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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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Old 08-16-2012
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Question Using a unidirectional electric windlass

So... We have our Bristol on the water and are learning the 'ropes'. We have gone from a very basic 22' to a significantly more complicated 38' so I'm afraid this is going to lead to a number of dumb questions.

The first is how do you deploy your anchor with a vertical windlass (Lewmar Anchorman 700) that just has an UP foot switch? The manual is brief and spectacularly unhelpful ('Use UP and DOWN buttons to operate the windlass').

It has a central clutch release and an-off-center manual winching socket so I am assuming you just release the clutch and let it go. Is this correct? If so, is the clutch progressive or just on/off? Are there any tricks to this I should know? We have a full chain rode.

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Old 08-17-2012
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Re: Using a unidirectional electric windlass

I dont know the Lewmar winch but in general - release the gypsy and let the anchor fall under gravity. So dont stress over this one.

Allow the anchor to hang over the bow roller a bit so that when you are ready, you can just drop it.


I have a Muir winch winch which the up switch corroded up a lovely creek some 2 years ago. I transferred the 'down' connection to the up and as such have a 'unideirectional' winch like you! I will eventually fix it.

SOmeone with the exact same winch will have the best answer shortly.

Ask any question you need - its a big forum.

Enjoy the new boat.
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Old 08-17-2012
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Re: Using a unidirectional electric windlass

The term for anchoring is "drop anchor". It is best not to use the power but release the clutch and drop anchor. When you feel the lengh you released is correct, you reattach the clutch. This is much faster and safer way of anchoring.
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Old 08-18-2012
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Re: Using a unidirectional electric windlass

If you put up a pic I could probably help, but can't find Lewmar Anchorman 700 on web.
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Old 08-19-2012
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Re: Using a unidirectional electric windlass

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
If you put up a pic I could probably help, but can't find Lewmar Anchorman 700 on web.
Its old......

Here is the online manual.

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Old 08-22-2012
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Using a unidirectional electric windlass

Got this sorted out now. Not sure why I was making such hard work of it. Overwhelmed by all the new stuff to learn I suspect....

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Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Using a unidirectional electric windlass

You do not specify if you anchor in shallow (20ft or less) or deeper anchorages. I have a similar "one-way" windlass and anchor in shallow places. Even though I am getting a bit older now (68), I let the anchor and chain out by hand (in shallow places). I can actually feel the anchor touch the bottom and then start paying out the chain as the boat drifts down (with some reverse power if necessary - just a short burst to have some momentum) until I have the required scope and then power in reverse to ensure the anchor is well set.

The reservation I have of just "letting loose" is that you may have a whole bunch of chain falling on top of the anchor, increasing the potential for fouling it as you start to back down.
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Old 09-26-2012
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Re: Using a unidirectional electric windlass

The only other thing I would suggest is keep your hands away from the chain. I have a nice scar on the left thumb from when I learned that lesson.

Paying out the chain as your reverse is essential. Mark the chain and lower enough to hit the bottom, then reverse slowly as you lay out suffficient chain. Use a nylon line as a snubber with slack between the windlass and the snubbing line. Then dig in the anchor at 1500 rpm while taking bearings, then with the engine still running grasp the snubbing line forward of the bow roller; if there is no vibration - you are set.
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Re: Using a unidirectional electric windlass

I agree that one has to be careful when handling the chain (whether going up or down). I wear thick gloves to avoid getting a finger digit caught in any chain link. Again, when working in shallow water, the weight of anchor and chain can be easily handled or you can even let it slide through your hand (properly gloved) rather than just have a race down (when it will be difficult to get it back under control).

But, when working in deeper water, there is little alternative to let anchor and chain. Remember, though, once a certain amount of chain is down, so much weight may be at work that the much, or all of the chain may well go down before you get it back under control.
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