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Old 09-20-2014, 11:36 AM   #1
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How Do You Power Your Anchor Windless

In the not to distant future I will be replacing my house batteries. Presently the boat has two (house) battery banks, one engine start battery and one genset start battery. The two house bank batteries are separated by isolation diodes and switches. One of the house banks is only two 6 volt lead acid batteries in series for 12 volts. It looks like at one time the PO was using this small house bank to power the anchor windless, but just before the main disconnect switch for the windless he ran a wire (6 or 8 gauge) to the distribution panel which now allows the small house bank to also feed the main DC distribution panel. I don't like this set up so will be changing that. My question is, should the anchor windless be powered from the house batteries, start battery or a battery of it's own. My thought is to have it powered from the engine start battery as I would always have the engine running when operating the windless.

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Old 09-20-2014, 11:46 AM   #2
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If you have a house bank that is charged by an engine alternator it doesn't make much difference. Whichever is the easiest wiring job.
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:48 AM   #3
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There is often lively discussion around this topic.

I just redid all the wiring, including new batteries on our boat and I have the windlass running from the house bank. In my mind the key to this is where your alternator is connected, on our setup the alternator charges the house bank directly, the engine start battery gets charged through a dc-dc charger from the house bank. When using the windlass we always have the engine running so the windlass has decent voltage and the alternator carries the load - This has worked flawlessly for us.

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Old 09-20-2014, 12:17 PM   #4
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Ours is wired to the house bank and I like it that way.

My thought is that nothing connects to the engine batteries except the engine.
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:30 PM   #5
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BTW, my port alternator charges my start battery and my starboard alternator (high output alternator) charges both house bank batteries via an isolator. And with all the crossover and on/off switches installed by the PO you can configure nearly every option imaginable (which, in some cases my not be desirable).

Early on in this tread it appears powering the windless off of the house batteries is preferred method. If I do this I think I would wire the two house bank batteries together and just have one house bank which would eliminate the isolation diode (along with the .6 voltage drop they produce) and some of the crossover switches.
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:44 PM   #6
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I placed a battery forward, made it stand alone and charged it with a 35 watt solar panel. No heavy gauge wiring to compensate for resistance at high amperage draw. The 3 amp charging current is nothing and it keeps her fully charged. Wench? Or is that winch? use is normally short in duration, (in either case) at least for me and I have never had my battery run out of energy, me on the other hand, is altogether another subject.
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:07 PM   #7
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My thought is to have it powered from the engine start battery as I would always have the engine running when operating the windless.
Thanks
This is the way mine came wired from the factory and the logic seems to work out fine for me. With the engines running you have the alternators powering the winch through the high amperage output start batteries. Usually if you're pulling the anchor you would be running for some period of time and recharging any discharge quickly.
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Old 09-20-2014, 02:04 PM   #8
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Can't you just pull your anchor by hand?

Keep your start batt dedicated and run your engine to charge batts if need be.

I doan worry about it.
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Old 09-20-2014, 02:43 PM   #9
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Hydraulic. The only downside is the engine MUST be running.
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Old 09-20-2014, 03:51 PM   #10
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I installed a separate battery forward for both thruster and anchor windlass. It is charged via a Xantrex Echo Charge from the House/Start ACR. The ACR controls and distributes output from either the alternator underway or battery charger dockside. It has a manual control/override, but I have never needed to use it.

Since the thruster is used for only seconds, and the windlass a minute or so max, battery capacity has been entirely adequate so far.

Wiring the anchor windlass to the thruster battery kept the power leads short, so heavy gauge wiring and associated large fuses were not required to minimize voltage loss.

The generator start battery is kept fresh by another Echo Charge in the same way.

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Old 09-20-2014, 04:06 PM   #11
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i'll throw another one out there.

I am considering upsizing my windlass for a variety of good reasons.

The original cable is not large enough to support the new windlass, so it needs to be replaced.

I'm thinking about going with a AC powered windlass.

The windlass would be powered with my inverter, and if that inverter was for example inoperative then the generator would provide the power.

The up side of this is simply a much lower current draw, and the savings in both hassle and cost savings realized by not having to pull large cables all through my boat.
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Old 09-20-2014, 04:23 PM   #12
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i'll throw another one out there.

I am considering upsizing my windlass for a variety of good reasons.

The original cable is not large enough to support the new windlass, so it needs to be replaced.

I'm thinking about going with a AC powered windlass.

The windlass would be powered with my inverter, and if that inverter was for example inoperative then the generator would provide the power.

The up side of this is simply a much lower current draw, and the savings in both hassle and cost savings realized by not having to pull large cables all through my boat.

Your plan makes sense. Larger vessels can be found with an electric hydraulic windlass to lessen the long hydraulic runs from the ER.

What is cost and brand availability of 110V windlass vs a 12 or 24 volt unit? We do run our genset to inverter charger when weighing anchor to keep a high charging rate going.
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Old 09-20-2014, 05:02 PM   #13
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I installed a separate battery forward for both thruster and anchor windlass. It is charged via a Xantrex Echo Charge from the House/Start ACR. The ACR controls and distributes output from either the alternator underway or battery charger dockside. It has a manual control/override, but I have never needed to use it.

Since the thruster is used for only seconds, and the windlass a minute or so max, battery capacity has been entirely adequate so far.

Wiring the anchor windlass to the thruster battery kept the power leads short, so heavy gauge wiring and associated large fuses were not required to minimize voltage loss.

The generator start battery is kept fresh by another Echo Charge in the same way.

Larry
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Yeah, my thoughts on placing battery up front. I tend to overkill, used 8D AGM with the as I mentioned solar charged.
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Old 09-20-2014, 05:06 PM   #14
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Ideal makes 115/230 volt windlasses in a variety of configurations. Plath makes them in 115. Both of these are the highest quality. Plath is in Oregon so it might make sense to discuss with them first.
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Old 09-20-2014, 05:20 PM   #15
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Your plan makes sense. Larger vessels can be found with an electric hydraulic windlass to lessen the long hydraulic runs from the ER.

What is cost and brand availability of 110V windlass vs a 12 or 24 volt unit? We do run our genset to inverter charger when weighing anchor to keep a high charging rate going.
In the Ideal line there is an approx $1500 additional cost for the AC version.

In another post George mentioned Plath windlass. I'd never heard of them but am planning on looking over their products tonight.
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Old 09-20-2014, 05:52 PM   #16
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An AC motor to produce the same torque as a DC and stay a manageable size in a windlass application is going to be expensive. Here is a dissertation on the two:

White Paper - A Comparison of the Characteristics of AC and DC Motors - B7096-2
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Old 09-20-2014, 06:23 PM   #17
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I have a bank of 4 x 12V AGM's in the bow for the anchor winch and bow thruster. This made sense to me as I had the space available for the batteries and it enabled short cable runs for both high amp draw items.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:37 PM   #18
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Hydraulic. The only downside is the engine MUST be running.
Not necessarily.
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Old 09-21-2014, 01:12 AM   #19
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Hydraulic. The only downside is the engine MUST be running.
Last time I checked this is a trawler forum...unless the engine is running there is no reason to lift the anchor!

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Old 09-21-2014, 06:51 AM   #20
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>unless the engine is running there is no reason to lift the anchor!<

Indeed!

Many folks shy away from the best system as too complex and too expensive.

A belted hyd pump can have a clutch , like on your car air cond, so it need not run all the time the engine is on.

This means a simple 10G tank will easily handle the heat load from hauling the anchor , or any other short term operation, like bow thrusters or dink hoist.

Hyd motors are not expensive , so a look at your old windlass might show how easy it would be to mount one and NOT buy a new windlass..

Ours operates from a simple pull valve on the foredeck , as we have to go fwd anyway to unlatch the chain stopper , its no big deal.

WE use rope 99% of the time so anchor recovery is to pull the on valve , a single wrap in the drum gets the boat moving , and is easy to do and tail as the boat moves..

When over the anchor IF the single turn wont pull a second or rarely a 3rd turn is wrapped on and up she comes. Usually a 60# anchor.

When secured in the roller the anchor trip line is caught with a pole and brought aboard.
It makes a great safety tied to a cleat , although the chain stopper (Ideal) has never failed.

5 min and your hands will get wet.
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