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Old 01-26-2022, 09:02 AM   #1
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Windlass dies, dead lift anchor and chain?

As many have seen in the other thread, I've begun shopping for a replacement anchor because some dufus (PO) seems to have replaced our original inadequate anchor with an even less useful, less adequate anchor...

And then it happens, this time our likely fix will be much heavier than I can usually lift manually.

Our Lofrans vertical windlass has a manual capability, but there's not much leverage available... and while I haven't tried it, I doubt the little twirly winch handle will raise an 80-100 lb anchor with maybe 20' or remaining chain rode to complicate matters...

And, our anchor "crew" is mostly me. I do the launching and recovering, etc, from the bow, and wifey stays at the helm to control the boat.

So... if the windlass craps out for whatever reason... what are likely ways to haul in something heavier than I can easily haul?

Best I've theoretically come up with so far is to add a temporary shackle to the chain rode -- ahead of the windlass and large enough so I can thread a decent line through it -- and then use that line to haul in a few feet of weight. Tie off the line to a cleat somewhere. Go to the windlass and crank in the slack. Repeat until exhausted. Something like that...

Ideas?

-Chris
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Old 01-26-2022, 09:08 AM   #2
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I'm in the same boat. In any decent depth of water, there's no way I could pull my anchor up by hand, especially not if the water isn't dead calm (made worse by not having a chain stopper in my setup, so no ratcheting action while pulling by hand). A big enough ratchet in the manual retrieve hole would do the trick, but it would be very, very slow (not a lot of leverage, so long ratchet is needed and my windlass is horizontal, so you can't just grind circles).

I'd see if you can get a longer handle for more leverage on the manual retrieve (up to the limit of how much clearance you have around the windlass). Depending on how the manual retrieve works on your windlass (whether or not the manual retrieve hole is centered vs moving around as you grind) you may be able to use a beefy drill and an adapter to slowly wind it in.

Worst case, I figure depending on where I am, I might just dump the whole rode and buoy it. Then go get parts to fix the windlass and come back for it.
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Old 01-26-2022, 10:08 AM   #3
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If you want to keep the existing windlass then you will have to get a longer handle. Maybe sailing supplier’s have longer handles for the racing crowd. Or a machine shop can build you one.
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Old 01-26-2022, 10:43 AM   #4
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A few thoughts:

- Religiously maintain your current windlass, by the book.
- Buy a Come Along
- Install a powered warping drum/winch
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Old 01-26-2022, 10:48 AM   #5
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How about one of the electric winch handles ? Looks like a right angle grinder. Fits in the top of the winch.

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Old 01-26-2022, 10:48 AM   #6
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I am not sure if this would work, but it may be worth a try.
This is what we used on our Columbia river anchor system in the Hewscraft. Its fast, easy and in an emergency you can toss everything over the side and come back later.

https://www.amazon.com/Ironwood-Paci...81360908&psc=1

There are other shackels that only allow the rope to pass one way. Basicly you reverse past your anchor, and power up, it in turn pulls the anchor up. You need room to use it, about 2x what ever rode you have out.
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Old 01-26-2022, 10:56 AM   #7
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Most fishermen / charter captains use this approach - would it work for you?


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Old 01-26-2022, 11:43 AM   #8
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Greetings,
This, perhaps?


https://www.amazon.com/Generic-Pulle.../dp/B001Z0WELC
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Old 01-26-2022, 12:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post

Our Lofrans vertical windlass has a manual capability, but there's not much leverage available... and while I haven't tried it, I doubt the little twirly winch handle will raise an 80-100 lb anchor with maybe 20' or remaining chain rode to complicate matters...
I'd try the manual capability before deciding it won't be effective. It might not be fast or easy, but I'd be surprised if it didn't work.
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Old 01-26-2022, 12:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovetoBoat View Post
Most fishermen / charter captains use this approach - would it work for you?


I've used this on all our center consoles up to 29' with 20 feet of 5/16 chain/20lb or so Danforth. We've also used it in 150+ feet of water on a Luhrs 34 with 50ft of 5/16 chain and a CQR (35-40lbs?). Worked great on the bigger boat also. Our ball needed to be a little bigger as it was only just better than neutral buoyancy at the surface with the anchor in the steel loop and the chain hanging beneath. Being sportfishers we did not care if we had an obnoxious orange meatball fixed to the bow rail near the pulpit. On a cruiser of your size it may not be very aesthetic.
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Old 01-26-2022, 01:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solly View Post
How about one of the electric winch handles ? Looks like a right angle grinder. Fits in the top of the winch.

Or more simply, this: https://www.amazon.com/Harken-Powere...38121653&psc=1

and a cordless drill.

I have a heavy lift on the stern end of my dinghy davits, so I bought the above adapter and can now avoid the worst of that lift.
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Old 01-26-2022, 01:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High Wire View Post
If you want to keep the existing windlass then you will have to get a longer handle. Maybe sailing supplier’s have longer handles for the racing crowd. Or a machine shop can build you one.
Or take your lever, go to a hardware store and buy a longer level (pipe).

WHY do you find a need for an 80-100 pound anchor on 58ft boat?
Read the reviews on different anchors and buy a better style, one that grabs the bottom. There have been many discussion in here on which anchor is perfect. It ain't gonna be found. I refuse to participate in the old worn out subject of 'anchor wars.'

If your windlass is lacking the power to lift the anchor (not drag the boat to the anchor) replace your windless if necessary.

You could also learn how to set 2 anchors too.
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Old 01-26-2022, 01:27 PM   #13
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I have a cordless 1/2” impact driver that would probably do the job if you could find a way to couple it to the windlass. Or else call your towing provider.
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Old 01-26-2022, 01:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
WHY do you find a need for an 80-100 pound anchor on 50ft boat?

Same reason I have a 73 lb one on a 38 footer. I don't want to have to question if the bottom is good enough or if I can fit in there and still put out enough scope. Having tons of extra holding power in good conditions means I can either throw some away by shortening scope to fit in somewhere tighter and still have plenty, or I can anchor in a worse bottom before it becomes inadequate. And when an unexpected nasty thunderstorm comes up, I'm more comfortable saying "we'll just stay and wait it out" without worrying what will happen if a 60 kt gust comes through.



Other than a few extra pounds on the bow and the "what if" of a windlass failure that I can't resolve on the spot (which with proper maintenance should be rare), there's not much downside. In normal use the bigger anchor is no harder to handle and it fits fine, so...
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Old 01-26-2022, 02:15 PM   #15
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Thanks, all! Some quick comments interspersed below.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff F View Post
I'd try the manual capability before deciding it won't be effective. It might not be fast or easy, but I'd be surprised if it didn't work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
I'd see if you can get a longer handle for more leverage on the manual retrieve (up to the limit of how much clearance you have around the windlass). Depending on how the manual retrieve works on your windlass (whether or not the manual retrieve hole is centered vs moving around as you grind) you may be able to use a beefy drill and an adapter to slowly wind it in.
Center "star" is the clutch, outer "star" is the manual retrieve. Drill or driver, maybe good!


Quote:
Originally Posted by High Wire View Post
If you want to keep the existing windlass then you will have to get a longer handle.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
Or take your lever, go to a hardware store and buy a longer level (pipe).
Longer pipe over the winch handle. Good idea!



Quote:
Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
A few thoughts:
- Religiously maintain your current windlass, by the book.
- Buy a Come Along
- Install a powered warping drum/winch
Well, right... but even well-maintained stuff craps out sometimes. I think a warping drum on a temporarily crapped out windlass won't really be all that useful at that particular moment. I have a Come Along; good idea if I can figure out how to rig it up. Maybe pull against a line around another cleat somewhere.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Solly View Post
How about one of the electric winch handles ? Looks like a right angle grinder. Fits in the top of the winch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by koliver View Post
Or more simply, this:
and a cordless drill.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Comodave View Post
I have a cordless 1/2” impact driver that would probably do the job if you could find a way to couple it to the windlass. Or else call your towing provider.
I do have both cordless drill and impact driver. Good ideas; I'll have to check to see if they'll do the lifting. Since the manual lift attachment point is toward the circumference of the winch cap -- i.e., not in the center -- might not work, though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
WHY do you find a need for an 80-100 pound anchor on 58ft boat?
Read the reviews on different anchors and buy a better style, one that grabs the bottom. There have been many discussion in here on which anchor is perfect. It ain't gonna be found. I refuse to participate in the old worn out subject of 'anchor wars.'

If your windlass is lacking the power to lift the anchor (not drag the boat to the anchor) replace your windless if necessary.

You could also learn how to set 2 anchors too.
Anchor manufacturers' minimum recommendations. Actual solution might be heavier.

I'm comfortable with eventually making an anchor selection. If it seems to work here, I'll use it 'til it doesn't... and then make another selection. I agree, "perfect" isn't gonna happen, but that's not my focus here anyway. I just want to be comfortable knowing I have a way to do an immediate emergency recovery if the windlass breaks -- for whatever reason. Dead battery (my bad), broken gear, wiring separates, switches don't work, whatever.

Deploying a second anchor would probably double my dilemma.



Quote:
Originally Posted by LovetoBoat View Post
Most fishermen / charter captains use this approach - would it work for you?
Ummm..... dunno, I'll have to ponder over that. The video shows a tiny grapnel, maybe a 2 lb anchor (?), and some relatively lightweight chain. I have a Polyform A4, not sure it'd float a 80-90 lb anchor. We have a Polyform A5, too, but it's so heavy it takes some effort just lift that all by itself. Have to think on it some more...

-Chris
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Old 01-26-2022, 03:17 PM   #16
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I also have the Lofrans Tigres windless with a 66 pound anchor and 320 feet of chain. My plan if the windless fails ….

1. Manual lift with the provided handle (and a pipe?)
2. Somehow rig my 5/1 block and tackle to slowly lift it
3. Somehow rig my boat deck crane to provide some lifting

These last two would require a pulley rigged somewhere to transfer load, or rig the block and tackle to the Samson Post?

Mostly, good maintenance is my plan! ;-D
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Old 01-26-2022, 03:36 PM   #17
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Same reason I have a 73 lb one on a 38 footer. I don't want to have to question if the bottom is good enough or if I can fit in there and still put out enough scope. Having tons of extra holding power in good conditions means I can either throw some away by shortening scope to fit in somewhere tighter and still have plenty, or I can anchor in a worse bottom before it becomes inadequate. And when an unexpected nasty thunderstorm comes up, I'm more comfortable saying "we'll just stay and wait it out" without worrying what will happen if a 60 kt gust comes through.



Other than a few extra pounds on the bow and the "what if" of a windlass failure that I can't resolve on the spot (which with proper maintenance should be rare), there's not much downside. In normal use the bigger anchor is no harder to handle and it fits fine, so...
I'm with you. We have an 85 pound Mantus on our 42 foot boat. We sleep good at night at anchor, but we're cruisers and spend a lot of time on the hook.

I don't care what anyone else uses, although if they are upwind of me, it's nice if they don't drag.

And, for us, historically, the key to keeping our windlesses working, has been to use them a lot. Every time I have had a windless failure, it's when the boat sat up and didn't get used for several months. One of my rituals now, once a week, is to cut on the windless and lower and pick the anchor up in our slip.
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Old 01-26-2022, 03:48 PM   #18
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Since the manual lift attachment point is toward the circumference of the winch cap -- i.e., not in the center -- might not work, though.
Without consulting the manufacturer's documentation I'd be willing to bet there is a reduction gear built in that will allow using moderate effort on the small handle to do the job at hand. These manual backups are not afterthoughts - your concerns are real, and I trust that Lofrans has incorporated a solution.
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Old 01-26-2022, 04:06 PM   #19
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Well, right... but even well-maintained stuff craps out sometimes. I think a warping drum on a temporarily crapped out windlass won't really be all that useful at that particular moment. I have a Come Along; good idea if I can figure out how to rig it up. Maybe pull against a line around another cleat somewhere. -Chris
A well maintained windlass is pretty good insurance. Kinda like living with a single engine. I was amazed when I took a look at my Maxwell "care page" at how poorly I'd done over the years. We also carry a spare drive motor.

A separate powered warping drum is not connected at all to the windlass. I carry a 1 ton Come Along which is about right for a 90 pound anchor and 300' of chain.

For us, cutting the anchor loose and using the backup Fortress with 90% rope rode is the plan if the Come Along is not easily successful.. Where we tend to cruise, retrieving the abandoned anchor and chain may not be possible.
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Old 01-26-2022, 04:08 PM   #20
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My Lofrans Tigres has a manual retrieve that works well with a handle about two feet long. Had to use it for a week or so in SEAK until a new solenoid arrived. Did the job easily, just slowly. Anchor was only 44 lb, with 5/16 HT chain in 45-55 depths, but it seemed like it would handle a good bit more weight.

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