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Old 08-03-2015, 09:50 AM   #1
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Which Windlass

We have just purchased a Kadey-Krogen Manatee which has a gypsy only windlass and a rope/chain rode. I want to convert to all chain and have been looking through the West Marine website for new windlass options.

I was surprised at the number of negative reviews for Lewmar's as I always thought their products were pretty good. Maxwell looks great but way out of our price range.

We want a freefall windlass as I think being able to deploy the anchor quickly without power is a safety issue. It must be a horizontal windlass, much as I would prefer vertical, because of lack of space below deck.

Would appreciate hearing any experiences or suggestions that might shed light on the choice.
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:03 AM   #2
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Roger

Windlasses, like many things related to boats are not inexpensive, and your boat is not small so the budget numbers that would work for a cabin cruiser for example might not fit with a boat like your Krogen.

We replaced our windlass this spring with a Lofrans Tigress unit. It has free fall capability as do most large windlasses by backing off the clutch. Wether that is a required safety issue is arguable, but the feature it there.

The cost of the windlass was in the $2500 range or thereabouts.
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:40 AM   #3
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RL, I installed a Ideal vertical windlass on our Manatee. I can handle chain or rope from either anchor with the vertical windlass and there is plenty of room below for the gear box motor assemble. I thought I would not need the power down option but to anchor properly you need it. I have photos if you would like to see the installation.
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Old 08-03-2015, 10:53 AM   #4
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I recently replaced my twenty plus year old Simpson Lawrence windlass with the current Lewmar version of it. Neither is a "free fall" windlass as you have to power down the anchor in normal circumstances. What you want is a windlass with a manual release for use in an emergency. My old S/L windlass didn't have that. My new Lewmar does have a manual release. I think all windlass have manual releases today. I like the power down feature as I feel more in control but the manual release is important.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
...We replaced our windlass this spring with a Lofrans Tigress unit..
We had one on our last boat (32K displacement) for 7 years, anchoring out at least 6 months per year and it never let us down. Reviews from other cruisers have always been favorable. You can download a mounting template from Lofrans' web site to see how it would fit.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:19 AM   #6
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We replaced the windlass that was original to our boat with a Lofrans Tigres. It is an outstanding piece of equipment.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:28 AM   #7
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Another recommendation for Lofran Tigress.........
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:47 AM   #8
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And another Loftan Tigress user highly recommends.❤️
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:09 PM   #9
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Think about this...

With our Lofrans Tigress we regularly anchor in 300+ feet of water.

Our all chain rode, combined with our 80 lb anchor results in a over 430 pound dead lift, plus whatever it takes to break out the anchor.

And the Tigress works great at it.
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:37 PM   #10
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Roger, do you mean it has a capstan only? A gypsy is for chain. If so, have you contacted the manufacturer about replacing the capstan with a gypsy? Many offer this capability. Make sure it matches whatever chain you have.
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:43 PM   #11
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Another vote for Ideal. Top quality, American made, and customer service / support second to none.

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Old 08-03-2015, 04:55 PM   #12
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You seem to be getting a lot of positive comments on the Lofrans Tigres. I've never used that windlass so I can't comment on it. I do however know the importer very well. I've been doing business with Imtra Corp. for about forty years. It is a first class company to deal with. They respond quickly to questions and they have parts in stock.


The minimum advertised price on the Lofrans Tigres 12 volt is $2726.50.
If you ask your preferred dealer for a quote you might get it for a little less.
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Old 08-03-2015, 04:58 PM   #13
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I have owned the Tigres and Caymen by Lorfans, both are excellent.
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:52 PM   #14
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Another vote for Ideal Windlasses. Maxwell forced me to get rid of a perfectly good big windlass because after 13 years Maxwell no longer supplied parts. Ideal stocks parts for every windlass it has made.
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Maxwell forced me to get rid of a perfectly good big windlass because after 13 years Maxwell no longer supplied parts.
I have a Maxwell 1200 and am surprised at the above comment.
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Old 08-03-2015, 07:15 PM   #16
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Had 2 of Maxwell's inexpensive capstans on my charter boat. First one lasted 3 years; second one lasted 2.5 years. Charter boats are considered commercial application according to them, so no consideration. Have an Ideal that will go on this winter. More money, but a much better product and no charter boat warranty exclusion.

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Old 08-03-2015, 07:39 PM   #17
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Anybody have/used a Lofrans X3.5 windlass?

Vertical Windlass X3.5

The PO put an anchor pulpit above Badger's original bow roller. I'm hoping to keep our day to day anchor on the pulpit (using the X3.5's capstan winch) and use the gypsy for a storm anchor (which would use the original bow roller that's cut into and inset below the cap rail).

With a little luck things just might might line up.......

I like the X3.5 because it's their smallest windlass with a hand brake, which I can foresee using to 'feel' the bottom.
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:15 PM   #18
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Murray, a little confused by what I think you are trying to do. Both the gypsy and capstan turn in unison at the same time, how could you keep the chain gypsy loaded and use the rope capstan?
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:55 PM   #19
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Murray, a little confused by what I think you are trying to do. Both the gypsy and capstan turn in unison at the same time, how could you keep the chain gypsy loaded and use the rope capstan?
This is from the X3.5 manual;

5.3 Use of the warping drum. The warping drum can be used regardless of the gipsy, to help the mooring manoeuvres.

1 Tighten the brake and make sure that the anchor is appropriately blocked.

2 - Insert the manoeuvre handle into the drum and disengage the clutch by turning it clockwise. This operation will make the drum independent of the gipsy.

3 Turn clockwise around the drum with three laps of rope.

4 By keeping the end of the rope, press the UP button and carry out the mooring manoeuvre.

5 Once the manoeuvre is ended, remove the rope from the drum and fasten it to a bollard


Doesn't this mean you could use the capstan winch for a lighter anchor with a rope & chain rode (as we do right now with our simple capstan only windlass and 22 pound anchor) with the chain gypsy disengaged?
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:04 PM   #20
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Thanks Murray for the clarification, sound like it would do as you wish. Lofrans build great windlasses, our Tigress is 15 years old and not a problem......
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