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Old 10-03-2019, 11:54 AM   #1
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McMurray Windlass

Owned 1972 Grand Banks 42 Classic 2 years. Last year had windlass motor rebuilt. The brushes had caused alot of scratching on the commutator (think thats what the contact area is called) and the motor wasn't spinning. Reinstalled and it worked well. Few months back, a change. Previously, the chain plate would spin freely as the anchor chain paid out. The foot switch brought the anchor up no problem. Now the chain plate will not spin freely to pay out and the switch doesn't always get the windlass to work on bringing anchor up. The rode wheels have been greased. Hoping to return the free spin of the chain plate to let the chain out but not sure how to proceed.
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:53 PM   #2
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Your term " Chainplate" does not ring a bell. Or are you referring to what many of us would call the wildcat which has all the chain grabbing pockets.

Photo of what you are referring to.?

On their site I see McMurray offers large windlasses, which model? Vertical or horizontal?

If it is the , I call it, wildcat then maybe it simply needs to be removed and the shaft and clutch cleaned and greased. They do require this from time to time. Waterproof grease similar to the outboard engine propellor shaft grease.

As for the electrical it could be the footswitch, it could be loose connections, it could be a relay. Without some more specific info it will be hard to narrow this one down. I strongly suspect the footswitches control relays for the up and down functions. Take a look and check for voltage from the footswitch to the associated relay. Again maybe a photo might help and a description of the circuitry.
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Old 10-14-2019, 07:52 PM   #3
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Yes, more details/pics please.

My McMurry is like the one shown at the link below. Its the only model I'm aware of with that name spelling. It was made by Doc Freeman's, a chandlery in Seattle back in the 70's and 80's, and ended up on a bunch of PNW/west coast boats.

https://cya.wildapricot.org/Resource...chor_Winch.pdf

If that isn't what you have, ignore the rest of this post.

I think what you are calling the "chainplate" is the wildcat. It is the "chain gear" that grips the chain and pulls on it. (A chain plate is a flat metal piece that is used to hold mast rigging in place on a sailboat.)

On my McMurray, the gypsy can be loosened to freewheel or tightened to stay fixed to the shaft (and only move with the motor) via the handbrake. If the handbrake is tight only the motor moves the chain, if it is loose it can freewheel. Because the handbrake is so small and hard to tighten, I don't as a practice use it to drop anchor/chain, its too hard to control and too hard to get tight again. I "manually" put my chain out with the windlass motor. My anchoring is usually pretty controlled and methodical so this works anyway, freewheeling would actually almost be self defeating as I don't want a pile of chain out, the windlass motor goes almost too fast anyways. We typically set out enough to hit bottom + 15 ft or so, then as I start to back down Y-von starts putting out the rest of what we've already agreed on (we have our all chain rode marked every 25 feet so we can set a pretty close amount to what we need.) My windlass is wired and configured with two foot switches, one to reverse and one forward for anchor up and anchor down, chain in and out.

You note you have greased the "rode wheels". The only lubrication necessary on the McMurray shown in the link above is the very particular oil level inside the housing. Are you talking about the friction plates shown in the drawing?
The friction plates on either side of the gypsy should be clean and dry so they will grab the gypsy when the handbrake is tight.

A question for you - does your windlass (has it ever) work to power down your anchor? These windlass' are powered by a motor that is basically a modified Ford tractor starter motor. Some people over the years have replaced the original motor with that starter motor which only spins one direction, losing the ability to power down the winch. If that is the case there is at least one company that produces a version of the motor that reverses. I have not purchased one but have the research info (and have recently confirmed it) on where to get that motor.

Additionally, there can be problems with exactly how that motor is installed back into the winch housing and the overfilling of the oil, causing oil from the housing to get at the motor innards which could be starting to cause your intermittent motor issues. (Of course, those could be 1001 other things, foot switch, wiring connections, relays, battery, etc etc....)

If any of this sounds like it could be your windlass let me know and I can give you everything I have gathered...
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:56 PM   #4
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I've seen many of these, just never knew who made or sold them.
N ow I do, Thank you
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:15 AM   #5
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McMurry anchor windlass

Disassembled the chain gypsy side of the windlass. The brake handle unscrews from the spindle.The flat 5" diameter bronze disk has a keyway. My key had slipped and wedged itself turned 45 degrees and chewing out the bronze. Hassle removing the gypsy. It slid halfway, then I had to unscrew it w plumber's wrench and constant pressure helping it out. The inside 1" diameter of the gypsy had been tapped by the shaft. The result was the gypsy tighten up on the the fiber disk and bronze disk tight to the body of the unit. Sanded most of that out, and now it spins nicely. Put it together and the motor ran at 1/10 speed and got hot (117). Also the foot switch wouldn't always turn it off. But it doesn't seem to be all of the issue. The screw gear which had broke it's set pin, is getting a little roughed up. A few of the teeth on the big gear are the cause. The misalignment seems to be binding it . Finding where it the trick.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:23 AM   #6
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It sounds like there is a lot going on with your windlass.

Here is some info for you.

The gears and bearings should still be available, another member here on TF had located replacements, here is a link to that post from about 5 years ago. I have not researched the data to see if its still current.

McMurray windlass info

These are "link" bearings, there are two for the main 1" shaft that holds the large gear and the gypsies, and one for the motor shaft. Both bearings look like they are available from the listed distributor in the post.


Here is another post from here on TF that C Lectric posted, it has a link to some cruisers forum posts with additional info about disassembly hints on the McMurray winch, and is the closest thing to a workshop manual as exists that I've found.

McMurry Windlass Oil

I wish you luck, so far my repairs to my windlass have involved troubleshooting that it was overfilled with oil when I took possession of it when we purchased the boat, and determining the proper oil level. But as with anything old, I have been preparing for any needed repairs by researching what is available. This winter we will probably start amassing some key components for rebuild so we have them on hand, we like the windlass and will probably be prepared to rebuild it in place rather than replace it when it is time.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:56 AM   #7
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McMurry anchor windlass

Fantastic info, really appreciate the links!
Looking forward to sharing about the fix on my unit.
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:13 PM   #8
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More McMurry Windlass info in this CF thread:


McMurry Windlass - Parts Search - Cruisers & Sailing Forums


According the last post dated 6/26/2019, R.C. Plath in Seattle can help if you need a new gypsy.


I have a McMurry on my boat and really like it.
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Old 10-15-2019, 08:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingston Mariner View Post
More McMurry Windlass info in this CF thread:


McMurry Windlass - Parts Search - Cruisers & Sailing Forums


According the last post dated 6/26/2019, R.C. Plath in Seattle can help if you need a new gypsy.


I have a McMurry on my boat and really like it.

Thanks for that info!

I have that windlass and LOVE it! Simple, durable and unless the casing breaks beyond weldable repair, infinitely repairable as parts will always be available. Contrast that to my last boat that had a Lofrans. Lofrans is still in biz, but they wouldn't support an "older" product. And that windless used all proprietary parts. The thing with the McMurry is that they used off the shelf parts, so I can source all the wear parts locally.



So the only issue I have is a slightly worn gypsy I had consigned myself to live with. Nice to know there is a source for it. Hopefully it will last another 30 years.
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