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Old 06-13-2019, 07:05 AM   #1
City: Hughesville, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Branwen
Vessel Model: Hatteras 48 LRC
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 524
Galley Maid BBHW Windlass Rebuild

Our Galley Maid BBHW vertical windlass froze up our first trip out this season. In the heat of the moment while raising the chain rode and anchor by hand on a hot, humid morning, I told the admiral, "Never let me do this again." She took the comment literally (silly woman) and wouldn't let us go out until a solution was found.

I priced replacements and consulted Rick at Galley Maid. Rick is an excellent resource, knows the product extremely well, will provide any assistance he can over the phone, and rebuilds/repairs windlasses sent to Galley Maid in Florida. If someone nearby needs help in person, Rick does that on weekends. Since the windlass is described as one of those 'bullet-proof' models with parts readily available and Rick's help at hand, I decided to rebuild rather than replace. As evidence of its durability, I'm sure that most of the windlass' parts have been on the boat for nearly 40 years with hard use by the PO. Other parts had been replaced within the last 10 years.

Starting below deck, the major component are motor, gear box, spur gear (in the gear box, pressed onto the output shaft), output shaft, gear box top (a cast aluminum frame that includes the mechanical interface to the bottom of the deck and the 'tube' through which the output shaft passes through the deck), and the deck plate. The above-deck components include the typical parts for raising chain and/or rope and the friction mechanism for controlling how freely those parts spin on the shaft. Those components were not replaced during this rebuild.

Here are a few pictures for context. First, the before below deck assembly with the motor and gear box removed. I troubleshot the motor first, testing it and the mechanicals separately. The motor was strong - stand back when energizing it! - and the voltage when under load was acceptable, but the mechanicals were frozen solid.

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In the first picture which is upside down, note the spacers between the top of gear box top and the deck. Those spacers are 3/4". The spacers control the height of the above-deck assembly above the deck plate. In the second picture, the clutch plate is still on the output shaft, because the thing was a bugger to remove, requiring many smacks with a hammer to bend back the flange next to the output shaft that had formed over years of use, holding the plate to the output shaft. The hammering was done per Rick's direction.

We (the admiral helped) removed the entire remaining assembly by banging the heck out of a pipe and end cap taller than the output shaft and less diameter than the deck plate hole with a 10-pound sledge. (Rick's method.) The admiral bravely held the pipe with hearing protection while I hit the pipe with the sledge. I was afraid of missing the pipe completely, injuring the admiral or finding a weakness in the boat and splintering fiberglass, so I started off weakly. As I gained confidence in my aim, the force of the swing increased. I didn't count, but I figure it took 15-20 whacks to free the tube from where it was pressed into the deck plate. A nut that was easy to reach was left loosely threaded onto one of the through-deck bolts that hold the gear box cover to the deck so that the assembly wouldn't go crashing into the anchor locker when it came free. In the process of disassembly, we discovered that 2 of those 6 through-deck SS bolts were severely cracked and corroded, one probably already broken before disassembly. I replaced all 6 of them.

The third picture shows the entire assembly after removal, and the last shows the bottom of the assembly with the spur gear removed. I removed the spur gear with a gear puller before sledging the whole thing out of the boat. The spur gear has 2 holes for set screws. When I called Rick concerned that I couldn't get the spur gear off, he told me that he often adds a double set screw to one of the holes to prevent the set screw backing out, allowing the spur gear to slip off the output shaft.

Note the corrosion at the bottom of the tube through which the output shaft passes. The moisture that causes that corrosion and the resulting fragments of corroded material end up in the gear box. My gear box was relatively clean with no corrosion or damage to the gears that I could see, so I suspect that both the gear box and the electric motor were replaced within the last ~10 years. Galley Maid made a design change that added an O-ring and washer above the bushing at the top of the shaft tube to prevent moisture intrusion.

Because the shaft was frozen to the bushing inside the tube and I didn't have the tools to free it, I took the whole assembly plus the spur gear to a machine shop to press out the shaft and bushing, assess which parts needed to be replaced, and then reassemble for me. I'll show the results of the machine shop's work and the design changes recommended and made in my next post.
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Old 06-13-2019, 08:35 PM   #2
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City: New Smyrna Beach, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Mikala
Vessel Model: DeFever 48
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 210
Thanks. Following.

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Old 06-14-2019, 08:01 AM   #3
City: Hughesville, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Branwen
Vessel Model: Hatteras 48 LRC
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 524
After the machine shop got the shaft removed and the parts cleaned up, they sent these pictures and asked me to stop by to discuss the remedy.
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Both pictures are of the single piece of aluminum which makes up the gear box cover and the mechanical interface to the below deck top - I'll call that the below deck plate. There are cracks. In the first picture, the crack begins at the small hole near the rim, continues through the large hole, and ends near the pipe that the output shaft passes through. The pipe is welded to the gear box cover at both ends. The second picture shows the crack from the other side of the deck plate, and it can be seen to pass through one of the spokes between the below deck plate and the gear box cover. The small hole is one of the six through which the large bolts pass that secure the below deck assembly to the deck plate above. The only function of the big hole I can imagine is that it and its kin are for access to the bolts that hold the gear box cover to the gear box. I didn't use them that way.

I was already concerned about how difficult it was going to be to press the whole assembly back into the deck deck plate above, reversing the force of 15-20 whacks with a 10-pound sledge that it took to press the pipe out of the deck plate. Seeing the cracks above, knowing that one of the original bolts used to install the windlass originally was broken and another was cracked nearly through, I became more concerned.

The machinist asked if I could order another one. I countered by asking if he could add a plate to the existing structure to strengthen it. I figured the design of existing structure was flawed and a new one would come with the same problems, and I explained that the existing install included spacers between the below deck plate and the deck. I could see the wheels turning. Maybe I opened a door by suggesting modifications.

He said, "Sure, we could do that, weld it to the existing plate around the rim and at the pipe, possibly with adhesive like Bondo in between to ensure good contact."

"Okay," I said, "Let's do that."

He also suggested improving the design of the shaft tube and single top bushing by adding a second bushing at the bottom of the tube, cutting a groove for O-rings in the top and new bottom bushing, and adding a grease fitting in between that would be used to fill the space between the two O-rings with grease. This design should keep liquid from entering at the deck plate and transiting all the way to the gear box. Here are the new bushings with grooves and O-rings:
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I should mention that Galley Maid made a design change after my windlass was installed called a 'seal kit' that added an O-ring above the top bushing with a washer on top of that. My final assembly included that change.

I'm running out of room for pictures, so I'll continue in the next post which is already to go except for picture management.
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:14 AM   #4
City: Hughesville, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Branwen
Vessel Model: Hatteras 48 LRC
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 524
Later, the machinist sent me a picture of the plate they'd cut with a laser CNC machine from 1/2" stock:
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And then with the new plate attached to the existing:
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Notice the large holes have become smaller because there was welding done there, and the next picture shows that the original plate was 'beveled' or trimmed in order to be welded to the new. I was also happy that the new plate would replace part of the original 3/4" wood block spacing that was done only between the 6 through-deck bolts. I had to come up with the other 1/4" spacer, but I had a piece of 1/4" white acrylic at home that would do nicely. Via text, I asked the machinist for the diameter of the plate he'd cut, and I used that to cut the acrylic spacer. I planned to drill the bolt holes after I picked up the assembly at the machine shop.

After two days had passed since the machine shop had everything needed to complete the work, I asked early when the job would be done via text. "Just finishing," was the reply with a flood of pictures. Here's the finished product:
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Installing it by myself was a struggle. I had to push the assembly above from the anchor locker through the hole in the boat for the shaft tube and through the deck plate above, matching the 6 holes in the gear box cover with the 6 bolts that were dangling loosely from above without pushing the bolts up. Having a second person above deck to pull up the output shaft and tube and then turning it to orient to the 6 bolts and holding it there while nuts were loosely screwed on below would have been a big help. Unfortunately, I was alone and wanted to get it done after work to be ready for a Father's Day Weekend afloat.

After I got it in position, a bolt or two still sticking through, I was able to get a couple nuts on and then finish the others with both flat and split washers. I then tightened the nuts each a bit in a cross-wise pattern (like tightening the lugs on a wheel) with frequent trips above deck to align the tube with the deck plate. Once aligned and the tube clearly pressing into the deck plate, I got more aggressive tightening the bolts in the same pattern until it was all snug against the deck. It was not as hard as I thought it might be. None of the bolts were broken or strained, no cracks in the gear box cover were aggravated or created.

From there I had to install the gear box, holding it against the gear box cover while threading a few of the 8 bolts from above and keeping it in the correct orientation for adding the motor. Once I had a couple threaded, I found it easiest to add bolts next to the barely threaded ones rather than across from.

The last thing to do was to hold the motor up to the gear box and thread a couple of the 4 bolts holding it there. I was entering shaky muscle fatigue at this point and had to try several times before I succeeded. A couple pilot bolts would have made the job much easier, but it didn't occur to me, and I'm not sure where one even finds such things.

Here's a picture of the windlass fully assembled and installed in the anchor locker, but the picture is upside down.
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The white acrylic spacer is just visible at the top of the assembly (bottom of the picture), next to the deck.

I've been to a couple machine shops, most of the others have an office out front where business is done, hiding the magic inside. This machine shop was great in that they're close to the marina, experienced with marine work, responsive to questions and texts, completely accessible, allowing customers in the shop, and they sent many progress photos. The work was also done relatively quickly by marine standards.
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galley maid, windlass

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