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Old 14-01-2018, 15:37   #16
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Why is that exactly?


Well letís see if he reposts, cause I too would like to hear the official reason.

My belief is because they have no idea just how high the loads can be, especially snatch loads, and the windlass isnít meant to hold the entire weight of the Boat, being snatched. Irresistible force, immovable object, somethingís going to break, so remove that possibility.
If they gave you a max load, since we have no way of monitoring it, we wouldnít know if we were exceeding it, itís just best practice to be told to remove the load, period.

Iím a bad pearson, I will use my windlass to pull the boat up to the anchor in calm conditions, I will take the slack out of the chain and wait, Boat moves forward, I take the slack out, Boat now has some momentum so it continues forward and all Iím doing is pulling up slack chain. Iím sure doing this causes no harm, but a prudent manufacturer having no control over what an owner will do tells us not to do it, cause if they didnít some nut would try to move the boat into 40 kt winds and two meter waves, using the windlass.

As a manufacturer, you canít rely on peoples common sense, cause sense isnít common, you have to tell people not to put the screwdriver into the electrical outlet, cause if you donít, some idiot will and will sue You cause you didnít tell them not to.
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Old 14-01-2018, 15:51   #17
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

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I prefer lashing to pins as sometimes the pins can get bent and then difficult to remove. Usually at the worst time. Did you drill the hole in the Rocna's shank?


No made stem head fitting such that pin lines up with hole in Rocna as manufactured.
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Old 14-01-2018, 16:03   #18
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Well letís see if he reposts, cause I too would like to hear the official reason.

My belief is because they have no idea just how high the loads can be, especially snatch loads, and the windlass isnít meant to hold the entire weight of the Boat, being snatched. Irresistible force, immovable object, somethingís going to break, so remove that possibility.
If they gave you a max load, since we have no way of monitoring it, we wouldnít know if we were exceeding it, itís just best practice to be told to remove the load, period.
I suspect you're right. It amazes me how I've, over time, bent the stainless stanchions on my CS36 by leaning against the lifelines while sailing.
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Old 14-01-2018, 16:10   #19
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

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My belief is because they have no idea just how high the loads can be, especially snatch loads,
I fully understand the need to relieve the windlass of anchoring loads... that's obvious, because there is basically no limit to them and they are repetitive, both in terms of torque applied to the gearbox and to bending loads on the shaft.

My question is specific to the subject of this thread: relieving all loads when the anchor is stowed on the bow roller. These are non-repetitive and limited to the force that the windlass itself can apply... and surely its structure should be designed to easily absorb its own forces, shouldn't it?

Jim
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Old 14-01-2018, 16:33   #20
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
OK, I must ask a simple question: what harm does a static load do to the shaft or bearing in a vertical windlass? The load isn't all that great, certainly not enough to exceed the elastic limits for the shaft, there is no motion, so no wear is generated... so what's the big deal about releasing the load when the anchor is stowed?

Jim
I don't think it is a static load offshore. I've seen a number of stainless securing pins bent on the bows of boats. It took a significant amount of energy for that to happen. As Vasco mentioned, that's why I use a dyneema line to secure the anchor which can't get jammed. In theory you could argue that there is a static load on the chain and there for on the windlass gears. In practice I don't think this is the typical case. Those gears will move against each other if the anchor gear is held only by the windlass tension. Is it big deal? Probably not, but also not necessary wear.
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Old 14-01-2018, 17:15   #21
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

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I fully understand the need to relieve the windlass of anchoring loads... that's obvious, because there is basically no limit to them and they are repetitive, both in terms of torque applied to the gearbox and to bending loads on the shaft.

My question is specific to the subject of this thread: relieving all loads when the anchor is stowed on the bow roller. These are non-repetitive and limited to the force that the windlass itself can apply... and surely its structure should be designed to easily absorb its own forces, shouldn't it?

Jim


My guess is there is no real need to remove the load, usually.
However this requires both education of a boat driver, and possibly judgement. Just too many variables to cover.
So much easier to just tell them that all loads have to be removed, it may once in a blue moon be necessary, and never hurts the windlass to not have a load.
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Old 14-01-2018, 17:16   #22
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

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... so what's the big deal about releasing the load when the anchor is stowed?

Jim
Hi Jim,
I think the practice of unloading the windlass gearing and mechanics when finished makes sense for a number of reasons.

I agree, the machinery is designed to easily take the load, but over time, hard pressures on the exact spots of metals at storage would create dry spots and unequal wearing from minute vibrations of the boats movement.
No idea how much this would diminish lifespan of gears and bearings, but for me it is more about operational safety

It is bad operational management to unnecessarily leave your windlass "handcuffed" under load.

If there is a power problem, you may have trouble freeing the tension.

I'm used to using big ship windlasses, where deck or engineering crew can get killed if they loose control.

So a set procedure is established by the manufacturer to test and verify the equipment, before it is put under load

With the Chain stopper and cats claw still in place, the electrics or hydraulics that powers the windlass are turned on and the windlass is run in both directions (without any load).
In the case of hydraulics in freezing conditions, it can take time to warm the system up.

Once the engineer is satisfied that the windlass and break band controls are in order with no safety retainers missing, he engages the clutch and takes the chain load before removing the cats claw and chain stopper. (Brake on as a safety).

Easing off the brake, the anchor is powered out a few links so as to confirm no jams in the spurling or hawse pipe.

Chain stopper is put back on and clamped down as a security before transferring to brake control, if a deep water anchorage is planned.

Then once brake control is verified, the chain stopper is removed and anchor is on standby with all components tested.
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Old 14-01-2018, 17:16   #23
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Removing tension from windlass

A good reason to secure the anchor with a pin, or I use a nylon rope with a shackle on my boat.

We had been at Dry Tortugas for three days with winds out of the east at 25 knots. We left Dry Tortugas to meet our wives in Key West. We had a great sail SW in 25 knots out of the east to just south of Rebecca Shoal to intercept 24d 30í latitude, the traditional south route into Key West. Winds were on the nose, waves 10-12 feet and we were pounding as we were in between the reef and the Marqueses in 30 feet of water at night. Later in the night we heard some hard knocking sounds. When we left Dry Tortugas, we had snugged the anchor up with the electric windlass, but there was no pin or shackle to hold the anchor on this charter boat. Turned out the knocking sounds were from the anchor chain and the anchor had been making itís way off the windlass for some time as we had been pounding east, but we were unaware of this happening. Took two to go forward in those horrendous wave conditions and pitch black night to get the anchor back up, as I held it steady as I could at the helm. It was potentially one of the most dangerous situations I have been in sailing. Even though all of us were tethered in, a man overboard would have been really tough to get back on if one of us had gone over. Had we not figured out the anchor was making itís way off the windlass, at some point it would have let out enough chain to get caught in the sand and yanked the boat around and no telling what the results of that would have been in those conditions. We lashed it secure after getting it back on-board. Since then, on my boat, after the anchor is up on the windlass, we connect a nylon rope secured to a cleat in the anchor well and shackle onto the anchor chain and reduce the tension on the windlass. We were lucky that night in the keys. Best reason I know to not depend on the windlass to hold the anchor.
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Old 14-01-2018, 17:48   #24
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

Quote:
It is bad operational management to unnecessarily leave your windlass "handcuffed" under load.

If there is a power problem, you may have trouble freeing the tension.

I'm used to using big ship windlasses, where deck or engineering crew can get killed if they loose control.
OK, I now have to ask how is my windlass "handcuffed", and what if I did have a loss of power?

I'm not sure about the handcuff issue, but should the power go down, I'd release the clutch to lower the anchor... don't see any issue there. I'd have to then use a long line and chain hook to raise the anchor (cockpit winches in use), but that has little to do with how I leave the anchor catted.

I can readily understand the need for proper procedures with ship gear... the size of that machinery is really impressive... individual links bigger than our toy windlasses, etc. But really, I can't see how that reflects on the issue in question.

And FWIW, we've now logged nearly 60,000 miles in this boat, all with the anchor held in place by the windlass. We've done some hard miles to windward and lots more relatively easy miles in less strident conditions. We've had one windlass gear failure, but I attribute that to a single incident where we fouled the chain on short scope, broke the snubber and put huge loads on the gear train (making a 56:1 worm drive run backwards!). The failure didn't occur for a while afterward, but my guess is that this was the precipitating event. Further, with our Manson Supreme snugged up hard against the roller, wave strikes do not add stress to the chain or windlass, so I doubt if that additional force is ever an issue.

On our previous boat with a manual horizontal axis windlass, I did feel the need to secure the anchor. There I could not effectively load up the chain, and the anchor didn't set as tightly in the roller and if it came even a bit loose, it could easily jump off the gypsy and run free... Aauggghh!

Anyhow, thanks for the input, Pelagic... I'm taking this all in for consideration.

Jim
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Old 14-01-2018, 17:56   #25
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

gearboxes are expensive......when you strip the gear you can always pull up the chain by hand as you move the boat up.....
in that (lewmar) gearbox is a steel worm gear meshed with a brass gear....the brass is soft....this is why you want to keep the tension off and any shock loads off the gearbox
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Old 14-01-2018, 18:17   #26
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

Jim, with 60k and so many years under your keel, I'm the last person who would suggest you change what you are comfortable with.

With our small windlasses and tackle, we can usually manhandle the gear if it jams, but I was taught to always leave the capstan available for use and to test the power and controls to windlass, well before putting a load on it.

With my Titan, I can independently clutch or declutch either gypsy so it is just easier for me to leave them declutched as a SOP.Click image for larger version

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Old 14-01-2018, 18:58   #27
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post

As a manufacturer, you canít rely on peoples common sense, cause sense isnít common, you have to tell people not to put the screwdriver into the electrical outlet, cause if you donít, some idiot will and will sue You cause you didnít tell them not to.
Too true. A long, long time a go in another existence I was peripherally involved to two lawsuits.
1. A gentleman with a 100yr. old house cut the ground prong of his refrigerator plug so he could plug it into his 2-prong receptacle .... the predictable result happened. He sued the refrigerator mfg. for not telling him this was a bad idea .... he won.
2. A gentleman removed the hose of his vacuum cleaner and inserted his penis. The hard plastic impeller did what you would expect. He sued the mfg. for not telling him this was not recommended and .... you guessed it he won.
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Old 14-01-2018, 19:12   #28
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

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A gentleman removed the hose of his vacuum cleaner and inserted his penis. The hard plastic impeller did what you would expect. He sued the mfg. for not telling him this was not recommended and .... you guessed it he won.
I hope that the damage done to his reproductive organs was severe enough and early enough to keep his progeny out of the gene pool. I know that Darwin awards are usually only postmortem, but this should get at least an honorable mention!

One can only wonder if the motive for the act was hygienic or masturbatory!

Jim
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Old 14-01-2018, 19:20   #29
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

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I hope that the damage done to his reproductive organs was severe enough and early enough to keep his progeny out of the gene pool. I know that Darwin awards are usually only postmortem, but this should get at least an honorable mention!

One can only wonder if the motive for the act was hygienic or masturbatory!

Jim
Perhaps a form of Kegel.
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Old 14-01-2018, 19:33   #30
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

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One can only wonder if the motive for the act was hygienic or masturbatory!

Jim
Actually, it was his wife's idea..... She felt it was only fair after she had enlarged her breasts...
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