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Old 28-11-2017, 17:16   #1
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Windlass Problem Using A Length Of Chain Between Anchor and Rope

Hello CF

I have a horizontal windlass that has a chain gypsy on one side and a rope drum with diagonal ribs on the other. Both sides can work independent of the other.

I have always had two anchors on the bow but one was only stored there as a spare.

I now have a CQR plow and Danforth spade so I want to be able to deploy either given the bottom conditions.

The CQR is all chain and the Danforth has 150' of rope and 25' of chain at the end. The problem is that the rope drum on the windlass won't wind the chain.

Are there any tricks to get the drum to grip the chain? I read all the time on CF that having a length of chain between the rope and anchor is important, so short of raising a 75 lb anchor by hand hopefully someone has a viable solution without having a debate as to what is the best anchor in the world:-)

Thanks!!

Jeff
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Old 28-11-2017, 17:58   #2
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Re: Windlass Problem Using A Length Of Chain Between Anchor and Rope

I had an emergency situation that gave me a similar dilemma. I ended up taking the rope rode back to a block on the toe rail and then to a winch. But I didn't use the drum of my windlass at all. I would guess you could use the drum and then take off the turn around it and use a winch.
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Old 28-11-2017, 23:06   #3
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Re: Windlass Problem Using A Length Of Chain Between Anchor and Rope

FWIW: If you take two turns of the chain around the drum and tail firmly, it will likely work just fine. It is likely to scar the drum, but it will haul in the chain. Oil rig workers use this technique to screw together and unscrew pipe sections.

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Old 28-11-2017, 23:40   #4
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Re: Windlass Problem Using A Length Of Chain Between Anchor and Rope

Have the same setup on ours and as yet have not bothered addressing the rope capstan situation, can't imagine a need to use a lessor anchoring system, but if I did, to save the capstan in the method Jim suggests, I wonder if some inner tube off of a motorbike , for example, sliced like squid rings and stretched over the capstan would provide superior grip and save the chrome?
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Old 29-11-2017, 02:35   #5
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pirate Re: Windlass Problem Using A Length Of Chain Between Anchor and Rope

Had this problem on a few boats I have delivered.. under 37ft I can still handball the remaining few feet however on 50+ ftrs its a different story..
Basically I wind in till theres half or more turn of chain then jam it and switch the chain across to the other side.. works just fine for me.
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Old 29-11-2017, 03:13   #6
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Re: Windlass Problem Using A Length Of Chain Between Anchor and Rope

Or you could swap the rope capstan for a dual purpose gypsy that does rope and chain....
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Old 29-11-2017, 08:11   #7
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Re: Windlass Problem Using A Length Of Chain Between Anchor and Rope

What is the make and model number of your windlass, and what size rope and chain are you using? As Mick T said, it may be possible to replace the capstan drum with a rope/chain gypsy.

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Old 29-11-2017, 08:28   #8
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Re: Windlass Problem Using A Length Of Chain Between Anchor and Rope

If you have a snatch block you may be able to mount it aft. Then run your nylon rode through it and then to the capstan. Just needs to be far enough aft so the anchor is home before the chain gets to the snatch block.
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Old 29-11-2017, 08:47   #9
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Re: Windlass Problem Using A Length Of Chain Between Anchor and Rope

I assume you have a chain locker accessible from the deck (not via a hawse hole) to take the rope then the chain off the windlass??

You could consider doubling the length of chain so your anchor is pretty well always going to be on the bottom still, while you are swapping the rode from the drum to the gypsy, to make that job easier. Theoretical solution only - never tried that.

I have a similar setup with a smaller boat - secondary anchor is 35 lbs, with 50 ft of 8mm chain before the rope. But the anchor & rode is stored aft, not in the chain locker, so all the rode would come onto the foredeck. I covered the drum with small cord tightly wound and repeatedly clove hitched to provide 'ribs' around the drum, more friction than the bare metal, and also to protect it from the chain. I found it worked well enough for me the one time I actually used it - with several turns of chain and a tight pull on the tail - but to be honest, its just easier to use the main anchor & chain on the electric windlass....
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Old 29-11-2017, 08:49   #10
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Re: Windlass Problem Using A Length Of Chain Between Anchor and Rope

I assume the rope drum doesnt feed line below. If so just make sure you have wraps on the drum and "tail" the chain behind the windlass with your hands. It should work fine.
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Old 29-11-2017, 09:24   #11
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Re: Windlass Problem Using A Length Of Chain Between Anchor and Rope

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
FWIW: If you take two turns of the chain around the drum and tail firmly, it will likely work just fine. It is likely to scar the drum, but it will haul in the chain. Oil rig workers use this technique to screw together and unscrew pipe sections.

Jim
Thanks for the great suggestions.

I went with Jim's approach the first time but I didn't pull on the tail. I tried it with 2 wraps and still slipped a little. I added another wrap and it worked great. The rope/chain does feed directly into the chain locker which is divided down the center, chain on one side and rope/chain in the other.

Jim, it did scar up the drum a bit. I'm going to try painting the inner part of the drum with truck bed liner. That stuff is really tough and by giving it extra texture it might just improve the chain grip as well without damaging the rope.

Thanks again for several great ideas.

Jeff
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Old 29-11-2017, 09:49   #12
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Re: Windlass Problem Using A Length Of Chain Between Anchor and Rope

You are going to have to tail the chain, but with only 25 ft of it you can douse it into the locker after it's up if you need to. Yeah, it will scar the drum. That's a big anchor. I usually just pulled the chain part up on a rope rode anchor, but mine were 50# max!
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Old 29-11-2017, 10:04   #13
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Re: Windlass Problem Using A Length Of Chain Between Anchor and Rope

Get a short length (6ft) of line attached to a chain hook. Use the drum to haul up to the chain then attach the hook to the chain and use its line on the drum to haul in enough slack chain to get it on the gypsy.

In tough conditions it may take two chain hook setups to keep things under control at all times.
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Old 29-11-2017, 13:46   #14
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Re: Windlass Problem Using A Length Of Chain Between Anchor and Rope

I carry 2 anchors a 35 bruse and a 22 Mantis which is 45 Pounds the Mantis has all chain the bruse has 40 chain and 200 ft 12 plate nylon I use a manual Lofrans windless. I find no trouble leading the chain from my Bruse to the chain gypsy of the windless. The lead does not have to be as fair as you would think. I manually crank it up and the chain peals off the gypsy just fine. I have just added a chain stripper and That really stopped the chain clog on the !
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Old 29-11-2017, 23:30   #15
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Re: Windlass Problem Using A Length Of Chain Between Anchor and Rope

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikado View Post
Hello CF

I have a horizontal windlass that has a chain gypsy on one side and a rope drum with diagonal ribs on the other. Both sides can work independent of the other.

I have always had two anchors on the bow but one was only stored there as a spare.

I now have a CQR plow and Danforth spade so I want to be able to deploy either given the bottom conditions.

The CQR is all chain and the Danforth has 150' of rope and 25' of chain at the end. The problem is that the rope drum on the windlass won't wind the chain.

Are there any tricks to get the drum to grip the chain? I read all the time on CF that having a length of chain between the rope and anchor is important, so short of raising a 75 lb anchor by hand hopefully someone has a viable solution without having a debate as to what is the best anchor in the world:-)

Thanks!!

Jeff
As far as I understand, the chain part can haul in a line (although it may tend to slip) but the line part of the gypsy does not work properly with chain (it will damage it). You may either change the gypsy to dual chain or your rode to full line to correspond to the line drum of the gypsy.
Any other solution, IMHO, will be awkward.
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