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Old 06-11-2008, 20:15   #1
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Lewmar Pro Windless-opinion?

We are thinking of upgrading from our old trusty SL 555 manual windless to an eletronic one. I need to stay with a horizontal style and we have been looking at the Lewmar Pro Series 1000. It has an advertised 1000 lb max pull and that is about right for our 45 lb anchor and 200' of 5/16 ht chain. Does anyone have any experience with this model?
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Old 06-11-2008, 20:21   #2
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I would personally stay away from Lewmar Windlass products. They are problematic at best and there are much better options out there. Look at Maxwell or Lofrans.
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Old 06-11-2008, 21:08   #3
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I read past forums on windlass's as I am in the market, sounds like lewmar is not the first choice, but when I checked the clearence items on steveston marines web page and found a lewmar 1000 with switchs breaker and everthing for $1199. regular price of $2500. I decided to go for it, it has a 3 year warranty.
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Old 09-11-2008, 11:35   #4
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I installed a Lewmar V-5 about 3 years ago and it works very well. I would buy it again.
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Old 09-11-2008, 13:07   #5
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I've had one since 2004 and must have anchored at least four or five hundred times with it and it's served me well. The only problem I've had is with a loose contact in the hand control and that was probably my fault. This is with a 45 pound anchor and 3/8 chain. I would not hesitate in recommending it. I am happy with Lewmar's customer service on this item too. When the hand control was giving me problems Lewmar walked me through all the troubleshooting (I didn't know it was the hand control and thought it was the windlass) and told me how to work around it. They don't look as if they belong on a sailboat but don't let that fool you. They're good windlasses.
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Old 09-11-2008, 13:27   #6
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I have a Lewmar as well, look for the plastic parts, they will fail. (chain pawl)
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Old 09-11-2008, 15:28   #7
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Whenever some ones ask for info on a particular piece of equipment there will be those that come to the board and shout how that equipment has worked and lasted for years, and rightly so. But there in also lies the problem with the recommendation. A Lewmar windlass built in 2004 is not the same unit built today even if it looks the same. Too many companies have been bought out, retooled, moved the plant to Bulgaria or whatever and the product they sell TODAY will not match the quality of sometimes only a couple of years ago. That makes researching products for your personal use all the more difficult. Finding data on current products and thier problems are a bit harder unless you find someone that installs and services this stuff on a regular basis but has no financial interest in the sale of the product.
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Old 09-11-2008, 16:00   #8
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Chuck,

The original poster asked for feedback from those that had experience with this windlass. I told him of my experience. What is your experience with this windlass? How many have you had and how many times did you anchor with it? And as for finding someone who " installs and services this stuff on a regular basis but has no financial interest in the sale of the product". Where would you find someone like that? Windlasses are not installed every day.
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Old 09-11-2008, 16:48   #9
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Well, that would be me. I have not installed so may as removed them because they failed then re-installed them after they were repaired or installed a replacement after the owner was fed up. My post was not directed at you although it appears you took it as such. But to remind the poster that "experience" with a product does not always mean the current product is the same as the more "experienced product". You have your experience with your single windlass. I have experience with more on the lines of a couple of dozen. So that is from where I speak.
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Old 09-11-2008, 18:01   #10
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Chuck,

You may have installed or re-installed them. In other words your experience was seeing ones that had broken down. It's like working in a garage, you only see things when they fail. Or a physician that only sees sick people. These are not your top of the line windlasses. My boat came with one and, when I saw it, it reminded me of windlasses that power boaters who never anchor have on the bow. I was not too impressed but it was standard on the boat. My thinking was the manufacturer threw it in knowing that ninety per cent of buyers seldom anchor. However it really surprised me as to how well it worked. Being a moderately priced windlass they probably sell a lot more than the more expensive ones. That may account for you seeing more failures. Another reason might be that these are not very powerful windlasses and may not be as robust as others and therefore more likely to fail when abused.
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Old 09-11-2008, 18:13   #11
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I have a Lewmar windlass and have had no difficulty with it for the three years I have been using it. As far as parts and service is concerned, I called Defender last spring when I wanted to add a winch to the opposite side (it came as a windlass only) and had the parts in my hand in a couple of day. Defender was recommended to me by the folks at Lewmar who were most helpful.
While I had it apart, I inspected the gears, bearings, and other internal parts for wear and found none. Eventhough it was three years old and subjected to frequent use, there were no visible signs of wear.
I would order another tomorrow if a situation arose where I needed a new windlass.
Excellent quality and fit.
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Old 09-11-2008, 20:19   #12
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Just on the 1,000 lb issue. A windlass lifts the chain and the anchor so you only need to lift the weight of the chain plus windlass. It is not meant to break out a set anchor or kedge the boat. In that sense you have enough pull at 750 lbs. I can't say from experience that the Lewmar is a good choice.
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Old 09-11-2008, 20:32   #13
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I will say that the max pull rating is deceiving. Mine has a max pull of 4200 pounds but a working load of something like 500 pounds. The max pull lasts a nanosecond before it shuts down. The working load is what is important.
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Old 11-11-2008, 23:25   #14
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Lewmars are pretty well known to never reach the loads they state and they aren't alone in that either by the way. Most just don't, I know I have an test rig for winches. It's not used for testing loads as such, more what ropes will or will not work on them. But boys being boys who love toys do see what loads they will actually lift. Most don't reach the published numbers, some only by a little but some by a lot.

And Chuck is right, there have been changes since 2004. And so is Iwinsailor never go on max load, use the Working load.

One thing that is not well known is that there is no standardised test for winches apart from one for waterproofness (Lewmar has had big issues there as well in the past). So you can't compare one to another easily. Comparing by wattage is also not that good, much of the grunt is gearbox related not wattage related. A 600W Maxwell will pull easy twice what a 600W Lewmar will as an example.

But saying all of that Lewmars aren't bad just at the less powerfull end so don't push it load wise and you should be OK.

Lewmar are also losing many outlets due to poor service. Sadly I'd have to agree with that from our experiance. We need a new gypsy for a small Pro-fish and lewmar could not air post it out to us, it had to come by ship and took 4 months. It was a very small 1kg item not a 250kg Delta anchor. By the time it arrived the owner had got pissed off and replaced it with a Lofrans. Can't blame him at all, Lewmar was pathetic.

They have also changed gypsy design on some of their winches to suit XX chains. Sadly the XX chains don't fit and Lewmar refuses to belive it.

So while Lewmar maybe a bit of a shocker the winches are OK but not the gruntiest ones. They are popular on the small fizz boats but not so much once you start to get up in size.

Don't believe the bit where they say they will run happily on a 8 braid. Experience has shown them to be very hit and miss on that, mostly miss. Use a good 3 strand instead.

I deal daily with most name brand winches, the sellers of them, the boatbuilders who fit them and the users who use them and the people who fix them i.e lots of people right through the winch food chain. My connection is to get them to work properly for the assorted agents here and believe me, none of us believe all the specs as written.
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Old 12-11-2008, 02:21   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMac
... So you can't compare one to another easily. Comparing by wattage is also not that good, much of the grunt is gearbox related not wattage related. A 600W Maxwell will pull easy twice what a 600W Lewmar will as an example...
Most windlass specifications, available to the purchasing public, do not provide enough detailed information to be meaningful.
To compare the “Power” of two windlass’, both utilizing 600 Watt (nominal) motors, you’d also need to know at what dead load (pull) and speed (Ft/Min) the assembly draws the specified 600W. [torque and speed versus time.]
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