an means but I believe you can damage a battery by discharging it too deeply.

I actually cant remember being on a boat where the engine did not need to be running to use the windlass. Don't understand why you want to change the set up. If the engine dies shouldn't you first figure out the issue with the engine before hauling the anchor? Most wind lasses have a lever to use to manually operate them. Mine is like a large manual bilge pump handle.
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Old 07-24-2012
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Re: Windlass rewire

Hi LinekinBayCD

Yes I have dual battery banks...hence being able to isolate house and starter. (see earlier post)

Quote:
Don't understand why you want to change the set up. If the engine dies shouldn't you first figure out the issue with the engine before hauling the anchor?
Please read my original post. I want someone with limited strength (my wife) to be able to DEPLOY the anchor.
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Old 07-25-2012
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Re: Windlass rewire

I did read your original post about someone with limited strength. That is why I suggested the use of a lever. When you wrote "get the anchor out" I thought you meant get it out of the water. It is less necessary to use the windlass when dropping or "deploying" the anchor. It doesn't require any strength to release the clutch on the windlass. The anchor will just drop.
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Old 07-26-2012
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Re: Windlass rewire

English is such a tricky language. I'm with you now.
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Old 07-26-2012
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Re: Windlass rewire

If you have power to the breaker with engine off then it seems to me that without the extra grunt from the engine you don't have enough current getting through to the windlass itself. Possible cause could simply be poor or corroded terminals. If I remember rightly yours is a Beneteau correct ? I'd have thought it unlikely that the wiring would be undersized but that could be an issue if it is.

With engine off what voltage at the breaker ? With engine on ?

You should then check voltage at the windlass itself.

One other thought ... if the windlass won't spin with no load then you may be up for a windlass service.
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Old 07-26-2012
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Re: Windlass rewire

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
If you have power to the breaker with engine off then it seems to me that without the extra grunt from the engine you don't have enough current getting through to the windlass itself. Possible cause could simply be poor or corroded terminals. If I remember rightly yours is a Beneteau correct ? I'd have thought it unlikely that the wiring would be undersized but that could be an issue if it is.

With engine off what voltage at the breaker ? With engine on ?

You should then check voltage at the windlass itself.

One other thought ... if the windlass won't spin with no load then you may be up for a windlass service.
Hi TDW, I have a Gib Sea 33 made by Dufour. I'm pretty sure there isn't a "problem" here, rather a deliberate choice by the PO to wire in a limitation. My probelm is whether I can find a way to unwire or work around this "limitation". Increasingly I'm thinking it is either too hard OR I need a pro to solve it.
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