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Windlass installation??

Peter

New Member
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
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
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
 
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terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
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.
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
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
 
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terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
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.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
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
 
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
 

Peter

New Member
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
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
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
 
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Peter

New Member
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.
 

Peter

New Member
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
 

Peter

New Member
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
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
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
 

Attachments

Mark,
I really like your windlass installation. I think the same type of set up is going to work well for Sonata too. Sonata has an inner headstay that kind of precludes a clean deck mounting. I have purchased a Maxell HRC8 Horizontal Free Fall. I have some questions if I may. Did you find it necessary to back up the floor of the anchor locker below as well as your pad on top? We have chain leader with 3 strand line which I hope will feed into the space below alright. I am hoping to have enough space for a second anchor setup in the upper locker with the windlass. My bow roller is on the port side so the windlass will need to be opposite yours. Also, what gauge wire did you run forward? I think I will run off the house/start batteries. Thoughts?
Mitchell
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Hi Mitchel - Thanks, we really like the setup ... all hidden below deck, then very quick & easy. We were out anchoring twice this weekend and my wife just uses the little key fob control, and hand signals to me at the helm.

No, the floor of the anchor locker seemed plenty beefy enough, so I didn't reinforce it. The Starboard pad I built helps distribute the weight too.

I think I used ANCOR AWG 2 for power and Triplex Flat 12/3 AWG marine cable to go from near the batteries up to the V-berth. Having the Triplex cable made it easier to string it behind the cabin walls. I used an electrician's wire puller (aka Fish Tape) to pull the conductor. Also used several marine grade curse words (highly recommended). In the closet in the aft starboard portion of the V-berth, we had a little sliding door compartment that is at the counter height. I mounted the controls & antenna for the remote there.

I put the "wired" control for the windlass back in the cockpit, in the port wall near the wheel. We've only had to use that once when the battery in the little key fob was dead.

I found the drawing I made before installation. We planned this out extensively because we had to haul all the pieces up to British Columbia for installation and didn't want to be missing anything.

Windlass.png
 
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Mark,
Thank you,
I think the install seems pretty straight forward. But I also think that running the cable/wiring will be the hard part too. I was figuring AWG 2 for the primary. So thanks for reaffirming. I was going to mount the main switch in our helm console, but I like your placement. It would be much easier stringing wire there. And I think I will also use a wireless remote that I have as well.
I really appreciate your drawing. Your info has clarified my thinking.
Thanks
Mitchell
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mitchell

Mark's info and diagram are perfect. I'd just like to add a comment or two. The AWG 2 is the right size for the amperage flow. You might look into an AWG 2 welding cable. Two reasons for this: one because welding cable is made up of many more strands then regular stranded wire it can dissipate heat much better which allows it to carry a larger amp load. The second reason is that because of all those strands it is highly flexible which may eliminate some of those marine grade curse words getting through the closets. Another thing you might look at is a plastic conduit called interduct. This is the orange raceway used to protect fiber optic cables. It comes in various sizes. If you pull the AWG 2 wires into the interduct off the boat, then it will be easier to pull just the one cable through the boat. You can also pull the control wiring in the conduit as long as the insulation rating is the same. Also, when pulling the wires or cable through to get forward, don't forget the space up under the cap rail. I used that space from the pilot berth to the bow.

Jim
 
Thanks Jim,
I am familiar with welding cable. I have used it for battery cables on some cars I have built when the battery is located in the rear a long distance from the starter. Much easier to get around corners and obstacles with it's flexibility. I am not sure if there is much difference between Marine cable for corrosion. Are Marine battery cables tinned? Anyway, I am familiar with welding cable. (several welders in my shop) So, that may be a good alternative. Interduct is a great idea too! I have also used something similar in wiring at the shop as well. Good call.
I have thought about the space under the Bulwark coming. I will try and utilize that area too.

On another subject, I had to repair the sagging headliner over the Pilot berth and had it down. My good buddy "Hollywood Joe" was enlisted to help hold it up as I reinstalled it. Of course he leaned on the teak trim for the chain plate and broke it in half as it was down at the bottom of the chain plate. Any ideas on repairing this? I tried to glue it back together but there is not enough surface area to hold. I'm sure this has happened on other boats. I had been so careful, but then the proverbial Bull in the china closet and Murphy's law came into play.
Mitchell
 

schlepper

John m. Harrison
Peter, here is my setup with my Maxwell RG8 .... I have a G27 Battery mounted in the starboard side of the V-berth, with wiring running from the battery charger/chart table area forward to charge it... wiring runs from the battery up the Bulkhead and thru to the anchor locker just under the deck. I built a false floor in the anchor locker so there is no drain to the mast bucket, but instead drilled a hole in the starboard side just above the level of the false floor I had glassed in.... I have no access to the locker from the v-berth as I put marine playwood mechanically attached to the original bulkhead, and then glass over that. I left the teak door on the original v-berth bulkhead for appearances only. Then I made a fiberglass encapsulated plywood platform that is mounted in the recess of the locker hatch and I made a new hatch that is forward of the platform and was able fuse original hinges and screw holes in the deck; I bought a chromed latch that I mounted to the new hatch with a forstner bit so it's countersunk. All holes were filed with epoxy and then re-drilled so the wood won't get water penetration very easily. The platform allows for the anchor rode and chain to be thrown straight down into the lower level of the locker (I cut the aft half of the upper locker floor out). So far, it works pretty well. I have 2 wireless remotes, a hard wired control, and a hardwired control back to the helm....
7N%y+3YKTBOl8iIrfBZ%kw.jpg fullsizeoutput_65f.jpeg xrgdArIuQqWJhbiXRHvfJA.jpg
 

schlepper

John m. Harrison
Peter, here is my setup with my Maxwell RG8 .... I have a G27 Battery mounted in the starboard side of the V-berth, with wiring running from the battery charger/chart table area forward to charge it... wiring runs from the battery up the Bulkhead and thru to the anchor locker just under the deck. I built a false floor in the anchor locker so there is no drain to the mast bucket, but instead drilled a hole in the starboard side just above the level of the false floor I had glassed in.... I have no access to the locker from the v-berth as I put marine playwood mechanically attached to the original bulkhead, and then glass over that. I left the teak door on the original v-berth bulkhead for appearances only. Then I made a fiberglass encapsulated plywood platform that is mounted in the recess of the locker hatch and I made a new hatch that is forward of the platform and was able fuse original hinges and screw holes in the deck; I bought a chromed latch that I mounted to the new hatch with a forstner bit so it's countersunk. All holes were filed with epoxy and then re-drilled so the wood won't get water penetration very easily. The platform allows for the anchor rode and chain to be thrown straight down into the lower level of the locker (I cut the aft half of the upper locker floor out). So far, it works pretty well. I have 2 wireless remotes, a hard wired control, and a hardwired control back to the helm....
View attachment 8012 View attachment 8014 View attachment 8015
 

Peter

New Member
John,

Very nice & tidy set-up.

How did you mount the winch & platform so that it will be able to handle the sheer loads that will be present from time to time?

Great Pics thank you very much,

Peter Varty
 

Peter

New Member
John,

Do you have a picture of the smaller deck locker fwd. of your windlass in the open position? Is there room for a deck wash pump, hose & a chain hook??

Thanks,

Peter Varty
 

schlepper

John m. Harrison
ZgPvTkZ0Tk6ygpJ2Hp9HeA.jpgPeter,
When I examined the mounting literature that came with my windlass, the manufacturer makes it quite clear that the windlass is there to pull the anchor and rode up to the boat and the technique is to motor the boat forward to keep slack on the rode/chain. They were quite clear to not use the windlass to 'pull' the boat to the anchor. That will wear the clutches and the motor if that is done. My original design was to simply mount a plate to the deck with multiple thru-bolts to spread the load. I intended it to span between the base of the bulwarks, but, with our pulpits offset from the centerline due to the forestay, and the deck being approximately 5.75" lower than the channel of the pulpit for the rode and chain, it then necessitated that the windlass be offset from centerline, and then elevated quite a ways higher than the deck. Thus the platform I built, the teak spacer and the poly board spacer on top of that. The platform is mounted to the aluminum tracks which have four 1/4" stainless bolts holding those to the locker rim, and 4 stainless 1/4" combo wood screw/threaded bolt that are screwed into the bottom of the platform and held to the aluminum tracks with vinyl washers (dissimilar metals) and stainless washers and self locking nuts. the load would be to pull the platform assembly forward, or to pull it up. Unless the 1/4" aluminum suffered catastrophic failure, or the wood screws pulled out, I just don't see a problem with the mount as I have engineered it, in compliance with the manufacturers procedures for use of the windlass.

As for the forward lid, it will only open partially if the chain is kept tight in the windlass, which is how I usually have it stowed. If I need to fully access that locker, I slacken the chain and it is not a problem to access it. I keep spare dock lines there and the manual windlass handle in the event that I need to manually bring it up or let it down. I can open it enough to reach the manual handle should the need arise. I'll attach a range of photos for your perusal... let me know if you have any questions. If I were doing it again, I would do a couple of things differently for aesthetics mainly.... overall, it's working fine so far. The second picture here is before I mounted it and from this, you can see how much is left of the upper locker. Yes, the upright piece of plywood is angled... intentionally. The original design of the upper locker would have standing water against the V-berth/Anchor locker bulkhead which fostered wood rot in the upper locker floor and the first couple of layers of the bulkhead. This is fiberglassed in addition to mechanical attachment and being angled, any water in there will drop down to the lower locker, where there is a drain to the outside in the bow (as I think I previously referenced, the lower locker is blocked off from draining to the mast step...I cannot find my pictures of the lower locker in my computer.... but I think they are in the media section of this site... somewhere! I hope this helps or gives you some additional ideas to aid in your efforts!
ZgPvTkZ0Tk6ygpJ2Hp9HeA.jpg IMG_7323.JPG
 

Peter

New Member
View attachment 8016Peter,
When I examined the mounting literature that came with my windlass, the manufacturer makes it quite clear that the windlass is there to pull the anchor and rode up to the boat and the technique is to motor the boat forward to keep slack on the rode/chain. They were quite clear to not use the windlass to 'pull' the boat to the anchor. That will wear the clutches and the motor if that is done. My original design was to simply mount a plate to the deck with multiple thru-bolts to spread the load. I intended it to span between the base of the bulwarks, but, with our pulpits offset from the centerline due to the forestay, and the deck being approximately 5.75" lower than the channel of the pulpit for the rode and chain, it then necessitated that the windlass be offset from centerline, and then elevated quite a ways higher than the deck. Thus the platform I built, the teak spacer and the poly board spacer on top of that. The platform is mounted to the aluminum tracks which have four 1/4" stainless bolts holding those to the locker rim, and 4 stainless 1/4" combo wood screw/threaded bolt that are screwed into the bottom of the platform and held to the aluminum tracks with vinyl washers (dissimilar metals) and stainless washers and self locking nuts. the load would be to pull the platform assembly forward, or to pull it up. Unless the 1/4" aluminum suffered catastrophic failure, or the wood screws pulled out, I just don't see a problem with the mount as I have engineered it, in compliance with the manufacturers procedures for use of the windlass.

As for the forward lid, it will only open partially if the chain is kept tight in the windlass, which is how I usually have it stowed. If I need to fully access that locker, I slacken the chain and it is not a problem to access it. I keep spare dock lines there and the manual windlass handle in the event that I need to manually bring it up or let it down. I can open it enough to reach the manual handle should the need arise. I'll attach a range of photos for your perusal... let me know if you have any questions. If I were doing it again, I would do a couple of things differently for aesthetics mainly.... overall, it's working fine so far. The second picture here is before I mounted it and from this, you can see how much is left of the upper locker. Yes, the upright piece of plywood is angled... intentionally. The original design of the upper locker would have standing water against the V-berth/Anchor locker bulkhead which fostered wood rot in the upper locker floor and the first couple of layers of the bulkhead. This is fiberglassed in addition to mechanical attachment and being angled, any water in there will drop down to the lower locker, where there is a drain to the outside in the bow (as I think I previously referenced, the lower locker is blocked off from draining to the mast step...I cannot find my pictures of the lower locker in my computer.... but I think they are in the media section of this site... somewhere! I hope this helps or gives you some additional ideas to aid in your efforts!
View attachment 8016 View attachment 8017
John,
 

Peter

New Member
John,

Thank you for your detailed explanations. The pictures save a thousand words. What size chain do you have & how long is it? (How much will the chain locker hold.)

This whole thread is full of very good info, however, your installation seems to pull it all together. I like the way you utilized the lower chain locker and saved part of the upper.

I want to put two Bollards, one on either side of the windlass to handle any heavy loads. My last boat went through a hurricane on the hook & I am very conscious of having a set up that can handle something like this if I ever need to again. Any suggestions?

what “esthetic” changes were you referring to?

Thank you, Peter Varty
 

schlepper

John m. Harrison
Peter,
Thank you.... I believe my chain is 5/16's if I remember correctly... in any case, I only have a rode of 8 plait that's 125' and 60' of chain. A friend had the 8 plait that I was able to buy for very cheap price and would work for my needs for now.... I would think I would approach the limits of space to accommodate chain, say, 100' and 200' of 8 plait rode... that 8 plait just folds and lays down so nicely, completely different from the typical braided line that I had which was like steel cable. The 8 plait will give more stretch as well so it should help to prevent shock loads as the boat swings on the anchor. I had mounted an extra plywood pad and fiberglassed it in (the rectangular white pad to starboard of the off center windlass mount). I was going to mount a bollard or cleat, but have not yet done so. I want to see how the windlass itself does as to snagging any sheets, etc. when under sail. So far that has not been an issue at all. As for the typical operation of the windlass on retrieval, I pull the chain in tight, put a snap shackle in the chain (attached to a small rope that is tied off to an eye just forward of the anchor locker) and then let off of the windlass tad... I don't know if anything I would mount there for a cleat or bollard would be strong enough to endure severe loads so I'd prefer a bridle (I don't have as of yet) and attach that to the port/starboard cleats.... It's one thing to bring up the anchor from straight down beneath the boat and to handle that, yet another to endure heavy pounding in waves, etc.. you never use the windlass for holding the rode or chain, or for pulling the boat to the anchor, that will wear out the clutches in the windlass quickly and/or burn out the motor. From an aesthetics standpoint, I would have perhaps made the plywood/fiberglass platform overlap the lip of the anchor locker and bevelled it on all sides to around 45 degrees or so just to make a smoother look to meeting the deck, etc. versus the 90 degree perpendicular look that I have now.... but I will say, it is just so nice to walk forward with the fob on a chain around my neck, untie the rode from the cleat, and push that button and it just comes right up.... pulling that thing was a lower back wrenching affair and very glad not to have to do that anymore. If I were to have an electrical malfunction or it wouldn't perform with power, it has a hand winch so at least would be able to do that versus resort to pulling by hand.... It's the only way to go in my opinion!
 

schlepper

John m. Harrison
Peter, I left one thing out.... in my design and planning for this install, I had in mind to be able too return the boat to 'stock' if I ever sold it, a new owner would have that option, versus having major holes in the deck, etc.. I decided to make my own forward hatch, instead of cutting up my original locker hatch, which now sits in my garage. To your question about the bollard/cleat install, if I built it with the overlap I referred to above, it would give the option also of possibly thru bolting the whole thing to the deck in addition to the brackets it is mounted to in the locker lip. My current design fits tight in the detent of the original locker hatch that it's not going anywhere but to have it thru bolted to the deck (and appropriately made water tight so as not to get water penetration in the deck core!), would be the ultimate I believe to make it that much stronger.... My original design was to be that way, but I had to change it after I went to do a dry fit and realized I had to be off centerline of the bow to port and also that I had to elevate the windlass to make the rode/chain entry to the chain ring perpendicular per spec of the windlass manufacturer. The nice thing about how mine is mounted is that when that chain and rode clears the chain ring, it throws it all straight down, there's no angular pipe or other possible encumbrances to it getting where it is supposed to go. So far, no jams in retrieval....
 
Ok, I have researched battery cable until my eyes are shot. What it boils down to is Welding cable is about 1/2 the cost of Marine, tinned battery cable. My question is, Is it worth the savings of false economy? Anyone, thoughts? Welding cable has the flex advantage for sure, but...
Mitchell
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Everything I have ever read says use only certified tinned cable. ABYC standards say the same. Given the amperage loads and damp conditions, I would not scrimp on this. But I am not an ABYC electrician.
 
I think it's interesting, I always thought welding cable I've use in the cars I build was expensive. Now I look at long runs of Marine Batt. cables and think otherwise. I tend to agree that Tinned battery cables are the way to go in this situation. All the cables are rated at 600 so that is equal. But corrosion is always an issue. I will most likely bite the bullet and do it right. And only once.
Mitchell
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mitchell

A big difference between welding cable and marine cables is the insulation. Welding cable needs to be very abrasion resistant because it tends to be dragged on the ground a lot. Regular electrical cable, THHN, etc, require different resistantance to chemicals. If either type of cable is enclosed in an Interduct type conduit, either of their insulations will be protected and last for many years. As far as tinning goes, It's a great thing but is really only needed on the ends of a cable where the terminations are made. Tinning prevents the oxidation of the copper conductors which causes a higher resistance to the flow of electricity (creep). If you use a non tinned wire or a welding cable and take care to tin the exposed ends and seal those ends with heat shrink the rest of the cable will be protected from oxidation.

Dana's windlass system has been wired with welding cable in Interduct for over 20 years now. The job was done well and shows no signs of oxidation on any part of the cables.

Jim
 
Jim,
I had wondered about the insulation factor too. I really appreciate your explanation and of course your hands on experience. I have thought that once the ends are soldered (essentially tinned) and sealed well with the proper heat shrink tube that it might be just fine.
The fact that you have 20 years with it speaks volumes.
Mitchell
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mitchell

I think it all comes down to what will enable you to sleep at night. An ABYC technician will say I'm preaching blasphemy. Everyone has to make their own decision. What works for me may not be another persons cup of tea. I hope this helps you with your decision.

Another decision you will have to make is where to locate to solenoid. The Lofrans machine on Dana has a three wire, Up, Down, Return, hookup at the machine. If the solenoid is placed aft near the battery bank, then three large cables need to travel the length of the boat. If it is placed up in the V-Bunk, then only two cables travel the distance. That makes a difference in price and ease of installation. Once the solenoid is installed, it shouldn't need to be accessed except to troubleshoot, so why not place it up forward.

Jim
 
Thanks Jim,
I understand and no need for a disclaimer. I won't blame you for my decision. ;)
I was considering a forward location for the Solenoid, so I will figure that out soon. Probably something like Marc's diagram.
As you say, the only reason I can imagine servicing that is trouble shooting or failure. Which is probably unlikely. But it will be accessible to a degree. I really appreciate all knowledge and input I have received here.
Mitchell
 
As an alternative to soldering (as mentioned the ABYC techs will complain bitterly about it) you can coat the ends with dielectric grease, then crimp and heatshrink. Be sure to only get grease on the copper, not any on the insulation. The grease will keep out moisture, and prevent corrosion.
 

schlepper

John m. Harrison
my G27 and solenoid are in the V-berth, starboard side just forward of the cabinetry on my 383 and under the plywood platform the cushions sit upon. I ran a duplex wire from there where it attaches to the solenoid to helm for the hardwired Maxwell up/down switch. I also have two wireless non-Maxwell Jeep wireless controls that so far work just fine. I have three wires going forward for the windlass motor that are West Marine tinned wire, and I have tinned duplex wire going back to my battery charger for the G27 batter in the berth. I am contemplating changing the battery selectors, etc. in the quarter berth to be able to swap back and forth from engine alternator to shore power charger.... given how I use the boat for anchoring, etc., how I have it now works just fine. If I do longer cruises, obviously I will need to change that configuration to allow one or the other to keep it topped off.
Power from battery to windlass: Ancor 4 AWG tinned marine grade (approx. 10' run)
From Solenoid to Manual helm switch: Ancor 14 AWG duplex wire, tinned Marine Grade
From battery charger to G27 battery / fuse link: Ancor 6 AWG duplex wire, tinned Marine Grade
 
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