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Old 06-10-2019, 07:20 PM   #1
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Maxwell's HRC FF 8 - thoughts?

Hi there,

Casting about for a new windlass, where price is a consideration. Anybody have experience with Maxwell's HRC FF 8 windlass?

Thinking of using a 5/16" chain and 5/8" eight strand rode.

Horizontal Rope and Chain Range
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:02 PM   #2
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Shop widely and wisely on internet. We just bought the one size larger 10-8 Maxwell for the same size chain and rode, 5/16 G4 and 5/8 8 brait. I found a range of prices from the 1400+ we paid to almost 2500 for the same windlass.
We bought ours from Hodges Marine Electronics, at hodgesmarine.com.
We had just burned up a Lewmar Pro 700 by getting hit with a gust while recovering the anchor. It stripped 60 ft of chain against the pull of the motor and burned out the motor.
Not wanting that again, we up sized.
We run an 80 lb Manson Supreme on 300 ft of chain, with 150 of brait behind that in case of a big sudden storm.
Our boat is a Cheoy Lee 40 LRC, 14.5 wide, at 38,000 lbs.
Good luck with your search. JohnS
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:08 AM   #3
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Hi John,

Thanks for the shopping around tip.

Does yours have the gypsy that grabs both rope & chain? If so, how's it working out?

We have dreams of doing some winter cruising after retirement so have to plan for 50 knot northerly outflow winds changing to southerly inflow 60 knot winds within 24 hours, which is pretty much the worst case scenario around here. Will try to be at home during such events, but you never know...
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:15 AM   #4
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I always like to go big on a windlass and also the wiring to it. Never know when you get caught out in a big blow.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:10 AM   #5
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Yes, Maxwell designates their combo windlasses RC, and like Lewmar, they seem to recommend the 8 brait line, though I think thst 3 strand would also work.
I hope that the winds you describe are worst case. I would not want to be out in them. I am guessing that you would be looking at Alaska or the Northern Pacific coast, so deepish water as well.
To me, such extreme weather would require a blue-water capable boat, like a Nordhaven or expedition trawler, and the heaviest ground tackle I could put on it
We are only trying to plan for a sudden bad storm we can't outrun. (been caught that way once, and didn't like it).
Good luck, stay warm and safe, and have fun.
JohnS
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:20 AM   #6
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Bigger is better and maxwell is one of the better brands.
Muir would be my equal choice.
As others said, shop around online.

Personally I would not touch lewmar, lofrans or quick.
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Old 06-11-2019, 07:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
Bigger is better and maxwell is one of the better brands.
Muir would be my equal choice.
As others said, shop around online.

Personally I would not touch lewmar, lofrans or quick.
Simi...I don't know how you could lump lofrans together with Lewmar and Quick. I've seen inside all three and Lofrans is clearly built to a higher standard. I don't have any direct personal experience of Maxwell but they have a big installed base and many different models atable very AGM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnS View Post
Yes, Maxwell designates their combo windlasses RC, and like Lewmar, they seem to recommend the 8 brait line, though I think thst 3 strand would also work.
I hope that the winds you describe are worst case. I would not want to be out in them. I am guessing that you would be looking at Alaska or the Northern Pacific coast, so deepish water as well.
To me, such extreme weather would require a blue-water capable boat, like a Nordhaven or expedition trawler, and the heaviest ground tackle I could put on it
We are only trying to plan for a sudden bad storm we can't outrun. (been caught that way once, and didn't like it).
Good luck, stay warm and safe, and have fun.
JohnS
Yes, that's about the absolute worst case scenario. Hopefully we'd be tucked up at the head of a mountain lined inlet perpendicular to the winds, but it would be wild none the less.

We expect to fit quite a bit more length of 8 strand compared to 3 strand in the anchor locker, and hope to at least double our chain to 60' for deeper water anchoring.

Also in the running are EZ Anchor Puller or Lonestar (Aussie made with US distributor) electric drum winches. Lots of potential for deep water anchoring with those bad boys.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:53 AM   #9
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Simi...I don't know how you could lump lofrans together with Lewmar and Quick. I've seen inside all three and Lofrans is clearly built to a higher standard. I don't have any direct personal experience of Maxwell but they have a big installed base and many different models atable very AGM.
The end of my last sentence should read...at various price points.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:56 PM   #10
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We installed a Maxwell HRC10-8 on our previous boat, and loved it. We had 150' chain and 250' brait. On the rare occasion where we had the brait out as well, the windlass handled it perfectly. I would highly recommend it.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:16 PM   #11
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I installed the HRC FF 8 over the winter and it has been fantastic. I shopped and researched until I was dizzy. The Maxwell has more power and better construction than anything I could find in its price range. It was also Practical Sailors top pick. I also bought mine at Hodges. We use it with a Marine Trader 34 and it is well matched. I oversized my DC power cables for peace of mind. I have personally seen overheated windlass cables catch fire on a boat.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:24 PM   #12
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I installed a Lofrans Tigress 1200 watt windlass on our 40 foot 40,000 pound trawler in 2002. We have 400 feet of 5/16" chain and a Genuine Bruce 66#

We anchor in 25 to 80 feet of water and deploying and retrieving 90 to 150 pounds of ground tackle is fast. My wife use the boats engine to pull forward while I am retrieving the anchor with the windlass. That reduces the strain on the windlass.

We anchor 75% of the time during a 2 to 3 month cruise. Other than annual maintenance, the Lofrans Tigress has functioned flawlessly 17 years.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:21 PM   #13
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My bad - I said I bought our HRC FF 8 from Hodges. I actually found a better price at WMJ Marine and bought it there. $799.00 https://www.wmjmarine.com/shrc8.html...7cfb8cc38c5280
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:13 AM   #14
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Thanks Conrad & SeaBreeze for your positive reports.

I’ve seen promotional photos showing 8 strand taking up 1/2 the volume that 3 strand does...is this your experience? A longer rode would be nice.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:53 AM   #15
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The 8 brait packs much tighter than the 3 strand, as it does not have the stiffness of the 3 strand, nor does it hockle when paying out. I found it much harder to splice, but doable with a good hollow fid, and working slack into the splice by flexing the standing part being spliced.
My 200 ft of 5/8 brait shipped in a 12" cube box, and laid flat in the chain locker when fed in. We do have an almost 3 ft drop from the deck to the bottom of the locker. I used 40 ft of the brait for snubber lines, etc., using a Mantus chain grabber for the snubbers.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:07 AM   #16
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I have not worked with the 8 brait rode. I opted for the Lewmar 3 strand with 20' of chain. This has been satisfactory for my current use. I have had no issues with it feeding in and out of the winch and it packs nicely in the chain locker. Later on when the need arises in three years, I'll probably go with 50-75 feet more of chain.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Bigger is better and maxwell is one of the better brands.
Muir would be my equal choice.
I've had both and agree that they are about the same high quality. My present anchor is a Maxwell 1200VC and yesterday I changed out the old bow foot switches.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:09 PM   #18
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Murray, we went with the Maxwell site's recommendations re the brait (and chain). As I mentioned, the brait worked perfectly in the gypsy while it was hauling up 150' chain and the 33 lb Rocna 15.
When we purchased the Maxwell, they didn't have the HRC FF 8 model, which I see is similar to our HRC10-8 but a bit lighter on capacity.
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