Join Date: Jun 2005
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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.