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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-26-2009
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110 Volt Windlass?

We have a Cascade 36 sailboat with no windlass. I'm doing the preliminary research so we can come up with a plan to add one. I've searched through old messages in this forum and have seen many discussions of how to get enough power to a windlass. It seems that everybody either spends a fortune on heavy wire or adds a heavy battery in the bow. I don't like either choice.

We have a 2500 Watt inverter, so I thought it might make sense to use a 110V winch. I would only need 14AWG or 12AWG wire. A GFCI would protect against danger from an electrical failure. I would want a vertical windlass to keep the motor below deck.

I haven't been able to locate 110V windlass small enough for our boat, so I thought I'd ask whether anybody here has thoughts on where to get one, or why they're so hard to find.
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Old 08-26-2009
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If everybody spends a fortune on heavy wire or a cable, that's probably because there isn't a better solution.

If you really have your heart set on it, it might be a custom job. If you could find a windlass with a vertical 12v motor that's shot at a salvage shop, you could replace the motor with a 110v motor. Gearing may be an issue though. Since you will lose some energy converting from 12v to 110v I would think that would be a pretty hard hit on the battery bank.

Good luck.
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Old 08-26-2009
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I'll be running my engine and 80 Amp alternator when using the windlass, so battery usage is not really a problem. The inverter runs at about 90% efficiency at high loads like this, so that won't be a significant factor either.

I'd really like to get something off-the-shelf. Replacing the 12 volt motor with a 110V motor sounds to difficult and risky for me to take on.

Thanks for your ideas!
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Old 08-26-2009
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Also, it will be very difficult to mach the recommended speed/torque on a 110 AC 60Hz motor. Do yourself a favor, stay at safe 12V, specially on a salty prone area like the bow (you'll find way difficult to seal water intrusion along the years), and use a 12V DC motor, that provides a safe speed and strong torque as well. On a 36 feet, cabling is not that long nor bulky .....
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They make a 24 volt windless. May cut down on wiring but still be safe and standard.
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Old 08-27-2009
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24 volt will save on wire size, but then he'll need a 24 volt battery bank.
Brian
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