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Old 06-18-2016, 11:41 AM   #1
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Need Help With Windlass

As I read a windlass is not made to pull the boat to the anchor but to lift rode and or chain. My question is why do they have a pulling rating in lbs. on the info sheet.
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Old 06-18-2016, 12:50 PM   #2
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Probably so some unknowing boater with his 30' boat doesn't buy an anchor suitable for one of the new cruise ships.
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Old 06-18-2016, 02:13 PM   #3
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I believe it's a point of comparison for lifting power. If you're going to try to lift 200 ft of chain from a deep water anchorage, it's an important number to know especially when comparing windlasses for purchase.
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kartracer View Post
As I read a windlass is not made to pull the boat to the anchor but to lift rode and or chain. My question is why do they have a pulling rating in lbs. on the info sheet.
They use a good bit of battery power, since the engine will be on anyway best to drive up to the chain tight, secure the chain, then drive fwd to pop the anchor free then use the widlass to pull up the anchor. If in calm conditions, and anchor in sand or mud or singlehanded I some times just use the windlass to do it all, not a big deal in our shallow gulf cruising area.
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:18 PM   #5
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I generally use the capstan to pul the boat up to the anchor unless it's windy.
A good winch in good condition should handle that in benign conditions for a very long time.
The "heads up" in this is not to use the winch to pull the anchor out of the bottom. Get right above the anchor then go back and forth gently untill the anchor breaks out. May need to resecure the rode more than once but it's a sure fire method and won't stress your winch.

The rating in lbs is to help you size your ground tackle. The winch should be rated not far from double the weight of the rode when all out .... IMO.
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Old 06-20-2016, 06:48 AM   #6
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"Get right above the anchor then go back and forth gently untill the anchor breaks out."

With all chain and a CHAIN STOPPER , this is fine ,

but without the stopper all the break out load is passed to the windlass which is not designed for that abuse.
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:44 AM   #7
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When I have to break out an anchor I do get right above the anchor but I also reattach my bridle so that no load is passed to either the anchor pulpit or the windlass.

I have had a couple of situations were my 40kg Rocna was completely buried as a result of high winds. Fortunately I have always been able to break it out.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:19 AM   #8
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I must be doing it all wrong.. most of the time I pull anchor solo and use the windless for 100% of the retrieval.. the cantenary softens the load on the windless ( unless one is a moron and just stands on the switch until the anchor jambs into the bow roller). And I typically slowly bring the boat over the anchor.. again with the windless.. then snug up the chain and the anchor typically pulls free. Unless there is a sunken log or coral head attached.. I have had the bad luck to pull both to the surface before.
I think the key is to go easy on the windless and not pull under a heavy load for the entire time.
And as a side note I have only once had a windless failure in 30+ years of big boats.. that was when the home built windless on my 50' trawler failed due to the brushes on the WW2 surplus B-24 liberator bomb bay motor that turned the drum.
Luckily the boat cane with a spare and multiple sets of soft carbon brushes for replacement.
I do fall in line and always use a 2 point snubber so as to not get grief for that also
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:27 AM   #9
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The windlass manufacturers supply the pull force spec in order for customers to choose the right windlass. Working load should normally be .2 to .25 of the max pull rating of the windlass. So if your rode and anchor's wetted weight is 100 pounds then you want at least a 400 and maybe even a 500 pound capacity windlass.

As Hollywood has also pointed out by merely lifting the chain on an all chain rode you can easily pull the boat to the anchor without putting any strain on the windlass.


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Old 06-20-2016, 12:46 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=Nomad Willy;453092]I generally use the capstan to pul the boat up to the anchor unless it's windy.
A good winch in good condition should handle that in benign conditions for a very long time.
The "heads up" in this is not to use the winch to pull the anchor out of the bottom. Get right above the anchor then go back and forth gently untill the anchor breaks out. May need to resecure the rode more than once but it's a sure fire method and won't stress your winch.
QUOTE]

I pretty much do the same, except I usually creep up in the scope before I fire up the engine. When I'm about 2 or 3 to 1 I fire up and put a little tension on the chain when it's straight up. Let it stay like that for several seconds then idle in reverse only. That normally breaks the anchor free.
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Old 06-22-2016, 08:22 PM   #11
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I have anchored ships to boats and the only time I powered to the anchor was when bailing out of an anchorage that became dangerous.
I think the pull rating my be the lawyers way of making a possibility of charging for replacement under warranty.
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