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Old 06-01-2019, 11:49 AM   #1
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City: Sidney
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Vessel Model: Helmsman 38PH Trawler
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2011 Helmsman PH38 winch problem

Pulled the anchor yesterday morning and the chain came in slowly then stopped! Got it in manually, got to our next destination and launched the anchor....slowly then it stopped again. Seemed like a week battery so checked the battery and at rest it was 12.68V. Topped of all cells and then ran the generator the next morning...same result. Do I have a separate battery for the winless that is hidden? Would corroded contacts in the control box allow a week current flow? Help! Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-01-2019, 05:00 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Dahonez View Post
Pulled the anchor yesterday morning and the chain came in slowly then stopped! Got it in manually, got to our next destination and launched the anchor....slowly then it stopped again. Seemed like a week battery so checked the battery and at rest it was 12.68V. Topped of all cells and then ran the generator the next morning...same result. Do I have a separate battery for the winless that is hidden? Would corroded contacts in the control box allow a week current flow? Help! Thanks in advance.

I donít know how the Helmsman is setup, but I would be surprised if the windlass is run off the house bank. On many boats a windlass battery is located in the bow under the forward berth. On others, like mine, I have a separate battery bank for thrusters, windlass, and hoist.

I would check any schematic you may have for your boat or simply trace the wires from the windlass back until you find the battery.
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Old 06-01-2019, 09:11 PM   #3
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If your boat is wired like mine, your windlass/bow thruster is supplies by a separate battery from your house, and likely under the forward berth.

If the above is true, The voltage you are reading is probably the house, not the windlass/thruster.

If your battery is 8 years old, that is likely the culprit.

Longer term you should consider getting a separate volt meter for that battery so you can monitor it.
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Old 06-02-2019, 10:26 PM   #4
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Winch

Have you attempted to run the winch with engine or generator running to help the battery? If the battery is over 5 years old I don't think the extra power of engine and generator will help. Chasing electrical issues are always fun. Keep us posted.
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Old 07-20-2019, 01:36 PM   #5
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Wow! How time flies! We were headed for Washington DC when I posted this and are now on the Trent-Severn Canal in Canada. The culprit was a poorly positioned gasket on the housing covering the winch motor which allowed water in. The winch is above deck and has a horizontal shaft so was easy to get to. We had come from the Panama Canal and had taken some water over the bow. Once the housing was off I could see some corrosion so started by wiggling the brushes on the motor. Three I could move, one fused. Of course it was on the bottom with minimal access but with some encouragement got it moving. Winch works almost too well now, the anchor coming into the bow roller with gusto! Lastly repositioning the gasket so there are no more leaks.
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:29 AM   #6
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Nice Moondog!
Start a thread on your trip from Alaska to the Panama Canal to the Great Loop.
The folks on this forum would enjoy it.
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Old 07-30-2019, 08:16 AM   #7
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The great Helmsman crossing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahonez View Post
Wow! How time flies! We were headed for Washington DC when I posted this and are now on the Trent-Severn Canal in Canada. The culprit was a poorly positioned gasket on the housing covering the winch motor which allowed water in. The winch is above deck and has a horizontal shaft so was easy to get to. We had come from the Panama Canal and had taken some water over the bow. Once the housing was off I could see some corrosion so started by wiggling the brushes on the motor. Three I could move, one fused. Of course it was on the bottom with minimal access but with some encouragement got it moving. Winch works almost too well now, the anchor coming into the bow roller with gusto! Lastly repositioning the gasket so there are no more leaks.
I have heard about you and your trip. It would be a fantastic journey to follow for us other Helmsman owners. I wonder did you stop at Roatan for fuel or were you able to motor further north before crossing to the Keys ?
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