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Old 23-09-2010, 22:41   #1
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This Is Probably a Silly Question . . .

But I've never had a boat with a windlass before. I've always used rope n chain rodes and heaved them up on main force. I'm switching to all chain but I intend to keep my original set up as a spare or lunch hook. The windlass is to ease my aching back.

The question is, what is the procedure for using a windlass to get a rope n chain rode up? Lets say there are about 30 feet of chain spliced to 5/8 nylon. You bring the rope up on the drum but how do you switch it over to the chain gypsy?


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Old 24-09-2010, 00:17   #2
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procedure will probably depend on the connection between rope and chain. Some gypsys are designed to be able to cope with both, although that does cause some wear issues with the rope. I purchased sufficient chain so that for my normal anchoring I was always just on chain, but for those occassions where you are in deeper water, the following will work well:

haul in the rope/chain using the warping drum until the first turn of chain is on the drum. Stop. engage chain stopper (i.e. the device that takes the weight of the chain when you are at anchor - if you dont have one you should as leaving the weight on the windlass is not a good idea)
remove rope chain from the drum and transfer the chain to the gypsy. heave in and release the chain stopper. Heave in until anchor is recovered.

The message here is that if you do not have a chain stopper, - you should get one:

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Old 24-09-2010, 09:04   #3
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Talbot's post is dead on.

I'm set up exactly as described... normally only have chain out. That said I did make sure I had a proper rope-to-chain splice and my windlass handles the transition from one to the other without issue.

As was said, if you don't have a chain stopper get one and even then, make sure you use a proper snubbing line and not the chain stopper while at anchor. Personally, I use a bridle (see below) off my two bow cleats... but lots of other options.

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Old 24-09-2010, 09:25   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreKai View Post
You bring the rope up on the drum but how do you switch it over to the chain gypsy?
This is why the rope/chain gypsy was invented. Is it possible that you've got one without knowing it? They've become prevalent in the last 15 or so years. If not, can you put one on your current windlass? If so, it will take care of these problems for you.
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Old 24-09-2010, 10:02   #5
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I got the part about the snubber from other threads. Absolutely essential. I've seen what shock loads can do to things. SVRocinante, I like that bridal. I'll be making one up this winter for use with the new set up. I have a single samson post, and will run the bridal arms out via a couple of new fairleads. The chain stopper is on my list of things to do/get. As for a rope/chain gypsy, I just picked up a Lofrans Royal windlass with a 5/16 gypsy on it but I'm not sure if its rope/chain capable. I'll have to do a bit of looking. It was the shift from drum to gypsy that had me wondering a bit.

With a rope/chain gypsy, how do you keep tension on the rope part so it will be pulled up by the gypsy? With the drum you keep a couple of turns on it and then pull to keep tension while the drum turns. (With a manual acting windlass that should be a neat trick for one person. Pull on rode with one hand while working the lever with the other.)

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Old 24-09-2010, 10:22   #6
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Sabre,

When you make your snubber make sure it is long enough. I usually have a 30 ft one. In mild conditions I'll only put out ten feet or so but when it's honking I have 20 to 25 feet out. Also I've found that a bridle on a monohull is not necessary as most of the time you'll be riding on one part of that bridle. On a cat a bridle is required but on a mono it's just more work when anchoring, especially if you have a post in the center. I lead my snubber over the bow.
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Old 24-09-2010, 11:10   #7
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if you backsplice the line to the chain, and the windlass has a deep "V" groove below the chain section of the gypsy you can haul up the rode without touching it.
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Old 24-09-2010, 12:54   #8
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The Gypsies are made to work with both rope and chain. No need to change as long as the rope rode is sized to the gypsy. The Mfg. specify what size rope as well as chain the gypsy will work with. Mine works with 1/2-5/8 rope road. Having said that, haven't tried a really hard pull with chain/rope gypsy. Don't know what kind of load you can put on the line before it begins to slip. A 3/4" rap around the gypsy isn't much.
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Old 24-09-2010, 13:08   #9
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I use all chain 99% of the time (with a snubber), but in very strong winds, with deep anchorages I do let out some rope.
My message is think carefully how you will handle the transition between rope and chain.
Techniques that work with lighter wind, really can struggle when the winds reach 50 Knots plus and the anchor starts dragging. The forces go up at the square of the wind speed. There is a big difference between 30 and 50K.
Can you communicate with the helm? If not will your windlass pull in the rode?

I use the following
VHF communication between the anchor and the helm
Rope and chain gypsy with a drum
Chain stopper
Ropes with hooks to take the weight off the chain

I am still not convinced the above will work quickly and reliably in very strong wind and I plan to add some more chain in the near future.
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Old 24-09-2010, 19:14   #10
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A multiplait rope can be spliced with the chain very, very neatly. But I am not sure the splice part will sit in the gypsy well (?).

If it wears just chop it off and splice again.

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Old 24-09-2010, 19:25   #11
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Don't know what kind of load you can put on the line before it begins to slip. A 3/4" rap around the gypsy isn't much.
The rode on the gypsy will stall the windlass without slipping. The problem is when all the chain is on the bottom and there's no load on the rode. Then it may not stay in the gypsy until the boat drifts off a ways and puts some tension on the rode.

Old stiff rode is no fun either. But of course nobody here on CF has a rode that old
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Old 24-09-2010, 19:38   #12
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like mine

Quote:
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A multiplait rope can be spliced with the chain very, very neatly. But I am not sure the splice part will sit in the gypsy well (?).

If it wears just chop it off and splice again.

b.
my lewmar is set up with the gypsy for both rope and chain just splice the rope in the chain lewmar calls for 5 splices in the rope i put 12 in because it came loose once i got lucky and hooked on to my ground gear it has no problem going through the gypsy i love it and my back does also its to much work trying to get your anchor up on a big boat
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Old 03-10-2010, 16:25   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabreKai View Post
But I've never had a boat with a windlass before. I've always used rope n chain rodes and heaved them up on main force. I'm switching to all chain but I intend to keep my original set up as a spare or lunch hook. The windlass is to ease my aching back.

The question is, what is the procedure for using a windlass to get a rope n chain rode up? Lets say there are about 30 feet of chain spliced to 5/8 nylon. You bring the rope up on the drum but how do you switch it over to the chain gypsy?


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it just rides right through the gypsy no prolbem works great same set up i have splice the rope into the chain works like a dream just keep a check on the splice when it starts looking frizzy resplice it
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