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Old 07-20-2019, 08:39 AM   #1
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Windlass not working, help

Hello all,


We are currently at anchor in the Bahamas (remote anchorage). Yesterday while letting out line, our lewmar ocean windlass abruptly stopped. Since then it has worked for a second or two but usually nothing.


I have two foot switches on the foredeck, a switch at the main helm and a switch at the FB. None of the witches are working.



The contactor is clicking when any switch is activated. I'm getting 12.6 volts at the input cable on the contactor, no voltage on either of the outgoing cables from the contactor until a switch is activated at which time I get 12.6 at both terminals. Doesn't matter whether the up or down switch is activated, I get voltage at both.


When I put my meter across the ground cable and the hot cables on the motor itself I'm not getting any voltage, even with the switches activated.


Lewmar tech support is closed for the weekend.


Thanks in advance.


Doug
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Old 07-20-2019, 09:43 AM   #2
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Sounds like the contactor is shot. Some years ago the Lewmar contactor on our MS Pilot 34 was acting up so I attempted to take it apart and see if I could fix it. No way!!!


Either find one locally, not likely, or have one shipped in to you. Defender will ship to the Bahamas, I think.


David
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Old 07-20-2019, 10:15 AM   #3
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Thanks David, That's what I think as well, though I'm not sure why I'm getting voltage across it when it is closed?

I tried to take it apart, it's not really serviceable.

My sons are flying in on Monday and bringing a new contactor with them. Hopefully that fixes it. It's a heavy anchor to pull by hand.
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Old 07-20-2019, 10:56 AM   #4
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Can you load test your battery too? Volts dont always tell the whole story as I found out last year
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Old 07-20-2019, 12:06 PM   #5
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Gmarr is right. I don’t know what series Lewmar you have, but some of the contactors/solenoids are prone to failure and can give voltage readings without necessary amperage. Pictured below is the solenoid for the 1000 Sport Fish unit with free-fall. They’re cheap crap. After two failures, I put in a 20 year old Simpson Lawrence solenoid and no solenoid issues since. One other thing. I had the same problem you described about two years ago on my own Lewmar windlass. Voltage showed fine but now power to pull. It was actually a corroded circuit breaker that was passing just enough current to show voltage, but couldn’t pass the amps. With electrical, you never know.
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Old 07-20-2019, 01:47 PM   #6
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I had a similar problem and just posted my fix on the old post where I asked for help. My winch is above deck and has easy access . Take off the housing covering the motor and check your brushes. I had 4 and one was fused/corroded in place and not making contact. Got it moving and problem solved. Also check the gasket on the housing as mine was positioned poorly admitting water.
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Old 07-20-2019, 03:36 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies, all. I can't easily load test my batteries over here on the hook. I suppose it could be that, but more likely would be a bad connection somewhere between the bank and the motor. My house bank is only 2 months old. We have been living on the hook now for over a week, and I've been watching my soc monitor closely....no problems anywhere else. I'll change the contactor on Monday and let you know what happens.

I suspect it is the culprit, especially since the motor spins every so often, about every 20th time I hit the switch.
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Old 07-23-2019, 08:57 PM   #8
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Well, the new contactor didn't solve the problem. Called lewmar and they told me to take off the end cap and tap on the brushes. Did that, and still no love. I'm getting voltage to the motor but it only spins for a split second every so often.

Lewmar basically said I'm out of luck, time for a new windlass. I'd like for it to at least get us through the remaining 2 weeks of our Bahamas trip. Any ideas?
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:36 PM   #9
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Online, a replacement motor seems to be about 200+.
We decided to replace our just-fried Pro 700 with a Maxwell 10-8, for 5/16 G4 chain and 5/8 brait.
Almost 1500# line pull, and was about $1600 from wjmmarine.com.
We needed to use a Starboard deck plate, bedded and bolted, for both the deck camber and the mismatched holes. Make sure your wires are large enough. It helped that our dock neighbor had a crimp tool.
Good luck, JohnS
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:39 PM   #10
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Is there not a electric motor shop near where you are that could test the motor and maybe repair it?
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Old 07-24-2019, 12:54 AM   #11
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Some thing seems a bit inconsistent here. I'm thinking this is a corroded ground. It is an easy way to see good voltage when measuring without a load, and possibly against a different reference, but to be unable to support a load.

Can you turn windlass by hand using the manual?

If the motor us mechanically disconnected, will it spin?

Is the motor or anything heating up?
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:54 AM   #12
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I'm guessing the motor is shot. Brushes, or maybe the windings. Eventually things die. I'm wondering if there's any place along your journey that would handle repair of the motor itself? There's nothing magical about most electric motors that any genuine motor repair shop can't fix/replace. But at a certain point the labor to repair a motor might exceed the cost of a new one (that and repair time vs delivery).

When it randomly start/stops... is the motor still turning? As in, the gearing from the motor is missing teeth and not transferring motor motion through the gears.

Do you have an ammeter on board? The clamp kind? Might be useful to see what kind of current is being pulled.
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Old 07-24-2019, 04:04 PM   #13
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I'm thinking the motor is shot now as well. I'm no longer able to rotate the shaft at all. I tried to pull the ground wire off of the motor this morning to clean up some corrosion on the connection but was unable to get it off as the stud just spins.



My plan now is to hand pull until I get home then pull off the motor and replace it. Looks like a new motor is in the $350 range. I'll take a look at the gear box then as well. It's too big of a job to do over here.


I used to love how our Rocna pulls up a big chunk of mud every time I raise it...recently not so much. Guess I'll be stronger when we get home!
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Old 07-24-2019, 04:39 PM   #14
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Ugh, sorry to hear it's not a quick fix. Have a safe trip home!
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