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Old 10-18-2017, 04:43 PM   #1
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Cruising wo a windlass

Anyone do any cruising without having a windlass? I have TC35 Sundeck and the Prior owners did extensive cruising including the loop, ICW NY to Keys and the Bahamas and Cuba all wo a windlass.
Never met them in person but judging from the amateurish work done on the boat it amazes me they could have done that.
Primary anchor is a 45lb Delta with about 20 ft of chain. That equates to about 70lb of real weight not including the rope which is minimal.
Just wondering how anyone else coped with this situation.
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Old 10-18-2017, 04:58 PM   #2
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Not to be funny but how is your back and can your partner hoist the anchor without you? We met a couple in BC who didn't have a windlass. They're advice was to anchor right the first time.

If nothing else get your self a manual windlass. Cruising is suppose to be fun.
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:02 PM   #3
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tbtapper, I guess my first question would be, what is your age and physical condition? My current boat is the first one that I have been fortunate enough to have a windlass on. Until then I used braun and in my younger days, had no issues. I likely wouldn't/couldn't do it now. Can you not add one if you think you need it?
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:04 PM   #4
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I'd guess the PO didn't anchor out much.
But it certainly could be done if you are in shape. First thing I'd do is switch to a Fortress anchor and lose a bunch of weight that way (and I am a fan of Deltas, by the way). Even with a windlass, you use the boat to break the anchor loose, so all you or the windlass is doing is lifting the anchor and rode. Somebody hardy can probably do it faster than a typical windlass. Not me though.
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:12 PM   #5
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I have one, never used it yet. I can understand that some may use it though and that it can be very helpful in some circumstances but for anchoring were I do in the conditions I do it is easier and quicker by hand.

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Old 10-18-2017, 05:13 PM   #6
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It is possible if you don't anchor out; and if you are fit and are not single handed. (either literally or boating alone)

I was without a windlass for about a month when it failed a few years ago. Retrieving my similar sized anchor/rode was possible but it was a lot of work. It would be impossible in strong winds/current when singlehanded. With someone at the helm or in light winds, it could be done.

Are they a necessity? Almost.
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:27 PM   #7
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We had a recent windlass failure caused by overtightened terminal lug on install.

We tried the emergency handle to manually pull in the 300ft of chain and 150lb of anchor but gave that up as a joke.
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Old 10-18-2017, 06:12 PM   #8
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I have a 60 pound Manson Supreme with all chain. First night on long trip (last night) the windlass stopped working.

Not sure what other failure on board I would fear more.

Fortunately I know the issue and can fix it....had it happen 2 years ago....but takes a few good hours to put back into the reliable mode....so tomorrow is repair day.

The failure does not allow manual use so those that think all windlass failures can be easily overcome...not so... unless you get creative with rope wraps on tbe capstan and using the manual handle, ratchiting but using the rope to prevent slippage back in the water. My failure is where the interior pawls dont engage and the wildcat freewheels in both directions.... all the time.

Before you bother with suggestions on possible problems...I know exavtly where the problem is.

So bottom line...would never cruise without a windlass if I had a heavy anchor and all chain rode. If line and short chain say under 50 feet, and the anchor was less than 50 pounds, then different story.
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Old 10-18-2017, 06:20 PM   #9
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tbtapper, no windlass on a 35ft sundeck is the exception, imo for good reason. We`ve done a manual retrieve a couple of times, last one in 16 metres with 4x scope, and it`s not fun, especially all chain. We now carry 2 pairs of leather faced gardening gloves just in case.
In addition, it`s a safety issue. Slow, difficult, and in the wrong conditions things can happen, and the best boat handlers on board may well be the 2 people on the bow retrieving. It`s much easier with 2 than 1 doing the retrieve.
My advice is start exploring the purchase of a windlass. Now let`s see, what brand is best? We`ve had that discussion about anchors ad nauseam,windlasses could be fun too.
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Old 10-18-2017, 07:03 PM   #10
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When I bought my boat it had a manual windlass on it. #0' of heavy chain and the rest rope. The previous owners cruised for 2800 hrs all up and down the US east coast and I believe they anchored most of the time.

I used it exactly one time before I ordered and electric windlass.

My windlass failed twice and the failure disabled the manual override so I had to pull the chain and anchor up by hand. You're not pulling the entire chain and anchor all at once unless you're in more than 30' of water so I was able to do it.

Cruising will be a lot more fun with an electric windlass. Unless you always stay in marinas.
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Old 10-18-2017, 08:06 PM   #11
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Thanks for the comments. I actually have a windlass to install but was thinking of taking a couple of cruises before installing. Fortunately I’m pretty fit and don’t think it would be too difficult but won’t plan on manual retrieval unless I have to
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Old 10-18-2017, 08:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceK View Post
.
My advice is start exploring the purchase of a windlass. Now let`s see, what brand is best? We`ve had that discussion about anchors ad nauseam,windlasses could be fun too.
Not lewmar
Not quick
Bigger is always better.
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:47 PM   #13
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Cruising wo a windlass

I can't imagine being on the hook with no windlass. I have a 55lb Rocna and all chain rode.

That reminds me, I need to learn how to service and repair the windlass. How often do they need servicing? What do I need to do?? I've never done anything to it so far in three years.
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:50 PM   #14
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^^^^ what does the manual say?
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:56 PM   #15
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I wouldn't cruise without one, but if I was going to try, i would probably switch to a Fortress aluminum anchor. I prefer all chain and my Rocna anchor, but a Fortress and 20' of chain should be manageable.

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Old 10-18-2017, 10:12 PM   #16
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When I use a stern anchor it's an 80# plow and line with no winch on the stern and I'm 69. If I can, you can.
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Old 10-18-2017, 10:19 PM   #17
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Cruising wo a windlass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
^^^^ what does the manual say?

Don't have a manual. Hell I don't even know what brand it is off hand. Sadly, stupidly, I've neglected this important piece of gear.
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Old 10-18-2017, 10:35 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
Don't have a manual. Hell I don't even know what brand it is off hand. Sadly, stupidly, I've neglected this important piece of gear.
I serviced my one (even if I do not use it) in spring. It was certainly not serviced for the last 15 years by the OP. When I lift the cover it was full of dirt, sand, spider nets and even a wasp net!
I cleaned everything, greased all the gearing, cleaned the electrical contacts, redo the caulking on the wire pass through etc nothing really difficult.

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Old 10-18-2017, 10:50 PM   #19
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Thanks for the comments. I actually have a windlass to install...
You got one without TF approval??!! We could have sustained the board for weeks, some people are right on it now despite that.
Now, tell us what it is? This will be akin to the standard firework instruction:

"Light blue touch paper, stand well clear"
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Old 10-18-2017, 10:51 PM   #20
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I did that for the first two years I owned my boat, 33 lb Rocna and 30' of chain, right at 70 lbs. If it's shallow then it's not really a big deal, but when you are in over 50' of water it starts to be. I used to pull about halfway, then go have a cup of coffee and rest a bit before pulling the rest of it.

Now have a LoFrans vertical with a capstan on top, it rocks! I immediately went to 45' of chain and I would never go back to manual.

As for how often to maintain, I didn't do any maintenance the first two years and found that some of the parts are harder to disassemble the longer you go. I think minor disassembly every year is probably the best, the wiring and switches are dry on my install so they require less attention.
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