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Old 25-09-2017, 03:36   #1
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Electric Windlass for Sabre 34 Mk1

Would like any suggestions regarding the installation of an electric windlass for a Sabre 34 Mk 1. thanks
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Old 25-09-2017, 05:08   #2
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Re: Electric Windlass for Sabre 34 Mk1

We have been looking at this for a Sabre 34-2 for a while. First, if you are not a DIYer, lots of money is in order.

There are three ways to go that I've seen, and I haven't quite decided which way to go. First, we have a friend that put a horizontal windlass in the anchor locker. Advantages: Less expense due to less glass work. Disadvantages: Entire unit is more or less exposed to the elements; lots of space taken up in the anchor locker and according to this friend, it occasionally jams due to the less than optimal angles.

Mounting a vertical windless behind the anchor locker. Advantages: can create optimal angle for the rode; no space used in the anchor locker; low deck profile. Disadvantages: Lots of glass work required to create the path from the windlass to the anchor locker; motor is at foot of v-berth, requiring fabrication of some sort of box - these both are the majority of the cost.

Mounting a vertical windless on the anchor locker hatch. Advantages: Less glass work required than #2, but need to reinforce the hatch and maybe split the hatch; low deck profile. Disadvantages: motor is more exposed than in #2; space taken up in anchor locker; somewhat restricted access to the anchor locker.

Personally, I'm leaning towards option 2, but I'm not sure if I can stomach the cost. The only time I've had a problem retrieving the anchor by hand was in a 20 kt wind. It's tough to justify the cost based on an N=1 for the year.
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Old 25-09-2017, 05:45   #3
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Re: Electric Windlass for Sabre 34 Mk1

First, have you checked out the Sabre Yahoo group? There should be plenty of examples there.

Second, the above response is right on the money. On my Sabre 38, I would also go with Option 2. None of the options are easy and would require a fair amount of skill to pull off.

Until then, I'm still going with my good old hands for the time being. Yes, even with a 35 pound Mantus and 90' of 5/16" chain. Adding a windlass might be the first upgrade I do once we have been cruising for a few months...
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Old 25-09-2017, 10:28   #4
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Re: Electric Windlass for Sabre 34 Mk1

Thanks for the feedback. I also leaning towards option 2 with a low profile windlass. Just have to determine exactly where and how much to beef up the deck. Also must consider the wiring path and power supply. Do people have a dedicated battery in the bow? My wife and I drop the hook a lot and she would rather pull in the anchor than take the wheel. Our practice is that she pays in the rode until she gets to the chain (last 20 feet) and I go up to help her with the last bit. We can have a tug of war with muddy bottoms, and use the boats weight and momentum to free the anchor but not sure how many more years we will accept the manual practice. Have the off season to think about it! Thanks again.
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Old 25-09-2017, 10:43   #5
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Re: Electric Windlass for Sabre 34 Mk1

a couple comments in general:
-I have found vertical style windlasses to work very well and trouble free. Horizontal have been my nemesis a couple times.
-Some use a battery in the bow and some dont like that. Your choice. Remember, you need decent size wire to charge the battery also. The cable sould be run under the floor boards all the way to the bow often.
-One of the most important things is room under the windlass for "chain stack". The chain stacks up readily and will cause a jam if you dont tip it over or have lots of depth. For 200 ft of chain I would want probably 2 ft of chain storage height.
- Your windlass should not be used for taking the anchor load at anchor, use a snubber. But yes, the mount should be as strong as possible as certain circumstances require it to be. A large backing plate is good, mounting near the anchor locker bulkhead helps.
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Old 25-09-2017, 12:47   #6
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Re: Electric Windlass for Sabre 34 Mk1

Cheechako, thanks for the comments. I hear you when you infer that wire has to be run either way, whether the battery is in the bow or back with the other batteries. I guess it is a matter of where i have space. Think that i will have the chain return to the anchor locker from the deck.
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Old 25-09-2017, 13:01   #7
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Re: Electric Windlass for Sabre 34 Mk1

I will say, charter boats or factory installed windlasses sometimes have smaller wire compared with many of us that feel you have to use 2-0 all the time! They seem to work with the smaller wire.
The wire to power the windlass needs to be big, but if you have limited charging amps, not sure the wire to charge a dedicated battery has to be as big. Let's say your windlass can draw up to 150 amps when "locked rotor". To charge a dedicated battery when you have only a 45 amp max alternator... you wouldnt need wire beyond that 45 amps right? (assuming you isolate the system when operating the windlass) But all this just makes one realize the KISS method is to run big cable all the way from a battery bank and no dedicated battery.
There is a long thread with all this from a couple years back with many diverse opinions.
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Old 25-09-2017, 23:20   #8
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Re: Electric Windlass for Sabre 34 Mk1

Awesome! Thanks Cheechako. Gaining more and more insight like it is more of an electrical consideration than mechanical.
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Old 26-09-2017, 07:06   #9
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Re: Electric Windlass for Sabre 34 Mk1

“... FALL: Generally chain rodes require a minimum perpendicular fall of at least 12". This is measured from the centre of the gypsy for Horizontal windlass’, and from the bottom of the locker deck for a Vertical windlass - hence a Vertical Windlass requires more cockpit locker depth ...”
Selecting a Windlass
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