Windlass installation??

Discussion in 'Main Morgan 38 Sailboat Forum' started by Peter, Mar 10, 2020.

  1. Peter

    Peter New Member

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    I just purchased 384 Happy Heart in Macinaw City. Is there a consensus on the best windlass installation and chain locker modifications (backing plates & bulkhead bracing) to handle 2-3 shots of 3/8 chain. I want to add a windlass with a gypsy.....any info/pictures are much appreciated. Peter
     
  2. mpearson

    mpearson Mark Pearson Staff Member

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    Hi Peter, and welcome to the forum!

    Consensus?!! Actually you’re probably more apt to hear a bunch of different opinions and you can choose which you agree with. Probably none of the opinions will be “wrong”, and you might find one you agree with more than others.

    On our 384, we had a clunky old Simpson manual windlass that was stripped out and I couldn’t find any spare parts for it. Our boat is horribly spoiled and she got a brand new Maxwell HRC8. We wanted it to fit neatly in the anchor locker (and it does). It’s electric and has a little key fob remote control so that my wife can give me hand signals and drop/raise the anchor with no problems. We totally love it. We also love how it all fits below the deck and out of sight when not in use.

    Here is the old manual Simpson.
    1DE067FE-B213-465A-A990-CB8854B25E07.png
    Here is the new Maxwell HRC8
    00D7056D-16D9-4030-80FD-B7157FB8F039.png

    It was a medium amount of work to string all the wire and controls for the new electric windlass. Obviously you want to be sure to have beefy enough cables, get the special windlass breaker, etc. I think all the wire, controls, breakers, etc. Cost about the same as the windlass itself. My wife & I enjoyed doing the work, though.

    Good luck with your project!
    -Mark
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
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  3. terry_thatcher

    terry_thatcher Terence Thatcher

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    Maxwells are great machines. Lofrans also makes good upright windlasses, with gypsy and capstan. I have one., I would make three comments. (1) On a Morgan, 5/16" high test chain is plenty strong. And you can store more of it, for same bulk and weight. 2) I don't know how Mark and Susan get all their chain to self-store with their set up. My windlass is on deck and dumps into the lower locker. With 240' of chain, it will not self store. Someday I am going to alter/raise the aft end of the top locker shelf to deal with that issue. Now, I have to be there to make sure the chain gets knocked down so it does not bind up the windlass. (3) Search windlass on the site. There are several discussions of installation options floating around.
     
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  4. mpearson

    mpearson Mark Pearson Staff Member

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    Hi Terry! Our Maxwell Windlass dumps the chain through the hole near the center of the windlass, down into the compartment below. It is “self store” and we’ve never had a problem (knocking on wood!) with it jamming, etc. We have 250 ft of 5/16” BBB chain.

    I forgot to mention, the Maxwell installation guide recommended that the angle of the chain going into the windlass be as horizontal as possible (for maximum traction on the teeth). So I built a little platform out of Starboard to raise the base a couple inches higher. Photos below.


    0DF2692D-F1B2-42F3-A6E4-DF13B5C52344.jpeg

    604CFC92-FE36-4A1D-B6A9-5ED3DBC00012.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
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  5. jimcleary

    jimcleary James M. Cleary

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    Peter

    Here is a photo of a Lofrans Tigre installation.

    Jim
     

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  6. terry_thatcher

    terry_thatcher Terence Thatcher

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    Jim, couple of questions: does the chain stow in the forecastle somewhere, rather than the lower anchor locker? Why do you have the pads under the pulpit legs? Thanks.
     
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  7. jimcleary

    jimcleary James M. Cleary

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    Terry

    Good morning. When we bought the boat there were teak blocks under the pulpit legs. I think there was a run of mismeasured pulpits and the blocks were their answer. I've never seen the blocks on any other Morgan. I replaced the teak with Starboard somewhere along the way.

    The windlass drops the chain down through a 2 1/2" pipe on a 45 degree angle into the lower chain locker. That leaves the on deck locker available for the secondary anchor and the rode for the storm anchor which is stowed below.

    The Lofrans unit is extremely powerful and has a rope drum on the port side.

    Jim
     
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  8. john english

    john english Member

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    I never was able to sort out a windlass, but a couple that sailed a Lapworth 48 twice around the world inspired me to copy their system.
    With double bow rollers, I use a FX37 Fortress and/or a 20# Danforth with a swivel and 20-ft stainless steel 3/8 chain, 200' 5/8 double braid per rode.
    They are retrieved be leading the nylon to the 65:1 cockpit primary's that are powered by (1) 28 volt lithium battery and Milwaukee 90 degree drill motor with a winch bit.
    which essentially makes all the winches electric (really handy for sail hoists in my antiquity).
    I have 2 charged batteries for retrievals but have never had to go to the second.
    John
     
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  9. Peter

    Peter New Member

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    Jim,
    Thanks for the photos and explanation of the hawspipe @ 45 degree angle into the space below the upper deck chain locker.....I like this.

    1) does this lower chain locker drain overboard or to a sump where the bulge pump is?
    2) does this lower chain locker need any work to make it “a chain locker”, such as:

    Making an overboard drain?
    Lining the space with plywood ?
    Is it accessible without cutting an access through the bulkhead forward of the V-Berth (is there a door there!

    3) Size & length of chain ?

    I am in Mackinaw City today to ready this new acquisition for transit to Crackerboy boatworks in Riveria Beach, FL to install the windlass & Radar.

    Thank you, Peter s VARTY
     
  10. jimcleary

    jimcleary James M. Cleary

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    Peter

    To answer your questions:
    The lower chain locker drains into the bilge. Thus the need for a good wash down system to clean the chain before it flakes below. There is a PVC pipe buried in the glass of the hull that begins in the locker and ends just aft of the mast step below the fuel tank and above the keel. I have been thinking about making that drain go directly overboard. Because the space in the lower locker is tall & narrow, the chain has a tendency to pile up and needs to be knocked down. We carry 225' of G4 high tensile 5/16" chain. The locker is divided so that 90' of the chain falls straight down in the aft end of the locker. the rest of the 135' of chain goes in the forward section. Where we tend to anchor along the East Coast from the Bahamas to Maine, that first 90' is used 95% of the time. In the rare cases. where we need more chain, the windlass pays out the chain from that forward section but needs help to retrieve and restow in that forward section. To do that I work form the V-berth with the handheld windlass remote and hand stow the chain as it comes down the hawse pipe until I get to 90' left. To deal with the pile needing to be occasionally knocked down, there is a hawse pipe opening in the bottom of the upper locker from which the pile can be pushed over with a 1" x 1" oak stick every 30' or so. I don't see a need to line the space with plywood or anything. The divider that I built is made of 1/2" starboard so it can't rot in the wet locker. On our boat there is a door from the V-berth into the lower chain locker. This system has the advantage of leaving the on deck anchor locker in place to handle the secondary anchor system and the rode for a storm anchor that is folded up and stowed below. One thing I would highly recommend is the handheld remote to control the windlass. It allows you to move to many positions to operate the machine and because your hand must be holding the remote to start the machine, you have a 50% better chance of NOT getting your hand damaged by the windlass. A handheld station can also be located at the helm to be able to operate the machine while steering. The Quick company from Italy sells a strong and simple handheld unit.

    Hope I have answered your questions. If you need more info you can email me at: saildana382@msn.com

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
  11. Peter

    Peter New Member

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  12. Peter

    Peter New Member

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    Terry,

    Can you post any pics of your installation and chain locker modifications?

    peter varty
     
  13. Peter

    Peter New Member

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  14. Peter

    Peter New Member

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    Jim,

    Sounds like your starboard divider split the bottom locker Side to side?
    1) how did you attach it?
    2) inches from bulkhead to starboard?
    3) inches from top of starboard divider to underside of the top locker?
    4) does your hawspipe go through the top locker....or does it go through the bulkhead just under the top locker ?
    5) what do you tie the bitter end of the 5/16 chain to?

    6) any changes you would advise?

    thanks & be well, peter
     
  15. jimcleary

    jimcleary James M. Cleary

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    Peter

    I'm posting a few photos to help explain what I've done. The dividers in the lower locker are 1/2" starboard set athwartships. the aft one is right against the v-berth bulkhead and raises the height of the space by a few inches. The forward divider is about 8" forward of the v-berth bulkhead. To keep that divider in place, there are 4 spacers between the two dividers that are screwed into both. So the hole divider structure is self supporting without being attached to the hull. The aft space created has room for 90' of 5/16" chain. The forward space will hold the rest of the chain, which in our case is 135'. The tops of the dividers appear to be about 6-8" from the bottom of the deck locker. The 2 1/2" copper pipe that feeds the chain down into the lower locker from the windlass starts in the v-berth and ends, via 2-45 degree angle fittings, over the aft space in the lower locker. There is a hawsepipe in the upper on deck locker that opens directly over the aft space in the lower locker. This opening allows the chain that piles up below to be knocked down with an oak stick that stows in the upper locker. In our case as we retrieve our 90' of chain we need to knock down the pile twice at 30' and again at 60'. If we anchor in deep water and need more then that first 90', it pays out without a problem, but needs to be shifted into the forward space by hand from the v-berth. A handheld windlass controller makes this very easy. To anchor the bitter end of the chain, there is a 5/16" u-bolt bolted into the v-berth bulkhead, a loop of 1/4" line long enough to pass up through the windlass to the deck. That way if the chain needs to be slipped, it can be cut and buoyed without having to go below in a tense situation.

    We have been using this system for more then 20 years now and have become very comfortable with it. In our cruising we anchor often. There is a wash down pump (which is located under the head sink) and a wand made with 1/2" pex pipe that allows the chain and anchor to be cleaned before going below. And the use of a handheld remote, as opposed to on deck foot switches, to control the machine is a definite plus.

    Hope this all helps. Feel free to email me with any questions.

    Jim
     

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