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Old 21-06-2015, 05:18   #16
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Re: Windlass. Powered through engine or service batteries?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
My windlass needs up to 180 amps of power at 24 volts. The engine interlock is intended to prevent melting it down due to voltage sag.
The Lewmar Ocean 3 is rated at full load as drawing 70A @24v. The average draw will be much less than this. Lewmar do provide some data on this. At 1000 kg pull it will drawing 30A @ 24v.


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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I also hate this, but I'm not sure that disabling the interlock would be safe, either, which is why I haven't done it.
I am not sure of the size of your battery bank. If I take a guess that your house battery bank 450AHrs @ 24v (if your windlass runs off your start battery you can couple in the house battery bank). With the normal windlass load (that will be present for the majority of the recovery) of about 30A would put your batteries at about C15 discharge level. At absolute full load this will rise to C6, but you are very unlikely to see this. If you do, it will be for a short time. This should be no great problem for your battery bank in an emergency situation.

In your case you also have the option, if the main engine is disabled, of running the generator. With the battery charger the loads will be reduced further.

Motors do like a nice high voltage power supply for their longest life and I would recommend normally running your main engine for anchor recovery, but I would disable the lock-out for those times when the main engine fails.

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The Fortress is the only anchor I know which will set in soft mud when the boat is moving.
When the boat is moving rapidly, the chance of an anchor grabbing is much lower. In my opinion Fortress anchors tend to be a bit worse in this regard as the very light weight combined with the large fluke surface area encourages them to float over the bottom. The drag speed also tends to be higher than for a heavier anchor.
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Old 21-06-2015, 05:27   #17
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Re: Windlass. Powered through engine or service batteries?

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
The Lewmar Ocean 3 is rated at full load as drawing 70A @24v. The average draw will be much less than this. Lewmar do provide some data on this. At 1000 kg pull it will drawing 30A @ 24v.




I am not sure of the size of your battery bank. If I take a guess at 450AHrs @ 24v the normal windlass load (that will be present for the majority of the recovery) of about 30A, would put your batteries at about C15 discharge level. At absolute full load this will rise to C6, but you are very unlikely to see this. If you do, it will be for a short time. This should be no great problem for your battery bank in an emergency situation.

In your case you also have the option, if the main engine is disabled, of running the generator. With the battery charger the loads will be reduced further.

Motors do like a nice high voltage power supply for their longest life and I would recommend normally running your main engine for anchor recovery, but I would disable the lock-out for those times when the main engine fails.



When the boat is moving rapidly, the chance of an anchor grabbing is much lower. In my opinion Fortress anchors tend to be a bit worse in this regard as the very light weight combined with the large fluke surface area encourages them to float over the bottom. The drag speed also tends to be higher than for a heavier anchor.
Extremely useful information, all of it

I will take all this on board.

It would take me about three minutes to disable the interlock, since I now know where the relay is. Maybe I'll do it. The same relay locks out the bow thruster. I have 420 amp/hours of batteries (your guess was very close), but the Ocean 3 can draw up to 180 amps, according to the chart. On the other hand, the highest loads will take place when you're pulling an anchor up, not setting it, so I think your observations may be valid.

Interesting idea about the Fortress. I have tried it a couple of times, from a moving boat, and it always worked well. That was mostly in Baltic mooring situations, where you dump the anchor over from the stern as you approach the quay. But maybe in other situations it won't work as well. One thing I know for sure is that my Spade does NOT like to set in anything but nice clean sand, if I don't give it a chance to settle in first, especially in soft bottoms. I'm not sure I would hope very much for it to set in an emergency situation. But maybe best of all would be to throw out both of them.
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Old 21-06-2015, 06:03   #18
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Re: Windlass. Powered through engine or service batteries?

A lot will probably find, as on our last two boats, that the engine doesn't need to be running, but the engine starter power needs to be on. So a faulty engine shouldn't stop the windlass working. You may have to put up with the beeeeeeeeep though. Maybe it's a fail safe designed to stop adventurous charterers sailing on and off anchor (or forgetting to start the engines when leaving) or to avoid flattening batteries.
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Old 21-06-2015, 08:20   #19
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Re: Windlass. Powered through engine or service batteries?

One of our first changes to our newly purchased 45' boat was to change the wiring system for our windlass. Originally the engine had to be on for the battery switch work. It was a simple fix to make. Usually, getting the anchor down is not an issue. You can always free drop it without the engine switch or power. Raising 200' of 3/8" chain is a different story. Don't think about sailing off you anchor in such conditions.
There is no reason not to have more than one operating system available.
BTW, it's also advisable to have backup anchors and rode easily available and ready for emergency.
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Old 21-06-2015, 08:27   #20
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Re: Windlass. Powered through engine or service batteries?

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Originally Posted by Jonathancpwalsh View Post
Anchor Windlasses appear to be mostly connected so that the engine has to be running before you can use it.. This seems counter- intuitive since one of the first safety options on engine failure, is to drop the anchor.. And getting it up will not be easy if the engine still doesn't work.. How have members wired their windlasses??

My windlass requires about 200 amps and engine alt puts out 50 amps, so the engine just gives a boost. However, I always have my engine running when setting anchor, how else would you control your vessel.?
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Old 21-06-2015, 08:47   #21
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Re: Windlass. Powered through engine or service batteries?

When I retrieve my anchor my engine is almost always running. But there are many times when I will deploy more chain by powering out or even retrieve some while at anchor without it running.
Also if I am going to sail off the anchor, no point in starting the engine.
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Old 21-06-2015, 08:57   #22
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Re: Windlass. Powered through engine or service batteries?

On our Beneteau, the windless can only be activated when the engine ignition is on. This means you can run the anchor up or down if the ignition switch is on, the engine is off, and you can stand the noise of the low pressure buzzer.

I would never raise an anchor without the engine running, first because windlasses are not made to pull the boat to the anchor and secondly because it is not good seamanship to not have an out if something goes wrong.

I have sailed of moorings without the engine engaged many times, but I always have the engine on for a backup. I have also sailed into our slip without the engine engaged but always on just in case.
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Old 21-06-2015, 09:04   #23
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Re: Windlass. Powered through engine or service batteries?

Our Beneteau is an Oceanus 440.When we first bought it we simply added a new solenoid for both up and down activation and a second direct corded remote switch bypassing but not eliminating the original pressure switch. The new switch does not need to have the engine running to be used. The second pressure switch is a back up that only utilizes the up side of the windlass.
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Old 21-06-2015, 11:47   #24
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Re: Windlass. Powered through engine or service batteries?

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
It is silly to require the engine to running to power the windlass. (Unless you are wiring a charter boat then it discourages the charterers anchoring, or pulling up the anchor, unless the engine is running. Probably a good move )

This is usually easy to alter so the windlass will run independently of the engine operation.

Note: This is not the same as running the windlass via the start or service battery. The windlass can run via the start battery, but still operate when the engine is off, or the windlass can run off the house battery and be isolated unless the engine is running.
The windlass draws a lot of power usually over a long run of cable.
There are many sound reasons to have your windlass only operative if the engine is running.
Remember the anchor can always be
Dropped and raised manually.
Pretty hard to start the engine manually.
Start your engine. Get the charge happening then raise the anchor.
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Old 21-06-2015, 11:54   #25
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Re: Windlass. Powered through engine or service batteries?

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Originally Posted by lordgeoff View Post
There are many sound reasons to have your windlass only operative if the engine is running.
Remember the anchor can always be
Dropped and raised manually.
Pretty hard to start the engine manually.
Start your engine. Get the charge happening then raise the anchor.
If you have to raise anchor quickly in a lee shore situation best to have the option of raising without the engine running. There is a chance the engine would not start. Good practice is to run the engine but I wouldn't want to be held to it.
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Old 21-06-2015, 12:19   #26
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Re: Windlass. Powered through engine or service batteries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordgeoff View Post
The windlass draws a lot of power usually over a long run of cable.
They draw a lot of power, but this is for a short time so they do not draw a lot of energy. My estimate was about 4AHrs. This is really not much even if we allow for Peukerts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordgeoff View Post
There are many sound reasons to have your windlass only operative if the engine is running.
It would be great to hear some arguments in favour of this sort of wiring. I am all ears.

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Pretty hard to start the engine manually.
Start your engine. Get the charge happening then raise the anchor.
Most windlasses draw their power from the house bank. If this is the case, operating the windlass will not effect the ability to start the engine.

If the draw is from the start battery, and you want to be ultra conservative, you can reserve using the ability to those occasions when the engine is US. It is still a better than no option.
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Old 21-06-2015, 12:27   #27
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Re: Windlass. Powered through engine or service batteries?

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If you have to raise anchor quickly in a lee shore situation best to have the option of raising without the engine running. There is a chance the engine would not start. Good practice is to run the engine but I wouldn't want to be held to it.
...... And you have managed to get your anchor up, have flattened the batteries and your engine won't start. Your next plan is suddenly?
The better plan is try to start your engine. If it starts happy days. If it doesn't start ....... Better have a good plan B when you have your anchor off the bottom but can't motor away from a dangerous shore?
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Old 21-06-2015, 13:18   #28
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Re: Windlass. Powered through engine or service batteries?

The best solution is to be in the habit of always running the motor but have non-nanny state wiring.


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Old 21-06-2015, 13:38   #29
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Re: Windlass. Powered through engine or service batteries?

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The best solution is to be in the habit of always running the motor but have non-nanny state wiring.
Perfectly summed up
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Old 21-06-2015, 14:45   #30
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Re: Windlass. Powered through engine or service batteries?

OMG did somebody turn on my brain powered up light?


When we first bought our current (used) Oceanis36, we thought we had a problem with a non-working windlass. The first time we wanted to use it was not for anchoring but simply for changing the rode to a new all chain one, in our slip. At the time also we were also having a major revamp of the electrics and electronics as part of which we had new batteries on both ships and engine banks. I had asked the leccy msn to connect the windlass to the engine bank instead of the service bank as that had higher CCA rating. Maybe the reason for the windlass not working was simply the engine not being'on??? Anyway, now it runs off the started bank AND can be run with the engine off, (or on of course)


Over many years and several earlier boats our windlasses could be operated without the engine although as others have said often circumstances mean it would probably be running anyway. That said the ability to raise or lower without the engine seems very appropriate to me. We would often sail out of an anchorage after raising the anchor on the electric windlass if the weather was not overloading it. There would also be times when we just wanted to pull in or let out a little chain, even to set the snubber line up or remove it prior to a planned departure and not wanting to fire up the donk .


So my vote is for the versatility of having a completely free choice and using commonsense as to when /if the motor gets turned on (at tickover which is all I would use until moving off proper, it would not be putting out many alternator amps anyway)


My last sailboat had an equally irritating wiring interlink whereby the compass lighting only came on with the 'under power' nav lights circuit and not if the mast head tricolour was on undersail. What idiots come up with idea like that?
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