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Old 08-23-2016, 09:18 AM   #1
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windlass clutch

How much tension do you leave on your windlass clutch during periods of non use?Locked,slight,or released?I have a HWC 1500 and only use every month or so.
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:31 AM   #2
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I leave the windlass clutch set at a point that will pull up the anchor in all conditions and I leave it alone. It will slip if a heavy load pulls on it with the anchor set, but I always use a snubber to keep the load off of it.


The downside is if the snubber breaks or depending what type of chain hook you have, it comes unhooked, then the anchor rode will pay out. I am sure I will hear it happen if I am asleep below and can take of the problem.


I think this approach is the best way to protect the windlass from excessive loads.


David
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:23 AM   #3
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I keep the windlass clutch snug and a devil's claw on the anchor. Remember a case some years ago when a Trojan cabin cruiser was skippin' right along and the anchor came loose, caught bottom and flipped the boat over, killin' everyone aboard.
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:35 AM   #4
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Mine is just a smooth bronze wildcat pressed against a smooth brone cone. Friction is the clutching process.

Dout any amount of pressure is real lingerie changing (hurting) anything.

Leave mine snug enough to pull the anchor free of the normal bottom hooking and retrieve.
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:35 AM   #5
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I keep the clutch tight enough to raise the anchor under most conditions but loose enough that the windlass will not stall if the anchor is truly stuck.


I do not depend on the windlass to hold the anchor either underway or at anchor. I cleat the rode while anchored and I have a short line on the anchor that I attach to the cleat when underway.


Most windlasses are not intended to hold the boat at anchor and the instruction book will have a warning to cleat the line or use a chain stopper as appropriate.
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
I leave the windlass clutch set at a point that will pull up the anchor in all conditions and I leave it alone. It will slip if a heavy load pulls on it with the anchor set, but I always use a snubber to keep the load off of it.


The downside is if the snubber breaks or depending what type of chain hook you have, it comes unhooked, then the anchor rode will pay out. I am sure I will hear it happen if I am asleep below and can take of the problem.


I think this approach is the best way to protect the windlass from excessive loads.

David
If your set up doesn't have a chain stop you can either add one or make up a line you can tie or clip onto the chain and tie off on the boat between the snubber and the windlass. That way if the snubber fails the strain is not put on the windlass.
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Old 08-24-2016, 06:08 AM   #7
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Ideal Windlass Company

www.idealwindlass.com/new_page_5.htm

PAWL TYPE CHAIN STOPPERS. Anchoring in rough water or riding at anchor for prolonged periods of time places a heavy load on the anchor windlass gear ...

It is beyond me how the first purchaser paid for the boat with out a chain stopper installed?
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:38 AM   #8
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Plus one on what WesK said. The only time there is tension on my windlass is when it is either letting chain out or pulling chain in. At all other times the chain is secured to the cleat next to the windlass so that there is no pressure on the windlass.

Five years ago we had a 28' boat. We had just accelerated to 22 knots, cruising over a two-foot wake and the anchor holding device gave out. In seconds 200 feet of chain and rope went out. We were lucky, as we were in 250 feet of water. Ever since then I have always secured our anchor with rope on a cleat.
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