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Old 06-18-2015, 08:46 PM   #1
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What Happened To My Windlass?

We am afraid that we may have cooked my Galley Maid windlass. We were deploying our anchor yesterday when my wife heard a crunching sound and the windlass stopped. I did find that the chain was jammed up in the chain locker. When stepping on the foot button (up or down) I can hear the relay clicking but the motor does not run. My fear is that we stripped some gears and/or the guts are jammed up inside. The circuit breaker was not tripped and I could not find a separate fuse in the circuit as is called for in the wiring diagram. Any ideas? It was a real chore retrieving 80 feet of chain rode plus the anchor by hand. Fortunately, the anchor is a Fortress and weighs much less than steel anchors.
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:57 PM   #2
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The original windlass for our boat, a big horizontal wildcat/line gypsy thing, stopped suddenly during a retrieve and I had to haul the anchor by hand. There was no crunch, no breakers thrown, it just stopped. Investigation showed that it had lunched some teeth on a pair of gears. The windlass was not under any particular strain when it did this--- it was simply picking up chain from the bottom.

As the parts for this windlass are made from unobtainium we removed it and replaced it with a Lofrans Tigres.
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:02 PM   #3
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unobtainium!

😄😄😄😄

LMAO. But not at your windless troubles. Sorry to hear about your trouble.
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
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unobtainium!

😄😄😄😄

LMAO. But not at your windless troubles. Sorry to hear about your trouble.
It was a good thing in the end. We now have a far superior windlass that's much faster and with power-out as well as power-in.

I don't know anything about Galley Maid windlasses but if the OP's windlass did in fact shear some gear teeth and parts are available it may be relatively easy to repair it.
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:31 PM   #5
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I don`t know the brand, but when my Muir needed work(new motor), we pulled it for repair and refitted it, after the mfr got through with it. They are not complex being essentially a motor and a gearbox, hopefully you can get parts, much better than changing windlass altogether.
I`m surprised a jam did not trip the breaker. Some people install a traffic cone in the locker so the chain can`t "pyramid" causing the jam you experienced.
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:31 PM   #6
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Cat-Jack, Sorry for your troubles. Do you have a hand crank for the windlass? If so try turning the Capstan using the hand crank roll it around a couple of times each way if it will, then try the switch again. Did you free the chain up on the bottom side of the windlass? Mine got tangled up once had a link turn Catty Wall Eyed. ( sideways ) Turning with the hand crank lowered the offending link back down out of the throat and thus cleared the jam. No toast mind you. Just the Jam.
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Old 06-18-2015, 10:32 PM   #7
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Galley Maid??? Sounds more like a garbage disposal than a windlass. I say get rid of it in favor of something much more manly sounding.
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Old 06-18-2015, 11:10 PM   #8
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Galleymaid.com
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Old 06-19-2015, 05:53 AM   #9
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Galleymaid is top quality gear and parts should be easy to obtain.

Their gear is pricy , but its is rare to heart of a major hassle.

Depending on what gave out I would fix it or simply replace it with another identical unit.
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Old 06-19-2015, 07:32 AM   #10
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Galley Maid is indeed very high quality gear. It may just be one of the solenoids (depending on your set up you may have as many as four). Those can be tested with a continuity meter. I'd give GM a call if you don't have the wiring diagram.
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:21 PM   #11
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I hope their gear is superior to their website.
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Old 06-20-2015, 06:36 AM   #12
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"I hope their gear is superior to their website."

With old established co. that do not need flash to sell their product , websites are frequently poor.

Galleymaid is EXPENSIVE , so is not mass marketed , it is purchased/installed by top quality builders , to not have come backs.

Its hard to explain why a boat should be fitted with a $1000 maceriator , unless the purchaser will be owner for a decade or three.
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Old 06-20-2015, 07:25 AM   #13
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A Bertram 54 I used to drive has a substantial-looking reset button up under the foredeck along with a breaker on the panel. Worth a look?
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Old 06-20-2015, 07:34 AM   #14
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If you judge the quality of gear by the quality of the web site, well good luck to you! The sites of the other highest quality US windlass manufacturers, Lighthouse, Ideal and RC Plath are no "better". Old school.
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Old 06-20-2015, 08:44 AM   #15
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Galley Maid's website is indeed useless. However, their technical expert, reached by telephone, (he returned a message promptly) spent a good ifteen minutes with me trouble-shooting. I mentioned a crunching sound just before the unit quit. I had found that the chain had kinked in the locker and was stuck. He hypothesised that the 10-amp fuse in the junction box had blown due to overcurrent and the sound was from the chain in the locker. I went to the boat with much anticipation.

The box is in the locker opposite my line of view and, of course, I could not get my neck to bend 180 degrees to see the guts of the box. I found the glass fuse by feel with the circuit breaker on my main panel off and the 150 amp breaker switched off in the Galley Maid box. Of course, the fuse was intact. Depressing the foot switches still results in relays clicking, just no juice to the motor. I do not think it is bad relays because both the up and down relays were not engaged when the failure occured. The Galley Maid guy did not think any gears were sheared but trouble-shooting from 1000 miles away is difficult.

One responder suggested that I attempt to rotate the drum with the socket and bar. Galley Maid guy said that could not be done unless the gears were stripped allowing some movement but I suppose a few broken teeth in a gear assembly could jam up the works. So, I am on to the next steps which may be to remove the unit which, to me, is a huge project, very heavy, limited access to the chain locker. It's likely something I will pay a yard to do. If I do, I may follow Marin's choice to replace it with a Lofran Tigress. Galley Maid, while very well-recommended, is VERY expensive. The control box alone is $850 according to the Galley Maid guy.
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Old 06-20-2015, 12:48 PM   #16
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Don't know what configuration your windlass is. The Lofrans Tigress is a horizontal drum windlass. Lofrans makes other configurations, too.
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Old 06-20-2015, 02:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
Don't know what configuration your windlass is. The Lofrans Tigress is a horizontal drum windlass. Lofrans makes other configurations, too.
My Galley Maid is a vertical windlass. From the picture you posted the Lofrans sure looks to be a much easier install including a retrofit. And I like the fact that the chain drops straight into the chain locker. Should I not find a relatively inexpensive fix, not likely I think, I will be seriously considering the Lofrans.
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Old 06-20-2015, 02:57 PM   #18
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I would borrow the batt from a source , bring it up to the unit and see weather the unit will operate in reverse.

It sounds to me like the chain is still stuck in a knot and jammed in the deck pipe.

"Galley Maid, while very well-recommended, is VERY expensive. "

AS John Arbuckle said about coffee , you get what you pay for.
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Old 06-20-2015, 03:08 PM   #19
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Thanks FF for the reply. But, no, the chain is running free. When I had the failure I had to retrive about 60 feet of chain and the anchor by hand. Just this morning I dropped all of the chain into the locker. I wish it were so but it's not still kinked. Still just getting a solenoid to click in both directions.
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Old 06-20-2015, 03:24 PM   #20
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"Still just getting a solenoid to click in both directions."

Simply bypassing the solenoid with a hunk of wire should get a sign of life from the unit.

A VOM would do the same, if you have one aboard.

I would suggest you take a look at the brushes (can also see if there is current there with just a test bulb).

IF the brushes are scrap most too large brushes can be filed to fit if the push spring is not too fat.

Good hunting.
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