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Old 18-11-2008, 17:54   #1
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Nilsson Windlass vs NZ$

Hi All:

I've run into one problem after another trying to repair my Nilsson V1000 windlass. It is 23 years old now and seen some tough usage. I finally tracked down some parts by looking more deeply into the website that GordMay led me to. I've put $400 bucks into the windlass but with the decline of the NZ $ a new windlass will run less than $2k. Rather than putting more money into a 23 yr old windlass I'm thinking of buying a new James Nilsson windlass. Here is a link to the site:Nilsson all chain anchor winch and windlass.

Does anyone know anything about the winches. The old one is still working but the company took wuite a long hiatus between then and now.
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Old 19-11-2008, 03:57   #2
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Having previously had problems accessing parts from this fine smaller New Zealand manufacturer, why (price aside) would you chose to purchase another, rather than something more readily available in your US location?
It seldom pays to own an “orphan”.
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Old 19-11-2008, 08:59   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Having previously had problems accessing parts from this fine smaller New Zealand manufacturer, why (price aside) would you chose to purchase another, rather than something more readily available in your US location?
It seldom pays to own an “orphan”.
As you know Nilsson was purchased by Maxwell. Maxwell stopped producing parts for the Nilsson/Maxwell windlasses. It is my understanding that Nilsson signed a non-compete clause that expired recently. Considering that my windlass is 23 years old and only now needs replacement parts I think that that is a good testament to the quality of their product. Besides which Nilsson recently started selling parts for their older series of windlasses. I am awaiting a quote for prices on the parts. If I only need parts every 20 years or so well that is OK by me.
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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 19-11-2008, 14:55   #4
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We know eventually the sea will break everything. I would think of easy access to replacement parts anywhere you sail to.............i2f.
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Old 20-11-2008, 23:18   #5
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Nilsson Winches are made by James Nilsson Ltd who has had zero connection to Maxwell for many many years. The company is now run by James son Grant. Until recently Grant was in partnership with a bloke called Jerry. Jerry is one of those mad scientist type engineer bloke who knows just about all there is to know about winches like these. He has also designed a huge pile of the winches in use today under many brand names.

Jerry has now retired even though they have yet to get him to leave He keeps turning up to work, I think because Shelia (his wife) has a nasty list of thing to do at home. Shelia and Debbie (the wives) do the 'hard stuff' like paperwork while the boys play with their toys. In this case the toys are some very sexy CNC machines and the like. Or at least that's what the girls tell me often

They are a class manufacturer and operator. So much so they actually make many big winches that are branded Lewmar. Until recently many Simpson Lawrence as well but that brand has been killed off.

They also make many of the superboat winches that are branded Harken.

They have always had their own range which was a continuation after they stopped making the Nilsson Maxwell branded ones. Also they weren't that keen on being seen pushing their own brand while making many for the rest of them.

They don't do the smaller ones as they reckon most are built to a price and they only build for performance so wouldn't be in the price range the tinnies are looking for.

As you can tell they deal with people who take their name seriously so don't deal with bunnies. Nilssons are not bunnies and I'd use one of their winches long before a few of the bigger more well known brand names.

We deal with all the winch people here but when we get a real tricky one Nilssons are our 'go to winch people'. The knowledge in that building is immense. They also can make lots of bits for older winches (just about any brand) when the manufacturer has stopped doing so.

They get sent for winches from all over the world for repair, servicing and so on.

And as noted with our dollar sinking faster than a lead balloon they probably are now bloody cheap.

If you have any questions just ask. I work is only 100mts (err.. 300ft odd) from Nilssons and know both them and their products pretty well.
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Old 21-11-2008, 07:46   #6
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GMAC Thanks for the reply.

My boat is 12.6 meters (41') and 9750 kg (21500 lbs) empty. I am debating getting a new winch. The Nilsson I have on board now is a V1000. The worm gear and worm are in bad shape and need to be replaced. The gear box has a crack in it but it is in a location that does not get alot of torque so could last indefinitley. I've recently spent almopst $400(US) having the motor overhaluled and building a new manual handle. The gears are going to cost me another $267(US) and then there is the question of the gear box. I could buy a new windlass and the parts for the old one for around $2k US. By doing that I would have a new quality windlass. I could then hopefully sell the older windlass for $500 or even keep it at home as a spare. It sounds like you recommend the Nilsson as a vry good quality windlass. Would you be concerned about the availability of parts? The difference in the US NZ $ make the windlass an enticing value and my experience with the 20 year old windlass makes me feel like they are rock solid. What's your opinion.
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Old 21-11-2008, 12:05   #7
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Parts shouldn't be any issue. Sure Nilssons don't have service centres like some others do around the world but then a good winch which is given a bit of loving by it's owner doesn't really give much grief. There maybe a small time lag due to shipping but most bits wouldn't be big and the Fedex's of the world can get to most places inside a week these days.

Nilssons are often sending parts all over the world, usually for the older S/L winches rather than theirs though. They are also one of the few more dedicated winch type people who are willing to make lots replacement gypsies and parts for any which.

A new 2200 would cost about US$1700 on todays exchange rate (assuming I've remembered the cost right of just over NZ$3000 with no local sales tax).

Yes I would regard Nilssons more as a maker of substance rather than just pretty price point targeted bow bling. If I had a 40fter today (open berth ready if anyone has a spare they don't need ) I'd be looking at a Nilsson or a Maxwell based on performance and I must admit, with a splash of kiwi pride. 2nd teir options would be Lofrans or Quick.

Note the Nilssons are chain only. A little birdie told me they are looking at a rope to chain version but as yet nothing is in production.
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Old 21-11-2008, 13:10   #8
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Note the Nilssons are chain only. A little birdie told me they are looking at a rope to chain version but as yet nothing is in production.
Looking at the site I was under hte impression that you could do rope on the top drum and chain below that on the gypsy. Am I correct on that?

Nilsson all chain anchor winch and windlass.
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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
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Old 21-11-2008, 15:52   #9
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Opps, yes completely correct the Charlie. Rope on the Capstan (warping drum) and chain on the gypsy.

Sorry just used to referring to the gypsie configuration all the time. Those being either all chain (as is the Nilsson and others) or Rope to Chain (many assorted like the Maxwell Liberty for example). Both chain only and R2C gypsies can have Capstan's fitted on top (or beside if a horizontal).
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Old 21-11-2008, 19:50   #10
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Thanks for the Clairification GMAC:

Admiral said to go for the windlass. Cool with me. Problem is that puts the jib off for another year. (But it is almost 2009)
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Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
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Old 21-11-2008, 20:05   #11
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Admiral said to go for the windlass. Cool with me. Problem is that puts the jib off for another year. (But it is almost 2009)
I like your style, hope it works for you
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