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Old 05-30-2013, 02:34 PM   #1
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windlass rope only ?

The electric windlass that came with the boat only has smooth drum. When I pull it up I just stop when I get to the chain and haul the chain in by hand around 50' .It's not too bad but I was wondering what would happen when the chain hit the smooth drum . Would it just slip or tear the drum up or both.I'm not looking at it now but I think it is a Maxwell.In the future I would like to change to a manual that will take both rope and chain.Has anyone seen this kind of application for windlass ?
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:05 PM   #2
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If you can pull the anchor in manually then I would stop at the chain. You might be able to cover the drum with something so the chain does not damage the drum, but if you are planning on replace you could give it a try. I think the chain would slip.

Many windless can be taken in manually. The Eagle windless came with two metal rods that fit in holes so my wife can still taken in the anchor if the battery dies. Ha right, and if you believe that I have a bridge for you to buy!
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:19 PM   #3
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Pack Mule,
That's what I do. Use the drum winch to pull the rode till the chain shows up on the bow roller. Then I switch to pulling by hand my 15' of chain and my anchor. Most of my anchors weigh 22lbs or less. I keep my rode on deck in a box so letting it out or putting it back in is easy especially w my "Brait" (not braid) anchor line.

Once in awhile I think of using a 33+lb anchor instead and taking off all the chain. May need to replace the first 20' of line to cope w some abrasion on the bottom fairly often but I think it should work very well. Chain is a religion around here so beyond me you probably won't receive much support from others ... but we shall see.

Something that enters into this "rope only" concept is the ratio of rode weight and anchor weight. With an all chain rode I've frequently said that if half of the chain were removed and substituted w line and the weight savings from the resulting combination rode put into the anchor an extraordinary increase in holding power would result. Obviously an all line rode would maximize the holding power for a given weight of anchor rode so would seem to be the way to go .... especially w a hand pull arrangement.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:31 PM   #4
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Pack Mule I break all the rules of common wisdom here. 10' of chain, sub 20 lb Danforth connected with shackles not braided. 3 strand pre made rode with an eye splice.

As I haven't figured out my line only windlass yet and don't anchor in that deep of water anyway I just hoist it aboard by hand. I'll figure out my windlass Saturday but doubt I will use it much.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:48 PM   #5
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I have a similar setup with an Ideal windlass. I have 10 or 15 feet of chain on a 35 pound CQR with the rest being nylon. We used it for the first time today. It worked well using the windlass for the line and pulling the chain by hand. I am considering using a sentinel (kellet). It is a weight typically around 25-30lb suspended from the rode to help keep the pull on the anchor as horizontally as possible to prevent dragging in rough weather. It seems to me to be a decent compromise to buying the upgrade kit for the windlass or buying a new one that can handle chain.

Chain vs. Rope seems to get people going almost as much as Single vs. Twin.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:12 PM   #6
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Have you ever used a kedge ( I think that is what it's called )? I have the hardware for one .
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:15 PM   #7
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It's called a kellet .I did not read far enough down. Mine came with old sailboat I used to have.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:48 PM   #8
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I have the same thing, here on the Chesapeake I can run with 15 feet of chain. Most of the time I just hand over hand the whole thing.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:04 PM   #9
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I made a Kellet as advised by Rex of Anchor Right Australia. Got it all set up to slide down the line. Haven't used it though. And it's only 12 lbs. Made it from lead weights for a commercial fishing buoy mast counterweight.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by CPseudonym View Post
As I haven't figured out my line only windlass yet and don't anchor in that deep of water anyway I just hoist it aboard by hand. I'll figure out my windlass Saturday but doubt I will use it much.
Why figure it out when you can just tie off on the first unsuspecting boat you come across on the delta? Besides, most folks in these parts are quite friendly and understanding.

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Old 05-30-2013, 11:05 PM   #11
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Do they make a gypsy for your windlass that can handle both rope and chain??? That would be the solution. I know probably not cheap but not as much as a new one.
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:27 AM   #12
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Since you may change the windlass in the future , simply wrapping a tuen (or tewo) of chain around the drum will allow power retreival.

Sure it scratches the drum , but it works fine.

AS we do not anchor in coral the only chain is from the anchor seatedc in the bow roller to the windlass. Enough to keep the anchor happy and short enough to clean easily to avoid the low tide stench of un scrubbed chain.

Happily a chain stopper in line with the setup holds the anchor in place while not deployed..
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:28 AM   #13
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AS we do not anchor in coral the only chain is from the anchor seatedc in the bow roller to the windlass. Enough to keep the anchor happy and short enough to clean easily to avoid the low tide stench of un scrubbed chain.

Happily a chain stopper in line with the setup holds the anchor in place while not deployed..
Same here.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:48 AM   #14
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Walt, your anchor system is jewelry, as well as functional.
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:27 AM   #15
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Walt, your anchor system is jewelry, as well as functional.
....and like a lot of jewelry, it's not used that much.
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