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Old 04-03-2016, 21:39   #16
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Re: Wiring in a Windlass

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Originally Posted by SeaSon View Post
I'd put the wind lass on the start battery. House is likely partially depleted when you wake up in the morning. Fire up the engine, then fire up the windlass.
+1 this is how mine is done and I believe it is the correct reasoning.
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:37   #17
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Re: Wiring in a Windlass

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Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
+1 this is how mine is done and I believe it is the correct reasoning.
Its better to wire to the house battery. Much more storage capacity and you don't risk draining the start battery which is needed for engine starting!
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Old 05-03-2016, 06:38   #18
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Re: Wiring in a Windlass

Connect the windless to the duel batter bank of batteries. The starting battery is for starting and starting systems such as the fuel pump. Size the cables for voltage drop not to exceed 5% and starting current. If you are replacing an existing windless with the same size or similar size motor, you may be able to use the same wires supplying the motor. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions. Earl
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:19   #19
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Re: Wiring in a Windlass

I just replaced my anchor windlass. It stayed connected to my starter batteries. Thoughts were that they are generally always top pep up, separated from the house. When I'm out, house batteries sometimes get low and if for some reason my engine won't start, I can still bring the anchor up not having to do it by hand. Happened once and was happy to sail off out of the bay without having to struggle with the anchor. Both will work though.


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Old 05-03-2016, 07:48   #20
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Re: Wiring in a Windlass

Not a good idea. Best to use the 2 house batteries for the windless and save the start battery for starting for which it is intended. Once the engine is running, let it warm up and charge all of the batteries using diode auctioning. Since the generator in the engine is one line, should have plenty of power for the windless without putting extra load on the starting battery. Typically, the engine starter takes the most current followed by the windless. Therefore, recommend placing the windless power feeds on the house battery. The first priority is to start the engine, the second is pulling anchor with the generator on line. You can do what ever you want but if it helps in understanding my electrical lay out. Check out this article I wrote.
http://www.practical-sailor.com/issues/37_44/features/Electrical-Panel-Upgrade_11473-1.html
Good luck,
Earl
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:15   #21
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Re: Wiring in a Windlass

Mitiempo - thanks for your response.

The circuit is 64 feet. The Unit is a Lewmar V700 and Lewmar indicate a motor wattage of 320 watts and amperage of 45A.

I was intending to go with 4 AWG cable but would appreciate your advice.

Regards

Peter
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:00   #22
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Re: Wiring in a Windlass

Excellent suggestion to fuse the foot switches too!

Regarding wire size, some people would actually go with 2/0 for that circuit length and amperage, but most would consider that overkill. 4 gauge meets the spec for 10% (non-critical loads) but I would go at least with 2 gauge. Myself, I would go with at least 1 gauge. If you have a low battery then the larger wire will provide more juice to the windlass. But you'll probably be fine, because:

You should start your engine and warm it up while you are raising the anchor. If you don't have enough battery to start the motor, you don't have enough to consider raising anchor (unless an emergency where you have to sail off your spot - not going to happen very often). You can wire the windlass to the start battery or the house. If you have properly configured your house and start bank charging systems you will have new alternator current to both battery banks so could use either. There are different ways to wire all this, and some strong opinions one way or the other from folks who have been very happy with the different ways, but I prefer putting the primary charging to the house bank using a battery combiner or Echo Charger to top off the start battery - not the other way around.

And you should have a way to parallel both banks if needed - to either direct charge both or to use both to start your engine and/or pull up your anchor.

Having done this, you don't need to wire to the start battery. But you can make it work both ways. Personally I wouldn't want to have a system where my house battery was so low in the morning that it couldn't put out 45 amps for a minute or two. If that is a regular occurrence you have other issues more important - more battery, better charging, better load use management, etc.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:01   #23
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Re: Wiring in a Windlass

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Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
Don't forget to separately fuse the foot switch wiring. Recently worked on a sportfisherman $2000 pulpit that was damaged when water entered the switch and the windlass was over-fused.

Excellent advice! Often overlooked and very important.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:06   #24
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Re: Wiring in a Windlass

I've never seen anyone use Anderson plugs for anything like a windlass or any other application really. I don't think I would see the need to unplug the wiring. You would have to put the plugs somewhere easily accessible and might have to add extra wire to do so. Plugs are corrosion prone. Grease helps but can be a mess for something not really needed. If it works for you, and it obviously does for some others, go for it. But a circuit breaker and/or fuse/switch are much more convenient and just as safe. But to each his own. This is just one opinion and it would work.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:40   #25
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Re: Wiring in a Windlass

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Originally Posted by landonshaw View Post
I just replaced my anchor windlass. It stayed connected to my starter batteries. Thoughts were that they are generally always top pep up, separated from the house. When I'm out, house batteries sometimes get low and if for some reason my engine won't start, I can still bring the anchor up not having to do it by hand. Happened once and was happy to sail off out of the bay without having to struggle with the anchor. Both will work though.


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Prefer dedicated batteries for windlasses & thrusters if possible. If not then house rather than starting battery. Wouldn't use starting battery for windlass without engine running except in emergency.

Definitely work the windlass by hand rather than kill the batteries unless I was only a short daylight sail from shore power and the anchorage was about to become untenable.

Depending on weather, tide, daylight & location I'd generally fault-find the engine first, need batteries for that.
Remote location, save batteries for sailing, nav lights.

With dead batteries, no engine, untenable anchorage & darkness approaching it's possible I could have planned things better.
Getting old, could happen...
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:12   #26
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Re: Wiring in a Windlass

Just an observation if the price of the extra battery in the v berth over running large cables was a wash, then my logic would be the extra free battery that could be used as additional ah if on solar and as an emergency starter if needed. My laser doesn't have a windless or an anchor for that matter so disregard if I'm way off...
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:29   #27
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Re: Wiring in a Windlass

A side track: If you use a good control pendant instead of foot switches its much handier, and less of a balancing act. Better control also. And, you don't have to core such big holes in your deck like you do for the footswitches. And you can go up to the pulpit and look over to see what's going on etc. After having foot switches I did this on both later boat installations.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:44   #28
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Re: Wiring in a Windlass

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Originally Posted by Peter Nicoll View Post
Mitiempo - thanks for your response.

The circuit is 64 feet. The Unit is a Lewmar V700 and Lewmar indicate a motor wattage of 320 watts and amperage of 45A.

I was intending to go with 4 AWG cable but would appreciate your advice.

Regards

Peter
For 3& voltage drop that would be 1/0 at that distance. 2 ga for 5% drop. Motors like higher voltage for longer life.
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:46   #29
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Re: Wiring in a Windlass

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Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
I've never seen anyone use Anderson plugs for anything like a windlass or any other application really. I don't think I would see the need to unplug the wiring. You would have to put the plugs somewhere easily accessible and might have to add extra wire to do so. Plugs are corrosion prone. Grease helps but can be a mess for something not really needed. If it works for you, and it obviously does for some others, go for it. But a circuit breaker and/or fuse/switch are much more convenient and just as safe. But to each his own. This is just one opinion and it would work.
Even with an Anderson plug it has to be fused or have a breaker. If it shorted the wire would be red hot its length before you could unplug it.

I have never seen a windlass installation with the option to unplug the cables.
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:18   #30
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Re: Wiring in a Windlass

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Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
I've never seen anyone use Anderson plugs for anything like a windlass or any other application really. I don't think I would see the need to unplug the wiring. You would have to put the plugs somewhere easily accessible and might have to add extra wire to do so. Plugs are corrosion prone. Grease helps but can be a mess for something not really needed. If it works for you, and it obviously does for some others, go for it. But a circuit breaker and/or fuse/switch are much more convenient and just as safe. But to each his own. This is just one opinion and it would work.
My hull is steel and it's important to avoid stray current, hence the Anderson plugs. Nothing like a six inch air gap to guarantee isolation.

Switches & breakers have air gaps of a millimetre or two - it's easy for corrosion products to bridge gaps of that size and then your hull dissolves.
I use thermal breakers (& switch fuses) for safety of course, I just don't rely on them for isolation.

Bow thruster & windlass use the same dedicated 24V battery bank, a single plug connects both units to the battery bank.
Thruster & windlass are never used at the same time obviously.

Battery bank itself has two Anderson plugs - one to the two units (via linked, crimped & insulated lugs), one to the generator-powered 24V charger.

During use charger, battery bank and thruster/windlass are all connected, generator is running.

After use the thruster/windlass plug is disconnected, charging continues to completion and then the charger plug is also disconnected, batteries are monitored but otherwise isolated. In the future charging may be completed with solar.

Stray current only being possible during the short periods of use was the objective here.

Thruster was a huge and magnificent bargain but was built for a non-metal hull and its 10hp motor has a non-insulated return. Battery charging with it in circuit would be disastrous.

The rest of my system is 12V by the way.

Hope I no longer seem like an idiot
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