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Old 30-01-2009, 23:46   #31
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I have an older S/L manual but, at one time when I was looking at electrics, I thought the Lighthouse Windless' seemed like nice ones.
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Old 31-01-2009, 00:15   #32
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Maybe I will morph the thread here and ask the opinions on Horizontal vs. Vertical electric windlass's
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Old 31-01-2009, 03:58   #33
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Windlass Selection ~ Vertical vs Horizontal:
Selecting a Windlass


A vertical windlass has the chain gypsy and the rope capstan oriented at 90 degrees the deck, while a horizontal windlass has the gypsy and capstan parallel to the deck. Often the defining factor in choosing between vertical and horizontal is the number of anchors to be handled, the number of bow rollers, and how they line up. Often a boat with one bow roller on the center line will select a vertical windlass. A boat with two bow rollers might use a horizontal windlass.

Vertical
The advantage of a vertical windlass is its low profile, its motor and or gear box is usually under the deck (& out of the weather), and therefore the vertical units use less deck space (but use more locker space). They allow the anchor rode to come aboard at almost any horizontal angle, but the rode must enter at nearly 90 degrees to the axis of the drum. The anchor rode makes a 180 degree turn the gypsy , then a 90 down, falling into the anchor locker. They are generally harder and more costly to install and service.

Horizontal
The horizontal windlass generally offers the best performance with small or unusual locker designs. As the anchor rode enters the gypsy it makes a 90 degree turn and feeds directly down into the anchor locker. The advantages of a horizontal windlass are that they offered in a wider range of gypsy variations, are easier to install and service, and do not interfere with space in the anchor locker.
The disadvantages are that the anchor rode must travel in a direct line from the bow roller to the windlass (often necessitating the windlass to be mounted off center) which sometimes looks odd. They also take up considerably more deck space, and are totally exposed to the elements.
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Old 31-01-2009, 21:23   #34
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Hi guys,

We have Anchorlift winches here I haven't seen anything that makes me think they are not worth serious consideration. Haven't actually seen a dead one as yet. Simple and well made even if they don't have all the 'fruit' some others do. Then again, more fruit = more chance of problems.

Lighthouse winches I do really really like. Not at the cheap end but very sexy. Sexy enough to justify the extra cost? In 2 minds over that really. My 'boy likes bling' side is saying 'Oh Yeah' but my wallet is saying 'get one which and a headsail for the same bucks' sort of thing.

Delmag - By 'free-fall' I mean ones like Lewmar and Quick do. 'Automatic free fall' is probably a better way of saying it. Push the button and everything goes free falling out, push the button again and it stops. Those winches will not last long and I'd never suggest a cruiser fitting one really. We've all seen chain peeling out in free fall so imagine the loads on winch shafts and so on when in less than one rotation of the gypsy the winch has to stop that inertia. Nasty plus. The latest range of Lewmars with auto free fall is pretty new and already the damage count is noticable. The Quicks seem to handle it better but then they are build with bigger gear. I still don't see them lasting as long as the normal winches though.

The other hassle with free falling is often the chain beats the anchor to the seabed and then you end up trying to anchor into your on rode, obviously not a good thing. In a weeks time I hope to have video to show exactly what I mean. We've done tested this theory before and we are about to do it again with an underwater video. Bit too hot here at the moment and this is a good way of cooling down while semi-skiving off work

Now if we talk about 'manual release' as in you're up the front releasing the clutch. That is different as you can and SHOULD be controlling the deployment speed. Maybe let it run faster at the start and then slow it if you're in a panic. Nothing wrong with that and far better for the winch hence also your bank account. Taking all chain rodes here as if you're on rope go hard anyway you like really.

Manual retrieval. Unless you have a Sea Tiger it will be an arse, sorry. Sea Tigers are designed as manual so obviously they will do it better. Powered winches are built so well they really don't need that flash a manual retrieve or so I suspect the manufacturers think. Generally they probably are right as a well looked after anchor winch doesn't break down often, it's more likely to be an outside influence that stops it working i.e battery failure, cats eating thru wires (true story) or something else on the boat.

Some winches have good manual retrieve and some just don't. It's not brand specific as they all use very similar systems. Even one manufacturer can have bloody good on one model and rubbish on another.

But saying that some manufacturers have been working on the manual side of their winches, Maxwell is one. Their VWC is an arse where their newer version, the Liberty, is far better. Still not spectacular but a vast improvement.

I think the key, as Delmag mentions, is winch position. Try to install the winch or other gear around it so you have room to swing manual handles. We are often playing on boat winches and we try very hard not to have to power the boat up, people have the weirdest things plugged in these days and who knows what may come to life when we turn boats on. So we manual winches very often. Generally most are bareable even if slow and hard on the body but more often than not they are positioned where a decent swing is just not available, this makes it a very pain in the rear end and a real chore.

But saying that, yet again, most manufacturers are starting to fit the new generation motors to new model (the old ones are being retro fitted as well). These new motors have a couple of good features. One being a burst of power when you need it to get the rode heading upwards. A lot of the new, say 1500W motors will actually run at 2000-2500W for a minute or so and then decrease power sucking as the load decreases. The same 1500W motor may be only running at 500-700W but the time the anchor gets close to the boat. In this example the 1500W is more an 'average' power than in older winches where it is the maximum. These are also great of you're anchored deep as it hammers the batteries less and the motors don't get as hot as fast so can run longer without thermal build up issues.

Secondly these new motors will go backwards a lot faster. Some are running an 40mts/min during deployment. FYI Neven, Anchorlift was one of the 1st to use the fast deployment motors. The motors coming up at pretty standard speeds (15-25mts/min) but deploy at twice that. Not all new winches have these motors as yet but I suspect they will soon be standard equipment as there is bugger all in the price and they just are a damn good bit of thinking.

In our eyes these fast deploy winches are far far superior to the free fall option. The rode is controlled as it goes out and at a speed the anchor usually (Fortress's 'fly' away and usually lose the race ) wins the race to the seabed. And all at the same time less winch stress from sudden stops.

Right, as I've just come back from a 50ml single handed yacht racing in a big breeze I must go and pass out somewhere followed by finding some small lady with good toes to wonder up and down my spine to get the kinks out. Digest that lot and feel free to tell me what I've forgotten, there's bound to be something
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Old 31-01-2009, 21:42   #35
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gmac-
thanks for clarifying the terminology for me. it seems that we agree on the principle and were just using the same words to mean different things. i was only vaguely aware of the "push button" free fall type of windlass as i wouldn't consider that kind of thing. sounds nice in theory but, as you say, it also sounds awful hard on the gear. just try and picture what would happen if the anchor is on the way to the bottom and somebody hits the button a little early.
i'm still a little unclear about the maxwell line. the website clearly states that the VWC has a cone clutch to allow for smooth, gradual feed out. the description for the liberty, on the other hand, doesn't include this feature. does that mean the liberty can only feed the chain out under power?
regarding the emergency manual operation, as you suggest, they seem to be only a little better than pulling everything up by hand. at 5:1, the liberty doesn't do much for ya if you're cranking on a winch handle and the VWC counts on the length of the handle which, as you also point out, one rarely has the room to swing. my main interest is not in the manual retrieval but the manual payout of the chain. i wouldn't buy a windlass that doesn't allow for this. the liberty doesn't SAY it can do this but i have a hard time believing it can't. i emailed maxwell for clarification and didn't get a clear answer. they were helpful with my chain question, though.
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Old 17-06-2009, 08:25   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Windlass Selection ~ Vertical vs Horizontal:
Selecting a Windlass


A vertical windlass has the chain gypsy and the rope capstan oriented at 90 degrees the deck, while a horizontal windlass has the gypsy and capstan parallel to the deck. Often the defining factor in choosing between vertical and horizontal is the number of anchors to be handled, the number of bow rollers, and how they line up. Often a boat with one bow roller on the center line will select a vertical windlass. A boat with two bow rollers might use a horizontal windlass.

.....

Horizontal
The horizontal windlass generally offers the best performance with small or unusual locker designs. As the anchor rode enters the gypsy it makes a 90 degree turn and feeds directly down into the anchor locker. The advantages of a horizontal windlass are that they offered in a wider range of gypsy variations, are easier to install and service, and do not interfere with space in the anchor locker.
The disadvantages are that the anchor rode must travel in a direct line from the bow roller to the windlass (often necessitating the windlass to be mounted off center) which sometimes looks odd. They also take up considerably more deck space, and are totally exposed to the elements.
Gord, a few years ago I was thinking of the Lorfrans Tigres as a replacement windlass:

Lofrans Tigres windlass Horizontal

Is this windlass still regarded highly in your opinion?

Also, has anyone ever used this type of windlass in conjunction with a roller mounted on deck slightly aft of the forestay to deflect the rode going to the windlass in order to be able to use two anchors and rollers easily? (The idea being to have the roller keep the rode clear of the forestay.) I suppose the design would have to take into account the angle needed for the rode going on to the gypsy... I really don't know if any deflection is allowed in that regard.

Please chime in too, Gmac!
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Old 17-06-2009, 10:29   #37
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Personally, I dont think there is a better one out there than Lofrans. Anodized aluminum, Dont corrode, large shaft size... good stuff. I'm not sure I understand your forestay roller issue...? does your chain bang on your forestay fittings? Could yo just put SS flatbar to extend your turnbuckle higher up?
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Old 17-06-2009, 11:09   #38
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Personally, I dont think there is a better one out there than Lofrans. Anodized aluminum, Dont corrode, large shaft size... good stuff. I'm not sure I understand your forestay roller issue...? does your chain bang on your forestay fittings? Could yo just put SS flatbar to extend your turnbuckle higher up?
I'll try to explain my forestay roller concern. Assume I have two bow rollers, with my primary, all chain rode to starboard, and a rope/chain rode secondary to port. I would want to be able to use the chain gypsy for both rodes, and of course the rope gypsy for the port rode only.

If I mount the Lofrans on centerline, I'd have a big deflection from the port roller to the chain gypsy. So to avoid that I would probably mount the Lofrans so the chain gypsy is on centerline. If I did that there would be some deflection from the chain gypsy to both rollers, which might be acceptable. But to be conservative, it might be preferable to mount a roller just aft of my forestay, because I really would rather not have any chain from the rodes rubbing on the forestay.. I think the roller would be a much better option.

This assumes that the additional deflection from the port roller to the rope gypsy (which would be way off centerline) is not a concern.

The other question I have about this hypothetical setup is how to switch from the rope gypsy to the chain gypsy for the rope/chain rode, and how to feed this rode below.

On edit: do you use the Lofrans Tigres?
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Old 18-06-2009, 01:28   #39
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chiming

The Tigres is a bloody good winch and loved by every user I can remember talking too. It is widely used by the cruising fleet, has been for a long while and I'd suggest many whiles to come. I'd fit one to my boat without hesitation.

Along with the Tigres you could add the Falcon, Caymen... actually all Lofrans Horizontals are damn good right down to the baby Dorado. Don't know what they did but someone got something very right when they designed that range. I just hope the new owners of Lofrans don't do something stupid by trying to improve an already bloody good product.

The Maxwells horizontals are also very good, popular, strong and widely used but they are now getting somewhat dated in appearance, rather big physically and only one of the range is Auto rope to Chain capable. But watch this space they are about to get jiggy and update the range.

Muir Horizontals are also popular especially down this way. Simple strong and do the job bloody well. I rate those highly as well. Not fast or anything super flash but more like tractors, they just get on and do it.

S/L are now gone and absorbed into Lewmar. Being honest I'm not a huge fan. The smaller ones are OK but pretty lightweight and while the bigger H Series look OK they are newish so I haven't heard much feedback on them. I am growing in the feeling that maybe they are being built just a little too much to a price point. But then winches are only a very tiny part of Lewmar where the competition are pretty much very winch making only type outfits.

Quick. Very sexy styling and built very well. Don't know too much about the long term life of bigger ones but the small ones work damn good. The biggest is the Hector and while they say it will run 12 and 13mm chain well I just have a feeling for longer life 10mm is the biggest you would want to use.

Anchorlift. Simple, strong, low on 'fruit'. Haven't seen or done much with the bigger ones but the smaller (10mm and down) seem to work very well indeed. I do like their high speed power down, a damn good idea.

Basically there are very few 'bad' winches out there with a 'brand' name attached. There are some shockers but all are sort of 'no name' ones. These days anything like this that doesn't perform just doesn't get a look in for long. Bad news travels very fast now with this interweb thing.

I'd say the 3 most popular, longest lasting and best loved horizontals are made by Lofrans, Maxwell and Muir in that order. Assuming all are set up well and used properly, of course

Now Speedo, Yes you can put a roller or more between your winch and the bow roller. It is not uncommon and we see quite often winches a long way aft of the bow and the rode leading all over the show via rollers to the bow. Also seen reasonably often is a roller in front of the winch (horizontals) to lead the chain down from the top of the gypsy to get under roller furler drums or just to maximise the number of pockets grabing the chain and things like that.

Key things I'd say you would want to do is make sure that the 1st roller is nicely lined up with the winch. Minimise any corners i.e a right angled bend wouldn't be crash hot. Any rollers would want to be as free running as possible to reduce system drag. And the rollers would want to be strong and well fastened.

I see no reason you can't do what your plan is with regards to aiming one or both rodes off to one side. About the only thing the winch will be concerned about is load, as in increased system drag and alignment as in have it good or you'll just get excess gypsy and rode wear. Line it all up well and make it run as smooth as you can and all should be hunky dory.

Now the swapping from rope to chain. On some horizontals you can get a capstan fitted on the outside of the gypsy, Maxwells are good at this as is Quick. As far as my grey matter can remember the standard Tigres has gypsy one side, capstan the other so it makes it a bit trickier. The best way as i see it is to have one of those chain stoppers mounted in front of the winch for the rode to come thru. By chain stopper I mean the fittings with a flappy thing which you can drop down to lock the chain off. So rope around the capstan and pull until the chain gets to the drum. Drop the flap on the chain stopper to stop it deploying again and then swap the chain across to the gypsy. Pull away, flick the flap up (makes it quieter) and all is good.

As for getting the rode downstairs into the locker. It's pretty much a push the bugger down the hole or have someone below pulling it down. That's assuming you don't have a big handy hatch you can open right by the winch. Got kids? they are handy rope pullers. Way more than many a time have I heard "Boy, away you go and stack that rope" from my Dad when I was a young fella, often followed by "grab us a beer on the way back up will you". Sadly 'us' usually didn't include me

So that's me chiming in. Feel free to ask questions or for further explanations, you never know I just might know the answer but then.......

Just read all of that and are now thinking 'Gezz, I hope the readers speak Kiwi and metric'. I can translate if you get stuck anywhere
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Old 18-06-2009, 09:33   #40
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Thanks GMac, no translation needed. So either my Kiwi is better than I thought or your American is just fine!

Glad to hear your positive view on the Tigres.

Re. your stopper idea, that's what I was thinking and I think it would work, as long as I can somehow get enough chain past the stopper to load up the gypsy. I'll figure it out eventually, probably using a rope to chain splice that can go around the gypsy.
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Old 18-06-2009, 10:03   #41
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I see what you are trying to do. Hmmm.... I've thought my way through that before also. The problem is that the gypsy will not work well for the #2 rode. The chain needs to go around the gypsy like the #1 does to grip and not slip. You have no way of tailing the #2 chain rode properly because the chain is coming off the gypsy down toward the #1 chainpipe. To even attempt to make it work out, you would need to mount your windlass pretty high off the deck, and not use a chain stripper and I'm not sure that's a good idea. Putting out two anchors is not a real common occurance in my experience, (I'm not saying you wont ever do it),needing to retrieve the #2 under much load adds to the unlikelihood. So if you are in a pinch, and ever really need to use the windlass to retrieve #2 you could always wrap the chain around the capstan (I know.... you hate to scar it up). Why not just use 20-30 feet of chain on #2 and haul the last bit it by hand? The other option is to buy the Maxwell Horizontal that is available with a capstan and gypsy on both sides! (if they still make it) It's a pretty big footprint, but would be an elegant solution. I special ordered one once, got it to the boat, tried to figure out if I really wanted that big a windlass footprint on the foredeck and ended up taking it back (restocking fee!) and getting the vertical.
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Old 18-06-2009, 10:27   #42
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Thanks, Cheechako. More food for thought. I would probably opt for the simplest approach re. rode #2, hauling the last bit of chain by hand to get the chain on the gypsy. Which would only leave the issue of getting rode #2 below, which I think I will figure out, even if it requires elevating the windlass as you suggested.

Or maybe I'll just go with a smaller boat that needs no windlass!
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Old 19-06-2009, 01:20   #43
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Thanks GMac, no translation needed. So either my Kiwi is better than I thought or your American is just fine!
Good golly, maybe I'm multi-lingual after all

Quote:
probably using a rope to chain splice that can go around the gypsy.
That was my thoughts as well.

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Maxwell Horizontal that is available with a capstan and gypsy on both sides! (if they still make it) It's a pretty big footprint,
They sure do and they sell lots still. Yeap, big footprint is a good word to use

Your idea about going manual on the secondary is a good call. Could make things a lot easier to set up. And agree again on the 2nd not being used that often.
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