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Old 12-30-2012, 12:10 PM   #1
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Anchoring Fiasco off the Keys

We were anchored off of a wreck in the Keys in 135' of water with The Path a 45' Northwest Trawler. We ended up having to let out all the line, chain and anchor because our windlass died while hoisting the anchor. We attached the bitter end of our rode to a large fender and went back in to the dock to get a 1000 lb lift bag for a retrieval operation. We had a diver on board so we were able to retrieve the anchor. Once we got it up with the lift bag we had to saw off the chain from the anchor in order to get it on board. We tied off the anchor chain to another fender. Unfortunately the weight of the chain ended up dragging the fender down, so we were not successful in retrieving our chain and line. I have a 2007 or 2008 Maxwell Liberty Capstan 24 volt version windlass, which I believe has been discontinued. Apparently some gears are stripped and the motor quit. There may be an inline fuse which I have not been able to find yet, so I'm hoping the motor is still ok. So now we need to get the windlass repaired, purchase 200' of chain and 200' of line. The windlass is a Maxwell Liberty Capstan 24 volt. All suggestions are welcomed.
Thanks, Capt Mike
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:57 PM   #2
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When acquiring a new but used vessel, a complete servicing of all systems is in order, except where the PO can show the tasks have been done. Maxwell has a good list of servicing tasks to be done. What else may need a by the book servicing?

Don't forget the lip seals if you have stabilizers.
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Old 12-30-2012, 12:59 PM   #3
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I have ZERO experience in anchoring in 135' of water, but wouldn't you need 2 or 3 times as much rode as the 400' you lost?
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:04 PM   #4
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I have ZERO experience in anchoring in 135' of water, but wouldn't you need 2 or 3 times as much rode as the 400' you lost?
Good observation. Generally yes you would want to have at least a scope of 7 to 1. If however you are fishing a wreck at a depth of 135' it's pretty unreasonable to have out over a 1,000 ft of chain & line. Obviously you would keep a vigilant lookout while fishing to make sure your anchor is holding.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:11 PM   #5
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When acquiring a new but used vessel, a complete servicing of all systems is in order, except where the PO can show the tasks have been done. Maxwell has a good list of servicing tasks to be done. What else may need a by the book servicing?

Don't forget the lip seals if you have stabilizers.
I definetly agree with you. I shouldn't have taken for granted that it was serviced even though I was told it was. As soon as I can all other systems will be getting serviced. Thanks
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:15 PM   #6
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Can your windlass be operated manually? If not, and if you have to replace it, I suggest you consider models which have this feature. In a worst case scenario, such as the one you faced, you could've retried the whole lot manually. Granted it would've taken a bit of elbow grease, but better than a total loss. Regarding scope when anchoring in deep water, I used to operate a 65' charter fishing boat out of Destin, FL. We did a special mission for Eglin Air Force Base on occasion which required us to anchor in 160' of water. Our tackle was a 65' Danforth knockoff, with a rode composed of 10' of 1/2" chain and 300' of 1" triple strand nylon. Bottom was sand and broken shell. Held nicely even in 20 knots of breeze. And we retrieved the entire tackle by hand when it was time to go.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:29 PM   #7
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I have to ask, why couldn't the diver have gone back down and attached a line to it ?
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:53 PM   #8
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I'm really sorry to hear your tale of woe. I'm located in Miami, if I can be of any help let me know.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:11 PM   #9
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Can your windlass be operated manually? If not, and if you have to replace it, I suggest you consider models which have this feature. In a worst case scenario, such as the one you faced, you could've retried the whole lot manually. Granted it would've taken a bit of elbow grease, but better than a total loss. Regarding scope when anchoring in deep water, I used to operate a 65' charter fishing boat out of Destin, FL. We did a special mission for Eglin Air Force Base on occasion which required us to anchor in 160' of water. Our tackle was a 65' Danforth knockoff, with a rode composed of 10' of 1/2" chain and 300' of 1" triple strand nylon. Bottom was sand and broken shell. Held nicely even in 20 knots of breeze. And we retrieved the entire tackle by hand when it was time to go.
Thanks. Hopefully I can get this windlass fixed. I still plan on putting some type of back up system on board so I can retrieve my rode.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:28 PM   #10
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The backup system on my Ideal windlass is a SS rod that you put through two opposing holes on top. Give you enough leverage to wind it back if necessary. Slow, but would work. Thank goodness I've never had to use it.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:41 AM   #11
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Sounds good, I'll check it out.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:48 AM   #12
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I'm really sorry to hear your tale of woe. I'm located in Miami, if I can be of any help let me know.
Thanks
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:11 PM   #13
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Once had to lift 150ft of chain (3/8 BBB) and 88lb anchor about 5 ft at a time using the windlass in manual mode when our windlass solenoid crapped out. Best of luck - Ibuprofen helps!! After the fact, I figured next time I would try the dinghy boom lift winch.
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Old 12-31-2012, 06:29 PM   #14
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... I figured next time I would try the dinghy boom lift winch.
That's a pretty good idea I hadn't thought of. Thanks!

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Old 02-14-2013, 06:11 PM   #15
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I had a 88# Delta on chain on my boat up in the NW where almost all anchor depths are kind of deep. I had a ratchet operated come-along with a chain hook rigged to get the anchor up if the windlass failed. Never had to use it and it would have been slow (15' at a time) but it was fail safe.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:48 PM   #16
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Smile Thanks

That sounds like the best idea. Hopefully I won't need to use it.
Thanks
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:31 AM   #17
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I have a 2007 or 2008 Maxwell Liberty Capstan 24 volt version windlass, which I believe has been discontinued. Apparently some gears are stripped and the motor quit.

Might be simpler/cheaper to purchase a new unit , this time with a manual backup mode.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:37 AM   #18
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I found out it does have a manual mode but since the gears were stripped, it wouldn't work in either mode. Apparently I was unaware that the windlass was put in manual mode when I started hoisting the anchor electronically. They told it the windlass I have was one of the best they made, so I ended up having it rebuilt for $600. A new one would have cost around $3,000. The one bad feature on this model is you need to make sure no one accidentally puts it in manual mode by mistake.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:36 AM   #19
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I anchor off Avalon in depths exceeding 100' and that bank is a steep sloping bank. 3 to 1 holds well even overnight. I don't carry enough line for 7 to one and the swing would be tremendous as well. Nobody here ever goes 7 to 1. Ever. These anchorages are tight and swinging on one hook can mess everybody up if you get someone who goes 7 to 1 when everybody else is 3 to 1. Just sayin'

We are on the Pacific, the windward side too.
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:59 PM   #20
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Mike - why do not lift the Anchorline step by step with chain hook or other help with your Dinghy crane in this special moment ?
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