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Old 03-05-2008, 23:18   #1
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Windlass selection question

We're planning on replacing our current windlass and are not sure as to what to buy.

We've heard nothing but good things about Lighthouse. Money isn't really an issue, but quality and reliability is.

Not having done much anchoring in the past, we aren't even sure whether we need a horizontal or vertical model. The current one is horizontal.

We carry two anchors, a CQR and a Bruce, both with chain rodes.

Our question is, given the points above, do you think there'd be any better choices than a Lighthouse?

Thanks

Jack
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Old 04-05-2008, 02:05   #2
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See the previous thread:
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...lass-1475.html

Have no experience with Lighthouse Anchor Windlass:
Lighthouse Manufacturing USA
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Old 04-05-2008, 18:33   #3
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That was very helpul, Gord, thanks.
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Old 04-05-2008, 19:25   #4
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windlass retreival rate

A friend of mine bought a Lighthouse windlass and warned me away from it because the retreival rate under load was dissappointing so I bought a Muir and have been very happy with the retreival rate under load.
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Old 06-05-2008, 01:27   #5
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That's an interesting comment Rick. Not saying it's wrong but seems to be the opposite of what we have been hearing. Then again performance does have a lot to do with installation and the user so we don't always get to know the details of those.

From what we hear and see Lighthouse do generally have a good rep but are at the pricey end of the market. Most of the others are generally good as well and for less bucks so I suppose you could say they are 'better'.

I tend to think that any good name brand that is not undersized, is installed well which includes not short cutting on wiring size and is looked after is OK. There are not many 'bad' brand name winches out there. The biggest thing is to buy one that suits your needs rather than focus on price alone. There is a plethora of choices many of which have small and subtle differences which suit certain boats/users more than others.

Key points -
Don't get to focused on the motors wattage. The 'grunt' has a lot to do with gearbox design. Example - Maxwells will usually out pull most other in the same class but they usually have the smallest wattage motor. real good gearbox design.

Don't trust published numbers of most manufacturers, many just do not do what they say load wise. There is no 'standardised' tests for numbers amongst the assorted makers so it's very hard to get an even 1 on 1 comparison. Of all the numbers we have seen and played with Maxwells usually exceed their published and the rest don't, Muir being one of the worst. Saying that we have yet to find a, say 10mm, winch that won't pull all the 10mm.

Watch for material of manufacture. A lot are now mostly stainless but many aren't while they are all similar in price. Why pay $XX for an alloy based one for example when a Stainless one is pretty much the same price.

Price is absolutely no indication of performance, back-up or quality as a general rule. Saying that the better ones are generally the higher priced but some with a big price are not as good as some with a lower price in some areas. That make sense??

If you have, say 10mm chain, buy a winch whose size range has 10mm in the middle not as the biggest. That way the winch will last longer and stress less.

Just some thing we have learnt along the way which I hope helps.
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Old 06-05-2008, 04:36   #6
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For what it's worth, we have a maxwell vertical VWC1100 which is replaced as a 1200 and it is fine. Faster retrieval rate than friend's Lewmar. It has a rope gypsy which comes in handy for going aloft etc.
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:49   #7
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Just be careful not to do comparisons between winches a few years in age apart. There have been some quite big changes over the last couple of years which aren't that visible to the naked eye, shall we say.

Saying that many Maxwells have changed little over that time. I suppose why fox something that is not broken.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:34   #8
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I have two Maxwell VW800's. One for each anchor, and they have served me well. Once I caught a cable at anchor. The maxwell actually started pulling the bows down about a foot. That was 5 years ago, and that same windlass is still going strong.
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