Lewmar 1000 windlass and Rocna 20kg anchor, question...

The friendliest place on the web for anyone who enjoys boating.
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Veteran Member
May 17, 2021
Vessel Name
Vessel Make
Grand Banks 32
I just upgraded my old claw anchor to a Rocna (trad style not the Vulkan, as I wanted the bail/guard -- to avoid fouling in swirly tidal anchorages).

The old claw was 15kg and not imho adequate for the boat (GB32). It held in most conditions but let go on me one evening last summer in a rather hazardous spot. So, I thought I'd go a bit heavier. I have a large skookum bendy-swivel fitting on the end of the chain, btw. So it's easy to get the anchor properly aligned using a boathook before the final lift into stow position.

So the first thing I noticed on bringing the new anchor home cautiously (up and out of the dinghy in which we did the swap) was that my Lewmar 1000 (rated at 1000lbs lift iirc) actually bogged as the swivel came over the roller. This worries me a bit as it can't be good for the windlass motor or for the boat's electricals (sudden huge load).

I tried a few things -- found it a very hard pull to try to bring it home the last few feet by hand (from just below the roller to stow position). Probably asking for a back re-injury. So I tried the other approach -- take a run at it, don't stop, just let the winch go for it. This worked better -- there was a slight "clunk" and brief hiccup but the swivel did come up -- and as soon as even part of the shank was lying on the roller I could easily bring it to the stow position by hand, so it can't be hard for the winch to do likewise. It seems to be this one particular moment as the swivel (which is actually not as big as the equivalent shackle) hits the roller.

That does seem like a tough moment -- when the full 20kg is being levered out into a horizontal position by the pulling force of the windlass on a tiny lever arm. Yet when I think about the math (rough back of envelope stuff) it seems like it can't be more than 4 or 5x anchor weight -- which would be only 200 lbs, and the windlass is rated much higher than that. Or maybe I'm doing my math wrong?

If anyone has a thought about this -- why it might bog the windlass down at the critical moment -- I'm all ears. I love that windlass (after decades raising anchors by hand on small sailboats) and want it to live a long and happy life. I did read a very old thread from 2018 trying to get some wisdom, but am wondering if there are any additional ideas or suggestions out there.
  • Like
Reactions: PNW
Be careful pulling on the chain while the windlass is activated. I read an article where the operator had his hand run through the wildcat. Pretty horrific damage.

Maybe as a test remove the swivel and see how it goes.
We have the same set-up on our Albin 34, Lewmar 1000 and a Rocna 20kg. However, we do not have a swivel, just a shackle connecting the chain and anchor. The Lewmar is 15 years old now and performs flawlessly. There is a big clunk as it turns the anchor into position shaft to come aboard. You might want to try it without your swivel.

Albin 34 1986
Cape Cod
Try to get a voltage reading *at the windlass* when this occurs. Sounds like it could be a voltage drop due to weak batteries, undersized wiring, corroded connections etc.
We have the Rocna 25 and a Lofrans Tigress windlass with a Mantus swivel.

The Tigress is a 1500 and we have pushed it to its limits on several occasions. One was an anchorage where we stopped for lunch and a swim and when we went to retrieve the anchor she just bogged down. IT was a new setup at that point but keeping the strain on the anchor finally freed it. When the anchor broke the surface, we had a truck tire around the anchor.

Another time we were on the Mississippi and when we went to retrieve the anchor then bow dipped about 6-8 inches and came up. The clump of mud was impressive. So much so we dropped the anchor down below the waterline and started a slow forward move. When it had diminished, we used the washdown on the rest.

I think your windlass may not be up to the task of lifting an anchor which has dug in the way it is supposed to. IT isn't just the weight of the anchor it also includes the weight to lift it from the bottom and any material that could be attached.

I was lucky in that there was no anchor or windlass when we started out so I could match the windlass & anchor for our boat.

Hopefully you use a snubber or bridle when anchored to take any strain off the anchor.
I agree with the suggestion to check the voltage AT the windlass while the windlass is under a load.

Lots of people think they have windlass problems, when the real problem is inadequate wiring, poor connections, poor crimps which will cause excessive voltage drops which then causes poor equipment performance.

Ensure the wires and the electrical pads the wires connect to are clean, free of any corrosion, and tight for the windlass to even have a chance of doing its job properly.

If it is Vdrop from poor connections you can do damage to the windlass motor.
Why it bogs down is simple: just as the anchor is beginning to rotate horizontal, you have a 10:1 or greater lever arm working against you. That 45# anchor with the 10:1 lever arm, results in 450 lbs of pulling force until it gets horizontal.

A short second or two bog down shouldn’t hurt anything.

Do check the voltage drop ,but I agree with David M A Brief second when the motor bogs will not cause any undue wear or stress
Top Bottom