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Old 18-04-2019, 17:46   #31
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Re: Windlass replacement?.... manual or electric?

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Many years ago I read in a sailing magazine that anyone over forty years old should have a power windlass. I am now 75 and have always followed that advice. Bent over ratcheting a manual windlass handle back and forth to bring in 150 feet or so of 3/8" chain would do my ailing and aged back in. I owned a manual SL windlass when in my late 30's sailing a circumnavigation and broke the pawls and bicycle chain twice.

Simpson Lawrence windlasses are not very robust. Even the electric ones can bend the shaft as one I had did on a second hand boat - I always tie off the chain before setting the anchor and use a bridle, so the only time there is a load on the windlass is when bringing it in.
Do your self a favor and purchase a Maxwell or Muir electric windlass that will last the rest of your life.
The 555 has solid bronze gears and virtually bomb proof, no bike chain. SL is no longer in business so no new power options anyways. With the 555 out of production for thirty years and many still on bows worldwide they have held their own and still sought after. Windlasses are for hauling chain not anchoring your boat from. Max and Muir are very fine windlasses but they also run twice to triple the price of most.
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Old 18-04-2019, 17:47   #32
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Re: Windlass replacement?.... manual or electric?

It seems to me that someone earlier (designer?) really wanted an electric winch on your boat. They are a good idea if you are short handed, in poor health or in serious trouble with an onshore gale blowing.

I would be tempted to pull the winch off and pull it apart to see just what the problem is.
Bearings, seals, electric motor bits and many other parts are off the shelf or readily re-engineered.

It is unusual for main shafts to be damaged but even so, a machine shop can rebuild or duplicate one. I have seen internal corrosion but only on a vertical shaft type where water has entered. The corrosion prevented the winch from being dissembled. A disaster.

The messy part is that the whole gear assembly is usually bathed in very heavy oil so it's not a kitchen bench job.

If you do pull it apart, record the disassembly sequence, as often there are ratchet pawls that like halyard winches need care.

If it is a disaster area inside and repairs are frightening, well, you haven't lost anything have you?

External corrosion is usually cosmetic.

If you do replace the winch, just be aware that mounting holes, internal load bracing support and any issues with the hawser hole may need modification.
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Old 18-04-2019, 17:56   #33
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Re: Windlass replacement?.... manual or electric?

Jsbartley, the aOp,

This is a serious reply even if it sounds snarky, sorry it’s my disposition.

You are 63, reasonably fit. How old will you be in 5 years, or 10? And how fit then? Do you have crew (Wife?) who may ever need to pick the anchor and what is their opinion? When do you intend to sell the boat? To what age bracket?

OK, enough if that.

My personal inclination would be to replace with a very common but adequate make electric windlass. If you don’t then it’s likely the wires and circuit breakers and solenoids will all fall into disrepair and getting back to an electric windlass will become an even bigger expense and hassle, not to mention money spent on a manual. It will likely cause you to sell the boat, and cease enjoying your hobby, years latter. Think of it as cheap life insurance, it is a safeguard against heart attack while prolonging your enjoyment.

Best of luck with your decision.
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Old 18-04-2019, 18:03   #34
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Re: Windlass replacement?.... manual or electric?

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Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
The OP mentioned cost.
A new Maxwell 3500 is about $4,900.
A new Maxwell 1000 is $1,800.
A new Lograns Royal 1-speed manual is about $900-1000.
A used Seatiger 555 is about $500-750.

Just bought a Maxwell 3500 kit (includes everything) from Defender. $34XX.
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Old 18-04-2019, 18:16   #35
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Re: Windlass replacement?.... manual or electric?

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Originally Posted by billgewater View Post
It seems to me that someone earlier (designer?) really wanted an electric winch on your boat. They are a good idea if you are short handed, in poor health or in serious trouble with an onshore gale blowing.

I would be tempted to pull the winch off and pull it apart to see just what the problem is.
Bearings, seals, electric motor bits and many other parts are off the shelf or readily re-engineered.

It is unusual for main shafts to be damaged but even so, a machine shop can rebuild or duplicate one. I have seen internal corrosion but only on a vertical shaft type where water has entered. The corrosion prevented the winch from being dissembled. A disaster.

The messy part is that the whole gear assembly is usually bathed in very heavy oil so it's not a kitchen bench job.

If you do pull it apart, record the disassembly sequence, as often there are ratchet pawls that like halyard winches need care.

If it is a disaster area inside and repairs are frightening, well, you haven't lost anything have you?

External corrosion is usually cosmetic.

If you do replace the winch, just be aware that mounting holes, internal load bracing support and any issues with the hawser hole may need modification.


Just about everything in them subject to wear can be readily and cheaply replaced or repaired except maybe the brass pinion gear and even this part could be machined.
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Old 18-04-2019, 18:23   #36
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Re: Windlass replacement?.... manual or electric?

I'd always choose electric.

You may wish to venture to deeper waters.

I've seen boats drag anchor because their crew skimped on the chain they let out, because they didn't want to have to manually winch it back in.

A friend had his hand severely lacerated because something on his manual windlass let go.
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Old 18-04-2019, 19:28   #37
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Re: Windlass replacement?.... manual or electric?

Back when I was much younger and cruising, hauling in 100+ feet of 3/8" chain and anchor was a chore with our very efficient manual windlass. So much so that we tended to stay in one place once the anchor was down. Wasn't a big thing but we tended to enjoy an anchorage a lot longer than boats with electric windlasses.

When we were getting ready to move onto the next group of islands arranged to meet up with another larger boat who were going in a different direction. Once they'd cleared the pass into the lagoon they dropped their hook, jumped in the water and snorkeled. They climbed back on the boat raised the anchor, moved the boat a short ways, dove in again and repeated the operation 5 or 6 times before anchoring next to us. We were curious why they'd do such and thing and asked them why they anchored and then moved the boat so often. They said they were looking for shells and exploring the reef. It was so easy to to drop the hook and retrieve it with the electric windlass that they essentially used their 30,000# boat as dinghy. We now have an electric windlass.
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Old 18-04-2019, 20:07   #38
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Re: Windlass replacement?.... manual or electric?

I havenít read all the responses, but I know from past experience the vast majority will be recommending an electric windlass. I donít have anything against that choice. But I do offer my own limited experience as perhaps a slight counter-example.

Iíve had a manual windlass for nearly a decade now. I anchor out a lot, and in areas often considered challenging. I have never had any situations I could not manage with our manual windlass. And Iíve never had any problems with it.

Using a proper-sized windlass is like a proper-sized manual winch; if itís sized appropriately for the task itís not that hard to do.

Yes, itís slower. Maybe 2x to 3x slower. This has never been a significant issue for us.

roverhi example is a good one. Iíve never dropped and hauled multiple times in short order just for fun. So if this kind of activity is important, then a manual is not as good. I certainly have dropped and hauled in short order to get a good setting, but itís not something I would do for fun.

I think there are many KISS reasons to go with a manual. I prefer the simplicty, and tactile nature of a manual when anchoring. There are fewer failure paths for a manual. But a good quality electric can also be just as reliable, and it has some clear advantages as well.
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Old 18-04-2019, 21:18   #39
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Re: Windlass replacement?.... manual or electric?

Electric. You are already setup so why go backwards. If you did not have an Electric, running power would be the challenge. Cost of running power could exceed the cost of the Windlass. I have a Quick Prince DP3 1012D, 1000W with 3/8 chain. They also have a nice chain counter with torch so you know exactly how much chain you have out. Lewmar would be another great option.
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Old 19-04-2019, 00:15   #40
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Re: Windlass replacement?.... manual or electric?

I'm going to change my vote.

Because he already has everything in place for electric and can probably fix the current windlass, he should just do that. Didn't realize how much of a complete windlass setup he had.

I still prefer manual myself, but I'm not throwing out an electric with wiring and everything all in place to convert over to manual.
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Old 19-04-2019, 03:15   #41
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Re: Windlass replacement?.... manual or electric?

I buy Taylor’s kero stove bits from this outfit. Ship internationally.

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Seatiger 555 Windlass is a heavy duty manual windlass, some parts can be ordered directly from this site. The complete windlass is also available, please enquire from the contact page.
Parts for Seatiger 555 Windlass | Simpson Lawrence Yacht Parts & Spares
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Old 19-04-2019, 04:53   #42
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Re: Windlass replacement?.... manual or electric?

I would go with and oversized electric windlass, which is what we did last year.
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Old 19-04-2019, 05:17   #43
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Re: Windlass replacement?.... manual or electric?

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......guess how old you'll be next year??..........
What's wrong with 34.?

But being as lazy as me....ELECTRIC
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Old 19-04-2019, 05:17   #44
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Re: Windlass replacement?.... manual or electric?

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I'm going to change my vote.

Because he already has everything in place for electric and can probably fix the current windlass, he should just do that. Didn't realize how much of a complete windlass setup he had.

I still prefer manual myself, but I'm not throwing out an electric with wiring and everything all in place to convert over to manual.

Yup The hard and costly work has already been done running the wires for the current electric windlass. Just be sure to size the new windlass to your current wiring... you really aren't going to want to pull new wires for an upsized windlass if on a budget.

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Old 19-04-2019, 06:47   #45
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Re: Windlass replacement?.... manual or electric?

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Just bought a Maxwell 3500 kit (includes everything) from Defender. $34XX.


Link?
I see bare windlasses there for $4020-$4920 depending on which model you want.
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