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

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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.
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
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