Windlass Battery Circuit - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 9 Old 3 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Windlass Battery Circuit

Hello
I am new to the Catalina 30 and my wife and I just purchased a 1987 MKII. We love it. We also just stepped the mast. I have been going over the systems and making small repairs, etc. but have a question about the windlass circuit. I have what appears to be a factory installed windlass which is not working but l’m getting close to the root cause. My question is on the windlass battery arrangement which is not shown on my wiring diagram.

There are three batteries with one dedicated to the windlass. All are charging per my volt meter when hooked to shore power. My question is when the battery selector is on ALL does this include the windlass battery?

The battery selector has positions for Batt 1 or Batt 2 there is no position for the windlass battery.

Thank you.

HG
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Re: Windlass Battery Circuit

Are two of the batteries wired in Parallel to one side of the switch and the other battery wired to the other side of the switch? This would allow for all three batteries to be charged from the all position.
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Re: Windlass Battery Circuit

Thank you for the reply.

Yes I believe that is the case because when I put the battery selector to OFF all three batteries are still being charged. It appears the positive terminal for the windlass is on the same terminal as the positive batt 2. I was just wondering if running the windlass if this will also deplete my starting battery.

Typically is a dedicated windlass battery isolated from the other system/starting batteries?
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Re: Windlass Battery Circuit

All of this depends on whether your charger is wired through the battery switch or whether it is wired directly to the batteries. I didn't realize your post was brand specific. You might want to go to the Catalina Forum on Sailboat Owners for specifics for your model.
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Re: Windlass Battery Circuit

Might be a corroded windlass switch
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Re: Windlass Battery Circuit

I should think it would be easy enough to either unscrew the battery switch from the panel or go behind and see exactly how it is wired.
No matter what is "normal" for a Catalina 30, in the intervening 33 years it is quite probable that one owner or another has changed things around some.
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Re: Windlass Battery Circuit

Copper,
In your scenario it sounds like the charger is independent of the selector switch circuit. So in short if you are running the windlass with the selector switch in the "All" position then yes you are draining all of the batteries. Typically if there is a separate battery for the windlass it is mounted close to the windlass. What is more common with three batteries is 2 are a house bank and one is a dedicated starter battery. I can't imagine that the windlass for a Catalina 30 would be pulling so many amps that it needed a separate isolated battery but as Capta mentioned, there is no telling what has been done by previous owners.
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Re: Windlass Battery Circuit

What is the problem with running cables for the windlass from the house bank with a breaker/switch next to the main battery switch?

You will have to calculate the size of the cable based on the length and the amp to be carried by the cables.

When you use the windlass... the engine is on... it's alternator is pumping amps into the house bank. The windlass runs for less than a minute and the amps used is pretty small and made up pretty quickly.

Picture is my batt and windlass switch.

You probably will need smaller than #2 AWG cable if the run is 20' or so which is $3 / ft and lugs of course.

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Re: Windlass Battery Circuit

Quote:
Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
What is the problem with running cables for the windlass from the house bank with a breaker/switch next to the main battery switch?

You will have to calculate the size of the cable based on the length and the amp to be carried by the cables.

When you use the windlass... the engine is on... it's alternator is pumping amps into the house bank. The windlass runs for less than a minute and the amps used is pretty small and made up pretty quickly.

Picture is my batt and windlass switch.

You probably will need smaller than #2 AWG cable if the run is 20' or so which is $3 / ft and lugs of course.

KISS
My configuration is like SanderO’s: that is, I have the house bank wired directly to the windlass through a separate breaker. In my case, the house bank is under the V-berth and the main electrical panel is near the companionway, so it made sense to wire the windlass directly to the house bank.

Also agree that you are likely to have the motor running while using the windlass and that will relieve the load on the house bank.
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