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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    on the move
    Posts
    373

    Default Electric windlass

    I originally thought that the exercise would do me good, but have come to the conclusion that raising my anchor by hand is actually going to give me a heart attack. So an electric windlass it is.

    Has anybody any recommendations, plus things I should look for. The boat is 12.5 tonne and 11.5 m.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Boat near Oban, home near Edinburgh
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: Electric windlass

    I had the same experience when I bought Rumbuster (36ft, wooden, 9te). Only 8mm chain and hauling up the anchor is all part of the classic boat experience isn't it ? (it was on the previous boat - a Folkboat). A year or so of pulling up the chain lead to the fitting of a Quick electric windlass and the crew have been extremely pleased with it ! Quick were at the cheaper end of the range but it is compact and has been reliable. Went for 1000W vertical arrangement and it is more than powerful enough.
    Martin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    29,098

    Default Re: Electric windlass

    Your choice will depend on the size of your anchoring gear, the specific layout of your boat, and the depth of you pocket. You will need a minimum of 1000w and the main choice is vertical or horizontal axis. Choice depends on the layout of your foredeck and chain locker.

    Have a look at the Lofrans range as these are probably the most popular at a reasonable price. There is plenty of information on their website to help you decide which model will suit you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sydney, Australia.
    Posts
    3,110

    Default Re: Electric windlass

    We had a Muir Atlantic for 17 years, with which we were satisfied. We replaced it with a Maxwell, RC8-6, which appears much better, but then technology has changed (or moved on). Both were/are 1,000 watts - the Muir was lifting 8mm chain the Maxwell 6mm chain. The Maxwell lifts much faster than did the Muir. The Maxwell service has been exceptional, Muir pretty average - though this is in Australia, might be different in other locations. The Maxwell will be easier to service, but this is part of the development over the last 17 years.

    Installation of the Maxwell was pretty easy. Instructions pretty foolproof and sufficient.

    When you check prices - you will need a solenoid, circuit breaker and deck switches or remote - plus some pretty hefty cables. Some will quote with circuit breaker, solenoid and a switch, some without - make sure you compare like with like.

    You may need to build some form of support on which to house your choice, again it is not difficult, but your existing deck might not be adequate. Windlass can take a hefty load (I think our Maxwell has a static load limit of 1.2t), when you try to retrieve in a bit of a chop (though unlikely to be near the static load limit!)

    Jonathan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    16,871

    Default Re: Electric windlass

    Our boat is only 5 tons, but the anchor is 45lb. Our Lofrans 1000w has worked fine over eighteen seasons. It is essential to have a down function as well as an up. Although this is normal, there have been occasional exceptions.
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Hopefully somewhere warm
    Posts
    6,929

    Default Re: Electric windlass

    Quote Originally Posted by Neeves View Post
    When you check prices - you will need a solenoid, circuit breaker and deck switches or remote - plus some pretty hefty cables.
    And a wonderfully useful device to add is a cheap remote control off ebay, up/down from anywhere on the boat with a remote hung round your neck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Suffolk
    Posts
    4,688

    Default Re: Electric windlass

    Another thing to consider when making a choice is whether to have a simple "Chain gypsy only" type of windlass, or one with a warping drum as well to handle rope separately from the chain.

    I had a SL Seawolf on my last boat which had a warping drum and found it very useful, not least when hoisting the furling genoa single handed, as by feeding the halyard onto the drum I could operate the windlass deck switch with my knee, feed the sail into the luff groove with one hand whilst the other hand kept the tension on the halyard.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    On board Rampage.
    Posts
    4,285

    Default Re: Electric windlass

    Quote Originally Posted by GHA View Post
    And a wonderfully useful device to add is a cheap remote control off ebay, up/down from anywhere on the boat with a remote hung round your neck
    +1 on this. Yes, fit a wired handset as a backup but the wireless remote just makes things simple. It also makes dropping or recovering the anchor easy when single handing, as you can control the windlass from where else you need to be on the boat.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Med
    Posts
    3,980

    Default Re: Electric windlass

    We just frittered an Lofrans Cayman , and we did have our share of problems , you can read about it on the PBO forum .
    We had a solenoid that melted and the thing just kept tripping the breaker 100A that is recommended by Lofrans , it took a while to sort it all out in the end it turned out that one of the short wires that are build into the motor had a short but it also turned out that the 100A breaker just wasn't man enough and would trip as soon as Any strain was put on the chain .
    Although the advise here was not to put a bigger breaker on seven different company some in the UK some in Greece and one in Italy have said they always fit between and 120 and a 140A breaker on the Lofrans so in the end we change the breaker to an 120A and so far so good . But it was a long and expenses learning curve .
    Warning forumite dyslexia near by
    www.bluewatersailorcroatia.webs.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    5,801

    Default Re: Electric windlass

    Quote Originally Posted by johnalison View Post
    Our boat is only 5 tons, but the anchor is 45lb. Our Lofrans 1000w has worked fine over eighteen seasons. It is essential to have a down function as well as an up. Although this is normal, there have been occasional exceptions.
    Not sure why you say that is essential to have a down function. Our last boat, which was big, and with which we must have anchored thousands of times, had no "down" function. Gravity never failed us.

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