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Old 13-01-2018, 14:36   #1
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Removing tension from windlass

Did a search for this and didn't find much.
Recently installed a new Spade S140 weighting 66lbs.
Was wondering weather I should be concerned about leaving tension on the windlass after the anchor has been raised.
I have heard of a couple of folks that use stainless ratchet straps to keep the anchor "home" thus relieving the pressure on the windlass.

Now when I seat the anchor, I don't allow the windlass to excerpt maximum force but basically I try and use as little force as possible. With that being said, I would like to get the maximum life possible and was wondering if by using some straps, I would be relieving the stress off of the seals and bearings or is this too much effort for too little gain? Thoughts?

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Marc
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Old 13-01-2018, 15:51   #2
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

We use a line to tie off the anchor after it is raised. I do not want to risk the windlass clutch being loose and the chain and anchor letting go. We do have a chain stopper, but when the chain is pulled in toward the windlass a little tight, it does not engage all the way.
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Old 13-01-2018, 15:54   #3
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

Does it matter? I dont really know, but unloading the tension from the windlass seems like a good idea to me.

I like to slack mine a little after hauling it home. I have a short section of small 3 strand with a SS caribener spliced into an eye on the end. I hook the chain with that, secure the other end to a cleat on the fore deck, then bump a little slack into the chain on the windlass.

I also leave the clutch on my windlass just slightly loose so that it will slip if really loaded up. This way I dont damage anything with full non slipping force and I can always tweak it a bit tighter if needed.
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Old 13-01-2018, 16:00   #4
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

I lock the anchor with a snap shackle and then specifically remove any tension on the windlass. I keep the mechanical gypsy snug (but not locked) in place, and I keel the windlass clutch snug, so if the shackle ever gave out there would two backups holding the anchor.

But yes, I remove all the tension from the windlass. Just seems better for the windlass, and seems a safer way of keeping the anchor locked down.
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Old 13-01-2018, 18:03   #5
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

Hitch pinned and clipped through the roller and anchor then hooked on the back of the anchor while chain kept on the gypsy and locked (unloaded). All pins are tied to roller so i can just pull/unhook and let fly without dropping them. Currently tending to blisters from box braiding new lines for them.
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Old 14-01-2018, 08:38   #6
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

We recommend that the windlass not be left under tension load when the boat is anchored or when the anchor is parked in the bow roller. To avoid damage to the gearbox and other components, its vitally important to use a chain-stopper or snubber to take all loads when the boat is anchored, and similarly, a tensioner or other securing device when the anchor is parked, in both cases, backing the windlass off a little once the chain-stopper, snubber, tensioner, etc. is engaged, to relax the rode.

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Old 14-01-2018, 08:54   #7
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

Just tie the anchor off or use a chain stopper etc. In rough conditions the chain could jump off the wildcat and anchor start flailing around anyway
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Old 14-01-2018, 09:21   #8
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

I always home the anchor by hand (45# Manson Supreme) and then lash it well with small stuff that can readily be cut in an emergency. The reason I home it by hand is that the anchor shackle might get caught and also homing the anchor using the windlass creates a lot of stress on the roller and pin.
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Old 14-01-2018, 09:59   #9
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

Yup. it makes sense to remove tension from the gypsy as the axles are not made for permanent loading in one plane and do fail. I use an S/S cable with a snap shackle to hold the anchor.
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Old 14-01-2018, 10:01   #10
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNMARDALL View Post
We recommend that the windlass not be left under tension load when the boat is anchored or when the anchor is parked in the bow roller. To avoid damage to the gearbox and other components, its vitally important to use a chain-stopper or snubber to take all loads when the boat is anchored, and similarly, a tensioner or other securing device when the anchor is parked, in both cases, backing the windlass off a little once the chain-stopper, snubber, tensioner, etc. is engaged, to relax the rode.

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Vetus Maxwell Group
Why is that exactly?
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Old 14-01-2018, 10:34   #11
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

We have a 105 lb Mantus and use stainless cargo strap from the end of the anchor shank to a forward cleat. Keeps the anchor immobilized and tension off the windlass, chain end and swivel. We do this when we go to sea. For inter island day sails we just use the snubber from the chain close to the swivel to a forward cleat. This does not completely immobilize the anchor, it can still rock side to side a little. But it take the pressure off of the windlass and prevents accidental deployment of the anchor.
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Old 14-01-2018, 12:51   #12
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

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Securing pin and packing piece holding Rocna secure.
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Old 14-01-2018, 12:58   #13
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

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Originally Posted by KRMS View Post
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Securing pin and packing piece holding Rocna secure.
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?
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Old 14-01-2018, 13:42   #14
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

I got a couple good ideas from this thread ....thank you
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Old 14-01-2018, 14:12   #15
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Re: Removing tension from windlass

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?

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