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post #21 of 65 Old 12-31-2018
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Re: Windless usage

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A plus is that you can have remote control on an elec.
Handheld anywhere and/or switch at helm.
Not as precise as being on top of it, but is available.
I have that but have never used it.
I jammed my windlass using a wireless controller. There is such lag and sticky buttons that when you let go the windlass keeps running. I now have windlass switches in the companion way and at the windlass. Never wireless again.
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post #22 of 65 Old 12-31-2018
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Re: Windless usage

Our Lewmar V3 vertical windlass is used to haul our 35# CQR with 30’ of chain and the rest 8-plait nylon braid. It has never failed. Before we got the windlass we hauled it by hand, using the motor to position the boat over the anchor and using more motor, as necessary, to break it out. Our boat is a 35’ monohull.
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post #23 of 65 Old 01-01-2019
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Re: Windless usage

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Our Lewmar V3 vertical windlass is used to haul our 35# CQR with 30’ of chain and the rest 8-plait nylon braid. It has never failed. Before we got the windlass we hauled it by hand, using the motor to position the boat over the anchor and using more motor, as necessary, to break it out. Our boat is a 35’ monohull.
I do not use the windlass to break the anchor out and I don't use the motor either most of the time. The chain as a catanery. The windlass takes in chain until the catenary is gone..chain it straight and the boat makes a bit of way toward the anchor. As it makes way a new catenary forms and you take out that and the boat using the wight of the catenary move forward to the anchor. By the time the bow is over the anchor the boat is moving with enough speed to lift the shank and break out the anchor.

Of course if the wind is strong enough the boat will not make way and your windlass is resisting the wind pressure on the boat and the weight of the catenary. Then you may need to motor forward toward the anchor, take up the chain and break it free by raising the shank to vertical with the windlass.

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post #24 of 65 Old 01-01-2019
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Re: Windless usage

Agree if you are cruising an electric makes more sense and is safer.
Agree the boat not the windlass should break the anchor free.
Believe the windlass should never be moving the boat. The windlass should only be picking up chain. Even so think many production boats have undersized equipment.
We do what we can to protect our windlass including using snubbers even in mild conditions.
We have a 20’ long wire to the hand held control. Wish I also had switches on the binnacle.
Not infrequently have 150-200’ of chain out. Even without the weight of the rocna that’s hundreds of pounds. No way I’m bringing that up in minutes. Take me an hour with a couple of rest breaks.
So I think once you get up to the average size of a cruising boat (40-50’) you better be electric or hydraulic.
If the thing failed I would bring a line from an electric primary to the chain. Tie a trucker hitch and pull up a segment. Then repeat. The windlass has a hole for a winch handle. Believe it will remain virgin.

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post #25 of 65 Old 01-01-2019
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Re: Windless usage

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....
We do what we can to protect our windlass including using snubbers even in mild conditions.
....
I put one turn of slack chain around a cleat, so if snubber failed the windlass would not take the load
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post #26 of 65 Old 01-01-2019
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Re: Windless usage

RU good idea except chain won’t easily fit to cleat it. Have given thought to a chain stop like you see on powerboats. Have spent scary time at the helm running the engine when it’s blowing dogs off of their chains trying to decrease stresses on ground tackle. No fun at all.

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post #27 of 65 Old 01-01-2019
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Re: Windless usage

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There are any number of scenarios one can construct that will lead to a bad cruising day. What about when your electric fails in the same scenario as Capta’s? While most electrics can theoretically be operated manually, most are not designed to do so. The ones I’ve tried to operate manually are pretty useless in that mode.

Point is, you can always find an extreme case where things end badly.
Mike, this is not a constructed scenario. This happens on a rather irregular basis and it often happens when a big squall or front goes by. In most places, one anchors for the prevailing wind, and should a front or squall pass over that lee anchorage can become a windward anchorage PDQ.
Any proper windlass is designed with an emergency back up that is equal to its manual counterpart. Check out Lofranz windlasses. If someone purchases the cheapest electric they can find, then perhaps there is no good manual mode, but any quality small boat electric windlass is going to have a decent manual mode.

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Last edited by capta; 01-01-2019 at 09:34 AM.
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post #28 of 65 Old 01-01-2019
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Re: Windless usage

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RU good idea except chain won’t easily fit to cleat it. Have given thought to a chain stop like you see on powerboats. Have spent scary time at the helm running the engine when it’s blowing dogs off of their chains trying to decrease stresses on ground tackle. No fun at all.
If a stop is meant to take a load then must be very beefy. I think most are just used to secure anchor when underway.

A strop run thru a link and to a cleat would be quick. Large eye splices on each end
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post #29 of 65 Old 01-01-2019
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Re: Windless usage

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I put one turn of slack chain around a cleat, so if snubber failed the windlass would not take the load
Snubber failing for me would be a very very very unlikely event. Snubber could come off chain but as it's a longish reef hook that is very unlikely. Either of the two bits of hardware could fail... the oversized SS shackle in an eye splice... or the ss reef hook or the eye spice of the 1" braid on brain line itself. I seriously don't expect any of these.

Unless you're in a very stiff breeze the chain wants to assume a catenary.,, and it's more than likely under normal conditions the chain is lying on the bottom at the anchor or partially buried as the anchor digs in.

As Out notes you should NEVER need to pull the boat to the anchor. The windlass only removes the catenary, shortening the chain and scope and that is what creates forward motion of the boat/

+++

As I single hand I have an chain UP and DN toggle switch in the cockpit next to my AP "mini helm" and a short reach to the engine throttle lever.

When I do remotely raise the anchor I can tell when the anchor has broken free as the windlass speeds up. I will often begin the process from the bow removing the snubber making some way with the AP on and the engine in idle. When the scope is down to maybe 2:1 I return to the cockpit and finish raising the chain and then add some throttle and steer off to where I need to go.

In a crowded anchorage with little wind it's important to control the helm when the anchor is up as you can run into the boat anchored in front of you. It's not uncommon in a crowded anchorage for boats to anchor and fall back to rest over the anchor of another boat. Think Newport anchorage. If the other boat owner is on deck he may have to move forward or fend off. But you need to be prepared to control your boat with the motor and the helm.

I find getting the anchor off in a crowded anchor and avoiding other anchored boats can be challenging. So retrieval is as important as setting your hook!

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post #30 of 65 Old 01-01-2019
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Re: Windless usage

Our electric LoFrans has been terrific. It runs on a dedicated 24v bank. Power up and down. Each 50ft in about 35 seconds. 300 ft of 1/2" G4 chain.

Failures have not included the windlass itself, per se. I did blow a breaker once, but that was easily remedied. The biggest failure is from the chain castling in the locker and falling over on itself, making it impossible to deploy. Not the windlass fault, but said breaker trip was from the bowman trying to force it.

I like the remote control at the helm. In benign conditions I can drop and weigh anchor solo.

As for the control at the bow, I despise foot controls. I most other situations, like automobiles, airplanes, etc, I swear they would be outlawed. Too dangerous. We have a wired controller than lives under the v-berth hatch. Admittedly, that's not awesome, if it's pouring rain, as one needs to open the hatch to access it. However, I can do the job from the cockpit, even if someone is on the bow monitoring and giving instructions as the chain measurements go by.


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