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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Manual or Electric Windless??
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Thread: Manual or Electric Windless?? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-11-2012 07:40 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Manual or Electric Windless??

I find that the weight of the chain is only going to pull the boat forward for retrieving the anchor if winds are below 10 kts.

Conversely, with chain hanging straight down while at anchor in winds under 10 kts, there are a lot of false sets that we never know about, as you don't drag the chain, let alone the anchor.
09-11-2012 12:33 AM
travlineasy
Re: Manual or Electric Windless??

I've only used my Lewmar for a single season, about 40 trips where I anchored, not a single problem. I have a switch in the cockpit and another at the bow, which is also where I use the saltwater washdown system to blast off the mud and grass. Like one of the above posters, I bring in a little bit of chain at a time, then allow the weight of the chain to pull the boat forward before bringing in a bit more. It doesn't take long before the anchor is directly beneath the bow and it usually breaks free on its own. Then it's just a matter of hauling in the rest of the chain and anchor while blasting off the mud, until it's seated on the anchor chock. Pretty neat way to get out of Dodge.

Cheers,

Gary
09-09-2012 02:04 PM
Joesplace
Re: Manual or Electric Windless??

WOW, great comments! So here's what I've done:

Yesterday I purchased a Lewmar Pro-Series 1000 Windlass w/hand held remote, 100 ft 5/16" G-4 HT chain, 300 ft 5/8" 8-strand nylon rope, 1 group 27 starting battery w/box and a 3 bank battery charger.

I know Lewmar has mixed reviews but what doesn't these days . . .

I'll let everyone know how the project turns out. Thanks again for all the assistance!
joe
09-07-2012 11:17 PM
bvander66
Re: Manual or Electric Windless??

We anchor a lot (liveaboard in the Bahamas) with a 45lb anchor and 200' of chain. We have a two speed manual (old sea tiger) with a 4' bar. In the high speed slot it hauls in a foot for every double stock. At slow speed it draws in about 6" for each double stroke but pulls our 30K lb boat forward.
We usually take our time, both setting and hauling the anchor, so the added time has never fussed us.
I admit there are times I wish I had a powered windlass, but the one I desire/need for our boat is out of our price range at this time. If we find our physical condition deterioate we will likely make that plunge, looking at a horizontal lofrans or ideal.
09-07-2012 01:50 PM
ebs001
Re: Manual or Electric Windless??

I had a manual windlass for a few years and then switched to an electric. I would never consider a manual again.
Given the option between connecting the windlass to a house bank or a start battery, I would choose the start battery. A proper start battery is rated in cold cranking amps and is more suited to a windlass type electrical load which is high amps for a relatively short duration. I always run my motor when using my windlass so charging is not an issue.
09-07-2012 12:40 PM
Minnewaska
Re: Manual or Electric Windless??

You can get a remote windlass switch at the helm. Very convenient, if short handed. But you are still guessing a bit on helm control. We have one, but its relegated to minor adjustments. We always have someone on the foredeck with deploying and retrieving.
09-07-2012 11:28 AM
jimjazzdad
Re: Manual or Electric Windless??

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyquest37 View Post
In light air, I pull the rode until I come to chain, then use the windlass (if I use it). If there is wind, I run the rode back to the cockpit and use a winch and steer/throttle. Once I am more or less over the anchor, I take the rode forward and finish off with the windlass. Not sure what I would do if I had all chain rode.
I have an all-chain rode (3/8" BBB) on an SL 1500 (1800# pull). When I am "solo" retrieving the anchor with my windlass, I bring it in a few feet at a time, stopping when I hear the windlass motor loading up. Then the weight of the chain (the catenary) tends to pull the boat forward towards the anchor. Then I start all over again...repeating until the anchor breaks out...then its "get it in quick and get back to the helm"
09-07-2012 10:27 AM
johnnyquest37
Re: Manual or Electric Windless??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninefingers View Post
Quick question!

Some of you use the electric windlass while single handed. If it's not rated to pull the boat towards the anchor, how do you use to retrieve? Do you just assume that 1 knot of bot speed is about what the windlass retrieves at and motor forward at that speed?
In light air, I pull the rode until I come to chain, then use the windlass (if I use it). If there is wind, I run the rode back to the cockpit and use a winch and steer/throttle. Once I am more or less over the anchor, I take the rode forward and finish off with the windlass. Not sure what I would do if I had all chain rode.
09-07-2012 07:21 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Manual or Electric Windless??

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
.....The worst enemy of an electric anchor winch is lack of use.
And you should disassemble, clean and re-grease annually. Which reminds me.........
09-07-2012 07:14 AM
jimjazzdad
Re: Manual or Electric Windless??

One more vote for the power windlass. I have an older SL 1500 horizontal windlass that lives undercover in the anchor locker on my boat. With a purported 1800# pull, I am able to recover the anchor while singlehanding. It has a chain gypsy and a capstan for rope as well; this is very handy for hoisting someone up the mast and I once used it to kedge off the beach when the boat went ashore during a hurricane (windlass paid for itself right there!)

I have a 210 AH house battery bank that is connected to the windlass by 2/0 cables. As others have suggested, I usually run the engine while recovering the anchor, so the drain on the batteries is minimal.

Without my powered windlass, I would probably would not do the kind of gunkholing I enjoy.
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