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Old 25-06-2015, 23:22   #1
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A hot windlass for main halyard

Many catamarans in the 38 to 50' range have an electric anchor windlass near the mast. Does anyone use this little powerhouse to raise the mainsail? It seems like a simple and efficient alternate to an electric halyard winch. As the windlass would not be self tailing, you would need a foot switch I suspect.
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Old 26-06-2015, 00:24   #2
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Re: A hot windlass for main halyard

That's how I was shown to do it by the PO on my recently purchased boat, but he hand-cranked the last bit to avoid overdoing it. The winch drum on our Maxwell windlass is easily switched into manual mode to operate with a winch handle.
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Old 26-06-2015, 04:55   #3
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Re: A hot windlass for main halyard

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Lunita.
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Old 26-06-2015, 09:37   #4
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Re: A hot windlass for main halyard

I have used this method and it is very effective . How ever I did buy an electric winch and that is incredible. A little pricey but doing a lot of solo sailing it takes a lot of the work out of raising the main.

When raising the main it is hard to keep from fouling the battens on the lazy jacks. I found that dropping off the wind by 2or 5 degrees drop the leeward side of the lazy jacks and the main is a lot easier to raise.
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Old 28-06-2015, 13:11   #5
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Re: A hot windlass for main halyard

We use the windlass on our Leopard 46 to raise the mainsail. Works great.


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Old 29-06-2015, 20:31   #6
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Re: A hot windlass for main halyard

Does your halyard pass through a stopper before the windlass? If you are short handed and need to go aft to deal with a batten in your lazy jacks or to make a course correction I guess it needs a stopper.
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Old 29-06-2015, 20:31   #7
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Re: A hot windlass for main halyard

Thanks Gordmay
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Old 30-06-2015, 07:30   #8
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Re: A hot windlass for main halyard

Well it is a little more involved
First the halyard can run thru a clutch but I usually open it and then run it thru a block at the base of the mast . I have run directly to the windlass but prefer a block. As stated in my earlier post I drop the lazy jack on the leeward side and fall off 2 to 5 degrees . I have an auto pilot and I set it so I am alittle off head to wind . Then I use the windlass with one wrap. Then I can raise the main or lower it,if a batten gets caught, from the windlass
I now have an electric winch and it makes things a lot easier as I seem to single hand quite a bit.
Good luck and happy sailing .
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Old 30-06-2015, 07:45   #9
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Re: A hot windlass for main halyard

Just a note if you run directly to windlass with out using a block be sure to run the halyard on the back side of the mast winch. Other wise to much pressure on the clutch
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Old 30-06-2015, 11:55   #10
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Re: A hot windlass for main halyard

We use a Winchrite to power the mast winch for raising the halyard. First one cost about $500 and lasted about 3 years until the motor burned out. Winchrite gave us a great discount on the newer brushless motor version (about $700 retail) and we're very happy with that. Much less $$ than an electric winch, has two speeds and works great.
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Old 30-06-2015, 11:59   #11
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Re: A hot windlass for main halyard

I also use a WinchRite for raising the main. Works well and we can use it for other winches around the boat.


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