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Old 08-04-2015, 08:07 PM   #41
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One thing my work has showed me over the last bunch of years is that, like it or not, we are well established in a totally global economy. The notion of "Made in USA" or "Made in England" or wherever else one chooses is just about dead. Particularly for complex pieces of machinery be they cars or anchor windlasses.

There is a difference between "Made in USA" and "Assembled in USA" although most manufacturers of consumer products always opt for the former label no matter where the parts are actually made. While I don't know this for a fact, it would not at all surprise me if some components of the "Made in USA" Ideal windlasses are, in fact, from somewhere else.

Boeing airplanes are certainly not "Made in USA." They are assembled here for the most part, but more and more components of them are made in other countries. The entire wing of the 787 is made in Japan, for example. They ship it to us completely assembled in a box. Well, in a Dreamlifter but it's the same idea.

My philosophy is buy the best product I can afford. That's it. I could care less where it's made because chances are it's "made" all over the place. There are parts in a Lofrans windlass that are made in Asia, Eastern Europe, you name it. The windlasses are assembled in Italy and they make a fair amount of the thing from scratch there. But not all of it.

I just bought a new fishing reel for trying a new (to me) style of salmon fishing. Until now, all my fishing reels other than the fly reels have been Penns. Not because they're made in the USA (more and more Penn stuff isn't made here anyway anymore), but because they offered the best value for the money in my opinion.

But after doing a bunch of research and reading lots of industry and user reviews I decided to buy a Shimano reel. This Japanese company has a great reputation and for decades they have been among the top suppliers of high-end bicycle components like gears and shifters and whatnot. So I figured if there's anybody on the planet who knows how to make a small, high-quality gearbox disguised as a fishing reel, it would be the Shimano folks over there in Japan.

So I bought the reel and it is indeed a very high quality piece of equipment. But I was amused to see that it was made in----- Malaysia. I have no problems with this; I just finished a project with a company in Malaisia that makes wing control surface panels for all our airplane models and their work is absolutely stellar. Probably better than would be done here in the US. So I'm delighted that my Shimano reel was made in Malaysia.

But it just goes to show that today EVERYTHING is made where it makes the most economic sense to make it. All the BMW X-vehicles that are sold in the US and this half of half of the planet are put together in South Carolina, not Germany. Nordhavn's are made in Xiamen, China. You can buy Old El Paso Mexican food products in the neighborhood grocery stores in Oslo, Norway. The two most popular brands of vehicles in China are Buick and VW, all of them made there (much to my amazement there are some Buick models made in China that are really good looking, nothing at all like the blah-looking Buicks that are sold in the US).

So I think buying products based on where they're made is rapidly becoming a meaningless exercise.

Then there's the argument that at least the parent company is American. Well, the incorporation papers may be filed in the US but more and more when you start digging into who really owns or controls what, you start finding that even the ownership of US companies isn't necessarily US-centric.

So I'm with Kevin on this one. Buying the best product based on value for money is the smart way to go. Where it's made has become irrelevant. Awhile back Kevin decided he needed a different anchor for the kind of cruising he does. He did his research and determined that the best anchor for the job isn't even available in the US. It's made in Australia and they don't distribute here. But in today's world, no problem. A few phone calls and the anchor was shipped to him in Alaska for, as I understand it, a very reasonable cost, perhaps no different than if it had been shipped up from the Lower 48.

I think this kind of thing is terrific. You can research and shop for just about anything now regardless of where it's made, and if it's not made or even available where one lives, you can have it sent to you with no more effort than if you had ordered it from Amazon.

If the best value for money is a product made in the US, I'll buy it. If the best value for money is a product made in China or Viet Nam or Italy or Russia or Malaysia, I'll buy it. The stereotype of bad quality being synonymous with "Made in China" or "Made in Sri Lanka" or "Made in India" is totally false today. Sure, you can get absolute crap from these countries, same as you can get absolute crap from US manufacturers. Factories make what they are told to make to the quality standards they're instructed to meet.

Buy an anchor windlass that's made in China and discover it's absolute rubbish? Don't go yelling at the Chinese factory about this. Go yell at the American (or Canadian or German or whoever) company that contracted to have the windlass made in China and told the Chinese manufacturer exactly how they wanted it made.
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:22 PM   #42
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Muir might be an Aussie brand, but when we had mine apart, I saw the motor, and the gearbox, were made in different countries in Europe.
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:35 PM   #43
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It's political Marin,

They buy only products made by our team. Americans.

But I'm w you. Buy the best product. And price is part of the quality of the product.

But as to service and spares some research may be required.
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Old 08-04-2015, 09:19 PM   #44
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I have 4 ideal windlasses in my shop right now, all bought on ebay or removed from boats. Oh, and 1 simpson (?) 2200 in like new condition. 3 of the ideals are the base model capstan/gypsy units 12 and 120v, but one is a very large 120v 2 hp unit that IIRC I paid $500 for, in excellent condition. Shipping was $$. I prefer the Ideal units because of the co. Parts are available. I have NEVER had a problem with an Ideall windlass. Cant say that about the others i"ve had.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:16 PM   #45
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In the wiring diagram shown here for 3 wire windlass motor, looking from the motor the wires look like: M1-left, negative(black)-middle and M2-right. If the M wires were reversed the windlass would still run but the foot switches would be reversed.......
Mike,

Finished the windlass today and the followed the assumption that M1 was left and M2 was right and sure enough it was the opposite. Easy to fix on the solenoid, but labeling the terminals on the windlass would make it foolproof.

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Old 08-04-2015, 10:21 PM   #46
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According to "Murphy's Law" it will always be the opposite!
Yes they could label it better but where is the fun in that.......glad it works, enjoy.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:26 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by kulas44 View Post
I have 4 ideal windlasses in my shop right now, all bought on ebay or removed from boats. Oh, and 1 simpson (?) 2200 in like new condition. 3 of the ideals are the base model capstan/gypsy units 12 and 120v, but one is a very large 120v 2 hp unit that IIRC I paid $500 for, in excellent condition. Shipping was $$. I prefer the Ideal units because of the co. Parts are available. I have NEVER had a problem with an Ideall windlass. Cant say that about the others i"ve had.
Bob, you got some sort of windlass collection going? I always thought one was enough.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:36 PM   #48
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I'd love to see a picture of that. I favor Mantus anchors myself so I'd like to get a feel for how tight it is.

You are talking about fitting into the stock rollers, right?

Do you think a smaller Rocna or Mantus would fit for a second anchor on the other side or would the top bail be too close to the bowsprit?
One of our most prolific Krogen Manatee owners was also a prolific fan of Rocna. He first had a 20KG and then moved up to a 25. He says the 25 fit even better. Yeah, no mods. Don't know about the Mantus or either on the 2nd roller, but there is a new owner of the boat with the Rocna 25. He's easy enough to get in touch with. I'll see if he can share a photo.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:04 PM   #49
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I am in the middle of installing a Tigres and the Italians aren't big on documentation.
I'm surprised at this. We bought our Tigres brand new and it came with an Imtra relay box to control the direction of the windlass with the two foot switches, which also came with the windlass. The installation instructions were very clear with schematics and text about exactly how to connect the windlass cables and foot switch wires to the control box and all the cables on the Tigres were labeled as to what they were. The installation was a snap as far as the wiring was concerned.

Maybe it's a matter of who packs the thing up at the manufacturer......
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:15 PM   #50
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I owned a 1984 GB 36 with an Ideal windlass. That windlass was 27 years old when I sold the boat and was still working perfectly. On Magic, we have a Lofrans Tigress. When it died at the age of 15 years, I drove it to Imtra by car and they reconditioned it with a new motor while I went out for lunch. Cost was $980. If I were buying new, I would buy the Ideal.

Now a question. My wife runs the windlass when we anchor and when we raise it. She is obsessive about cleaning the chain of mud as it comes up. She uses the wash down hose at the bow and stops and starts the windlass every foot or two. I'm convinced this is killing the motor. Am I correct? I should point out that we now cruise north and south and anchor most every night. The Lofrans is used far more than the Ideal ever was. Howard
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:37 PM   #51
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Hmason, I imagine it's pretty hard on the solenoid. Maybe you should buy your wife a bigger wash down pump and hose?
You could switch to stainless chain. Mud doesn't stick to stainless nearly as well as it sticks to galvanized chain. The bigger pump would be cheaper.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:45 PM   #52
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I would tend to agree that constant stopping and starting is harder on the motor, relays and other contacts and perhaps the gear train than a continuous run but it's not my area of knowledge.

Perhaps a solution is to get a stronger washdown pump as HopCar suggested. A previous owner of our boat installed a huge 1 hp Westinghouse AC motor powering a big Jabsco pump with its own raw water intake and seacock. The thing is rated at about 23 gallons per minute (at the pump outlet, not at the end of the hose runs at the bow and stern) and it puts out a blast that knocks everything off the chain as it comes in without the need to stop the windlass. When I overhauled the pump a number of years ago I learned that it is, in fact, an agricultural pump designed to move slurry aka liquified poo around on dairy farms and stuff.

The downside is we need to run the generator to use it.

In practice we retrieve the chain in a series of pulls, lifting most of the slack out and then stopping and letting the weight of the chain dropping back to the bottom pull the boat forward, and then we repeat this until we're over the anchor. This usually takes three or four runs with the windlass. But once the anchor is out of the bottom we haul it up in one pull playing our "firehose" on the chain as it comes up to the pulpit.

Usually it's only the last few feet of chain that will be really muddy if the bottom is mud; most of the chain comes up clean or pretty clean. Sometimes I'll stop the windlass (my wife runs the boat) when the chain between the bow and the water is really muddy and wash it all down before I start the pull again. But I'd never do the start-stop bit every couple of feet, particularly not for the entire length that's out which is generally between 150 and 200 feet. If there's no visible mud on the chain coming out of the water I don't even bother to hose it off since I'd be hosing it down with salt water so it's not like I'd be trying to get the salt off.

There are also setups that use a fixed high pressure spray nozzle on the underside of the pulpit aimed slightly downward that blasts the chain as it comes up to the bow roller. I've seen this in action on yachts. It looks cool but I don't know how effective it actually is.
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Old 08-05-2015, 04:43 AM   #53
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I owned a 1984 GB 36 with an Ideal windlass. That windlass was 27 years old when I sold the boat and was still working perfectly. On Magic, we have a Lofrans Tigress. When it died at the age of 15 years, I drove it to Imtra by car and they reconditioned it with a new motor while I went out for lunch. Cost was $980. If I were buying new, I would buy the Ideal.

Now a question. My wife runs the windlass when we anchor and when we raise it. She is obsessive about cleaning the chain of mud as it comes up. She uses the wash down hose at the bow and stops and starts the windlass every foot or two. I'm convinced this is killing the motor. Am I correct? I should point out that we now cruise north and south and anchor most every night. The Lofrans is used far more than the Ideal ever was. Howard
If the motor is brushless then your good to go. If it's not then yes you can be subjecting it to premature wear. But keep in mind it's probably designed to stop and start by nature of its use.
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