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  #1  
Old 04-30-2007
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Need recomendations for electic windlass

I am thinking about putting an electic windlass on my tayana 37. Some people have used the tigress lofrans, but I am not hearing good things about lofrans.

Does anyone have any advice, plus where the heck to buy this pricey jewel?

Thanks, Tim
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Old 05-01-2007
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I bought a Lofrans tigres this January at a substantial "boat show discount" and will be installing it this summer. I got it because it offers the electrical pull I require plus the manual option I want in the horizontal orientation.

I'll let you know how the installation goes.
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Old 05-02-2007
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I have tried a number of windlass' and have found the top few to be fairly close to what they advertise, though their advertising needs translation. For instance, a rating of 1200 pounds is surely not the 'pull', but the maximum strain the device can safelt withstand in a static condition. The actual 'pull' under power may be something more like 350 to 400 pounds, with a topped up battery and twice the recomended cable size. The cables get hot fast and drop voltage, and of course, pulling power, rapidly. Still, armed with a more realistic expectation of what to expect out of a windlass, A Maxwell or Lofrans or one of the other big names will work fine, if installed correctly and maintained properly. These are not 'set it and forget it' equipment.

I have finally settled on an Ideal dual direction windlass with both gypsy and capstan. It is simple, well made, and very strong, with a pull of about 700 pounds. My boat weighs in at about 25,000 fueled and watered. Support from the Ideal people is quick and courteous. I got the windlass for free as a discard off a 50' Post, and reconditioned it for $135 worth of parts and seals from Ideal. I rigged my own remote control switch to a plug on the deck and can move from the windlass to the cockpit with the control in my hand.
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Old 05-02-2007
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I would get a vertical windlass, rather than a horizontal windlass for two reasons. One, the motor is installed below decks on a vertical windlass, and is a bit more protected from the elements that way. Two, a vertical windlass with a rope drum, can take a line lead from a snatch block, and be used for doing things like raising a dinghy, recovering a MOB, hoisting someone up the mast, and such... which isn't possible with a horizontal windlass.

PS had tested several windlasses in the past year or so... it would probably be well worth checking out. Some windlasses were very poor in their performance, when compared to what they were "rated" for.
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Old 05-02-2007
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I would agree with you if I didn't have

1) a steel deck that I want to perforate as little as possible, and
2) an "anchor well" into which the windlass will go
3) the ability to rachet manually with a long handle from a standing position, rather than via a winch handle in a crouch, rotating position.
4) a halyard set up that actually favours the horizontal orientation.


While I agree that vertical is "neater" in some senses, each orientation has its pluses and minuses, depending on the installation circumstances and on the tasks required of it.
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Old 05-02-2007
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Valiente-

I wasn't speaking to you and your icebreaker, especially since you already have a windlass.... but to the original poster, who has a Tayana 37.
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Old 05-02-2007
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I went through an exhausting exercise when researching windlasses for my current boat and concluded that an electric vertical unit with capstan was best suited, for a variety of reasons - most mentioned already by SD.

This was to replace a non-functioning Maxwell vertical unit, with oversized 2 AWG power cables from chain locker to helm breaker/control relay (which I replaced) and battery banks already in place. In addition to a helm control, I also installed up/down bow mounted foot switches.

I narrowed the choices down to units offered from Maxwell and Lewmar and Lewmar's Simpson/Lawrence Sprint 1500 was chosen for quality, durability and value. After three seasons of unfaultering, heavy use, I believe the choice to be a good one.
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Old 05-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Two, a vertical windlass with a rope drum, can take a line lead from a snatch block, and be used for doing things like raising a dinghy, recovering a MOB, hoisting someone up the mast, and such... which isn't possible with a horizontal windlass.
Why not ???? I have a horizontal windlass with chain on one side and rope drum on the other - what am I missing ?
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Old 05-03-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christyleigh
Why not ???? I have a horizontal windlass with chain on one side and rope drum on the other - what am I missing ?
Stan-

Horizontal windlasses are restricted to having the line come in from almost directly ahead or behind them.

You can lead a rope to a rope drum on a vertical windlass from almost any direction, provided it leads fair and is low enough to feed properly on the rope drum. This is the big difference.

I have a few padeyes installed that will allow me to lead a line to the windlass using snatch blocks to help hoist a dinghy aboard, and things like that.
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Old 05-03-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Stan-

Horizontal windlasses are restricted to having the line come in from almost directly ahead or behind them.

You can lead a rope to a rope drum on a vertical windlass from almost any direction, provided it leads fair and is low enough to feed properly on the rope drum. This is the big difference.

I have a few padeyes installed that will allow me to lead a line to the windlass using snatch blocks to help hoist a dinghy aboard, and things like that.
SD - Since you are also using snatch blocks what is wrong with me attaching a snatch block to the (un-used) inner forstay deck attachment in front of the windlass because once it passes through the block the line can now lead in any direction to be used for whatever with only 1 block adding to the friction Bucking the standards as usual I like the horizontal setup I have with dual (rope/chain) feeds, dual wells, and dual anchor rollers much better than anything vertical I've seen - and I still don't see why it can't also be used for the same situations you describe as limited to Only Vertical simply by adding a turning block.
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Last edited by christyleigh; 05-03-2007 at 08:48 AM.
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