Old as Dirt!
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
Thanked 132 Times in 125 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Re: Manual or Electric Windless??
We had a SL 555 "Sea Tiger" manual windlass on our boat until 2006. Unfortunately, I was in an accident in July 2004 that cost me much of the use of my left arm. While I somewhat recovered after extensive surgeries, I did not entirely and during our cruises in early 2006 it became "painfully" evident I needed a mechanical assist if we were to continue cruising. With that, I purchased a Maxwell VWC1500 Windlass with a reversing solenoid with wired as well as wireless controllers. Our Windlass is, of course, located on our fore-deck with a measured wire run of 45+/- feet to our battery bank (taking into account pathway curves etc.). At the time I revised our battery bank arrangement from two separate 225Ah "House" banks to a single 450 Ah bank with a separate high capacity starting battery for our engine/generator. After consultations with a number of Electrics Guru's (which I am assuredly not), I used 2/0 cables that I purchased from Pacer Marine (Wire) of Sarasota, Florida for, roughly, $350 USD, including the necessary shrink warp, lugs etc. (The same cable, connectors et al from WM was priced at over $1,000 USD and Pacer Marine is the supplier of "Ancor" wire/cable, sold by WM!)
The connection to a single high capacity "house bank" has proven more than adequate. While we are usually running our engine when we recover our anchor, on some occasions we do not and simply sail off the anchor. There is more than enough power in our battery reserve to hoist our 3/8" BBB Chain and 45# CQR, even in deep anchorages without the complication of a dedicated "windlass battery". The separate starting battery, which we charge with an "Echo Charger" ensures we can start our engine, which then provides a reliable (and measured) 105 Amps of charging/power capacity, ensuring we have more then sufficient power for our Windlass under most any circumstances.
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."