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Old 12-02-2017, 08:05 AM   #1
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Chain Counter for Older Ideal Windlass

Does anyone know of an aftermarket chain counter for the vertical style ideal windlasses? Its a great windlass but Id love to have some counting capability other than painted marks.

Will be used with 3/8bbb and a 55kg Rocha but would be nice to be able to use it with the back 3/8bbb and Spade.

Arthur
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Old 12-02-2017, 09:56 AM   #2
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I looked into it (also had an Ideal with 3/8bbb coincidentally) and thought the Cruzpro units were my best bet. Apparently the Maxwells and Lofrans will work too as they use a sensor system as well.

CruzPro CH55 Chain Counter
CruzPro CH60 Chain Counter and Intelligent Windlass Controller

I like a lot of their products, btw, especially the electrical meters and related items.
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Old 12-02-2017, 11:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
I looked into it (also had an Ideal with 3/8bbb coincidentally) and thought the Cruzpro units were my best bet. Apparently the Maxwells and Lofrans will work too as they use a sensor system as well.

CruzPro CH55 Chain Counter
CruzPro CH60 Chain Counter and Intelligent Windlass Controller

I like a lot of their products, btw, especially the electrical meters and related items.
+1

I installed a Cruzpro unit on Bay Pelican's Ideal windlass. Can't imagine why it would not work on a vertical unit if there is space to mount the sensor.

One tip. Buy a small waterproof low voltage electrical connection box. The salt water at the bow will attack the low voltage connections quickly.
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:51 AM   #4
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Very helpful, thanks both!
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Old 12-03-2017, 12:16 PM   #5
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You might try Ideal for the chain counter. They are still in business under new ownership. In the past, they've had a lot of legacy parts in stock. I have a 1971 vertical Ideal that they rebuilt for me a couple years ago.
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Old 12-03-2017, 01:12 PM   #6
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IIRC, it was Ideal who turned me on to the Cruzpro. Great folks.
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
IIRC, it was Ideal who turned me on to the Cruzpro. Great folks.
I can vouch for the ease of installation of Cruzpro. However, mine is on a horizontally orientated gypsy. A vertical one would work fine as long as you can mount the sensor and twin reed switches in the appropriate place so one passes the other closely. It should be possible. I can tell you now, adding a chain-counter is one of the best things I ever did. Once you've had one, it's like cruise control in the car. You wonder how you ever enjoyed driving without. Believe me - my car doesn't have it - my wife's does. Guess which I prefer to drive on the freeway?
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:47 AM   #8
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You could also check out the Lewmar/Maxwell AA560 Autoanchor. It is a counter plus control panel, and can be retro fit into any windless. If you down load the manual you can get a sense of what's involved with the installation. I don't know if it will be easier or hard than other approaches.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:36 AM   #9
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I fitted a CruzPro to my vertical Ideal. Pretty easy. Night time at anchor at present, I'll try and post a photo tomorrow.
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:28 PM   #10
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The wires run inside a piece of tubing and through a cable gland in the deck.

Inside the chain stripper I shaped a piece of starboard to rest in the concave stripper, and the two chain counter sensors are a friction fit. I have positioned them to be about 1/16" or so from the windlass gypsy, which has the magnet held in place with some varnish.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:41 PM   #11
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Brian, have they beefed up the magnet they supply with it. That was the only weak spot in my set-up. The original magnet was chrome coated steel and rusted. One day enough of a chunk came off to render it unable to trigger the reed switches. I replaced it with a ferrite one about 10 x 10mm, (ie nearly twice as big in all dimensions, by drilling a larger hole in the gypsy and aralditing it in - worked a treat ever since.
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