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Old 04-23-2016, 09:54 PM   #1
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Prairie 36 Improvements

We recently purchased a 1981 Prairie 36 to do the Great Loop in 2017 and other East Coast cruising. In addition to our first improvement, a mattress for the Aft State Room, which you can read about in this thread Prairie 36 Offer

We have a laundry list of other ideas.
First up is a better anchoring system. So our first big purchase was a new windlass and a used anchor. The old anchor was too small and the windlass works but will only bring the anchor up. I also want to be able to remotely operate the windlass from either helm position. Dropping the anchor must be done manually by hand, no motor down or free fall on the old windlass. Even raising the anchor requires hand feeding the chain/rode down the hawse pipe, see the picture.

My current thought is to mount the new windlass on top of the bowsprit/pulpit so there will be a straight drop to the bottom of the chain locker creating a nice pile.


I'd like some feedback on this idea and thoughts on how your windlass and anchoring systems are set up. What anchoring system works best for you?
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:05 AM   #2
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Have you considered installing a reversing solenoid on your existing windlass?
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:01 AM   #3
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Mine was mounded on the pulpit, with a straight drop into the rode locker. Works great, never any problems retrieving.

I have a PowerWinch 45 free-fall windlass. I hate the free fall, would much prefer to let it out slowly. A new windlass is on the wish list, but as long as the old one keeps working it's hard to justify.

I have windlass switches at both helms, but never use them any more. I installed one of these and connected it to the winch relay:


One of my favorite mods, and at under $15, probably the cheapest.
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:54 PM   #4
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Tom, would you have a picture of your windlass mounted on the pulpit?

Also thanks for the tip on the wireless remote.
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOG View Post
Tom, would you have a picture of your windlass mounted on the pulpit?
This is what it looked like the day I bought it:


Since then, I had a temporary arrangement made of PVC board. I'm fabricating a more permanent solution now.
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Old 04-25-2016, 08:52 PM   #6
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Thanks Tom. That's the same location I want to put my new windlass. If I was to put it in the same location as my old windlass the hole would be over part of the bulkhead below. Then I would have to fab an angled hawse pipe which could be problematic verses a straight drop.

I also see that you have a hawse hole off to the starboard side like mine. I don't understand why that is there. It doesn't seem very useful. Possibly a second anchor, but that locker is pretty small and I doubt there is sufficient room in it for 2 anchor rodes of any worthy length.

A pic of the new windlass.
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Old 04-26-2016, 03:06 PM   #7
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I also see that you have a hawse hole off to the starboard side like mine. I don't understand why that is there. It doesn't seem very useful. Possibly a second anchor, but that locker is pretty small and I doubt there is sufficient room in it for 2 anchor rodes of any worthy length.
Yeah, I don't use it. I figure it might be good for a lunch hook or something.

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A pic of the new windlass.
Drool!
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Old 04-26-2016, 04:29 PM   #8
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A pic of the new windlass.
We installed a Lewmar Pro-Series 1000H a couple of years ago (I believe FlyWright may have one too).

Love the power down vs our old similar Simpson Lawrence Horizon that only had free fall down. Been very happy with it. You should be as well.

But I still lust after a Lofrans Tigres. Almost bought one to replace the Simpson Lawrence as the rope drum would have lined up perfectly with our second pulpit anchor roller used by our spare Fortress, but the Lewmar was a direct (almost) drop in replacement and significantly less expensive.
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:28 PM   #9
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Thanks for your feedback on the Lewmar windlass. I also bought the 1000.
The Tigres seems like a great windlass to lust over.
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Old 05-01-2016, 10:11 PM   #10
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We installed a Lewmar Pro-Series 1000H a couple of years ago (I believe FlyWright may have one too).
Yes, that's the windlass I installed 6 years ago. It's been a great piece of equipment for my purposes and budget.

I probably drop the anchor over 100 times per year with my sturgeon fishing and cruising.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:52 PM   #11
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The refrigerator/freezer is not working. A tech tried to get it going, I tried to get it going, but no joy so off to the dumpster.
I have an older Norcold that would work fine, but it makes a little noise so the Admiral gave the order to purchase this Isotherm.
I like it because it has 2 compressors, one for the fridge and one for the freezer. She likes it because the freezer is on the bottom, just like the one at home.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:28 PM   #12
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My Norcold seems to be on it's last legs. I may go with the new replacement Norcold (6.3 cu. ft.). It fits right where the old one went and looks to use much less power than my old one. Tom, I like your windlass setup, mine is a vertical type with no power down or freefall. I have to take my rode off the gypsy to drop anchor.

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Old 05-04-2016, 05:01 PM   #13
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Kevin, I went with a direct replacement Norcold. Even the screw holes lined up. Admittedly it's only been one season, but I'm happy with my decision to take the easy way out rather than try an upgrade to a "better" unit.

As mentioned in other posts, I had to remove my pulpit and replace it with a hinged anchor roller in order to fit into my slip. The final (I hope) result is here:


The hinged part is 1/2" solid aluminum. The hinges and hold-down clips (also a form of hinge) are through-bolted with backing plates and/or large fender washers. The deck at this point is more than 1/2" solid GRP, plus the two 1/2" layers of PVC board.
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Old 05-04-2016, 09:43 PM   #14
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I would have been happy with the Norcold I have on my porch for the boat. No modifications required. But ........... "Happy Wife, Happy Life."

So now I get to sell the Norcold and use the cash for beer money.

Tom, Very clever modification.
Will the anchor remain on the bow roller when the hinge goes up?
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Old 05-05-2016, 02:23 PM   #15
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Tom, Very clever modification.
Will the anchor remain on the bow roller when the hinge goes up?
In theory, it could, but it would have to be held there somehow. And I have a couple of over-size anchors that probably wouldn't work that way.
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Old 05-06-2016, 09:40 PM   #16
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I've seen some bow rollers with a bail on top, like the picture.
The bail with the hook of the anchor resting on the roller should hold it while tied up in your slip.
If your bow roller doesn't have one, you might be able to buy or fab one inexpensively.
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Old 05-07-2016, 07:34 AM   #17
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Yes it has the bail. Just that the best picture I had cut it off.

I originally made a plastic mock-up of my final configuration, to be sure it worked OK. It cleared the bow rail so it could go "up and over", or be lashed in the "up" position. I used that for three years of occasional anchoring with my Danforth.

The next big test will be to see if it'll hold my 45lb Manson. The roller is bolted to the 1/2" aluminum plate with the biggest bolts I could fit, into holes drilled and tapped into the aluminum. I'm a little unsure of the strength of these threads, and thinking I might get some longer bolts and add nuts. I'd have to drill out some room under the roller for the nuts so the whole thing still sits flush.
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:35 PM   #18
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Capt Tom: I missed that remote control. Is it wired to the deck switch? Or does it totally replace the deck switch? That seems like the best 17 bucks I could spend.
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:32 PM   #19
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Capt Tom: I missed that remote control. Is it wired to the deck switch? Or does it totally replace the deck switch? That seems like the best 17 bucks I could spend.
It's wired in parallel to the two helm switches; I don't have a deck switch. Any of the three can power the relay to make it go up or free-fall down.

I used the remote again today to test out the new bow roller. I had the 45lb anchor on the ground, about 10-12 feet below the roller. I was able to stand next to the anchor and run it all the way up to the roller. I love that remote!
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:49 PM   #20
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I sprung a leak and have had a little set back to my improvement plans.

The day before I planned to move the boat to a new marina I discovered a leak in the starboard aft fuel tank. For those of you that own or have owned a Prairie 36 know that this is a very labor intensive task.
First I was able to transfer all of the fuel that remained in the tank, about 80 gallons, to the other 3 tanks using a diesel fuel pump and hose that I purchased at an auto parts store.
Next was the clean up of the fuel that had leaked into the engine room and bilge. It had only been about 5 days since my last visit to the boat, so from a gallon stand point not so bad, maybe 10 gallons.
That was about it for me personally, as the remaining tasks of hauling the boat, moving the starboard engine into the main salon, removing the tank, building a new tank, then reinstalling the new tank and motor was done mostly by the local boat yard.
A little over 2 months later and we're up and running with the boat in the new marina.

By the way, North Carolina charges 7% sales tax on labor.
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