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post #51 of 109 Old 01-02-2020
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Re: What do you actually need on a boat?

Thanks Jeff, I have no doubt your technique works well for you. But you have an extraordinary boat, and more importantly, are exceptionally skilled. I am no where near your equal, and my boat is three times the displacement. I know I can haul up my rode/anchor using either the mast winches or the mains, but my manual windlass is much easier, and much faster.

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Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Considering that an electric windlass would blow my available wattage, I have considered a manual windlass. The main problem I see with either manual or powered is that they seem very slow. There are many times when you need to up anchor swiftly in crowded or narrow spots in order to make a quick turn. I cannot imagine waiting for a windlass to slowly wind up the chain.
Smurphny, clearly you are a lot stronger than I. There is no way I can manually haul up my all-chain rode/anchor (3/8" with my 55# anchor) faster than I can use my windlass -- at least not anchored at any depth. And in a decade of cruising with my manual windlass, where I anchor out most of the time in various challenging conditions, I have never been in a situation which I could not manage.

I say this, not to say you are wrong in your approach -- not at all. I just offer this as my experience with my manual windlass. And like Chef, I have had exactly zero problems with this windlass. I do almost nothing to maintain it -- literally just throw sea water over it on the rare occasions it needs a cleaning. It is original to my 43-year-old boat and just keeps working.

Oh, and you'll appreciate how anchoring is still very tactile with a manual windlass. It is easy to feel what the anchor and rode is doing, while either setting or retrieving. It's one of the reasons I prefer manuals over electrics.

Why go fast, when you can go slow.
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post #52 of 109 Old 01-02-2020
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Re: What do you actually need on a boat?

Im sure its a size thing. Ive pulled up my 60# anchor plus the 20í of chain when it got to 1:1. That was a lot for an old fat man heart attack survivor to do by himself (windlass never breaks if there are crew around). So from that i can say that windlass ISNíT a need as i did it, but ..........

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post #53 of 109 Old 01-02-2020
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Re: What do you actually need on a boat?

@Jeff_H

This was a brilliant post. Thank you for sharing this. It abundantly clear that you are not only a thoughtful and knowledgeable sailor but a wise one and a considerate one. I honor and respect your approach.

My physical challenges came on rather suddenly... almost like an accident. It hardly matters... but although I was not operating with the same physical strength an senses... I was operating a boat I have owned for 35 years and sailed in all over the place in every imaginable condition. Having the capabilities allowed me to do this... mostly single handed and short handed. I learned my boat very well.

I made a conscious decision to use mechanical assists such as AP and windlass. Shiva came to me new with a plaited nylon rode and a CQR. I anchored for several years manually. I was middle aged and strong. But it was hard work. Shiva is 16,000 without all the junk I have added... and she has high freeboard which makes are restless at anchor. I use a steadying sail to calm her down. Because of the windage hauling the anchor can be a strain. It's not the weight of the tackle but the force of the wind on the hull. Unless the boat is making way... I am pulling the boat to the anchor into the breeze.

My decision was informed by the fact that in most cases I am anchored relatively near other boats and at time it too close and beyond my control. I felt I needed a fast way to retrieve, escape or reset the anchor. And this has happened over the years.

My first ground tackle upgrade was to add a manual windlass. It was OK... but a but slow. If I can't get some way on toward the hook it takes a long time to get the anchor up. I was also concerned about chafe on the rode related to the metal bits at the bow below the deck... a problem in wide yawing.

When I decided to cruise the Caribe I fitted an vertical electric windless and went to all chain. The weight of the chain (catenary) will help making way to the hook. But I still need to be in a fairly narrow anchor to wind the chain in. When the angle is OK I press the button and take out the catenary boat moves with decent speed toward the hook until the wind pushed her bow off. I wait until she aligns again and press the up button making more way to the hook.

I fitted some brushed between the cheeks of the bow roller fitting. It knocks off most of the mud. If I use a hose only clean chain enters the anchor locker. LIS is muddy.

When I get close to the anchor the chain is at a steep angle and comes up very quickly. The boats momentum will usually make the boat pass over the hook and break it out. I can see the chain then begin to come up very fast with no resistance. The wind will push the bow off. If I am close to other boats I do the break out from a cockpit switch. Motor is on and transmission in neutral. I set the controls up so I can steer with the AP dial, operate the engine and raise the windlass from a good perch in the cockpit so I can observe the anchor and the close boats. AP is engaged and course set to the anchor location... so it will steer back a bit in the puffs.

I've got this down pretty well and am comfortable with setting and raising the anchor. It's not a chore. I am not tired as I was without a windlass or even with a manual one. Now with knee and back and balance problems anchoring manually is a non starter. I don't expect my body to get stronger but my anchoring technique is hardly impacted. It's second nature to me, And the electric makes it pretty quick in most cases and to me that's a good thing even a safe thing when among other boats.

Picking up a mooring is actually more difficult for me than anchoring... if there is any wind because I need to get the bow close the the mooring, go forward and pull it up and secure the loop without over running it or being blown off. When I have someone at the bow I can get the bow where it needs to be from the cockpit. Alone can be a problem. But it's not a problem to figure out where to drop the hook... let the boat come slowly to the spot and release the anchor even from the cockpit. When the wind catches the bow one side or the other I can see the stern respond as the anchor sets. Chain is marked and I not the depth and lay out the scope I need. If the boat is yawing back and forth the hook is likely set. If not the boat turns a beam to the wind and is pushed dragging not setting the anchor.

I don't how other boats behave when anchoring. I know how mine does. I know when the anchor is set, when it breaks out and so on.

I have have to replace the electric windlass one time in 30 years. I have had no failures until the gears started sounding funky. So I replaced it in 2010 after 20 years of reliable service.

As I am not going back to a hank on head genny... I am not returning to manual anchoring. I don't think my practice makes me lazy... it makes me smart. But sure... mechanical and electrical things will fail at some point.

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post #54 of 109 Old 01-02-2020
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Re: What do you actually need on a boat?

I don't need anything .................................. well maybe this lamp
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post #55 of 109 Old 01-02-2020
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Re: What do you actually need on a boat?

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I don't need anything .................................. well maybe this lamp
And this ashtray, the remote control, and the chair, and the matches. And thatís all I need.


Why go fast, when you can go slow.
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post #56 of 109 Old 01-02-2020
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Re: What do you actually need on a boat?

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Originally Posted by MikeOReilly View Post
Thanks Jeff, I have no doubt your technique works well for you. But you have an extraordinary boat, and more importantly, are exceptionally skilled. I am no where near your equal, and my boat is three times the displacement. I know I can haul up my rode/anchor using either the mast winches or the mains, but my manual windlass is much easier, and much faster.



Smurphny, clearly you are a lot stronger than I. There is no way I can manually haul up my all-chain rode/anchor (3/8" with my 55# anchor) faster than I can use my windlass -- at least not anchored at any depth. And in a decade of cruising with my manual windlass, where I anchor out most of the time in various challenging conditions, I have never been in a situation which I could not manage.

I say this, not to say you are wrong in your approach -- not at all. I just offer this as my experience with my manual windlass. And like Chef, I have had exactly zero problems with this windlass. I do almost nothing to maintain it -- literally just throw sea water over it on the rare occasions it needs a cleaning. It is original to my 43-year-old boat and just keeps working.

Oh, and you'll appreciate how anchoring is still very tactile with a manual windlass. It is easy to feel what the anchor and rode is doing, while either setting or retrieving. It's one of the reasons I prefer manuals over electrics.
I would like to try a manual windlass under real conditions. My only doubt is about the speed on both sides-getting stuck in low gear when I need to get the thing up on deck in a hurry. Can you free-drop your manual windlass and then tension by hand? I guess what I'm asking is : can you disengage to either drop or lift by hand when needed? Don't want to go off point here but I guess choice of anchoring gear falls under the "What do I need" category.

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post #57 of 109 Old 01-02-2020
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Re: What do you actually need on a boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
I would like to try a manual windlass under real conditions. My only doubt is about the speed on both sides-getting stuck in low gear when I need to get the thing up on deck in a hurry. Can you free-drop your manual windlass and then tension by hand? I guess what I'm asking is : can you disengage to either drop or lift by hand when needed? Don't want to go off point here but I guess choice of anchoring gear falls under the "What do I need" category.
Yes. No problem with mine (ABI/Plath bronze), and I think the SL Seatiger 555 is the same. Just disengage the clutch from the gypsy and she freewheels. This is how I lower the anchor, except I can feather it with the clutch handle. This allows me to feel how the anchor is setting up.

And you can certainly go fully hands-on if you want to haul up by hand. No problem. I sometimes do this if I really want to sprint, but I can only do it for a short time.

My windlass is not fast by electric standards, but I've never yet been in a situation where the slower speed was a critical difference.

Why go fast, when you can go slow.
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post #58 of 109 Old 01-02-2020
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Re: What do you actually need on a boat?

I agree it's likely a weight thing. I lived on and coastally cruised first an 8600 pound 30 footer, then a 24000 pound 35 footer. Almost immediately I regretted selling the nimble 30 footer for the system heavy 35, but I did get several years of enjoyment from the bigger boat before I decided to downsize again.

Any way, if I was one or perhaps 2 people looking to liveaboard and cruise coastally like the OP described, something like my old Grampian 30 would be high on my list, although it would likely be a bit newer and have a deisel engine rather than the atomic 4.

The boat didn't have a windlas of any description and certainly didn't need one either. No autopilot, but she balanced well enough she didn't really need one either. She was light and nimble enough to be sailed in and out of dock when the engine acted up, but she was also big enough to take some weather on the chin. Big enough interior with standing headroom, decent forward cabin, nice salon, private head. Single burner alcohol stove as well as a propane bbq. Roller furling headsail and main (the old crank boom style). Only manual pump fresh water. Hot water came from putting a pot on the stove.

Navigation was simple. The only items aside from the starter running off the 12 volt system were VHF, lights and stereo. Navigation was from a monochrome GPS and paper charts.

However, this was a few years back and I would do things a bit differently now. I would add solar. I would upgrade VHF to a AIS receive model and navigation would likely be with a tablet instead of paper.
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post #59 of 109 Old 01-02-2020
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Re: What do you actually need on a boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
I would like to try a manual windlass under real conditions. My only doubt is about the speed on both sides-getting stuck in low gear when I need to get the thing up on deck in a hurry. Can you free-drop your manual windlass and then tension by hand? I guess what I'm asking is : can you disengage to either drop or lift by hand when needed? Don't want to go off point here but I guess choice of anchoring gear falls under the "What do I need" category.
Yes our manual free fails

As far as uptake, it takes about 1 ft in on each arc.....

Since my wife motors forward slowly or I pull forward the first part of raising the anchor, you can just put the rode down the hawse pipe by hand if you want. I usually do that till I get to the 90 ft of chain I have then itís 90 pumps. Less if you have less chain.

We have SL Hyspeed 550 manual windlass

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C...e2QVwHVdGk1BM:



https://www.defender.com/product.jsp?id=540964

https://www.mauriprosailing.com/us/p...UIMVM650H.html

http://www.fujiyachts.net/manuals/S-...20Windlass.pdf








You can pull the boat forward with it, but thatís not necessary.
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post #60 of 109 Old 01-02-2020
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Re: What do you actually need on a boat?

This thread is making simple stuff too complex.

Right what i need on my boat is bread. Tomorrow it may be cheese, or .... rum.

Don't blow air up my rear, be useful and blow it at the sails!
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Last edited by Don L; 01-05-2020 at 02:15 PM.
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