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Old 30-08-2017, 13:44   #1
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Damaged windlass

We are moored stern-to in Saranda, Albania Today my wife and I rented a car to tour the country. While we were gone a ferry fouled our anchor and lifted it from the seabed.

The harbor master called our agent who came to the boat and did the best they could to make her fast. They had to raise about 25 feet of chain by hand because the windlass was not working.

This is my problem. Our windlass is a 30 year old Lofrans Albatross. The motor runs but the drum does not turn. With no load on it it will turn sometimes, almost like there is a friction clutch providing some drive to the drum, but not much. It certainly will not raise our chain and anchor. The windlass worked fine before this incident.

Tomorrow morning I need to talk to the ferry company. My thought is when they fouled the anchor they pulled hard on the chain going to the boat, pulling the chain on the windlass strongly enough to turn the drum and pull chain from the chain locker. This damaged the windlass internals.

Anyone familiar enough with Lofrans windlasses enough to hazard a guess as to what could be damaged? Worm gear and/or worm wheel stripped?

Thanks!

Steve
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Old 30-08-2017, 13:51   #2
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Re: Damaged windlass

Well, you are not supposed to use the windlass to take the load. You are supposed to cleat the line off or secure the chain. It's in the instructions.

You can forget about the ferry company paying to repair your windlass, it's your responsibility. Contact the manufacturer for a company in your area that is capable of repairing the windlass or instructions on shipping it to the factory for repairs.

BTW: There is most likely a clutch and the instructions should describe how to adjust it.
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Old 30-08-2017, 14:05   #3
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Re: Damaged windlass

Google

Lofrans albatross manual. Then download the PDF.

It has a clutch but how to adjust it did not jump out at me.

It is just an exploded parts breakdown. You can see there is an inner and outer clutch cone. What they call the "clutch nut" appears to be what receives the winch handle. So maybe you adjust the clutch with the winch handle? I would have thought the winch handle is a manual backup, but maybe there is a pin or lever to engage it.
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Old 30-08-2017, 14:15   #4
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Re: Damaged windlass

You can try just tightening the clutch nut on top of the windlass. Any standard winch handle should fit it.

Here's a parts listing if you need it. Lofrans Library - Manuals, Specifications, 3D CAD Models, Deck Templates
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Old 30-08-2017, 14:16   #5
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Re: Damaged windlass

is the key sheared? does it have one?
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Old 30-08-2017, 14:40   #6
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Re: Damaged windlass

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
is the key sheared? does it have one?
I has a key down at the bottom of the shaft at the gearbox. It's a big key and I doubt you could strip it. You can only hope the 2 cones slipped in the gypsy.
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Old 30-08-2017, 23:20   #7
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Re: Damaged windlass

Thanks. I already had this pdf of the exploded drawing, and it is not exactly our windlass. The clutch nut on our windlass has a slot for a flat bar to fit in to adjust the clutch nut, not a place for a winch handle to fit. This drawing is 2005 and our windlass was fitted in 1997, so I don't know if the internals of the clutch mechanism are the same or not. Certainly we have an earlier version of the Albatros.

The drawing shows the drum is keyed to the shaft and the gypsy is not. I had never noticed that before. In this drawing it appears the brake band locks only the gypsy in place and not the drum. Truthfully, I don't know if that's the case on our windlass or not.

From the drawing it appears to me that the force is transferred to the gypsy through the clutch cones that hpeer pointed out. Tightening the nut on top apparently squeezes the two clutch cones together, tightening the grip on the gypsy. I think this nut is very tight, but perhaps the stress of the ferry pulling the chain loosened it.

We will try to disassemble the windlass today, starting with removing the clutch nut and examining the internals.

Thanks!

Steve
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Old 31-08-2017, 06:37   #8
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Re: Damaged windlass

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Originally Posted by steve77 View Post
Thanks. I already had this pdf of the exploded drawing, and it is not exactly our windlass. The clutch nut on our windlass has a slot for a flat bar to fit in to adjust the clutch nut, not a place for a winch handle to fit. This drawing is 2005 and our windlass was fitted in 1997, so I don't know if the internals of the clutch mechanism are the same or not. Certainly we have an earlier version of the Albatros.

The drawing shows the drum is keyed to the shaft and the gypsy is not. I had never noticed that before. In this drawing it appears the brake band locks only the gypsy in place and not the drum. Truthfully, I don't know if that's the case on our windlass or not.

From the drawing it appears to me that the force is transferred to the gypsy through the clutch cones that hpeer pointed out. Tightening the nut on top apparently squeezes the two clutch cones together, tightening the grip on the gypsy. I think this nut is very tight, but perhaps the stress of the ferry pulling the chain loosened it.

We will try to disassemble the windlass today, starting with removing the clutch nut and examining the internals.

Thanks!

Steve
Or try to tighten the clutch and see if that fixes it.

The reason for a clutch rather than a direct connection to the gears and motor it to protect the gears and motor from too much strain such as an anchor that's hooked on underwater debris or from someone trying to drag the boat to the anchor with the windlass.
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Old 31-08-2017, 07:08   #9
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Re: Damaged windlass

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The reason for a clutch rather than a direct connection to the gears and motor it to protect the gears and motor from too much strain such as an anchor that's hooked on underwater debris or from someone trying to drag the boat to the anchor with the windlass.
Or a ferry trying to drag the anchor chain out from the boat when the boat is tied to the dock.

The clutch nut is solidly corroded onto the windlass. No luck trying to turn it in either direction. Using heat, hammer, and Kroil in alternation. If anyone has some solid info as to which way to loosen a clutch nut on a Lofrans Albatros vertical windlass, I would be most appreciative.

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Old 31-08-2017, 07:40   #10
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Re: Damaged windlass

My Lofrans Booster 3 tightens opposite the direction the gypsy turns when hauling in the chain. I would assume they are all the same just as the nut on a tablesaw tightens opposite to the direction the blade turns to prevent it loosening under load.
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Old 31-08-2017, 07:56   #11
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Re: Damaged windlass

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Originally Posted by steve77 View Post
Or a ferry trying to drag the anchor chain out from the boat when the boat is tied to the dock.

The clutch nut is solidly corroded onto the windlass. No luck trying to turn it in either direction. Using heat, hammer, and Kroil in alternation. If anyone has some solid info as to which way to loosen a clutch nut on a Lofrans Albatros vertical windlass, I would be most appreciative.

Steve
If any of the threads are visible, you should be able to tell.
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Old 31-08-2017, 08:10   #12
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Re: Damaged windlass

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
If any of the threads are visible, you should be able to tell.
Of course. But they are not visible.

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Old 31-08-2017, 08:13   #13
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Re: Damaged windlass

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Originally Posted by knots2u View Post
My Lofrans Booster 3 tightens opposite the direction the gypsy turns when hauling in the chain. I would assume they are all the same just as the nut on a tablesaw tightens opposite to the direction the blade turns to prevent it loosening under load.
Thanks! If I understand the double negative logic, since our windlass turns clockwise to retrieve chain, I would turn the clutch nut counterclockwise to tighten it, and clockwise to loosen it. Correct?

Appreciate the info!

Steve
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Old 31-08-2017, 09:17   #14
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Re: Damaged windlass

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Of course. But they are not visible.

Steve
The instructions might explain it.
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Old 31-08-2017, 20:07   #15
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Re: Damaged windlass

Correct.
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