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Old 07-18-2015, 01:19 AM   #1
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Crappy Lewmar Stuff - a Caution

Helped my neighbour troubleshoot his Lewmar windlass, a nice shiny useless lump in his chain locker. Traced it to a bad solenoid. When we took the very expensive combination up/down solenoid apart we found the low-current (activator) terminals had corroded through! A marine part from a marine windlass manufacturer!

So if you want to install one of their windlass things, use Cole Hersee or similar, don't waste your time with their crap brand-name electrics. I know this is only one example, but really?
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Old 07-18-2015, 08:38 AM   #2
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You can add Jabsco and Perko to your list of marine products that fall under the complete junk category.
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Old 07-18-2015, 10:36 AM   #3
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Helped my neighbour troubleshoot his Lewmar windlass, a nice shiny useless lump in his chain locker. Traced it to a bad solenoid. When we took the very expensive combination up/down solenoid apart we found the low-current (activator) terminals had corroded through!
Really....all the way through? Working from memory, those terminals were 5/16 or more, no? I replaced my old Simpson Lawrence unit with a Lewmar Super Fish a few years ago cuz it was identical. The old Simpson Lawrence solenoid looked good so I used it. Still have the Lewmar unit sitting around here somewhere.
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Old 07-18-2015, 12:17 PM   #4
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My Lewmar ProSeries 1000 has been in service for over 5 years and has been flawless. Still looks and operates like new. No corrosion, no rust, no problems. Sometimes it's the installation that makes a difference. Maybe having a covered slip helps.
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Old 07-18-2015, 01:43 PM   #5
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Warning, rant imminent!

All the equipment intended for a boat is critical. Yes, lots of us never leave rowing distance from a marina but even though I'm not talking life and death, a free weekend or a two week holiday ruined by a cheap-ass, save-a-buck, cut-a-corner piece of crap, especially as you paid big money for the component and likely paid someone to install it, is just wrong.

I don't think any companies make stuff to last any more. West Marine tried to sell me an anchor, also a Lewmar, that was made in China - it looked like it was cast on the beach with buckets of iron by Neanderthals. The galvanising didn't even cover the entire thing, looked like they ran out of zinc so just gave up.

No boat equipment company should warrant anything for less than 5 years. It seems to me that a one-year warranty is a giant red flag saying "our product will be a piece of useless landfill in just one year because we made it as light and thin and used the crappiest plastic and it's not rebuildable just because we want to make our shareholders happy and we will lie through our teeth to you, the customer."

Rant Switch.........OFF
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Old 07-18-2015, 01:52 PM   #6
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I had a friend where a marine Quick water heater heating element went bad during the warranty period (great water heater though) and the Rep said he could not stand behind it because it was used in a damp corrosive enviorment?? Go figger??
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Old 07-18-2015, 03:23 PM   #7
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A couple days ago I was helping a friend troubleshoot his Lewmar windlass. It had worked perfectly since purchase in January. Suddenly, nothing.

In checking, the unit felt hot to the touch. Not HOT hot, but definitely hot. I put my infrared temp gauge on it and was seeing between 163 and 185 degrees, depending upon where shot. Ouch.

On the other hand, mine has worked flawlessly since 2009 or so.

Manufacturers can all get to 100% for perfection however the costs are such that biting the bullet when a new items fail during the warranty period is often more financially feasible. As long the replacement process isn't painful, well, I'd rather have the prices lower.

Xsbank: You said "So if you want to install one of their windlass things, use Cole Hersee or similar, don't waste your time with their crap brand-name electrics. I know this is only one example, but really?"

I'm unfamiliar with this. Could you enlighten me?

Since the act of raising and lowering the chain is just a matter of switching polarity, why is this thing so expensive? Can't a simple on-off-on (sized appropriately) do the same thing for next to nothing?

Thanks.
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Old 07-18-2015, 03:43 PM   #8
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Yeah, here is the Lewmar solenoid I didn't install. Yes, it may be lighter than the original Simpson Lawrence unit. Maybe that's why I didn't use it.
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Old 07-18-2015, 04:03 PM   #9
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Yeah, here is the Lewmar solenoid I didn't install. Yes, it may be lighter than the original Simpson Lawrence unit. Maybe that's why I didn't use it.
When I installed our Lewmar winch last year We did the same. Used a pair of external solenoids. Much higher duty cycle than the Lewmar unit.
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:17 PM   #10
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Crappy Lewmar Stuff - a Caution

Quote:
Originally Posted by janice142 View Post
A couple days ago I was helping a friend troubleshoot his Lewmar windlass. It had worked perfectly since purchase in January. Suddenly, nothing.

In checking, the unit felt hot to the touch. Not HOT hot, but definitely hot. I put my infrared temp gauge on it and was seeing between 163 and 185 degrees, depending upon where shot. Ouch.

On the other hand, mine has worked flawlessly since 2009 or so.

Manufacturers can all get to 100% for perfection however the costs are such that biting the bullet when a new items fail during the warranty period is often more financially feasible. As long the replacement process isn't painful, well, I'd rather have the prices lower.

Xsbank: You said "So if you want to install one of their windlass things, use Cole Hersee or similar, don't waste your time with their crap brand-name electrics. I know this is only one example, but really?"

I'm unfamiliar with this. Could you enlighten me?

Since the act of raising and lowering the chain is just a matter of switching polarity, why is this thing so expensive? Can't a simple on-off-on (sized appropriately) do the same thing for next to nothing?

Thanks.

Janice, Cole Hersee is large manufacture of all sorts of electrical products, solenoid so being one of those products. They make high quality stuff.

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Old 07-18-2015, 06:18 PM   #11
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That's the exact unit, Heal. Crap. Put it on eBay for those who don't know any better.

Hi Janice, the single Lewmar needs 2 (or 4, depending upon how you do it) solenoids, one for up and one for down. They are cheaper, have a better duty cycle as mentioned, are cheaper (I said that) and can be purchased at any automotive or electric store. Interchangeable, keep a spare ( although I have not ever had one fail, I'm sure one might).

N4712, you beat me to it by 30 seconds - thanks for the photo.
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:28 PM   #12
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Janice, Cole Hersee is large manufacture of all sorts of electrical products, solenoid so being one of those products. They make high quality stuff.

Attachment 42216
That's the style my old Ideal uses. Except when you buy it from Ideal, it is encased in heavy rubber. Yet a lot of boaters would go "dang, that's twice as expensive as I can get C-H for off the shelf." But if it is going to live in a chain locker, in a saltwater environment. is it really more expensive? If nothing else it tells you something about the manufacturer's bias towards quality.

Otherwise make sure you hose those things down completely with CorrosionX HD after installing....
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:43 PM   #13
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That's the style my old Ideal uses. Except when you buy it from Ideal, it is encased in heavy rubber. Yet a lot of boaters would go "dang, that's twice as expensive as I can get C-H for off the shelf." But if it is going to live in a chain locker, in a saltwater environment. is it really more expensive? If nothing else it tells you something about the manufacturer's bias towards quality.



Otherwise make sure you hose those things down completely with CorrosionX HD after installing....

Thumb. That was my thinking.

We have a Maxwell solenoid that we've been happy with. Nice and weather proof too.
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:51 PM   #14
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I am trying this Imtra....

Cheaper than 4 good , single function solenoids....

Better environmental protection too...

Will see how it goes come December.
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Old 07-18-2015, 08:09 PM   #15
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My solenoid is outside the anchor locker in a wooden box (#3) on my bulkhead. It cannot get wet. (knock teak) The wired remote (#2) attached to the side of the box and then when I need it, I tuck the remote onto a fairlead (#1) bolted to the framing of my hatch. For the curious, #4 is my anchor locker. It's not fancy, but it works.



I'm working on a horizontal Lewmar1000 on another boat. Those Cole Hersee look interesting and easy to install. Is there anything I should know about sizing on the Cole Hersee units?

In the meantime on Monday I'll see if I can get Defender to produce an new solenoid. In speaking with Lewmar on Friday, the windlasses they sell to Defender are serviced by Defender, not Lewmar. Odd, that.

I suspect the boat owner will opt for a second spare solenoid (after the warranty replacement) as his faith in the unit is not so good at present.
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Old 07-19-2015, 01:03 AM   #16
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I am trying this Imtra....

Cheaper than 4 good , single function solenoids....

Better environmental protection too...

Will see how it goes come December.
Thats the control box Lofrans supplies with their Tigres windlass, or at least the one we bought from them.
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Old 07-19-2015, 08:27 AM   #17
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Every windlass installation should be checked to msee the actual voltahe while operating under load.

If it is far under the supply voltage both the volt meter and temp gun should be able to locate the resistance easily.

Low voltage will cause even the best units to run hot.

New build ? go hydraulic ,
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Old 07-19-2015, 01:08 PM   #18
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Every windlass installation should be checked to msee the actual voltahe while operating under load.

If it is far under the supply voltage both the volt meter and temp gun should be able to locate the resistance easily.

Low voltage will cause even the best units to run hot.

New build ? go hydraulic ,
+1 what Fred said.

And, make sure the cables are adequately sized. Double check the length and the manufacturer's recommendations. Minimally or under-sized wiring is a shortcut taken by some builders and installers that can make a huge difference in anchor windlass (and thruster) performance and reliability. This is one place where bigger is definitely better. While you are at it, check that all of the terminals are clean and tight.
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