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Old 06-05-2021, 07:17 AM   #1
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Windlass battery?

Does the windlass on your Mariner 37 or Helmsman 38 have its own battery? I did not see one on mine, but now I wonder as it has the “running down the battery” sound and all batteries I know of are fully charged.

If it has its own battery, where is the switch and how does it charge?
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Old 06-05-2021, 02:42 PM   #2
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My dedicated start battery runs the windless and is charged by the engine while the windless is in use.
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Old 06-05-2021, 03:29 PM   #3
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There are two basic ways to power a windlass: with a heavy cable from one of the engine start batteries (or possibly the house battery) or a dedicated battery near the windlass charged up by a lighter cable from one of the engine room batteries.

Look under the windlass above the chain locker. You will probably find the solenoid that switches up to down and trace back to the power source. If you find a good size cable that goes back to the engine room with no local battery, there is your answer.

Yandina.com has a good technical description of how to use one of their combiners with a local battery.

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Old 06-06-2021, 08:19 PM   #4
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There are definitely good size cables between the windlass motor and the Windlass Control Box, and good size cables heading aft to the 12 volt panel and batteries. That and the fact that I have yet to find another battery or any reference to it in the diagrams I have from the previous owner really suggest that it runs off the engine or house batteries, true?

Still hard for me to understand why the motor, once moving and running on fully charged batteries, would slow to a stop after a couple rotations with that "dying batteries sound."

And am I reading the function of the Windlass Control Box right, in that the solenoids that transfer power for forward and reverse (or up and down) are within?
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:25 PM   #5
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Yes you are correct. It does seem that your windlass is powered by the house or starting battery.

You may have some bad connections that are causing that battery run down sound. Run the windlass up and down and then feel every connection for excessive heat. If you don't find the problem then check the voltage at the windlass motor. If it is low, like less than 11 volts work your way back until you find the problem.

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Old 06-06-2021, 08:37 PM   #6
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Thanks David. I metered the contacts on the motor which produced questionable data. That was when I decided that the build up on the contacts was preventing the motor from turning. I was all set up with ratchet and sand paper when I decided "hey, I should test it one more time" and got the gypsy to turn with a little help.

Looks like I should have just gone ahead and cleaned up the contacts anyway. I'll report back after that job is complete. Thanks.
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:39 PM   #7
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It looks like the thruster and windlass use the same source of power. If your thruster works ok the issue is local to the windlass. Thruster uses 5x as much power as the windlass.l
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Old 06-07-2021, 06:53 AM   #8
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That's a good point. The thruster appears to be working normally. I hope to clean up the contacts tomorrow afternoon. Fingers are crossed.
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