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Old 11-21-2017, 12:34 AM   #1
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Maxwell Freedom 800 windlass foot switch problem and maintenance?

Curious - what is the life expectancy of the deck-mounted foot switches? Has anyone experienced issues with water getting into the switch and switch not operating properly? My "up" switch is intermittently working (mostly NOT working at all). I have 12 volts to the switch and no signs of corrosion at the terminals or wires. I'm thinking the foot switch just went bad and was going to replace both unless there is something else I might check?

Also, does anyone bother replacing the oil in these units as the gearbox is sealed? Oil level is about 7/8 to the top of the sight glass window. The only other maintenance I was going to do is pull the topworks and grease per manual along with checking and/or replacing the pressure arm. Any other points I should be looking at?

2003 Camano, only occasional use of windlass in summer months.
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Old 11-21-2017, 05:45 AM   #2
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My first set of cheap foot switches lasted 3 years.

So I splurged and bought obviously better ones as you could see by design. Even if water got in them the contacts were up higher, and a few other niceities.

They didnt last a year and I found my windlass running after coming back from a walk one day.

That was it for me. I disconnected them and used my spare wireless controller for my davit winch.

Not sure I will fix or replace the foot switches again. I might look for an industrial rocker switch I can put on thecside of the pulpit so I can be handscfree by using a knee, but no more foot switches for me I think.

I had to open up my windlass last year for a repair and I changed the gear oil. It was pretty nasty up under the gears and may have assisted some wear issues from letting the clutch work normally. Not sure why it was nasty, akmost looked like grease was applied to the shaft at some point.
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Old 11-21-2017, 09:22 AM   #3
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I'm likely jinxing myself here to say this, especially given my recent mechanical struggles on both boats, but the foot switches on my windlass are 12 years old and still work fine.
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Old 11-23-2017, 07:56 PM   #4
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My foot controls are working great. Does your windlass control switch in the lower helm work? At least you have a backup. Because that seems like a definite safety issue if you can't bring your anchor up. Obviously elbow grease will bring up the remaining rode but then you'll be storing all that rode and anchor on the deck; not good.

Good luck! Hope you can fix it soon.
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Old 11-28-2017, 08:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by South of Heaven View Post
My foot controls are working great. Does your windlass control switch in the lower helm work? At least you have a backup. Because that seems like a definite safety issue if you can't bring your anchor up. Obviously elbow grease will bring up the remaining rode but then you'll be storing all that rode and anchor on the deck; not good.

Good luck! Hope you can fix it soon.
Hand crank on windlass allows for retrieval of rode into chain locker if no power. Controls work inside just not outside... replacing switches
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