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Old 10-04-2016, 03:48 PM   #1
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Muir Windlass

I have a Muir HR2500 Cheetah 24v Windlass with a cast aluminum housing which failed while attempting to set a 77lbs anchor off the windward side of Catalina Island in 20-25 knot winds.

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As you can see, there is a great deal of galling and corrosion due to the opposite Stainless Steel Bolt & Aluminum Housing metals. Think copper plumbing attached to galvanized plumbing…it just doesn’t work and will corrode, then eventually fail. Thank God we were in only 25 knot winds and not in anything stronger!!!

Even though the windlass is a 2007 and only 9 years old, I think Muir should cover the replacement of my windlass by justifying that it was a “manufacture defect” by combining and using stainless & aluminum.

Has anyone experienced this problem with Muir?
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Old 10-04-2016, 04:43 PM   #2
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We also had a Muir windlass on our (1999) Selene 47. No problem with it over 17 years. We anchored frequently and stayed at anchor for months in the Bahamas and certainly saw blows over 25kt. Our 88lb Rocna had 350ft chain. Only problem we ever had was a worn (non Muir) windlass foot switch solenoid. Do not see how the stainless bolt would cause corrosion that would cause such a large section to break off. More photos might help understanding but it looks as though the entire "hub" that holds the ratchet pawl has broken off of the main windlass housing. Were you using a snubber, or relying on just the pawl/ratchet to hold the tension on the chain?
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:07 PM   #3
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Muir Windlass

Correct, it was the bolt holding the ratchet pawl...

It was just after we laid out 100' of chain and in advance of putting on the snubber.

It just happened so fast!!!

I have got to believe that the ratchet pawl, bolted with a stainless steel bolt to the aluminum housing is rated for at least 1000 lbs of a factor 3 fall, and in not way was there that much tension on it when ours failed

Anyhoo, here are 2 pictures of the housing:

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Thank you.

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Old 10-04-2016, 05:32 PM   #4
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I would guess that the aluminum casting was defective from new. We had a (Chinese) stainless shackle break/fracture in a similar manner. We did manage to "bend" the windlass pawl bolt once while pulling down too hard on the anchor without the snubber in place. We then began using a simple bridle looped around the chain just in front of the windlass before pulling to test the anchor set. So in that situation the pawl stainless bolt bent but the windlass casing itself was not damaged. The windlass was repaired with a helicoil and new bolt.
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:36 PM   #5
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Copy that Skipper.

Unfortunately, if Muir doesn't cover me on a replacement windlass, it will cost me close to $6000 plus labor to put a new windlass in.

Ouch!

Are you aware of any way to procure a new Muir Cougar 24v Windlass for less than that?

~LC
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:40 PM   #6
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Well, you certainly got my attention. Thanks for the post, I'm gonna check mine. Also, we try not to use the pawl when setting the hook, only when retrieving.
Cheers!
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Old 10-04-2016, 06:50 PM   #7
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Is it possible to get it welded and ground ??
Crazy question but are there "adhesives" that will really bond aluminum like welding??
Might also be worth inquiring on the Selene owners website since Muir seems standard issue on Selenes.
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Old 10-04-2016, 07:00 PM   #8
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I think Muir has changed from a cast aluminum cover to a composite one. The current model is a Muir 2500. I`ve had Muir windlasses on this and the last boat. Both covers had corrosion under the paint, I`ve seen it on pics of boats for sale too. I repainted one cover, removed all the paint, etch primed, epoxy primer, plus 2 pack paint, it still bubbled.
That said, they are excellent windlasses fitted to many Aussie boats and a very durable product. Mine now has a new motor so powerful and heavy on power it fried the ammeter, the retrieve is almost too fast.
Talk to Muir by all means, they are responsive, but may find assessing the failure difficult at such distance. It sounds like you are already in contact with them.
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Old 10-04-2016, 08:02 PM   #9
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Interestingly, I was reading the manual on my Muir windlass last weekend. (This is the first boat that I've owned with a windlass.)

On the first page of the owners manual, the owner is instructed to remove the anti-reverse pawl and store it in a safe place. The pawl is only for use when manually retrieving the anchor.

I'm guessing that your housing failure is not the first.....
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:53 PM   #10
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so I've had a muir winless and I liked it. When I saw the OP's photo it appeared to me that someone set the Prall down and then power the windlass into it, breaking the housing.

But that's just what I got from having had the same brand windlass, and looking at the photo. I really do not believe that the housing just broke on its own. Had to be some force there.

Even though a Muir windlass came stock on my boat, when I need a upgraded unit there was no chance of me paying their prices. I got a great Lofrans Tigress windlass for around 2500
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABfish View Post
Interestingly, I was reading the manual on my Muir windlass last weekend...On the first page of the owners manual, the owner is instructed to remove the anti-reverse pawl and store it in a safe place. The pawl is only for use when manually retrieving the anchor......
I now recall Muir giving me that advice when they serviced my windlass, replacing the motor.
If the OP`s manual omits that instruction, and that`s the part that failed,depending on US consumer protection Muir may have a problem. But if it`s there....
They are an excellent robust windlass, it`s impressive Selene fit them. Interestingly, the motor and the gearbox in mine are made in separate European countries.
A new HR2500 Cheetah retails here at $4199 AUD, an HR1600 Cougar at $2849.
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:43 AM   #12
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If you paint aluminum, all is well until the paint fails. Then the paint keeps oxygen away from the aluminum surface yet moisture gets in and the aluminum cannot form it's self-protective coating of aluminum oxide (that grey coating that people like to polish off and make the al shine but it is the real secret of al corrosion resistance) so the al just corrodes away to powder, under the paint. Like yours.

Painting aluminum is a travesty, but it looks good for a while. Take a look at any boat with painted al and you'll find that bubbled, blistered look which is the aluminum disintegrating under the paint.
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:29 PM   #13
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Thank you all for the comments. I've spent the past 24 hours on the phone and email to Muir in Australia and their US reps at Imtra. I'll go down the thread in order...

Crusty Chief - you are correct. The pawl is designed for manual anchor recovering purposes only. I used it as a temporary back up to the clutch and that's my bad.

Chrisj - no, the welding is not a sensible option and I would not trust it when BruceK takes me down to Mexico in a storm! I would sleep and could not guarantee that there are not other stress fractures.

BruceK - yes, you are correct that they now have a fiberglass housing. Since I have a twin gypsy windlass, one interesting thing I've learned is that this will require a custom order and the fabrication is done in Tasmania! Yes, TASMANIA!!!

ABfish - lesson learned!

ksanders - normally I would agree with you, but all the force that was on the chain was significantly less than what the system is rated for. So I believe it's a combination of galling, corrosion, torque and just bad luck.

BruceK - that's a good price! Do you have a distributor that will drop ship it to the US without going through a customs broker???

Xsbank - great photo!!!
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:19 PM   #14
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that's a good price! Do you have a distributor that will drop ship it to the US without going through a customs broker???
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Old 10-06-2016, 02:31 AM   #15
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Lucky,the price comes from Whitworths Marine and Leisure`s Catalogue,(www.whitworths.com.au). I carried mine when it went to Muir for its R&R, it was arm wrenching heavy, I`m guessing freight will be too, but you could ask. Call Laurie Heath, Drummoyne (in Sydney) branch manager, 61298196211.
Exciting to hear there is industry in Tasmania, it`s a nice, if somewhat cool and wet, southernmost island State, known as "the apple isle".
We used the manual recovery the day the motor died, it was easier and faster retrieving by hand. But seriously, they are a good product, if they can fix yours, do. Will they cut you a deal, or is it, as we say, "full freight"?
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Old 10-24-2016, 05:25 PM   #16
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Muir in Australia and their North America distributor IMTRA did the most amazing professional job taking care of me. So impressive how accessible they were. Worked with me on pricing. And had me back up and running with a new windlass faster than a tango dancer in Buenos Aires.

~Lucky Chucky
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Old 10-24-2016, 06:40 PM   #17
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Good to know. They replaced the whole windlass?
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Old 10-24-2016, 07:44 PM   #18
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Yes. I paid wholesale but am very happy because now I don't have to worry about the integrity of such a vital safety feature.

~Lucky Chucky
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