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Old 02-15-2018, 08:21 AM   #1
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Foot Switch to Control anchor Windlass?

Hello All,

I am ready to pull the trigger on a powered windlass with combination chain/rope gypsy. Should I presume that a up/down foot switch at the bow is the way to go - possibly in conjunction with a remote from the bridge? Or is another control type at the bow better?
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:32 AM   #2
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I've only ever seen foot switches at the bow, or a helm switch or both.
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:33 AM   #3
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I have controls at both helms but not at the bow. Have decided to add a wireless remote instead of foot switches. Reason-use anywhere on boat and less holes in deck.
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:22 AM   #4
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When I installed my windlass I put control switches at both helms. After just once trying to tell my wife "up" or "down", I ordered foot switches for the bow. Fortunately I had the foresight to run the wires when I installed the windlass.

The bow switches are the only ones I use. I have to go to the bow anyway to release the line that keeps the load off the windlass so it's easier you just control the windlass from there while I am there anyway.

Make sure you buy a windlass that uses a contactor (relay) so the full windlass power doesn't have to go through the foot switches.
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:26 AM   #5
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if you have a good helmsman and anchor puller, I like foot controls at the winch but have gone through 2 sets in 4 years.

I am leaning to almost totally use the helm switch and a wireless remote for when I need to be forward.
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:34 AM   #6
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If I had only one place to put switches, it would be foot switches at the bow. But that works with two people anchoring: one at the helm and another at the bow.

If you need to anchor single handedly, then you need foot switches at the bow and a rocker switch at the lower helm. That way you can power forward and pick up chain at the same time or deploy chain and back down. You always need switches at the bow to deploy and retrieve a snubber.

And I have always found an all chain rode much easier than a rope/chain rode to deploy and retrieve, especially single handed.

And finally some small windlasses that draw less than 50 amps do not have solenoids. So if you want to install a helm rocker switch you will need to run fairly big wire, #4 or #6 depending on the length of run. Solenoids reduce that draw significantly.

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Old 02-15-2018, 09:49 AM   #7
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Thank you all for quick responses. I really appreciate the insights.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:44 AM   #8
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Schaefer,
There are literally tons of useful info down in this anchoring folder, enough to anchor an aircraft carrier! One example:
Locating Windlass Breaker Switch

I ditched the foot switches for safety reasons, went radio and at-helm control.
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Old 02-15-2018, 10:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schaefferoil View Post
should i presume that a up/down foot switch at the bow is the way to go - possibly in conjunction with a remote from the bridge?
yes
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Old 02-15-2018, 11:50 AM   #10
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I have foot switches and find it easiest to wash the rode and anchor down with controls on the bow. The admiral bumps the boat forward while I am bringing it in.


I also have switches on the bridge and lower salon helm.
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:18 PM   #11
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Keen for a remote setup to use from the portugese bridge vs inside wheelhouse but our solenoid setup is in the front cabin.
Do you reckon those remotes would have a good enough signal to shoot through the deck?
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Old 02-15-2018, 12:19 PM   #12
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Have foot switches at the bow only, when running mixed rides the nylon line can hang up in the transition between chain and my low (in the splice) and once in a while the nylon can stick in the chain wheel and run up under the stripper, really jamming the windlass.

Then you wind up partially disassembling the windlass to get it operational again. I therefore tend it closely while standing on the bow (only). If you had all chain it probably would be fine to operate from the helm, but not in my situation.
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Old 02-15-2018, 01:14 PM   #13
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I have both but mostly use the pedals adjacent to the windlass, particularly during recovery so am able to inspect and clean the chain and anchor. Before lowering, I need to go to the bow anyway to unsecure the windlass and anchor.
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
Keen for a remote setup to use from the portugese bridge vs inside wheelhouse but our solenoid setup is in the front cabin.
Do you reckon those remotes would have a good enough signal to shoot through the deck?
I recently bought this wireless remote which is made for off road winches

https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Remo...remote+control

Cheaper than marine models and works fine from anywhere on the boat.
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Old 02-15-2018, 02:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug View Post
I recently bought this wireless remote which is made for off road winches

https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Remo...remote+control

Cheaper than marine models and works fine from anywhere on the boat.
me too....works great but....my batteries ran out fast from the order...keep a few extra aboard.
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Old 02-15-2018, 03:10 PM   #16
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I need 24v so the amazon one is out but this eBay one should be similar

https://m.ebay.com.au/itm/RECOVERY-W...cAAOSwYeRaRN8W

At $13 its worth a try, just hope it can shoot through several inches of wood
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:15 PM   #17
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I hate foot switches, expensive and always seem to break. Plus more holes in the deck. I have a wired switch at the helm and a wireless remote for when I'm doing bow work.
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:23 PM   #18
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I hate foot switches, expensive and always seem to break. Plus more holes in the deck. I have a wired switch at the helm and a wireless remote for when I'm doing bow work.
I like the WIRED remote with the coil cord. You can't drop it overboard and loose it. It does require a plug in; my last boat I put it just inside the hatch.

I've had foot switches too. Ungarded,without the swing cover, it is possible for someone to accidently hit the UP, and stress the system a bit. Overall, hand switches are easier to "navigate" than two foot switches that you are not looking at.
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:39 PM   #19
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but foot switches free up hands that can be used to do other things.... definitely a tradeoff.
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:42 PM   #20
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And you can't lose a footswitch or drop it overboard. And it doesn't have batteries to go dead.
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