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Old 01-18-2018, 07:34 AM   #1
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Freefall or power down anchoring?

Thoughts and opinions on windlass types?
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:38 AM   #2
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I have a Cougar Muir and I always power down. I want to be in control and see the depth marker.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:39 AM   #3
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Makes sense.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:41 AM   #4
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Freefall or power down anchoring?

I do wonder about freefall potential to ball up the chain all over the anchor. But like speed if needed.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:45 AM   #5
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you can do either with some windlasses.

if you had to anchor deep a lot or for an emergency, free fall may be the ticket.

you can do both as I said with some, free fall till the anchor hits bottom or a set amout is out, then tighten the clutch to power out more controlled.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:46 AM   #6
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Cool
Just took off so cant reply for a bit
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:14 AM   #7
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We free fall even though we can power down. Our windlass is a Lighthouse 1501 and has the power down option. The retrieval rate is 37 fpm and the power down not being much faster. By free falling, it’s esaier to drop the anchor where we want it, particularly if it’s windy.
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:17 AM   #8
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At first we missed free fall, now we don't even think about it. I personally don't think there is much difference for our shallow water (less than 40', usually a lot less) use.
Might even be able to argue less chance of fouling the anchor with it's own chain in power down.??
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:24 AM   #9
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I would only freefall if it was the only option. It's not like it saves battery power (much). When we are anchoring (meaning as powerboats), our engines are running and there is power generated from the alternator(s). I can see it from sailors that sail onto anchor (which is really rare), or has a very small alternator and DC system.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:27 AM   #10
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I have a free-fall only windlass and hate it. I much prefer powering down for "normal" anchoring. To me, free-fall is for when you're fishing well off shore. You don't care so much about getting a good set, you're probably going to be anchoring several times in a trip , you're in deep water and time is of the essence.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:41 AM   #11
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Thak you all for the feedback.
Seems like i might want both options...$$$
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:41 AM   #12
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How many windlasses don't hsve a free fall option?

Till you do it with one that does it nicely...hard to say that freefall is bad, or something you wouldn't do some of the time.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:44 AM   #13
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Free fall with a brake to control the chain weight.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:51 AM   #14
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I just installed a Lewmar Pro1000, not the Profish version that has freefall. The Lewmar lets you unlock the clutch and then it will free fall. You can lock it up any time and then do power down as desired. Only draw back is you have to be at the windlass to unlock the clutch but I have a wireless remote so that is not much of a problem.
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Old 01-18-2018, 12:34 PM   #15
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Having hundreds of pounds of steel flying around on the boat gives me the willies, so I always power down. Free-fall is an option if required, but i would only use it under duress.

To get the anchor where we want it, which gets harder the deeper you anchor and the more wind you are fighting, I pre-deploy to about 10' above the bottom while I'm getting into position. Then we I get to my desired spot, I only have to drop another 10' until the anchor is on the bottom. Once you get the hang of it, it works really well.
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
Having hundreds of pounds of steel flying around on the boat gives me the willies, so I always power down.
My decision to power down is more primal than even this... I didn't even know it was a thing until I saw a YouTube cruiser do it about 2 years ago. That said, Neither of our windlasses had the feature without some fumbling.
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbtapper View Post
I just installed a Lewmar Pro1000, not the Profish version that has freefall. The Lewmar lets you unlock the clutch and then it will free fall. You can lock it up any time and then do power down as desired. Only draw back is you have to be at the windlass to unlock the clutch but I have a wireless remote so that is not much of a problem.
Same here. The Lewmar ProSeries 1000 powers down smoothly without incident. I prefer a controlled power down to a gravity-fed freefall. I seldom anchor in depths greater than 50 ft.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
Having hundreds of pounds of steel flying around on the boat gives me the willies, so I always power down. Free-fall is an option if required, but i would only use it under duress.

To get the anchor where we want it, which gets harder the deeper you anchor and the more wind you are fighting, I pre-deploy to about 10' above the bottom while I'm getting into position. Then we I get to my desired spot, I only have to drop another 10' until the anchor is on the bottom. Once you get the hang of it, it works really well.
Good points. I've tried a method similar to yours with success a couple of times when precise anchor placement was required. I find it helpful to watch my anchor position on the fishfinder when deploying and retrieving.
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Old 01-18-2018, 01:42 PM   #18
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I have a Maxwell VCW 3500. It does both. I tend to free fall initially and I control the speed if I am in 60+ feet of water. My chain is marked, so when I hit the bottom I know it and we start backing down. Once I get about an additional 60 feet of rode out we set the anchor. Then once I get the rest of the rode out (electrical) we set again. So I use both options on my windlass.
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Old 01-18-2018, 03:00 PM   #19
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I haven't figured out a safe but easy way to pull the chain off the gypsy, which on my unit is the only way to free fall. So we power down by necessity, but I am never in too much of a hurry to really want to free fall anyway.
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Old 01-18-2018, 03:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Free fall with a brake to control the chain weight.

This last year was the first that I have ever tried using the free fall with a clutch. My windlass on the sailboat had that feature, but I never used it. I found this year that I did like the option. It was particularly nice when I needed to put out all 300 of chain to anchor for a stern tie with 10-15 knots of cross wind. The speed was nice to have.
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