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Old 10-12-2022, 10:54 AM   #1
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Windless Replacement Question

Hi all, we are in the process of purchasing a 1988 36 IG and have been told by the marina that if the original windless (making lots of noise)would have to be replaced we could be opening "Pandora's box", and they could not do it. the survey showed no soft spots on the surrounding deck so not sure what it would take to replace with a newer unit. they said it would take fabrication/block-base replacement and they did not want to touch that job. not sure what to think here. I guess i'm wondering that to replace the original windless with a newer model sounds like a GIANT chore and $$$$$$ ? and if not in the near future i'm sure at some point it will need to be replaced. your thoughts please, and thank you for your time we are new to this TRAWLER/BIG BOAT life....
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Old 10-12-2022, 11:32 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by harleydude777 View Post
Hi all, we are in the process of purchasing a 1988 36 IG and have been told by the marina that if the original windless (making lots of noise)would have to be replaced we could be opening "Pandora's box", and they could not do it. the survey showed no soft spots on the surrounding deck so not sure what it would take to replace with a newer unit. they said it would take fabrication/block-base replacement and they did not want to touch that job. not sure what to think here. I guess i'm wondering that to replace the original windless with a newer model sounds like a GIANT chore and $$$$$$ ? and if not in the near future i'm sure at some point it will need to be replaced. your thoughts please, and thank you for your time we are new to this TRAWLER/BIG BOAT lifte....
Post a few pictures of what you are dealing with. Replacement of many components on a boat (of any age) will require some amount of modification or fabrication to make the pieces fit. It's a bit different from swapping out accessories on a bike.

It sounds like this marina doesn't offer that kind of work, at least they are upfront about it. Are you planning to keep the boat at that marina or move elsewhere?, if your are going to haul and store the boat over the winter, I would ensure that the boatyard is capable and has the capacity to work you into the schedule or allows outside contractors to come in and do the replacement. Taking on the job yourself is also an option, just find out what work you are allowed to do at the marina and/or boat yard.
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Old 10-12-2022, 11:40 AM   #3
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The windlass is the weak link on most foredeck core problems. Many smaller Taiwan Trawlers came without a windlass and some early owners simply cut a hole in the deck and installed a windlass. My boat went through this "improvement." The "new winch" when I purchased was removed and a fair amount of structural work done before I wanted to lift an anchor.

Boat yards are aware of this and are understandably wary of winch upgrades. It is possible that there isn't enough structural integrity to install a new winch. What starts out for the boat yard as four bolts and an electrical connection can turn into a project that is more that they or the owner wanted. That would be my guess.
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Old 10-12-2022, 11:50 AM   #4
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Post a few pics. I replace my windlass a few years ago. My boat is a 1988. It had a Maxwell/???. The other company ??? went out of business, so Maxwell is left. I talked to technician and he made a recommendation for a replacement.

There were a few modifications I had to make for the new one to fit.
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Old 10-12-2022, 12:11 PM   #5
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It isnít that tough a job if you have some DIY skills. Can the current windlass be rebuilt? If so that would be easiest way to go. If not you will have to fabricate a base for the windlass. Also add backing material on the inside to spread the load. Get some epoxy, West has great support for questions, and some structural filler. Make a putty about peanut butter consistency and butter the backing plate where it meets the bottom of the deck. This will give you an intimate contact with the bottom of the deck and account for high and low spots on the bottom of the deck. Any holes or penetrations need to have the deck core sealed with unthickened epoxy to prevent water intrusion. The easy way to do this is drill through the top fiberglass and core but not the bottom fiberglass. Then fill the hole with epoxy and let it soak into the core for a bit. Then suck out the epoxy with a syringe. Let it cure and then drill all the way through. Through bolt the windlass with large washers on the bottom. I like butyl to seal something that is through bolted. It will take about 3 days of tightening the bolts to completely squeeze the butyl properly. Tighten each day. Also countersink the holes so the butyl will make an O ring around the bolts. Clean everything with acetone before assembly.

Marinehowto.com has an excellent article on sealing deck penetrations and using butyl tape.

Then you will need to address the electrical part of the installation. What is the current draw of the new windlass and is the wiring up to the task of providing adequate current and therefore good voltage to the windlass. You will need to actually measure the length of the cables from the battery to the windlass and back to the battery. That total length along with the current draw of the windlass will tell you what size cables are needed. Also the over current protection needs to be checked. I would carefully check the condition of the connectors on the power cables since they may not be in good condition and can drop a lot of voltage if they are not.

This may sound intimidating but if you take it one step at a time it isnít too bad. If you donít feel comfortable doing the electrical then just do the physical install and have a certified marine electrician do the wiring. That will still save you a bundle of money.
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Old 10-12-2022, 12:20 PM   #6
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Small yards have specialists and they know what they are capable of. Or I should say they know where their profitable niche is. I wouldn't read too much into their decision, nor would I be concerned about a high dollar replacement.

Ask the boatyard for their recommendations of who is capable of quoting the job, or go around to different marinas. Assuming no core rot switching windlass brands shouldn't require more than an adapter plate and possibly some additional structural support.
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Old 10-12-2022, 12:25 PM   #7
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Thanks guy's.......LOVE this trawler page.......We are heading up to the boat this weekend and i will take some pics to post when i get back.....I do know that it is a MAXWELL but have been told it CAN NOT be rebuilt ....so we will go from there. Again, THANK YOU for all the quick responses.
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Old 10-12-2022, 12:28 PM   #8
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Here is my blog entry on our windlass. Scroll down. Happy reading.

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Old 10-12-2022, 12:49 PM   #9
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Check out the wiring too. What length is the run and what size is the wiring?
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Old 10-12-2022, 02:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harleydude777 View Post
Hi all, we are in the process of purchasing a 1988 36 IG and have been told by the marina that if the original windless (making lots of noise)would have to be replaced we could be opening "Pandora's box", and they could not do it. the survey showed no soft spots on the surrounding deck so not sure what it would take to replace with a newer unit. they said it would take fabrication/block-base replacement and they did not want to touch that job. not sure what to think here. I guess i'm wondering that to replace the original windless with a newer model sounds like a GIANT chore and $$$$$$ ? and if not in the near future i'm sure at some point it will need to be replaced. your thoughts please, and thank you for your time we are new to this TRAWLER/BIG BOAT life....
Quote:
Originally Posted by harleydude777 View Post
Thanks guy's.......LOVE this trawler page.......We are heading up to the boat this weekend and i will take some pics to post when i get back.....I do know that it is a MAXWELL but have been told it CAN NOT be rebuilt ....so we will go from there. Again, THANK YOU for all the quick responses.

First thing I'd check is if Maxwell makes a model that would be an exact bolt-for-bolt mounting match.

Have you done that yet?

And in the meantime, I think I'd try to learn why "it CAN NOT be rebuilt." Who said? Maxwell? Or...?

The manual for your model may well have rehab instructions, which is common every-3-or-so-year maintenance anyway.

-Chris
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Old 10-12-2022, 06:49 PM   #11
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2nd the ask Maxwell advice.. Get the model # and if possible check if there is a serial number and then contact them and ask.
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Old 10-12-2022, 06:58 PM   #12
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If the deck is sound (per your survey), I don't understand the issue here. Pull the windlass, epoxy any exposed deck holes, and install a suitable windlass, perhaps with a starboard base plate to cover old holes if needed.

If the noise is coming from the motor, try taking the motor to an auto-electric shop for rebuilding. If noise is coming from gears or pawls, well, that might be difficult. I don't know Maxwell windlasses at all, but some brands have a gearbox. If that's dry add gear oil and give it a go.

Good luck.

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Old 10-12-2022, 07:34 PM   #13
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Pictures would help. The windlass on an IG36 is not usually installed on the deck but is elevated on a pedestal of some kind, sometimes on a storage locker box, sometimes on a plank supported by a steel tube post.

There is usually a heavy metal plate extending under the "bowsprit".
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Old 10-12-2022, 11:03 PM   #14
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Can`t access my photos of my now sold IG36 to show you, but from memory the windlass sat about 18"-2ft above the deck. No way you`d get a run to the bow roller if it was deck mounted. Mind you, the locker it was mounted on rotted, remade at considerable expense in fibreglassed ply.
On the current boat, before I bought it the deck mounted windlass was replaced, new mounting bolt holes drilled, old holes covered by the windlass but not sealed, you can imagine what happened.
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Old 10-12-2022, 11:18 PM   #15
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I'm surprised at their attitude of not wanting to touch it. Presuming you do need a new windlass I'm not sure that just because there is some water intrusion in the deck that it's such a big deal. Simply put adding a backing plate in the chain locker isn't a big deal and that will spread the load.

Water in the deck core around the windlass in an older boat is far from unusual. Any 30+ year old boat likely has this. Surveyors often will find it, the question is if it bad enough to require extensive repair or just local repairs and sealing.
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Old 10-16-2022, 08:02 PM   #16
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well just found some time from this weekend to post some pics of the Windless... unfortunately another boat is backed right up to my bow so to try and work the windless was not going to happen (safety reasons) , like i have mentioned in the original post it's not that it does not work it just makes an AWFUL grinding sound when operated.
Well i pumped a full tube of Marine grease in the zerk fitting that you can see in one of the pics so will just have to wait and see if that helped. no serial # to be found ANYWHERE. the wording on top is MAXWELL & NILSSON. also have a pic of the electronic control box found under the "V" berth bed.
all decking seemed VERY solid and the chain locker was very solid also with no noticeable water damage. I guess at this point in time i just wait until spring launch to run the windless with full load and see if the added grease helped/worked. thanks again for all the input. any more suggestions PLEASE throw them my way.
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Old 10-16-2022, 09:56 PM   #17
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Cinch the anchor down, pull some chain slack out of the anchor well, pull the chain off the gypsy and spin away.

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Old 10-16-2022, 10:10 PM   #18
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Clearly deck mounted and vertical. Can you post a pic of the "1988 36 IG"?
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Old 10-17-2022, 10:17 AM   #19
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I would pull slack into the chain so the chain wildcat cannot grab the links, secure the anchor with a line and double check that the chain is out of grabbing position and run the windlass unloaded, UP & DOWN directions.

You may need to secure the chain at several points to ensure the wildcat cannot grab the chain..

DOes it still make the racket. Is the racket more in one direction than the other?

Windlai are not quiet tools. I have a Tigres Lofrans and it is not quiet. Most others I have HEARD across the anchorages are not quiet either.

A lot would depend upon the type of noise.

But I would still contact the mfgr. Telephone or Email with the model and hopefully the serial number.

And if possible get the parts manual. Even if you do not want to tackle a re/re there are many competent people around but they need parts manuals as they likely won't have YOUR manual. I have seen exactly this kind of problem when the owner doesn't have manuals/parts manuals nor does the potential rebuilder as the unit is old enough they have done house cleaning.
Ot although good mechanics they have not worked on your unit specifically.
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Old 10-17-2022, 12:53 PM   #20
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Good timing!

We just completed a windlass replacement a couple weeks ago. Lots of pics here. Enjoy. It shows how I addressed a lot of the issues being discussed in this thread.

We are feeling much more confident now after this "torque bar" was made part of our upgrade / replacement. This new windlass "hums" very nice / smooth. Lovin' it.

https://shellerina.com/2022/10/06/ne...r-v3-windlass/

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