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Old 03-08-2012, 11:37   #1
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Manual anchor windlasses

I seem to have an embarassment of riches. I picked up a seized Simpson Lawrence 555 Seatiger anchor windlass at a resale shop. I disassembled it, rebuilt it and now it works just fine. While I was looking for parts, I found a bronze ABI knockoff windlass. I also disassembled and rebuilt it, and it works just fine. My problem? The windlass is for the bow of my Constant Camber 44 trimaran. The bronze unit is easily twice the weight of the 555 Seatiger. But it's practically all bronze and stainless steel, and will only be good for another 50 years or so. But parts are no longer made, whereas the Seatiger 555 has most parts still available. Anyone have any suggestions as to whether I should put the "built like a tank" bronze windlass on my bow, or use the light-weight- very prone to corrosion Sea Tiger 555. Multi hulls are very sensitive to overloading, particularly on the bow. BTW, the bronze unit is an almost exact knock-off of the Seatiger 555, except that it has MUCH better construction. Ideal, except for the rather considerable weight.
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Old 03-08-2012, 13:07   #2
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Re: Manual anchor windlasses

I bought a 555 new when we were building our Westsail. After I launched the boat noticed a lot of the Simpson Lawrence winches on boats in the marina. Talked with the owners and everyone of them was seized up. Sold the 555 and installed a bronze winch which worked perfectly for the 10 years we owned the boat. Not light but reliable.
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Old 03-08-2012, 13:19   #3
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Re: Manual anchor windlasses

Use a little less chain and go with the Bronze windless, best is best ya can adjust for the weight some way!! just my 2 cents
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:02   #4
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Re: Manual anchor windlasses

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Originally Posted by bobconnie View Post
Use a little less chain and go with the Bronze windless, best is best ya can adjust for the weight some way!! just my 2 cents
+1 - Maybe mount it as far aft as practical?
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:01   #5
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Re: Manual anchor windlasses

Light and seized when the wind is howling is useless.

Heavy and reliable even when being dipped under a pounding wave? Priceless.

I realize what is at issue on a tri's bow, but it is a tri, and a big 'un at that. I can't see even a heavily built windlass, particularly if sensibly located, affecting your trim so badly.

The chain, sure. Flake that down as far aft and as far down as you can.

Another aspect to consider is that windlasses are used to get people (meaning, usually, yourself) to the mast top or to work on a secured boom to haul heavy things onto the deck. Would you want the thing to seize while you were 7/8ths of the way to the masthead?
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:06   #6
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Re: Manual anchor windlasses

What are the real weight differences? 10 vs 20 pounds is a lot different than 40 vs. 80 pounds...
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:21   #7
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Re: Manual anchor windlasses

i have a bronze abi windlass. big and heavy but ultimately reliable. been on the boat for over 30 years. unfortunately, last year i somehow broke the main fast retrieve gear. tried to repair it with jb weld but it only held for a short time.

anyone know where i can get a new gear made?
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Old 04-08-2012, 10:54   #8
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Re: Manual anchor windlasses

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i have a bronze abi windlass. big and heavy but ultimately reliable. been on the boat for over 30 years. unfortunately, last year i somehow broke the main fast retrieve gear. tried to repair it with jb weld but it only held for a short time.

anyone know where i can get a new gear made?
the gear may be repairable by brazing it if you can't find a replacement.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:30   #9
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Re: Manual anchor windlasses

This has been very helpful- thanks to everyone who responded. I did ( and still do) have some very big concerns at the 555 and issues of corrosion. If it seized up once, it can, and probably will, do it again. Trying to press,saw,pound, twist, heat, pry and swear at a seized aluminum drum is a major PITA. I finally had to saw the drum off and use another. The bronze ABI? Well, I cleaned the gobs of grease of the internals, polished the gears and shafting and was pretty much good to go. I guess I shouldn't be quite so paranoid about a little extra weight on the bow. Very good advice, and thanks to all of you.
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