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post #1 of 10 Old 03-21-2016 Thread Starter
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Windlass Blues

It turns out that Maxwell is no longer selling kits to convert an all rode windlass to a combo chain/rode. I would like to go all chain when I go cruising so at this moment my options are somewhat limited. I can: 1) Buy a used “combo” windlass that has a burnt out motor and swap out the upper end with mine, 2) Trade my (slightly) used rode with someone who has a combo windlass or 3) Buy a new “combo” windlass and sell my rode model on the used market. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? (Or better yet, anyone want to buy an all rode VC500? Hardly been used as I sail Francisco Bay and I anchor a very little).

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post #2 of 10 Old 03-23-2016
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Re: Windlass Blues

Any idiot can make a boat go but it takes a sailor to stop one.
Personally, I wouldn't risk a used windlass (we actually didn't) on something as important as your first line anchoring tool. Even an outdated unit conversion could leave you windlassless at a time when you really need one (we've been there too).
My advice is to get the newest and best windlass you can afford. Sleeping soundly at anchor; priceless!

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.

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post #3 of 10 Old 03-23-2016
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Re: Windlass Blues

Want to buy my Neco windlass? It's old, but it works. I anchor a lot and plan to upgrade to a new one soon. I'd like to get a few hundred bucks out of it. FYI its 24v.

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post #4 of 10 Old 03-23-2016
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Re: Windlass Blues

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Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
........I sail Francisco Bay and I anchor a very little).
I was going to lean on getting something new, or near new, that you would be able to rely upon for a long time. However, if it's only going to be used infrequently and not far from home, I would just search for the used part. It has to be out there.


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post #5 of 10 Old 03-24-2016
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Re: Windlass Blues

I am capta - we have been underway 8 years and before that lived in Miami and sailed almost every weekend and anchored out. When underway we anchor a lot and live on the hook. The last thing we want is an issue with our windlass. We had one once and had to pull the hook by hand - ugh -
We bought the boat new in 2003 so the windlass is now 13 years old and this year decided that to have it totally rebuilt. Had some great folks here in Turkey strip it down and clean it up do some minor repairs, check the motor, new seals and bearings -
gives us a bit more peace of mind - nothing like having a windlass fail at the wrong time.

If you can not get parts why get used and swap out parts only to have them potentially fail in the future and can not be replaced? does not seem to make sense to me.

Just our thoughts and opinion
Chuck, Patty and SVSoulMates
In the Black Sea
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-24-2016
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Re: Windlass Blues

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.... If you can not get parts why get used and swap out parts only to have them potentially fail in the future and can not be replaced? does not seem to make sense to me.
For cruising, I agree. However, if I understand the OP correctly, they anchor infrequently, sail in SF Bay and can be back on their mooring or in their slip in an hour or two.

Unless intending to outfit for cruising, I can't see spending more than necessary on the windlass. Sounds like it works fine, it just needs a compatible part.

Of course, I would not spend a significant percentage of a new windlass to source the single part, but doubt that will be the case.


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post #7 of 10 Old 03-28-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Windlass Blues

A little clarification: In the past I have anchored very little but my future plans are for a year long cruise in Mexico where I will be mostly anchoring (Seahag, here I come!) I have heard from others that I could do Mexico with my current (rode) windlass and use it with an all chain rode. They say the only real downside is the chain rips up the chrome finish, causing sharp shards and they recommend taking the drum to a metal shop and taking the chrome finish down to the underlying bronze.

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post #8 of 10 Old 03-29-2016
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Re: Windlass Blues

Unless intending to outfit for cruising, I can't see spending more than necessary on the windlass. Sounds like it works fine, it just needs a compatible part.

Of course, I would not spend a significant percentage of a new windlass to source the single part, but doubt that will be the case



but my future plans are for a year long cruise in Mexico where I will be mostly anchoring (Seahag, here I come!) I have heard from others that I could do Mexico with my current (rode) windlass and use it with an all chain rode.



Now if I understand it you are planning on going cruising and you have a windlass that you can't get parts for? I back to what if your windlass fails in Mexico. where are you going to get parts? The windlass it one of the most valuable things you have on the boat - especially when short handed - how much of a gambler are you?
hope you can pull the hook by hand.

Just our thoughts and opinion
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In the Black Sea
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-29-2016
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Re: Windlass Blues

Going on a cruise changes things a bit. First, I completely agree with having all chain, when cruising. Chafing rope on a wrapped coral head is no bueno. No way I would pull a chain up on a gypsy that was designed solely for rope, creating shards of chrome or beating up the bronze/brass. How would you use it for rope again, if you needed to deploy a back up anchor.

Is the windlass otherwise in good shape? If you would have never questioned its condition, had it the correct part to begin with, I would still make an effort to find the right part. This assumes it's relatively inexpensive. If you might question the longevity of the windlass, get a new one. Pretty important kit, if one is living on the hook.


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post #10 of 10 Old 03-29-2016
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Re: Windlass Blues

Winter or Windlass blues? Fixed both by finding used Windlass combo. Problem was finding missing and proper parts for it.
Found electrical kit from winch and after fiddling with it now I can drop and retrieve anchor with remote control.
Now probably should work on how to improve those rigid lazy jacks to do the same by pushing the clicker.
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