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Old 09-05-2013, 08:48 PM   #1
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Windlass ???

I'm new to the forum.

We have a custom built 46 ft. steel hulled pilot house trawler with a 471 Detroit Diesel. She was originally built as a Government Fisheries Inspection boat that was converted to the pleasure craft that she is today. We purchased her in rough shape back in 2000 and have been working on her ever since. It has taken 13 years because we only work on it in the spring and fall, then when the ratio of work to pleasure tips too far, we launch and live aboard to enjoy her.

We are finally down to the last few items on our list and one of them is a Windlass. We cruise on Lake Winnipeg. Although it is huge cruising ground, 9,465 square miles, it has an average depth of approximately 39 ft. So we think that a manual Windlass will suffice.
Any thoughts? Or advice?
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:53 PM   #2
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Get a powered windlass.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:19 PM   #3
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Get a powered windlass.
+1 pushing a button or switch is much less tiresome if you anchor out often.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:42 PM   #4
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What type ground tackle do you anticipate using? That makes a difference. If your rode will be a combination of short chain and line you may be perfectly happy with a manual windlass. If your rode is all chain with a hefty anchor, I would concur with those above who suggest a powered windlass. This will become more apparent with the passage of years...speaking from experience now.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by lindatboating View Post
Any thoughts? Or advice?
My advice..........
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:11 AM   #6
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:44 AM   #7
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If you want to keep your s.o. / wife happy go with power.
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:49 AM   #8
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:50 AM   #9
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You are probably going to want an anchor that weighs 45 pounds or so at least, depending on the displacement of your vessel. Add more pounds for chain weight, and that could be a handful to haul up every time.

Where you will find the powered windlass very beneficial is that it allows you to easily reset your anchor and/or change anchor spots; manually hauling would get tiresome pretty quickly if you are having to reset in poor holding ground, especially after a long cruising day.
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:54 AM   #10
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Enough anchor to hold 50' of boat in place. This is "pleasure boating", power. Thirtyish foot boat hand windlass would be ok but power is still more in keeping with the pleasure aspect in my opinion. Especially as we age.
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:17 AM   #11
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Of course, I was kidding. I wanted the Admiral to enjoy boating (and I didn't want to work so hard) so I also installed a powered windlass with redundant remotes. The most she needs to do is spray the anchor and chain with the built-in wash down hose as the anchor slips effortlessly into its cradle.
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:34 AM   #12
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... Thirtyish foot boat hand windlass would be ok but power is still more in keeping with the pleasure aspect in my opinion. Especially as we age.
Those are precisely my thoughts.
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:40 AM   #13
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Of course, I was kidding. I wanted the Admiral to enjoy boating (and I didn't want to work so hard) so I also installed a powered windlass with redundant remotes. The most she needs to do is spray the anchor and chain with the built-in wash down hose as the anchor slips effortlessly into its cradle.
And here I am hauling up, or was it dropping, the anchor with my "foot on the peddle."

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Old 09-06-2013, 04:34 AM   #14
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Go with a powered windlass. You have heard two arguments so far, convenience and things like powered windlasses are needed as we age.

A third agrument for a powered windlass is that we are not always perfect when we anchor and then the better course of action is to lift the anchor and anchor again. There is more a reluctance to lift and reset when using a manual windlass than when it just involves pushing the button. After years of living at anchor I have a good eye for determining where to drop, I however still lift and reset frequently.

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Old 09-06-2013, 06:34 AM   #15
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AS an ex gov boat is /was hydraulics aboard?
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:18 AM   #16
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I like windlasses with a vertical capstan...you would be surprised at how often you use it when you have the luxury.

If you get a horizontal one...look to see where you can attach a snatch block so a line will feed out your hawse holes.
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:42 AM   #17
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Powered. However, go hydraulic if you can. I converted my Lofrans from a 1.5 KW electric to a hydraulic driven motor. I used a high speed low torque motor, since the worm gear was something like a 25:1 reduction. I did this because of having to reset the hook during a blow several times, then having electrical capacity issues after that. I've had zero problems since.
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:48 AM   #18
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No one has even remotely suggested that you put a manual windlass on a 49ft steel boat. The remaining question is electric or hydraulic. Hydraulic is nice. I wish I had it, but then I have hydraulic stabilizers and would not be adding to the complexity of the boat solely for a windlass.

If your battery bank is sufficient and you have a generator a good powerful electric windlass should be sufficient. On those occasions where I have pulled up the anchor twice and then set on the third attempt I have brought the battery bank down from a full charge and have had to turn on the generator sooner than anticipated. But that is not the world's biggest problem.

Just make sure your cables to the windlass are of sufficient size.

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Old 09-25-2013, 10:21 AM   #19
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I hand anchored until recently on my 30' Willard by hand. And hand over hand or even a hand operated windlass is very slow. Even my small electric capstan is more than a little slow. You w your large heavy boat will be slower than the slow (me). My small electric capstan has helped. I'm very limited w my chain length though.

The deal breaker for you though will probably be speed. There are times when we need to get the anchor up quickly to avoid danger or down to get hooked fast. Pulling the rode and anchor for a 46' vessel will be so slow one could get into ............ I'm not even sure it could be done. The question could have been how many windlass slaves will it take? Obviously it can be done as years ago it WAS done. Slaves leaning into a bar going around and around the vertical capstan. Everybody did it then.

But the hand windlass's we have now I think are intended for a 30-40' boat w a 40lb anchor and some chain. Well .. I did say "40' boat" didn't I? My advice is w the others (I always go along w the crowd) to get a power winch. But before you slam the door on the hand windlass contact a hand windlass manufacturer and ask them what the maximum rode weight/length they recommend. When pulling by hand w a lot of rode out (200'+) it can be very tiring just pulling up the slack w 5/8ths nylon. Several hundred feet of 3/4" line loaded into a PU truck from a parking lot would probably be a lot of work ...... so yes .. power windlass.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:08 PM   #20
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With a steel boat that size I am guessing you displace well in excess of 50K lbs. You should only go with chain and an anchor weighing at least 75lb (bigger is better). When you add up the weight of your new anchor plus 40ft of 3/8 chain you will find you will not be able to lift it by hand, unless you are Charles Atlas.
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