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Senior Member
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19,484 Posts
Never seen one.. and when you think about it, the 'throw' of a hand-operated manual windlass and its lever is quite a bit longer than you'd comfortably achieve raising your foot - so such a windlass would likely be much slower than the current versions...

Lol. I am getting a mental image of an exercise bicycle with a chain/rope gypsy.
Get some cardio exercise and raise your anchor at the same time.
Jib clearance could be an issue while sailing.. ;)
 

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Master Mariner
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9,410 Posts
I kinda get a picture of someone trying to balance on one foot while the boat is rocking a bit and using the other to operate the windlass. Or trying to get the anchor up in a 40 or 50 knot squall, again trying to balance on one foot. LOL
Probably a perfect solution for a member of Cirque du Soleil, but for most of us sailors, not so much.
Get an electric windlass and then you can use your foot to push the button.
 

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67 Posts
I like the idea of a removable system that plugs into a very low-profile vertical windlass at the top. It would require handholds so you don't push yourself backwards. Perhaps nylon straps with rigid handles like TRX workout systems. A polymer base with non-marring pads to make the system stable. And foldable, so it takes up very little room in the lazarette.

Tankersteve
 

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898 Posts
Good idea. Legs are far more powerful than arms. Invent it. Probably needs some kind of hand bar to steady oneself with. It's going to be a challenge to make one that is not a complex mess, that's the trick. Is there anything more awkward on a boat than a bicycle? Aside from three-legged stools and naval officers.

On a larger boat, one might have a pedal-driven hydraulic pump in the cockpit. Could run the windlass, winches, bilge pump, what else? Kinda cool. Kinda awkward.
 

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5,111 Posts
Good idea. Legs are far more powerful than arms. Invent it. Probably needs some kind of hand bar to steady oneself with. It's going to be a challenge to make one that is not a complex mess, that's the trick. Is there anything more awkward on a boat than a bicycle? Aside from three-legged stools and naval officers.

On a larger boat, one might have a pedal-driven hydraulic pump in the cockpit. Could run the windlass, winches, bilge pump, what else? Kinda cool. Kinda awkward.
Already been done, by Loick Peyron on BANQUE POPULAIRE in the recent Route du Rhum, among a couple of other competitors on the gigantic tris...

Definitely has the look of something Union Pacific should try to re-invent, however...

:))

 

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Barquito
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3,887 Posts
Doesn't seem like it needs to be too complicated. All that would be required is that a reciprocating lever that is used for raising anchor with arm power, would have a step about mid-way for foot use. If stability is a problem, then switch it the longer part and use arms. Would need to be spring loaded enough to return to the up position. The action would be like a stepping machine, only with one leg.

This reminds me of a trip we took on a windjammer (Louis R. French). They have a two person windlass. I was pumping away with an older gentleman, and in the course of conversation he mentioned that he had postponed a cardiac cath to go on this trip!
 
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