Adam, Adam, Adam...
I HATE to say I told you so....But!
Hopefully you are using Low Gear
until you have shortened the chain up. It's slower but takes about half the effort, but for twice as long. (I ran into a fellow that had the same windlass on his boat for 5 years and didn't realize he even had two gears until I mentioned it!). Another trick is to get a piece of Aluminum
tube that will fit over the windlass handle. Extending the handle a foot or two makes it alot easier although the throw is longer. (I used to stand sideways with that, rather than behind the windlass, as the side to side action seemed easier.)
In our case, when we anchor
I have Kitt hit the Man-Overboard button on our Garmin GPS
when we drop the anchor. From that point on, the GPS
Arrow points directly at the spot so that, we always know where the anchor is relative to the boat and when we're retrieving the Anchor, she merely has to line the Arrow up, dead ahead, and idle forward while I retrive the chain. In that manner I never had to pull up more than the length of chain between the stem and the bottom. Usually not more than 20 feet here in Florida
but once 60 to 80 feet in California
. Even 80' was doable--but slow--in low gear
. Of course, that trick works just as well with the Maxwell
, although now all we have to do is push a button! (If you do decide to chage to an electric
windlass, I strongly recommend the Maxwell
line. Maybe when you get to NZ!)
I sympathize with your experiences with "Professionals". I think we've all had that experience, unfortunately.
Hang in there. As time passes you'll become more fit, and more experienced, and it gets easier. Then, at some point you'll go through the same ballony I did about giving up a reliable manual windlass
in favor of a power version. Had I not damaged my arm, I'd still be using that old 555.
Please give my regards to your darling, and say hi to you Mom and family
. We think of you often and are glad to see your posts from time-to-time.
/s/ Scott & Kitt