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Old 10-09-2016, 23:09   #16
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Re: Windlass vs Aging Batteries Question

I'm guessing you are adding a 150-200 amp load, so yes, try the generator to keep the available voltage up.
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Old 11-09-2016, 03:24   #17
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Re: Windlass vs Aging Batteries Question

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Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
I guess I do things a little differently?

BEFORE I start hauling with the windlass I use the Yanmar/propeller to get the boat moving slowly toward the anchor. I then put the transmission in Neutral and increase the RPM to 1800. I then use the windlass to haul the chain as needed. There is very little load on the windlass because it is only hauling chain and maintaining the momentum of the boat.

Once the boat has forward momentum the windlass load will be negligible until directly over the anchor. At that point you should NOT be using the windlass to break loose the anchor.

Once over the anchor (with chain straight down) I use the chain stopper to take the load off the windlass. I then engage the transmission to slowly move the boat forward/backward to break loose the anchor.

Once the anchor is free the windlass can easily haul up 99 pounds of chain with very little need for higher currents.

Maybe my ideas won't work for you. I do know that I've hauled anchor over 1,000 times while single handing and it is a rare occurrence to have high amp loads on the windlass for more than a few seconds.

66 pound Spade and 300' of 5/16" chain
FX 55 and another 300' of chain

If you are concerned about windlass electrical loads try the following:

- attach recording DVM (Fluke or similar) to +/- windlass terminals
- pull chain & anchor in normal fashion
- check DVM for lowest voltage

- Attach recording clamp on amp meter around one wire connected to windlass terminal
- pull chain & anchor in normal fashion
- check amp meter for highest current flow
Your method worked great this morning! I guess we can learn something new every day.

I think that the combination of the way I'd been using the windlass along with the aging batteries exagerated the issue.

Thanks again for offering up the solution :-)
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Old 11-09-2016, 11:21   #18
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Re: Windlass vs Aging Batteries Question

The proper system is to have separate batteries for major current draws like windlass and bow thrusters. These are not house batteries but ones that can deliver major cranking amps when needed, like car batteries.
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Old 11-09-2016, 11:35   #19
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Re: Windlass vs Aging Batteries Question

I am surprised an Oyster doesn't have a separate bank for the windlass, what with being such a high caliber boat. Of note on only using your house bank: What if the chain-up switch gets stuck whilst "on" and you have to throw the breaker? Me thinks that would mean the engine gets shut down too while you sort the problem?

I will have to buy four new banks of batteries when I (hopefully) push off next summer back north from Mexico. Windlass and bow thruster (at 24V) get blue top Optima AGM's for cold cranking hours and being non-upright positions, regular house + starting bank will be Trojan 105's. Sigh… that's gonna cost me.
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Old 11-09-2016, 11:44   #20
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Re: Windlass vs Aging Batteries Question

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I am surprised an Oyster doesn't have a separate bank for the windlass, what with being such a high caliber boat. Of note on only using your house bank: What if the chain-up switch gets stuck whilst "on" and you have to throw the breaker? Me thinks that would mean the engine gets shut down too while you sort the problem?

I will have to buy four new banks of batteries when I (hopefully) push off next summer back north from Mexico. Windlass and bow thruster (at 24V) get blue top Optima AGM's for cold cranking hours and being non-upright positions, regular house + starting bank will be Trojan 105's. Sigh… that's gonna cost me.
I'm not an electrical expert or expert on Oysters, but I've found starter batteries aren't generally used to power the windlass - that's the house batteries. Slow towards anchor, windlass up - engines won't die even if you trip the house master breaker (windlass should have its own isolated breaker anyway).
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Old 11-09-2016, 12:03   #21
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Re: Windlass vs Aging Batteries Question

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Originally Posted by SF Bay Dude View Post
I am surprised an Oyster doesn't have a separate bank for the windlass, what with being such a high caliber boat. Of note on only using your house bank: What if the chain-up switch gets stuck whilst "on" and you have to throw the breaker? Me thinks that would mean the engine gets shut down too while you sort the problem?

I will have to buy four new banks of batteries when I (hopefully) push off next summer back north from Mexico. Windlass and bow thruster (at 24V) get blue top Optima AGM's for cold cranking hours and being non-upright positions, regular house + starting bank will be Trojan 105's. Sigh… that's gonna cost me.
You have it all kinda goofed up just a bit. The windlass is on our house bank designed to have 455 amps, the windlass is on it's own thermal breaker and individual breaker panel breaker, the same with the bow thruster. The engine and the generator each has it's own battery/batteries. The engine is completely separate electrically from the house batteries, but there is an emergency bridge switch to connect the two in case of an engine battery failure.
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Old 11-09-2016, 12:05   #22
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Re: Windlass vs Aging Batteries Question

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Originally Posted by SV DestinyAscen View Post
I'm not an electrical expert or expert on Oysters, but I've found starter batteries aren't generally used to power the windlass - that's the house batteries. Slow towards anchor, windlass up - engines won't die even if you trip the house master breaker (windlass should have its own isolated breaker anyway).
Roger that. Good point.
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Old 11-09-2016, 12:09   #23
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Re: Windlass vs Aging Batteries Question

UPDATE: Problem Solved!

TacomaSailor wins the prize for solving today's problem. With our aging batteries (I only need them to last for three more days), I wasn't revving our engine high enough while using the windlass.

We now do it his way... Many thanks!

Ken
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:46   #24
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Re: Windlass vs Aging Batteries Question

"Does the windlass motor need to be rebuilt?" KEN

If your "aging batteries" are capable of starting the engine but not capable of running the windlass I would recommend testing the cabling as well as the windlass motor. The pass/fail decision would be much easier if you already have baseline test data from when everything was new.
The torque delivered by the motor is proportional to the current.
Current is proportional to the voltage and resistance of the motor.
Changing the battery may solve half the problem.
A solution that solves only half of the problem may be good enough for a shorter time.
Ahmet
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Old 12-09-2016, 09:43   #25
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Re: Windlass vs Aging Batteries Question

The windlass now works fine. The batteries alone weren't providing enough juice. With the engine running at 1800rpm, the alternator producing 50amps makes a huge difference.

I know the cabling and connections are good, and the batteries are no good and will be replaced prior to next season.

Thanks for your contribution.

Ken
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Old 12-09-2016, 10:56   #26
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Re: Windlass vs Aging Batteries Question

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
The windlass now works fine. The batteries alone weren't providing enough juice. With the engine running at 1800rpm, the alternator producing 50amps makes a huge difference.

I know the cabling and connections are good, and the batteries are no good and will be replaced prior to next season.

Thanks for your contribution.

Ken
Glad you sorted out the problem without too many headaches and much boat yoga. Also added a little more data that I will hopefully recall if I have a similar issue in the future.

However, do let us know how it goes when you install the new batteries.
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Old 12-09-2016, 14:09   #27
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Re: Windlass vs Aging Batteries Question

The key words being "Problem Solved !"

Keep those sailing vids coming
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Old 15-09-2016, 01:11   #28
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Re: Windlass vs Aging Batteries Question

Hi There
When you clean terminals, be sure to disconnect cable terminals from windlass & wire brush motor terminal as well as cable terminal. I coat mine with lanoline when re-assembling.
I also agree with running engine up to 1800 rpm whilst weighing anchor. Unless wind/current is particularly strong, I break a rule & use windlass to slowly move boat forward. That way you should have good voltage/current for the windlass.
Good Luck
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Old 15-09-2016, 05:02   #29
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Re: Windlass vs Aging Batteries Question

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I can’t see the batteries being a problem. .............
Of course they can be the problem and they most likely are the problem.

To put things in simple terms, the windlass has an electric motor and needs the proper voltage and current to operate (especially under load). If the battery cannot supply the proper voltage and current, the windlass will run slowly or not at all.

While running the engine at a higher RPM so the alternator will increase the voltage to the windlass might help, that's hardly a "fix", it's a band aid.

If the battery is known to be old and weak, that's the first hint of what the problem is. Checking the battery voltage drop under load is the first and easiest thing to do. Check the voltage against the windlass manufacturer's specifications. Second, check the voltage drop at the windlass terminals.

It is possible that the windlass has worn bearings or other mechanical issues but if the battery is known to be weak, replacing it is inevitable and that may solve the windlass problem without further troubleshooting.
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Old 13-05-2017, 14:10   #30
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Re: Windlass vs Aging Batteries Question

Hi Kenomac. It seems I have a very similar issue with our Quick Dylan windlass where its become weaker and weaker. Ive checked and cleaned all connection and have a voltage drop, measure at the terminals on the solenoid. In your case, has renewing your engine batteries (assuming its your engine batt that drives the windlass) solved the power to the windlass? Any other feedback would be useful. Thanks.
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