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Old 04-11-2015, 18:12   #46
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Re: Using a Milwaukee 28v drill on a manual windlass

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Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
Sounds like rambling. I think the original idea has some merit. One post showed a vertical chain winch that might fit the bill, if the drill is variable speed. It appeared as though it had a reduction. Don't think it needs 1800 RPM maybe 60? My experience with Milwaukee right angle drills is any RPM you want.
Cadense you can think what you like. I would happily try running a vertical anchor winch off a rechargeable LI battery. I would of course research the voltage requirements with the winch manufacturer. Neilson Winches are manufactured 10 minutes from where I live and I would see them first.

The problem as I understand is powering an anchor winch when the boat motor is a 15 HP Honda. If a LI battery will power a drill to power a winch, so will that same or a similar battery power a standard electric windlass.
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Old 04-11-2015, 19:50   #47
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Re: Using a Milwaukee 28v drill on a manual windlass

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I guess I missed something? Who was speaking of mounting the drill? I had the impression it was just a portable used to haul the anchor on a manual winch in lieu of elbow grease and sounded like a good idea.
See post 31 to which I was responding.

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Old 04-11-2015, 20:03   #48
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Re: Using a Milwaukee 28v drill on a manual windlass

Delighted to see that my idea has some traction. Unlikely that the drill will unstick the anchor from the bottom but other than that it will likely do every thing else except bring my 60lb'r over the roller. Discretion in it's use will be the key. It $340.00 vs $2400.00 and bunch of wire and heavy duty connectors..all that needs done is fabricating an adapter. No holes in the no leak deck and no funky foot switches...It's worth a try. If it doesn't cut it I atleast have a nice new drill.
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Old 04-11-2015, 20:13   #49
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Re: Using a Milwaukee 28v drill on a manual windlass

To the OP,

Reading through all the posts, it seems to me that what safe use of the Milly would demand would be just fine if you are a fair weather day sailer sort of usage. The problem would come when the oddball circumstance occurs--the wind comes up suddenly in the wee hrs. of the night, and by the time you (now on a lee shore, possibly with friends or family aboard so that the pressure's really on you) now have to get the hook up, the boat's pitching and water's everywhere, thrown by the wind and splashed up by the hulls. Even with its jacket I made for it on the Milly, it has to be open for the air flow to cool it, and water would just love to get in there. It is a very useful tool, and if you had a windlass with a manual override, or just a windlass that has a correctly shaped for the Millly bit drive hold, you could use it as an emergency backup. But, it is in no way designed to get wet, not even a little. And imo, not a suitable substitute for a real electric windlass.

What I think is likely to happen, smj, if you go ahead with it, is that it will serve you well for a while, then it's gonna get wet somehow and you'll be replacing it, hopefully not at a time when you find (a) you cannot "hump" the anchor and chain up, and (b) that you have time to figure out a way to use your primary winch and a snubber line to haul up your chain and anchor. BTDT, and it takes forBLOODYever if it's a scary situation. The further afield you wander, the more likely it is to happen according to Murphy's Law: at the time it will be most inconvenient for you.

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Old 04-11-2015, 20:32   #50
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Re: Using a Milwaukee 28v drill on a manual windlass

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To the OP,

Reading through all the posts, it seems to me that what safe use of the Milly would demand would be just fine if you are a fair weather day sailer sort of usage. The problem would come when the oddball circumstance occurs--the wind comes up suddenly in the wee hrs. of the night, and by the time you (now on a lee shore, possibly with friends or family aboard so that the pressure's really on you) now have to get the hook up, the boat's pitching and water's everywhere, thrown by the wind and splashed up by the hulls. Even with its jacket I made for it on the Milly, it has to be open for the air flow to cool it, and water would just love to get in there. It is a very useful tool, and if you had a windlass with a manual override, or just a windlass that has a correctly shaped for the Millly bit drive hold, you could use it as an emergency backup. But, it is in no way designed to get wet, not even a little. And imo, not a suitable substitute for a real electric windlass.

What I think is likely to happen, smj, if you go ahead with it, is that it will serve you well for a while, then it's gonna get wet somehow and you'll be replacing it, hopefully not at a time when you find (a) you cannot "hump" the anchor and chain up, and (b) that you have time to figure out a way to use your primary winch and a snubber line to haul up your chain and anchor. BTDT, and it takes forBLOODYever if it's a scary situation. The further afield you wander, the more likely it is to happen according to Murphy's Law: at the time it will be most inconvenient for you.

Ann
Yes but when that happens on a lee shore his little 15 HP Honda outboard will be lifting its prop out of the water on the waves aided by his weight on the bows. I know a boat that happened too and it was wrecked on the rocks. They weren't trying to lift an anchor they were on the bow trying to hoist a jib. Sh.. happens.
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Old 04-11-2015, 20:44   #51
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Re: Using a Milwaukee 28v drill on a manual windlass

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Originally Posted by IdoraKeeper View Post
Delighted to see that my idea has some traction. Unlikely that the drill will unstick the anchor from the bottom but other than that it will likely do every thing else except bring my 60lb'r over the roller. Discretion in it's use will be the key. It $340.00 vs $2400.00 and bunch of wire and heavy duty connectors..all that needs done is fabricating an adapter. No holes in the no leak deck and no funky foot switches...It's worth a try. If it doesn't cut it I atleast have a nice new drill.

Still not sure that there is a windless that can be driven by a drill (out of the box). Winches yes. But pretty sure the one manual windless (Muir) that has been proposed cannot be. That said, plenty of manual windless or no windless boats out there.


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Old 04-11-2015, 21:10   #52
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Re: Using a Milwaukee 28v drill on a manual windlass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
To the OP,

Reading through all the posts, it seems to me that what safe use of the Milly would demand would be just fine if you are a fair weather day sailer sort of usage. The problem would come when the oddball circumstance occurs--the wind comes up suddenly in the wee hrs. of the night, and by the time you (now on a lee shore, possibly with friends or family aboard so that the pressure's really on you) now have to get the hook up, the boat's pitching and water's everywhere, thrown by the wind and splashed up by the hulls. Even with its jacket I made for it on the Milly, it has to be open for the air flow to cool it, and water would just love to get in there. It is a very useful tool, and if you had a windlass with a manual override, or just a windlass that has a correctly shaped for the Millly bit drive hold, you could use it as an emergency backup. But, it is in no way designed to get wet, not even a little. And imo, not a suitable substitute for a real electric windlass.

What I think is likely to happen, smj, if you go ahead with it, is that it will serve you well for a while, then it's gonna get wet somehow and you'll be replacing it, hopefully not at a time when you find (a) you cannot "hump" the anchor and chain up, and (b) that you have time to figure out a way to use your primary winch and a snubber line to haul up your chain and anchor. BTDT, and it takes forBLOODYever if it's a scary situation. The further afield you wander, the more likely it is to happen according to Murphy's Law: at the time it will be most inconvenient for you.

Ann

I'm not a big fan of electric windlass's as they, and all the parts necessary to operate them are constantly getting drenched with salt water while sailing. How many times have foot switches failed because of corrosion. With a manual,windlass it's just that, no electric parts. Much less prone to electrical failure. Now throw the Milwaukee drill on top and you have an electric windlass, yet while sailing it's inside the cabin high and dry, not getting soaked by saltwater. I also don't think having an electric windlass is a prerequisite for cruising. We have never felt them to be a necessity, but then again we've never felt AIS or most of the other so called necessities as really being needed.


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Old 04-11-2015, 21:32   #53
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Re: Using a Milwaukee 28v drill on a manual windlass

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Originally Posted by Jman View Post
Still not sure that there is a windless that can be driven by a drill (out of the box). Winches yes. But pretty sure the one manual windless (Muir) that has been proposed cannot be. That said, plenty of manual windless or no windless boats out there.


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This windlass http://www.ahoycaptain.com/muir_mvmc650h.html driven by the Milwaukee 28v drill with this bit http://www.winchbit.com should have no problem.


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Old 04-11-2015, 21:45   #54
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Re: Using a Milwaukee 28v drill on a manual windlass

Fair enough, smj. I agree a lot depends on how deep you will be anchoring. We do have an electric windlass, and it's far stronger than me (I'm rather small). In our travels, we have had to anchor in 68 ft. deep water. even at only 3:1, that's a lot of chain to get up.

Also, our boats have been monos, and it is quite possible that the environment in our anchor locker is different from what one would face with a cat. So, like I said, to some extent, the decision of whether or not to have an electric windlass really depends on your expected anchoring depths, and how much chain you will carry.

I agree with you that there is a lot of *stuff* one could have but that is not necessary. Everyone makes some of those decisions.

Good luck with your experiment. You can buy a number of Milly's for what the windlass, wiring, switch(es), and battery would cost, plus there is the weight saving.

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Old 04-11-2015, 21:51   #55
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Re: Using a Milwaukee 28v drill on a manual windlass

Ok you armchair QBs. I just crawled out on deck in the cold and dark... rarely for Oregon no rain (thank god for global warming). I connected my battery powered drill with a socket to the gypsy side of my S-L windlass. Admittedly there was no where near the load that chain and anchor would put on the windlass, but with the resistance that I could muster, the drill turned the windlass no problem.

Of course a long term setup should have some enhancement, but I think it could be workable. As for weather and spray... as a kid, I was a builder and I'll tell you rain, abuse, and mud abound on the building site... rinse the salt water off and I'll bet the tool continues for years.
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Old 04-11-2015, 22:15   #56
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Re: Using a Milwaukee 28v drill on a manual windlass

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Originally Posted by smj View Post
I'm not a big fan of electric windlass's as they, and all the parts necessary to operate them are constantly getting drenched with salt water while sailing. How many times have foot switches failed because of corrosion. With a manual,windlass it's just that, no electric parts. Much less prone to electrical failure. Now throw the Milwaukee drill on top and you have an electric windlass, yet while sailing it's inside the cabin high and dry, not getting soaked by saltwater. I also don't think having an electric windlass is a prerequisite for cruising. We have never felt them to be a necessity, but then again we've never felt AIS or most of the other so called necessities as really being needed.


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Well, I surely can't argue with a manual windlass never having an electrical failure... you have that nailed!

But here's an interesting fact: On our previous boat we had two different manual windlasses, a S/L Hyspeed and a Maxwell two speed horizontal model whose nomenclature I've forgotten. The S/L was a poor bit of kit, but it lasted us from SF to Tahiti, where it failed catastrophically trying to lift our anchor from ~ 40 feet when med tied to the quay in Papeete. it was replaced by a much nicer two speed Maxwell. That one worked much better, but it too failed after a few years of constant use. This time it was the sprague clutches getting a bit of water in them through the mickey mouse seals and corroding to the point of uselessness. Not easy to fix in the woop-woop.

On the other hand, this boat came with a Maxwell 1200 VWC electric windlass. It performed flawlessly for the first 5 years we owned the boat (don't know how old it was when we purchased it... the boat was 13 YO). No electrical problems at all, original Maxwell foot switches. But it failed mechanically from corrosion in an aluminum housing between the gearbox and the deck casting... aluminium tube with a stainless shaft running through it, clogged weep hole, no seal on the main shaft... guess what happened? Replaced with a VWC1500. It had a gear failure, probably set up when we snagged our chain on a big boulder in Tasmania, big wind shift, sudden sea build up, snapped the snubber and put full pitching load on the windlass. Didn't fail then, but some time later, with no further precipitating incident.

What's my point??? We had two failures in manual windlasses in 17 years and 86,000 miles of cruising. We had two failures in electric windlasses in 13 years and 51,000 miles of cruising. No failures were due to electrical problems. My personal feeling and experience is that electrical windlasses of good design and good installation are pretty damn reliable. Good manual windlassses (getting harder to source these days) are pretty damn reliable too. Neither are immune to failure.

I think that use of the Milwaukee to drive an appropriate manual windlass will likely work fine, but with some risk of ruining the tool and with frequent battery charging. This may indeed work out for the OP, and I hope that it does if he decides to pursue it. In my posts I've tried to outline what I think are drawbacks to the practice, based on my experience.

And sure, neither a windlass nor an electrical windlass are "necessary" to go cruising. IMO, one of the other is, however, a major safety feature in one's seagoing equipment, and having cruised with both systems, I'd pick electric every time. YMMV.

Jim
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:27   #57
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Re: Using a Milwaukee 28v drill on a manual windlass

Jim, of course we also need to maintain our anchor winches. I'm sure you do.

I overlooked greasing some bit and my windlass stopped working. Anyway I took it to the factory and they told me I should have removed the drum and greased it every year at least and it does say that in the instructions. (I know what to do now when it's in front of me)

All I'm saying is that I'm sure lots of people run their winches or windlasses until they break.

They are of course not only doused in salt spray but also abrasive sand and mud.
A little dismantling cleaning and greasing or oil top up if necessary every year at least should make them last. I make sure I do that now.
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Old 05-11-2015, 01:56   #58
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Re: Using a Milwaukee 28v drill on a manual windlass

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If mounted permantly below deck, would not the operator also be below the deck? I'd imagine converting the millie to remote operation would be a challenge and by then, it would not serve any other normal drill function.
You would still need access for swapping the batteries out but something as simple as a small cable tied around the trigger and lead back on deck could operate the drill. Pull on the cable and it pulls the trigger. Release the cable and the drill turns off. (I assume the trigger isn't one of those where you have to push a button before the trigger can be pulled)
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Old 05-11-2015, 03:49   #59
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Re: Using a Milwaukee 28v drill on a manual windlass

Now we have the remote operation sorted, let's sort out the battery changing aspect.
Can't be to hard to remove the battety pack and hard wire 28V direct into the drill body.

Hey presto, we almost have a fully functioning electric winch at a third of the price of a new one.

Who would have thought...
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Old 05-11-2015, 06:08   #60
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Re: Using a Milwaukee 28v drill on a manual windlass

There no doubt it would be an experiment with an unsure long term outcome. We've already purchased a used almost new Milwaukee drill for about 1/3 of the cost of new so maybe if we find a manual windless for a good price we will give it a try. I have little doubt that the drill will have the power but I'm unsure of the battery life. There's no doubt any outfitting of a boat is a personal choice, and this may work really well for those that already have a manual windlass installed.


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