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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Home UK Midlands / Boat Croatia
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    20,304

    Default Dufour anchor chain routing which seems destined to fail

    We were sitting in the cockpit enjoying the morning sun today, when a charter Dufour 50 came drifting past us from the bow about 20 feet away on our starboard side. The anchor chain was hanging down as the boat drifted backwards so I was slightly concerned that they were going to catch our anchor chain so I stood up to see what was going on. There were 3 Austrian couples on board and one of the ladies explained that they were having problems with their windlass and did we have any tools on board.

    I grabbed the toolbox whilst my Son lowered the dinghy and fired up the outboard and we nipped across. We went aboard and went up to the bow with the toolbox. When I saw the Dufour anchor chain routing I was gobsmacked!

    The chain (certainly 10mm like ours and possibly 12 mm) comes over the bow roller and stretched horizontally to a pulley mounted on the side of the locker. It goes over and around the top of the pulley and heads back to the bow at about 45 degrees where it engages with the windlass gypsy which had a vertical spindle. Yes, that's right, the approach angle to the gypsy is unfair by 45 degrees.

    The chain then goes right around the gypsy 360 degrees and drops down into a hole into the chain locker. On top of this windlass in a metal plate casting which cover the run of the chain round the front edge of the gypsy and extends aft beyond the hole which the chain drops down.

    This metal plate is completely detached and is in the hands of the Guy sitting at the bow. I take a look at the plate and it is bolted down onto the windlass with two Allen machine screws which have both sheared flush with the casing. I take one look and say that unfortunately the tools are not going to help but what happens if you run the windlass without the plate. The Guy explains that without the plate the chain pushes upwards and the whole thing jams. However, his English is not great and I realise that it's going to be very difficult to explain that I think the chain is forming a pyramid in the locker and that appears to have sheared the bolts and forced off the top plate.

    I'm not even sure where access is to the chain locker and I think that "pushing over the pyramid" is going to required some serious translation so I say that we have to keep the plate in place whilst the windlass operates and the Guy suggests that he stands on the plate whilst someone operates the windlass. As his toes are right above the chain where it enters the gypsy, in fact because of the entry angle, it is rubbing on the sole of his shoe, I suggest that he operates the windlass control.

    He does this and is being shaken up and down as the chain rattles in until the anchor appears and they are off back to the charter company. I think that it is their last day anyway. They offer us a bottle of wine which we try and refuse as we didn't actually do anything but they insist.

    They were lovely people but whoever from Dufour designed that convoluted chain routing should be taken out and shot.

    Richard

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,004

    Default Re: Dufour anchor chain routing which seems destined to fail

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
    ... whoever from Dufour designed that convoluted chain routing should be taken out and shot.

    Richard
    Come now, that seems a bit severe. Wouldn't a sound flogging suffice?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    East Sussex.
    Posts
    21,411

    Default Re: Dufour anchor chain routing which seems destined to fail

    I wonder if Dufour designed anything so crazy as described? It appears to me to be more like a lash up done by the charter company, possibly because they had to replace a failed horizontal spindle windlass, and did not have one to hand.
    Working on immortality - One day at a time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Home UK Midlands / Boat Croatia
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    20,304

    Default Re: Dufour anchor chain routing which seems destined to fail

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman_E View Post
    I wonder if Dufour designed anything so crazy as described? It appears to me to be more like a lash up done by the charter company, possibly because they had to replace a failed horizontal spindle windlass, and did not have one to hand.
    That's certainly possible, although I didn't see any blanked off bolt holes anywhere. Presumably if it is a Dufour design then someone else on here would have seen it before?

    Richard

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    East Sussex.
    Posts
    21,411

    Default Re: Dufour anchor chain routing which seems destined to fail

    I saw a Dufour 50 leave here today, and haul its anchor. I could not see the windlass but everything looked normal with just one man stood on the foredeck watching and working the control and the chain coming in without drama.
    Working on immortality - One day at a time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Emsworth Hants
    Posts
    12,573

    Default Re: Dufour anchor chain routing which seems destined to fail

    We have charterd Dufours many times but have never seen an angled chain. To stop a chain pyramid Jane used to flake the chain as it came in.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Caribbean
    Posts
    2,412

    Default Re: Dufour anchor chain routing which seems destined to fail

    Quote Originally Posted by KellysEye View Post
    We have charterd Dufours many times but have never seen an angled chain. To stop a chain pyramid Jane used to flake the chain as it came in.
    If you need to flake the chain as it goes in then you are one of many people with a poorly designed anchor locker. We have never flaked the chain and never needed to. It comes up and it goes down, end of story

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Home - Sothampton, Boat - Gosport
    Posts
    10,316

    Default Re: Dufour anchor chain routing which seems destined to fail

    Quote Originally Posted by geem View Post
    If you need to flake the chain as it goes in then you are one of many people with a poorly designed anchor locker. We have never flaked the chain and never needed to. It comes up and it goes down, end of story
    As does mine, which is just as well, as there's no access to the chain locker from on deck. The same isn't true for a friend's Starlight, which requires someone to poke the pile of chain in the locker with a broomstick every few metres. At least there's a lid that allows access to do it.

    Getting back to the OP, this sounds like a bodge to get a charter boat back out earning money.
    Steve
    Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sydney, Australia.
    Posts
    5,479

    Default Re: Dufour anchor chain routing which seems destined to fail

    As described its a very complicated bodge.

    Jonathan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    East Sussex.
    Posts
    21,411

    Default Re: Dufour anchor chain routing which seems destined to fail

    Quote Originally Posted by KellysEye View Post
    We have charterd Dufours many times but have never seen an angled chain. To stop a chain pyramid Jane used to flake the chain as it came in.
    On my Jeanneau the chain will all come in now that I have new chain. The old chain was so rough surfaced that it built a tall pyramid that needed knocking over a couple of times to avoid it building right up to the windlass. I still keep a stout wooden pole in the anchor locker to redistribute the chain if needed.
    Working on immortality - One day at a time.

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