Windlass and Anchor Chain

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Lady of the Lake
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Windlass and Anchor Chain

Postby Lady of the Lake » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:28 pm

OK, I am finally going to break down and add a windlass to Lady of the Lake, tired of pulling chain by hand :-)

So...what windlass do you all use and what do you recommend?

What size anchor chain do you prefer for a PDQ36?

And finally, any recommendations on installation? Like do you have a dedicated battery and if so, where is it located?

Thank you all in advance!
Sam
Sam and Gina Densler
s/v Lady of the Lake
PDQ36 Hull #15
Punta Gorda, FL

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Re: Windlass and Anchor Chain

Postby duetto » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:43 pm

hi sam,

we're on a 34 powercat so this may or not apply. 3 years ago we replaced our oem windlass with a lewmar pro fish. we're entirely satisfied. it runs off the house bank. quick retrieval.
john & diane cummings
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Re: Windlass and Anchor Chain

Postby Lady of the Lake » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:36 pm

Thank you...that was one of the ones I was looking at. So you have 4AWG running from the panel to the windlass? Deck switch, helm switch, or both? And finally, since this has the freefall option, can it be locked so that you can control the down direction? In other words, do you have a bidirectional switch?

Thanks!

Sam
Sam and Gina Densler
s/v Lady of the Lake
PDQ36 Hull #15
Punta Gorda, FL

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Re: Windlass and Anchor Chain

Postby thinwater » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:13 am

Lewmar V700 and 1/4-inch grade 43 chain. The sizing for the PDQ 36 is the same. If you feel like more strength, use G70 rather than larger chain... but there is no reason. (The WLL of 1/4 G43 is 2600 pounds, and the 60 knot WL with a nylon bridle is only 1/2 that. The safety factor is above that.)

I have a helm switch, but I unused it a few times in 10 years. You REALLY should be at the roller in case the anchor comes up sideways.

Not really interested in free fall; to my mind, power down gives more control, and we seldom anchor in deep water. I had 100 feet of chain backed by rope, and I only touched the rope about once a year.

A vertical windlass has about 160 degrees of chain wrap vs. 100 degrees for a horizontal (Profish). That is generally OK for chain, but rope can be a problem (not enough grab). Why would you want all that above deck, when a vertical will pull better and is better protected from the elements? Just opinion.

Image

Use an irony splice to connect the rope to the chain. It is FAR more reliable around the windlass than a backsplice.

This is an old image, but is shows the flush installation. Granted, this is a PDQ 32.
Image

---

You are going to LOVE the windlass, whatever you choose.
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Re: Windlass and Anchor Chain

Postby duetto » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:27 am

hi sam,

first, i can't accurately comment on the wire since i just used what pdq put in the boat.

we don't use freefall, since as thinwater says we don't anchor in deep water.

we have a wired handheld control, again reuse of original. we also added a wireless remote but don't use because of the delay. again as thinwater says you really want to be able to control from where you can see anchor and chain.

onto the vertical vs horizontal. we happen to have a v700 on our 34' mainship. both work well but imho the profish is a definite step up in terms of fit and finish. the horizontal works well on the rear foredeck of the powercat. the vertical v700 was a direct replacement for the oem lewmar on our mainship. i would not want the bulky horizontal on the narrow bow on the mainship. the mainship has foot controls on foredeck and controls at helm, which i rarely use.
john & diane cummings

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Re: Windlass and Anchor Chain

Postby chicagocat » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:39 pm

Wiring back to the house bank is simplest, but the wire gets expensive. On Anne Z I spent as much on the wire as I did on the windlass. If you can find a source for cheaper copper, that would be helpful. Come by and check out the setup on Cat Tales when you get a chance.
PDQ 36052 - 1996 LRC - "Anne Z" - Chicago
and 2001 PDQ 36 Classic (Tall Rig)- "Cat Tales" - Punta Gorda, FL

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Re: Windlass and Anchor Chain

Postby thinwater » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:09 pm

Not knowing your layout, do make sure a horizontal windlass will not snag a sheet. You may want to tape a cardboard box to the location and go sailing. I often make mock-ups like this before cutting holes! It cuts down on mistakes and reduces stress. I sailed around with a cabin heater-sized box taped to the wall for a whole summer before installing it, just to make sure it was not in the way.

And a precaution. When operating a foot switch, either stand, sit, or kneel on both knees. Once I was on one knee and was hit by a wake. I was thrown to the side, my other knee landing on the up button and my hand on the chain, near the windlass. I could not lift either more knee or hand immediately, because my weight was on them both!! I was very lucky that the windlass got only the side of my glove. I could easily have lost a finger. It was scary. As a result, I have mixed feelings about foot switches and I always sit or stand. If I kneel, I make darn sure the knee closest to the switch is on the deck and that my other hand is holding something.
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Re: Windlass and Anchor Chain

Postby thinwater » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:09 pm

Not knowing your layout, do make sure a horizontal windlass will not snag a sheet. You may want to tape a cardboard box to the location and go sailing. I often make mock-ups like this before cutting holes! It cuts down on mistakes and reduces stress. I sailed around with a cabin heater-sized box taped to the wall for a whole summer before installing it, just to make sure it was not in the way.

And a precaution. When operating a foot switch, either stand, sit, or kneel on both knees. Once I was on one knee and was hit by a wake. I was thrown to the side, my other knee landing on the up button and my hand on the chain, near the windlass. I could not lift either more knee or hand immediately, because my weight was on them both!! I was very lucky that the windlass got only the side of my glove. I could easily have lost a finger. It was scary. As a result, I have mixed feelings about foot switches and I always sit or stand. If I kneel, I make darn sure the knee closest to the switch is on the deck and that my other hand is holding something.
Writing full time since 2014.

http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/2017/ ... store.html
"Keeping a Cruising Boat for Peanuts"
"Singlehanded Sailing for the Coastal Sailor"
"Faster Cruising for the Coastal Sailor"

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Re: Windlass and Anchor Chain

Postby amytom » Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:28 am

Also, what kind of access do you have to the anchor locker? On starboard side we just have small spring loaded deck plate to feed the mostly rope with 8’ chain road for our fortress back up anchor. For that side I would install throughdeck vertical if I needed one.

The port side locker has a large hatch forward of the bow locker hatch. Inside the locker we have an aluminum frame that the horizontal windlass mounts to. The hatch has a moulded portion that allows the chain to pass through with hatch closed.

Either way make sure you have enough “fall” for the chain. If you have more chain than will comfortably fit it may bind up and jam the windlass (always at the worst time). We have to push the pile over at least once if we use the whole length of chain.

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Re: Windlass and Anchor Chain

Postby duetto » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:45 pm

as a former sailor i agree with thinwater's concern about sheets catching on a horizontal windlass.

regardless of windlass type you need sufficient capacity to drop all of the chain or rode.
john & diane cummings

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Re: Windlass and Anchor Chain

Postby martincreek150 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:33 pm

Never one to conform to the norm (more and more electrical do-dads), I installed a manual, Imtra Lofrans Royal windless (my house batteries love me). It's fairly compact, by CSY 44 windlass standards, and I've never fouled a sheet or any other line. The only complication was drilling four mounting holes in a place where the deck was plywood cored (not foam). I landed only two in the plywood.

I've only pumped 125' of chain up once, since I diligently seek out shallow water anchorages. I'd estimate that each pump retrieves about 4" of chain. It's a great wake up call each morning that we move.

No switches, breakers, wiring, etc. Just callouses.
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