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Old 11-04-2014, 13:46   #1
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Maxwell RC8-8 Windlass

Earlier this year I installed a new Maxwell RC8-8 windlass including a switch at the helm and a wireless remote. My comments on installation and use below.

Installation.

A whole new windlass system is a significant DIY job (more hours than I thought starting out), but the Maxwell system is well thought out and the documentation, although quite brief, is good and adequate. It is very concise so read it a few times...its easy to miss some details.

The windlass is well engineered to make installation thru the deck easy. The motor connects via a keyed collar so that it can easily be separated from the above deck assembly (without tools even). This clever design makes the thru the deck bit pretty easy. I did it single-handed with no significant difficulty.

A template is provided for cutting the deck holes. One thing that concerns me, but has not proven to be an issue, is that the deck material remaining between the large holes for the windlass shaft/chain hawse and the thru bolt holes is a bit skinny. I would prefer a bigger chunk of deck here, especially given the max lift rating of 1,320lbs. May have a stainless backing plate fabricated just for my peace of mind.

One feature I don't like about this clever design is that it would be very easy to align the motor so that the chain could impact the plastic sight glass. Not good. Be careful to check this alignment and clearance from the chain.

The windlass is clearly quality built, smooth true machined surfaces and very sturdy thrughout. The snap ring at the base of the windlass shaft seems a bit less than robust and secure, but in operation so far not proven to be an issue.

The junction box, where the solenoid is housed, had a build issue. There is a terminal block where control lines attach to the outside. Pins from this block pass thru to the inside of the junction box. Wires are then soldered to these pins inside the junction box. On mine one solder joint was bad (separated from the pin). Fortunately, I caught this during pre-install inspection. It would have made for a frustating troubleshooting issue to have caught post install. I resoldered the joint, but can see why it was problematic originally...there are two wires pig-tail spliced together and then soldered to the very short pin...not any easy joint to make. I spliced the two wires to a short length of wire and then soldered that to the pin. Much easier, but I think a mechanical fastner here would be a better solution. For example, a terminal block on the inside too.

Operation.

Smooth and fast!

Maxwell's "wave" gypsy works securely and smoothly on both chain and rope. In my case I have 200' 5/16" G4 chain connected via a long-splice to 100+ feet of 3/4" 3-strand. The 3/4" rope is oversized for the gypsy, but it still handles it smoothly. Even the long-splice passes the gypsy relatively smoothly, even under load.

The wireless remote is a very convenient accessory. I can stand anywhere on the boat and operate the windlass now. I also have a wired switch at the helm - good idea for backup I think. Especially since the one thing I found missing in the doco is how to change batteries in the waterproof wireless remote.

The RC8-8 is technically a bit oversized for my application but the fast chain retrieval rate (105 ft/min!) sure is nice. And, having already put it to the real world lift test while hauling up anchor from 65' in moderately rough and windy conditions, I'm glad I did not go smaller.
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Old 26-04-2018, 16:09   #2
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Re: Maxwell RC8-8 Windlass

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Earlier this year I installed a new Maxwell RC8-8 windlass including a switch at the helm and a wireless remote. My comments on installation and use below.

Installation.

A whole new windlass system is a significant DIY job (more hours than I thought starting out), but the Maxwell system is well thought out and the documentation, although quite brief, is good and adequate. It is very concise so read it a few times...its easy to miss some details.

The windlass is well engineered to make installation thru the deck easy. The motor connects via a keyed collar so that it can easily be separated from the above deck assembly (without tools even). This clever design makes the thru the deck bit pretty easy. I did it single-handed with no significant difficulty.

A template is provided for cutting the deck holes. One thing that concerns me, but has not proven to be an issue, is that the deck material remaining between the large holes for the windlass shaft/chain hawse and the thru bolt holes is a bit skinny. I would prefer a bigger chunk of deck here, especially given the max lift rating of 1,320lbs. May have a stainless backing plate fabricated just for my peace of mind.

One feature I don't like about this clever design is that it would be very easy to align the motor so that the chain could impact the plastic sight glass. Not good. Be careful to check this alignment and clearance from the chain.

The windlass is clearly quality built, smooth true machined surfaces and very sturdy thrughout. The snap ring at the base of the windlass shaft seems a bit less than robust and secure, but in operation so far not proven to be an issue.

The junction box, where the solenoid is housed, had a build issue. There is a terminal block where control lines attach to the outside. Pins from this block pass thru to the inside of the junction box. Wires are then soldered to these pins inside the junction box. On mine one solder joint was bad (separated from the pin). Fortunately, I caught this during pre-install inspection. It would have made for a frustating troubleshooting issue to have caught post install. I resoldered the joint, but can see why it was problematic originally...there are two wires pig-tail spliced together and then soldered to the very short pin...not any easy joint to make. I spliced the two wires to a short length of wire and then soldered that to the pin. Much easier, but I think a mechanical fastner here would be a better solution. For example, a terminal block on the inside too.

Operation.

Smooth and fast!

Maxwell's "wave" gypsy works securely and smoothly on both chain and rope. In my case I have 200' 5/16" G4 chain connected via a long-splice to 100+ feet of 3/4" 3-strand. The 3/4" rope is oversized for the gypsy, but it still handles it smoothly. Even the long-splice passes the gypsy relatively smoothly, even under load.

The wireless remote is a very convenient accessory. I can stand anywhere on the boat and operate the windlass now. I also have a wired switch at the helm - good idea for backup I think. Especially since the one thing I found missing in the doco is how to change batteries in the waterproof wireless remote.

The RC8-8 is technically a bit oversized for my application but the fast chain retrieval rate (105 ft/min!) sure is nice. And, having already put it to the real world lift test while hauling up anchor from 65' in moderately rough and windy conditions, I'm glad I did not go smaller.
What is the size of your anchor? I have a similar setup, with 200ft of 5/16 G4 chain and a 45lbs Rocna anchor. I'm debating between the RC8-8 or the RC10-8.
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Old 26-04-2018, 16:25   #3
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Re: Maxwell RC8-8 Windlass

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Originally Posted by felizcortez View Post
What is the size of your anchor? I have a similar setup, with 200ft of 5/16 G4 chain and a 45lbs Rocna anchor. I'm debating between the RC8-8 or the RC10-8.
Primary is a 20kg Bruce (44lb) so basically the same as your tackle weight wise. Never have wished I went bigger, even in deep anchorages, plenty of power.
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Old 27-04-2018, 13:58   #4
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Re: Maxwell RC8-8 Windlass

I also installed a Maxwell RC8-8 at the end of last year and have been testing it this cruising season (Feb - may) for us here in central Florida.

I absolutely love it! I have a 175' of 8mm chain and a 35# delta ancor but plan on adding a larger rocna anchor (45#) before we take off for some serious cruising.
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Old 27-04-2018, 14:12   #5
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Re: Maxwell RC8-8 Windlass

I was fortunate that my boat had a windlass previously so most of the wiring already existed. I did have to wire in the solenoid and switch. I put the solenoid in a plastic electric "project box" to seal it off from water intrusion so that I could put it in the anchor locker. I sealed the project box with 3m marine silicone. It has worked great so far and is the best investment of time and money in my boat. Love it!Click image for larger version

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Old 27-04-2018, 14:18   #6
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Re: Maxwell RC8-8 Windlass

I too installed the same Maxwell RC8-8 and have been very happy with it. Have a 44lb Rocna with 150 feet of 5/16 G4 chain and 150 feet of 5/8 3-strand. Nice to know that 3/4" 3-strand will work. I only had 2 minor complaints:
* Motor is located in Vberth (inside cabin) and will occasionally get a few drips of water that come in along the shaft
* the posts on the motor for connecting the wires are very close together. I had heavy duty lugs made up which I needed to trim due to the posts being too close together

I installed the foot switches along with the control at the helm which has worked fine. I couldn't justify paying the big bucks for the Maxwell wireless control, but I have read of a lot of people having good luck with buying inexpensive remotes - I may try getting one, but for now am happy with the foot switches
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Old 28-04-2018, 11:59   #7
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Re: Maxwell RC8-8 Windlass

Thanks everyone for the replies. Sounds like the RC8-8 will work for our application. Did anyone get the Capstan option on top of the vertical windlass or just the base windlass. If so, is the capstan useful or not worth the extra money?

Our boat doesn't have an existing windlass so we'll need to run the thick cabling for the install and probably also cut a new hole in the deck because the current one may be too close to the bow.
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Old 29-04-2018, 14:29   #8
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Re: Maxwell RC8-8 Windlass

Oops. Just realized I was commenting on Maxwell RC8-8 when I actually have the HRC8-8.
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