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Old 02-08-2009, 17:44   #1
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Help With a Windlass

My boat has a Lewmar electric vertical windlass. It's probably 8-10 years old. I don't have a picture handy, but I'm sure many of you are familiar with the general configuration of these windlasses.

The windlass itself works fine. When I step on the button, it turns with plenty of torque. It has a dedicated switch and circuit and all of that.

My boat has 20 feet of chain (7/16 galvanized, I think) and 200 feet of nylon rode (also 7/16, as I recall) attached to a 35 lb CQR as its primary anchor.

The windlass works fine on the 20 feet of chain, because the links "catch" on the notches inside the drum when the pawl is engaged.

But I can't get the windlass to pull the rode. It keeps slipping. What I have to do is pull the rode up be hand until I get to the splice where the chain is attached. I wrap the chain around a samson post. I figure 8 the rode on deck. Then I go down to the chain locker and manually pull the rode down the pipe that leads up to the windlass, along with the splice and about 6 inches of chain. Then I go back on deck, reengage the pawl, and crank up the chain.

I know the chain and rode are matched to the windlass, because I checked the documentation.

Is this a problem that others have experienced? Is there a trick to engaging the pawl? Would new rode solve the problem? Would a new drum? I could go to all chain, but I don't want that extra weight in the bow.
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Old 02-08-2009, 18:21   #2
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I believe that 7/16 for a rode is a bit light....also I have never heard of 7/16 chain. Are you sure of the dimensions? I would guess that 1/4 chain would be the correct size for your boat, but if the gypsy likes what I think is 5/16 chain, so be it. I would also venture to say that the rode is 1/2, maybe it's been over stressed from some hard use, and has reduced it's effective diameter. (I am assuming that it is three strand). If that is the case, new rode would probably correct the problem.
just my .02
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Old 02-08-2009, 18:28   #3
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The chain may well be 5/16. I will check on the diameter of the rode.
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Old 04-08-2009, 19:59   #4
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My 5/16 chain is splicer to a 5/8 3 strand nylon rope no problem it works well with a 5/16 gepsy.
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Old 04-08-2009, 20:29   #5
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On my Simpson lawrence (now owned by Lewmar) Sprint 1000 there is a plastic "finger" which presses the rope to the center, toothed part, of the gypsy. Maybe yours is the same, that part may be worn or out of adjustment.
is this a new problem or has it always been like that?
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Old 05-08-2009, 02:06   #6
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Here is a supplier of 7/16th chain

Gr 40 Windlass Anchor Chain
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:13   #7
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I would expect your chain to be 5/16" on a boat that size. I suspect that the rope ought to be at least 1/2"

Personally I hate 3 strand nylon due to the difficulty of handling it. I would be replacing with Octoplait .

Some gypsys are not designed for both rope and chain - check with the manufacturer.

I would not be happy anyway with 20ft of chain - I had more than that on my kedge!

Its my belief that having sufficient chain for the normal anchoring at 3-1 and then rope for the rest, is a good way of sleeping overnight. Thus I would be increasing the length of chain to at least 20yds (and prefererably 30yds) I then had another 50yds of octoplait, which rarely came out of the hawse, but was there when needed.

You should also be aware that using rope in a combined rope/chain gypsy does work, but also really wears the rope significantly.
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Old 05-08-2009, 04:57   #8
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Your line may be too small, like Roscoe, my Lewmar has 5/16 chain and 5/8 line and works fine.
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:13   #9
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My thanks for all the responses so far. I'll be down at the boat tomorrow and will verify the size of my chain and rode.

1. I see that there is also a more expensive rode (8 plait) that is supposed to be better behaved in the chain locker. Is it worth the extra money?

2. Does anyone know of a shackle to attach chain to rode that will not foul the windlass? I'd like the ability to remove the chain to use the rode for my para-tech if I ever have to deploy it.

3. If I get new chain and rode, maybe I will get 30 ft of chain this time. But frankly, I've never had a probem getting a good set with the CQR and it has never dragged. I have a second anchor (25 lb Manson) but I never use it.
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:34   #10
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Is there a clutch between the drum and gypsy? Possibly the clutch has been loosened?
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:39   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joli View Post
Is there a clutch between the drum and gypsy? Possibly the clutch has been loosened?
I don't know. I will check this also.
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Old 05-08-2009, 13:00   #12
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Lightly grease the clutch when you look......i2f
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Old 05-08-2009, 13:57   #13
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wow, surprised there are so many actually using rope to chain systems. I never believed they would ever work and always had all chain. What happens to the rope after it goes below? It doesnt just pile up and jam?
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Old 05-08-2009, 14:06   #14
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I have rope to chain, and because it is 3 strand it needs to be cleaned up first. It won't even fall down the pipe off the windlass. I have enough chain though that rope never comes into play unless 50+ wind is expected.....i2f
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Old 05-08-2009, 14:08   #15
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Maybe a picture of the windlass?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
My boat has a Lewmar electric vertical windlass. It's probably 8-10 years old. I don't have a picture handy, but I'm sure many of you are familiar with the general configuration of these windlasses.

The windlass itself works fine. When I step on the button, it turns with plenty of torque. It has a dedicated switch and circuit and all of that.

My boat has 20 feet of chain (7/16 galvanized, I think) and 200 feet of nylon rode (also 7/16, as I recall) attached to a 35 lb CQR as its primary anchor.

The windlass works fine on the 20 feet of chain, because the links "catch" on the notches inside the drum when the pawl is engaged.

But I can't get the windlass to pull the rode. It keeps slipping. What I have to do is pull the rode up be hand until I get to the splice where the chain is attached. I wrap the chain around a samson post. I figure 8 the rode on deck. Then I go down to the chain locker and manually pull the rode down the pipe that leads up to the windlass, along with the splice and about 6 inches of chain. Then I go back on deck, reengage the pawl, and crank up the chain.

I know the chain and rode are matched to the windlass, because I checked the documentation.

Is this a problem that others have experienced? Is there a trick to engaging the pawl? Would new rode solve the problem? Would a new drum? I could go to all chain, but I don't want that extra weight in the bow.
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