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Old 06-11-2017, 07:45 PM   #1
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Anchor Windlass Stuck (won't let down)

New to us Grand Banks 42. Anchor windlass will ratchet chain up but will not let down.

I assume there is a brake that is stuck, but don't really know how to approach the repair.

Don't know brand or model number, attaching pictures.

Is it repairable? Or time to replace? If so, with what? We don't anchor often, but had to do an emergency anchoring a couple of weeks ago and almost lost a finger pulling out the chain by hand and dropping the anchor.

Thanks!
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Old 06-11-2017, 08:06 PM   #2
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The brake is that slotted wheel on the right hand side. Insert handle, pull towards you and it should let the chain slide out. However, this is not the fix unless it is a one way solenoid. It should power up and down.
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Old 06-11-2017, 08:08 PM   #3
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... pull towards you and it should let the chain slide out.
OK, tried that and it is definitely stuck. Not sure how to proceed...
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Old 06-11-2017, 08:16 PM   #4
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big hammer
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Old 06-11-2017, 08:19 PM   #5
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First lift the chain off the chain gypsy so that there is no load on the windlass. Then see if it runs forward and reverse. If it does then the next step is to see if the chain is fouled in the chain locker preventing the windlass from pulling it out. Always wear a good pair of heavy gloves when working with the windlass or chain.
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Old 06-11-2017, 08:20 PM   #6
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The brake works on friction. Back the nut almost off and you should be able to push it through to the port side. If not, a little 'persuasion' might be required. It seems it is frozen and requires cleaning.
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Old 06-11-2017, 09:19 PM   #7
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That is a manual windlass.
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Old 06-11-2017, 09:31 PM   #8
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That is a manual windlass.
Forget my advice.
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:02 PM   #9
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That is a manual windlass.
a VERY OLD manual windlass. My money is on that windlass not being used for a long long time, so the brake probably is siezed. You need a very big hammer.
Before resorting to the "Brute Force & Ignorance" solution, bathe the brake in penetrating oil or even WD40 for a few days, then try again at releasing it.
Once you get it turning, it is simplicity and should give you another 40 yrs service.
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:14 PM   #10
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Remove it from the boat if you have a shop or a shop equipped friend and do the work there.
Use of a penetrating oil and some waiting should help.
A torch at some point can often help break corrosion bond.
Some mechanical shock along with the penetrant may break the corrosion bond allowing the penetrant to, penetrate.
Do NOT hit directly but use a block of solid wood or chunk of aluminum. The blocks will protect the windlass from the direct hammer blows which will do damage.
Do not get impatient. Impatience could damage it forcing replacement unless you want to replace.

I suspect that thing will out last you if given some care.
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Old 06-12-2017, 01:27 AM   #11
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Luckily that is bronze so the windlass is very repairable. It looks easy to remove and you should because it is sitting on what looks like an aluminum plate, but even if its stainless you should check under it for corrosion.

Nice windlass but probably rarely serviced.
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Old 06-12-2017, 01:35 AM   #12
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It is a Plath 7B manual windlass. They are still manufactured and serviced in Sandy, Oregon, USA.

RC Plath Company - Metal Spinning Since 1926

http://www.rcplathco.com/catalog/pla...ne_catalog.pdf
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Old 06-12-2017, 03:19 AM   #13
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That's a nice manual windlass.It just needs some good cleaning and oiling .
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Old 06-12-2017, 05:38 AM   #14
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That is a manual windlass.
My bad! Sorry I didn't pay more attention!
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:35 AM   #15
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This seems so obvious that I hate to mention it. There is probably a stop that engages somewhere. It is to stop the shaft from freewheeling and take the load off the clutch when under load at anchor or when raising the anchor. It probably engages either the bottom of the capstan or that area between the capstan and the main body. It is probably a pawl that swings out to disengage.

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Old 06-12-2017, 08:42 AM   #16
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"and take the load off the clutch when under load at anchor"

Pawl or no pawl, the windlass is to bring up the anchor , not to hang the boat on.
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:43 AM   #17
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Stupid question perhaps, but is there a ratchet dog (pawl) to prevent the windlass running out? If so, make sure it is not in the down "locked" position. You will hear the ratchet clicking as you raise anchor if in wrong position for releasing (dropping) anchor.
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Old 06-12-2017, 10:06 AM   #18
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Looks like you are missing the release handle to unlock the latch for deployment. It might be stored on the boat somewhere.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:32 AM   #19
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You can see the pawl in the first picture. Between the body of the windlass and the chain gypsy there are some dogging notches, at the front of the windlass, right next to the SS shackle, is a SS bolt for a pivot for the pawl that goes down and forward to catch in those dogging notches.

Lift the pawl, keeping your fingers clear, then use the operating lever to undo the clutch wheel on the far right. When it releases it will do it suddenly and you can learn to control it smoother over time.

They might be manual but are long lived and almost flawless. Always use something else to tie your rode to. The windlass is not designed to hold the load, it is designed to lift an unlaiden anchor and rode.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:59 AM   #20
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Yes, get a chain hook and a length of rope to secure the anchor and chain so the weight/forces are on something other than the windlass/gypsy. Makes working on it easier and safer too.
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