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Old 02-12-2014, 15:06   #1
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Windlass for mainsail hoist

We have just purchased an Outremer 45 which has all lines lead to the cockpit which gets pretty roppy ( if that's a word). The manual for the boat says that originaly it was led to the 1200 watt lofrans windlass .I would like to get some rope out of the cockpit .does anyone have thoughts (I know you do) on using the windlass as a halyard winch
David
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Old 02-12-2014, 15:46   #2
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Re: Windlass for mainsail hoist

sounds like a way to rip your sail apart
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Old 02-12-2014, 16:10   #3
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Re: Windlass for mainsail hoist

The full batten main on my cat was very heavy and a bear to hoist for sure.... even with Harken Battcars.
OTOH... you better make sure your vang and mainsheet are loose when you use the powerwinch or you are going to break something... like the boom!
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Old 02-12-2014, 16:15   #4
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Re: Windlass for mainsail hoist

It is on a rope drum on the windlass it is not self tailing so managing the load sould be easy ,my question is actually is there any downside for the windlass over heating or such .
David
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Old 02-12-2014, 22:23   #5
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Re: Windlass for mainsail hoist

If you use your windlass to hoist the mainsail and it overheats, you certainly don't want to use it for anchoring. It might melt through the deck !
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Old 03-12-2014, 00:42   #6
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Re: Windlass for mainsail hoist

We have frequently used the windlass to hoist me to the masthead, often repeatedly. No problems with our Maxwell 1500... much less stress than hoisting the ground tackle. I see absolutely no problem with your proposal unless your mainsail weighs more than ~1/3 the rated pull of your windlass. Why? That is the margin of safety that the mfg of most windlasses suggest: your total tackle weight should be less than 1/3 the rated pull of the windlass.

We have friends with an Atlantic 42 that do exactly what you suggest.

Jim
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:56   #7
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Re: Windlass for mainsail hoist

Many times over the years in hauling up the mainsail we have had slight to serious jams. Doing this by hand we notice right away and simply by easing the halyard and then cranking on the winch again, the jam goes away. If this happened using our windlass, I hate to consider what damage would have been done. And should this happen offshore after taking out a reef, it could be a real problem. Just for consideration. Chuck
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:33   #8
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Re: Windlass for mainsail hoist

If it were so negative to use a winch to haul up the main, why would you have electric winches on a boat, or as we have, a malwaukee drill, and a winch bit..
as for the windless to handle the pull,, dont see an issue.. we use ours as Ann mentioned to go up the mast and often use it to raise the dink from the water with the main halyard.
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:52   #9
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Re: Windlass for mainsail hoist

I've had a jam or two using the Milwaukee, it stalls out and doesn't damage anything, or so far hasn't. The force a Milwaukee drill can apply is much less than a windlass, or I'd use the thing to weigh anchor.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:14   #10
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Re: Windlass for mainsail hoist

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I've had a jam or two using the Milwaukee, it stalls out and doesn't damage anything, or so far hasn't. The force a Milwaukee drill can apply is much less than a windlass, or I'd use the thing to weigh anchor.
Odd you mention that, as we DO use our Milwaukee for pulling the rear anchor with our Lewmar 55s.. sucks that puppy outa the bottom without issue..
And when ever we really stick the forward anchor, the "Tag" line is lead the rear winch and again the Milwaukee is used.. so we do use it to pull anchors..
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Old 03-12-2014, 18:23   #11
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Re: Windlass for mainsail hoist

The fact that the Milwaukee is a hand held device limits the maximum torque that it can develop. It is longer than a standard winch handle so one can exert considerable effort if you grit your teeth and hold on... but with any sense at all, if a jam develops you will feel the increased load and stop squeezing the trigger. Or at least that's what I do...

The windlass, being bolted to the deck does not have that "safety" feature, but still, a little good sense will likely get you through a jam without damage.

Jim
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Old 03-12-2014, 18:25   #12
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Re: Windlass for mainsail hoist

My boat has an electric winch for the mainsail and I have not tried using the windlass. But I see no reason for concern as you would manually control the friction on the halyard so a jam up the mast should be easily noticed.

I agree that in strong conditions you would have to be more vigilant.
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