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Old 06-22-2021, 06:25 PM   #1
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44lb Bruce is too much...

So apparently the 44lb Bruce anchor I have is too much for my windlass.

I recently rebuilt the Powerwinch class 41í free fall windlass because I had stripped the internal locking gear. After that it still wouldnít pull the anchor up so I thought it might have been a battery voltage thing. Well
Now we have two new house batteries that are brand new and fully charged and it still wonít pull the anchor in.

The class 41 powerwinch is supposed to have 900lbs of power but this wonít even lift it off the bottom.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-22-2021, 06:34 PM   #2
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It's NOT the anchor's weight that is the problem.
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Old 06-22-2021, 06:41 PM   #3
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Well now I’m wondering if I burned up the motor at the same time I stripped the gears. I have no idea what else could be the problem.
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Old 06-22-2021, 07:07 PM   #4
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Did you try to lift the anchor or unset it?
I don't know what is the bottom where you are but where I am the bottom thick clay/mud would burn my capstan if I would try to unset the anchor with it.

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Old 06-22-2021, 07:13 PM   #5
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Yeah, even when I picked it up out of the mud by hand it still struggled to reel it in. It finally got the anchor out the water but didn’t have enough power to pull it over the roller.
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Old 06-22-2021, 07:19 PM   #6
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Well now Iím wondering if I burned up the motor at the same time I stripped the gears. I have no idea what else could be the problem.
I don't want to spend your money but it never made sense to mess around with those less expensive windlass at $650

https://www.anchorexpress.com/powerw...7C%20%24595.99
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Old 06-22-2021, 07:20 PM   #7
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Do you have chain on the rode? Also windlass ratings are supposed to be derated about 3 times, check the manufacturers specs. If it is rated at 900 pounds it probably should only pull about 200 to 300 pounds.
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Old 06-22-2021, 07:21 PM   #8
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I don't want to spend your money but it never made sense to mess around with those less expensive windlass at $650

It was installed on the boat when we bought it.
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Old 06-22-2021, 07:35 PM   #9
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It was installed on the boat when we bought it.
That doesnít mean it is a good windlass for your needs. It may mean it was the most economical, read cheapest, windlass for the manufacturer. You need to look at the overall weight of the entire anchor system, anchor and rode, then determine which windlass fits that system. You have to derate the windlass. Check the manufacturers specs. Also never use the windlass to break the anchor free, cleat it off as short as possible and then use the engines to break it free and then use the windlass to recover the anchor. The load put onto the windlass trying to break the anchor free can be tremendous.
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Old 06-22-2021, 07:42 PM   #10
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If/when I choose to replace what’s already here, I’ll take all of that into account.

But for now I’m trying to figure out why this thing can’t hoist a 44lb anchor from the water line to the now without quitting.
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Old 06-22-2021, 07:46 PM   #11
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You mentioned that you rebuilt the windlass because of a worn out gear. Are you sure you put it back properly? (just checking the most obvious first)
Then the question would be why would you have worn out the gear? Was it pulling the anchor at that time? Is it properly sized for your boat, meaning lift capacity? Anchor is one thing but chain add to weight too. If you try to lift a 44lbs anchor hanging to 200 feet of chain this is another story. Even if it was on the boat this does not mean it was ever working!

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Old 06-22-2021, 07:59 PM   #12
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Try turning off your battery chargers, solar, etc, putting a volt meter directly on the windless connections, and operating the windlass for 3-5 seconds under no or light load.

-- See what the voltage measures before, during, and immediately after the brief load test.
-- Check the voltage at the battery immediately before and after the load test.

-- See if there is a significant voltage drop between the battery and the windlass.
-- And, also see if the voltage falls off really quickly with minimal use.

One goal is to demonstrate that it isn't a battery problem by making sure that the chargers don't mask it before you can find it (I know you said they are new, but one could be bad, happened to me).

Another goal is to demonstrate that it isn't a wiring or connection problem by being sure there is no voltage drop.

If it is demonstrated that it is neither, I'd take the motor out and to a local electrical shop. They will often test them for nothing or a very nominal fee. Some repairs may be more expensive than others, e.g. rewinding the motor vs resoldering a bad connection. But, once they tell you what is up, you can decide to get it fixed, replace it, or look for a new windlass.

I have never used one of those windlasses. I was going to get one without thinking too much about it because the makers of my bow pulpit deal in them. But, the reviews I read really weren't good, so I decided to go to the other end of the spectrum with a Lofrans Tigres.

A friend had some problems with his windlass. He brought it to a local shop and they charged him $100 to fix some internal connections that were apparently problematic. So, there is hope of an inexpensive fix in that space, I just don't know how common it is.

I don't me to be down talking your windlass. As I mentioned, I've never had one. Instead, I just intend to suggest a way to isolate the problem to the battery, wiring or windlass, and go from there.

I think it unlikely that it is gearing, unless you hear it slipping. But, you could always take it apart and look for any signs.

Happy hunting!
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Old 06-22-2021, 08:00 PM   #13
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Yes. Two years ago we took the boat out and anchored for 4th of July fireworks. When we went to leave the anchor was either dig so deep in the mud it would not unstick, or it was wrapped around something submerged. After trying the windlass, manual pulling, and maneuvering the boat in a circle, it wouldn’t budge. I finally cut the rope.

I think that heavy pulling was what stripped out the threads on the gear.

I ordered replacement parts and replaced them according to the mfg’s diagrams. Now it will pull the rope in the way it should but once there’s even the slightest tension on the rope the motor will run out of steam. Sort of like a cordless drill does when it’s almost out of juice, or when the screw is too tight and it won’t go anymore.

It just kind of whirrrr’s and then stops.
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Old 06-22-2021, 08:06 PM   #14
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If/when I choose to replace what’s already here, I’ll take all of that into account.

But for now I’m trying to figure out why this thing can’t hoist a 44lb anchor from the water line to the now without quitting.
You clearly need to involve a marine electrician to check the whole thing out. Ok, a pain to demount and take it in, but there is something seriously wrong, either with the gearing, or the windings/brushes, etc, as virtually any working winch should lift an anchor only weighing 44 pounds.

Presuming, that is, that full amps are being delivered to the winch..? The anchor switch just activates a much heavier duty switch to actually connect battery power. Are you sure the switching set-up is operating correctly. Make sure of that before going to the trouble of demounting the winch for diagnosis.

Maybe, better still - engage an electrician prepared to come to the boat..?
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Old 06-22-2021, 08:06 PM   #15
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If there's a free fall clutch and it is tight, the motor could be toast. Even the wimpiest windlass should handle 44 lbs and a few more of chain. Assuming all electrical connections and voltage is good.

Many windlass motors are rebranded or similar to starter motors, so an alternator/starter rebuild shop can maybe help. One rebuilt my old windlass motor once, then another 5 years later said it was no longer economical to rebuild.
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Old 06-22-2021, 08:12 PM   #16
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Greetings,
Mr. t. 44lb Bruce? That's a lot of Bruces...


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Old 06-22-2021, 08:32 PM   #17
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,

Presuming, that is, that full amps are being delivered to the winch..? The anchor switch just activates a much heavier duty switch to actually connect battery power. Are you sure the switching set-up is operating correctly. Make sure of that before going to the trouble of demounting the winch for diagnosis.

Maybe, better still - engage an electrician prepared to come to the boat..?
Step up switch... now there’s something I didn’t know. I’m going to have to trace wires tomorrow I guess.

Once I’ve gone through everything I can possibly fathom, I’ll call the electrician in. Quite honestly, I’m not even sure where power is being pulled from. I assumed it was from the house load, but it could be attached to my engines starter batteries.

...or just replace the windlass with a quality one.
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Old 06-22-2021, 09:02 PM   #18
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Step up switch... now thereís something I didnít know. Iím going to have to trace wires tomorrow I guess.

Once Iíve gone through everything I can possibly fathom, Iíll call the electrician in. Quite honestly, Iím not even sure where power is being pulled from. I assumed it was from the house load, but it could be attached to my engines starter batteries.

...or just replace the windlass with a quality one.
Replacement should be the last choice.

They draw lots of Amps, the Muir on my last boat drew 120A after motor rebuild and promptly fried the ammeter.
Are you running engines while you (attempt) retrieve? Anchor mfrs usually advise it.
Sounds like bad connections or a defective motor to me.
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Old 06-22-2021, 09:03 PM   #19
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Greetings,
Mr. t. 44lb Bruce? That's a lot of Bruces...


Lol this is a good one

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Old 06-22-2021, 10:08 PM   #20
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...or just replace the windlass with a quality one.
Unless you were already intending to replace the windlass anyway, I wouldn't replace the windlass until ruling out an electrical problem. Imagine paying ~$1500 - $3000 for a windlass, going through all of the trouble to disconnect and remove the old one and to install and connect the new one...and having it not work, just the same.

I've been in that day more times than I'd like to admit. It is a very sad and frustrating day. And then, the next few times something breaks and I end up draining down the bank account more than I'd like, I still kick myself, because I wish I had the money -- versus the working but older spare part in the locker.

I've learned that I should debug things as fully as possible before replacing anything. A look at my maintenance logs will show that I put that lesson into practice more often now than in the past, but, well, not always :-(
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