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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Anchor thread with a lesson

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
    That's correct. We have 100m of 10mm chain and a 25kg anchor, the same as Vic. It's the Moorings version of the Leopard 40 with the larger fuel and water tanks.

    Richard
    If its ex charter, or built and commissioned for charter - that would explain the 10mm chain.

    I have a friend having a 50' Freeflow built in Thailand, the specification was 10mm chain - he had 100m of HT 8mm made and I think another 15m for the spare rode. He saves almost 100kg. He has a Anchor Right steel and alloy Excel anchor - but I don't recall the weight (but nothing exceptional (either heavy or light). The Lightwave 38s here, a good bit smaller than the difference implied against your 40', are generally equiped with 8mm chain - which is why I asked.

    We have a couple of Lagoon 40's moored near us - and they are enormous compared to ours.

    Length, alone, is deceptive.

    We did look at the Leopards, we went round the R&C factory, but they are not geared for customisation. Nice yachts nonetheless.

    Jonathan

  2. #62
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    Default Re: Anchor thread with a lesson

    One of the few things that I really miss from our previous bigger boat, is the hydraulic windlass. With that you just set the relief valve (return to tank) to whatever you wanted, and the windlass could then keep pulling for as long as needed, with nothing to trip out. Not really applicable for smaller boats unfortunately. Mine was a 140lb anchor with about 90m of 5/8" chain. Not stuff to be messed with.

  3. #63
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    Default Re: Anchor thread with a lesson

    Quote Originally Posted by sailaboutvic View Post
    @ Noelex
    I try and make this short reply.
    I am happy to help. However, I would encourage others to posts suggestions. The power of sailing forums such as this one is collective minds are much better than any single individual especially with these less than straightforward problems.

    Firstly, I agree your anchor winch does seem to be underperforming. It is not clear how much the old anchor that you caught weighed, but if I guess at 50 kg then the total weight the windlass was lifting was 25kg for your bower anchor plus the 16m of 10mm chain. This gives a total weight (in air) of around 137 kg. It will be a little bit less in water.

    50kg is about 22m of 10m chain so another way of looking at the weight is it the equivalent of your regular anchor and 16+22m =38m of chain. Dropping the anchor and chain in 38m puts a reasonable load on the windlass, as the 137 kg number suggests, but a good windlass for your boat without any electrical problems should be able to handle this weight without too much trouble.

    My guesstimation of 50kg may be wildly out. It is also possible that the anchor was caught, requiring power to free the grip, but the dragging suggests otherwise. If my understanding is correct, and my estimated weight is in the right ball park, the windlass should have coped without repeatedly tripping the breaker.

    The specification of 1000w motor for the windlass is a little light for your sized boat. Motor power consumption is difficult to specify and the results from one manufacturer cannot be easily directly compared to another manufacturer with perhaps different test criterion. I suspect some manufacturers inflate their windlass motor ratings to help sales. Then there are also significant differences between gearing and between series and permanently wound electric motors. These factors means motor size is only part of the consideration.

    One of the most powerful electric anchor winches available for 12v is the Maxwell 3500 model. A number of larger cruising boats with 50kg+ anchors and 12mm chain use this model. It only has a 1200w motor.

    So we should not dismiss the possibility that the winch motor is a little wimpy, but let’s hope it is a simple electrical issue, as this will be easier and cheaper to fix.

    The first test for anyone with this type of problem is to measure the voltage at the windlass terminals when the windlass is under load. The last bit “when under load” is vital. I assume that this was this “drop test” you referred to. I am sure the professionals you have had look at this problem will have done this test, but it is so important in realising what is happening that you may consider repeating this test yourself. It is possible that there has been an intermittent problem that has been missed when the testing was done.

    You have already replaced the solenoid, the circuit breaker and tried alternative wiring, which does not leave much. Automotive electrical technicians are very adept at testing electric motors, as they deal all day with alternators and starter motors. These are ideal people to look at windlass motor to see if there is a problem such as sticking brushes but once again it sounds like these inspections have been done.

    The improvement you have noticed when changing from an 80A circuit breaker to a 100A model is interesting. I suspect that the change was probably due to 80A breaker developing some pitting and degradation of the contact points. This heats up the circuit breaker and it therefore trips at lower value than should do. The new 100A breaker would have been an improvement in this case , not so much just because of the extra 20A rating but rather the newer contact points.

    How did the windlass sound just before the breaker tripped? To trip the breaker the windlass should really be struggling with an obviously much slower retrieval speed than normal. If this was not the case, a new circuit breaker would be worth considering. Obviously this is a very subjective test with no quantifiable data.

    A clamp on ammeter, especially one with a peak recording feature, would be helpful. A clamp on ammeter is a very useful piece of equipment, so if you do not have one it worth considering adding this to your equipment. Unfortunately, the models with peak recording function tend to be more expensive. To test the real life trip value of the circuit breaker would involve deliberately overloading the winch perhaps by dropping the anchor in slighter deeper water. I can understand you would not be keen to do this.

    I hope the above is of some help and a solution can be found. Electrical problems are very common. The rated maximium pull of 1250kg means it should be a reasonably powerful windlass. I had a windlass with the same rating on a previous boat and it managed a 55 kg anchor and 50m of 13mm chain. You have already taken most the steps to try and fix the problem, which of course is admirable, but unfortunately this suggests the possibility that anchor winch itself, while working most of the time, does not have much reserve capacity left despite the manufacturer’s rating.

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Anchor thread with a lesson

    @Noelex ( anyone else with any good input too )
    Thanks for your suggestion ,
    All help welcome , I really like to sort the problem out, but just replaces stuff isn't the answer unless we know that the cause of the problem .

    Answer to your question , yes the windlass was starting to slow down before it trip .

    Something to take inconsiderate is you can turn the breaker back on immediately and it will work again and you can keep doing this One would think if t.he breaker works on heat it would need some time to cool down .

    I have a 400A clump meter on board and willing to give it another go .
    Would you agree , while the anchor is set , if I let out say 80 mts of chain then keep the boat in astern under power that would put enough strain on the windlass while hauling in to get a good reading from the windlass end of both the v- v+ the cables ?
    Before the breaker trip , if it does trip .
    Warning forumite dyslexia near by
    www.bluewatersailorcroatia.webs.com

  5. #65
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    Default Re: Anchor thread with a lesson

    Quote Originally Posted by sailaboutvic View Post
    Would you agree , while the anchor is set , if I let out say 80 mts of chain then keep the boat in astern under power that would put enough strain on the windlass while hauling in to get a good reading from the windlass end of both the v- v+ the cables ?
    Before the breaker trip , if it does trip .
    That is a great idea. I would certainly not recommend this force as a normal procedure for the windlass, but as a test it should put on enough load to help decide what is occurring. It is much better than my idea of dropping the anchor in deeper water, as once the reverse power is cut the force drops the anchor can be retrieved normally.

    If someone can monitor the voltage at the anchor winch where the wires enter the motor, and the current with a clamp on meter, hopefully the force may even be enough to trip the breaker. This information will show the voltage directly at the anchor winch under load, and also if the breaker is tripping at a lower current than it should be.

    However, I would caution that not surprisingly I have never tried retrieving the chain with the engine in reverse. We did suffer a complete engine failure in our previous boat and sailed a couple of months without an engine before a replacement could be arranged. This, on occasion, demanded retrieving the anchor in stronger wind without engine assistance. Not something that was ideal, but perhaps not totally dissimilar to your test.

    Nevertheless, I would try increasing the reverse power in slow increments. As well as the voltage and current measurments I would also monitoring the temperature of the windlass motor, wires, solenoid and connections. This will check none of the components are overheating, but the temperature may even help find the source of the problem. Any components, and especially conections that becoming excessively hot are a sign the voltage drop is higher than it should be.

    Good luck, and let the forum know what the test revealed. This may help someone with similar issues in the future.
    Last edited by noelex; 11-07-19 at 19:00.

  6. #66
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    Default Re: Anchor thread with a lesson

    It's beer time now so it's a job for to morrow , if we do t decide to move on .
    But I will report back with the hope between everyone we can find the problem .

    Only thing I will say , I can't agree the windlass isn't man enough for what it used for , as your cal show it's hardly lifting anything near it should , and of cause as a rule it's only ever lifting the weight of the dangling chain and anchor has we always slowly motor forward so it's not ever pulling the weight of the boat . And that weight is nothing compared to the over 1200 kg they give .
    Anyway good evening all and thanks again .
    Warning forumite dyslexia near by
    www.bluewatersailorcroatia.webs.com

  7. #67
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    Default Re: Anchor thread with a lesson

    Quote Originally Posted by sailaboutvic View Post
    Only thing I will say , I can't agree the windlass isn't man enough for what it used for , as your cal show it's hardly lifting anything near it should , and of cause as a rule it's only ever lifting the weight of the dangling chain and anchor has we always slowly motor forward so it's not ever pulling the weight of the boat . And that weight is nothing compared to the over 1200 kg they give .
    I think you are totally correct in concluding that the windlass is not performing as it should be.

    However, the 1200 kg is a “maximium load”. The “working load” or “continuous load” of a windlass such as this is not listed on the Lofrans’ site (at least I cannot find the information) but it will be significantly lower.

    As I cannot find data from Lofrans let us look at the similar and well respected Muir VRC 2500. This has a maximium load of 1136 kg so is in a similar class to your Lofrans windlass. The working load of this windlass is 284 kg. So there is a very significant difference between the maximium instantaneous peak load at stall (at stall no chain can be retrieved) which is listed on the brochure and what the windlass can deliver as real world working load.

    This 284 kg is measured at the windlass. The 90° change of direction at the bow roller reduces the available force further, especially with a small diameter bow roller. Muir do not specify the voltage where the 284 kg was recorded, but it is likely to be 12v or even 13.8v. The actual voltage in practice at the windlass terminals, even with a good installation will be lower. This has a significant effect (which is why electrical problems, even a small voltage drop from a bad connection, can effect the windlass). Electric motors do not like lower voltages.

    So there is every expectation that your anchor winch should not have struggled with my guestimated 137kg load, but the 1200 kg specification while technically correct for the stall load is long way from the real world power that can be expected in practice.
    Last edited by noelex; 11-07-19 at 20:00.

  8. #68
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    Default Re: Anchor thread with a lesson

    Quote Originally Posted by noelex View Post
    I think you are totally correct in concluding that the windlass is not performing as it should be.

    However, the 1200 kg is a “maximium load”. The “working load” or “continuous load” of a windlass such as this is not listed on the Lofrans’ site (at least I cannot find the information) but it will be significantly lower.

    As I cannot find data from Lofrans let us look at the similar and well respected Muir VRC 2500. This has a maximium load of 1136 kg so is in a similar class to your Lofrans windlass. The working load of this windlass is 284 kg. So there is a very significant difference between the maximium instantaneous peak load at stall (at stall no chain can be retrieved) which is listed on the brochure and what the windlass can deliver as real world working load.

    This 284 kg is measured at the windlass. The 90° change of direction at the bow roller reduces the available force further, especially with a small diameter bow roller. Muir do not specify the voltage where the 284 kg was recorded, but it is likely to be 12v or even 13.8v. The actual voltage in practice at the windlass terminals, even with a good installation will be lower. This has a significant effect (which is why electrical problems, even a small voltage drop from a bad connection, can effect the windlass). Electric motors do not like lower voltages.

    So there is every expectation that your anchor winch should not have struggled with my guestimated 137kg load, but the 1200 kg specification while technically correct for the stall load is long way from the real world power that can be expected in practice.
    Ok I came across this ....
    Max pull
    It is the maximum pull that a windlass can provide for a few seconds. This is measured by a dynamometer put between the gipsy and the bow roller. The greater this value the more the windlass is able to get the anchor afloat.
    This value does not coincide with the maximum lifting ability of the windlass, which is influenced by some factors, e.g. using a medium quality bow roller and with a working angle of 90 degrees, the real maximum lifting ability is approximately half of the maximum pull.

    Current draw
    The values are reliable during the recovery of the chain under normal conditions. Even the current draw changes according to the load being lifted. A brief peak of current, superior of what indicated, it is possible when you get the anchor afloat.

    So if I read this correctly it should still haul up at less 700 kg , ?
    Last edited by sailaboutvic; 11-07-19 at 20:10.
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  9. #69
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    Default Re: Anchor thread with a lesson

    The force available from the anchor winch depends on factors such as duration, voltage etc.

    Most of the anchor winch manufacturers have rules of thumb that will estimate the size of anchor winch needed for reliable performance.

    For example, Maxwell advise taking the total weight of the ground tackle and multiplying this number by three to determine the required anchor winch size (using the maximum pull specification).

    So in your example your ground tackle weight is: (sorry I don’t remember seeing your chain length listed, but let’s assume it is the same as Richard’s, 100m) 100m of 10mm chain weighs about 230 kg. There is also your 25kg anchor. So the total ground tackle weight is 255 kg.

    3 x 255 = 765 kg. So a Maxwell windlass with a 1200 kg rating would be within specifications.

    Different manufacturers have slightly different recommendations, but a 1200 kg windlass should be OK for your chain and anchor weight.

    You obviously feel your windlass is not working adequately, and I agree. I think your windlass is a reasonable size and the calculations above support this. This suggests something is wrong with the windlass itself, or other components such as a poor connection, faulty solenoid etc. As you have tested or replaced most of these components finding a solution will not be easy, but the test you suggested is a good start.

  10. #70
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    Default Re: Anchor thread with a lesson

    Electric motors are almost a commodity - used in a huge number of applications. Many windlass makers use the self same motors, from the same manufacturer.

    You appear to have tested all the electrics.

    Have you tested the mechanics of the windlass. It should be easy to open up the gear box (they are easy to take off). Does it turn freely. Does the shaft turn freely - does the shaft turn freely when you manually lift the anchor and chain.

    Looking at most windlass shafts it is almost impossible to damage one - they are commonly beefy. But shaft 'failure' through a lack of servicing is very common (one of the more common issues according to Maxwell). I'm not suggesting you have abused the windlass Vic - suggesting it may have had a mechanical, fault from the outset.

    As you have thrashed the electric to death - I'd look at the mechanics - unless you have done it already (I do note you did mention it had been looked at (the windlass) - have you tried operating it by hand, or rather with a winch handle.

    Jonathan

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