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Old 27-08-2004, 02:31   #1
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Manual, vertical-axis anchor windlass

Hola,

I have been searching the net for manual vertical axis windlasses and have come up with one peice of equipment.

The simpson and Lawrence Anchorman GD.

Does anyone have any more ideas on where to find manual windlasses, particularly of the vertical axis kind. I am a bit too poor to afford a mechanical and must admit that I would prefer the manual type. Out of all the manual types, horizontal axis is just too slow.

I have two 100 meter segments of nylon anchor rode for my two main anchors but I am planning an extended cruise in the Indian Ocean so will be changing one rode to all chain. I have sailed without a windlass for the last 8 months. We simply used the winch on the mast but if I switch to all chain on one line then I will need a windlass. I witnessed some pretty frightful storms where getting the anchor up as fast as possible was the order of the day so I want a vertical axis windlass and I would rather stick with manual because I would rather keep the windlass out of the electrical loop.

Open to more leads,
Thanks,
Captain Andy
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Old 27-08-2004, 03:24   #2
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I know that the vertical manual windlass looks much nicer on the foredeck, BUT (and it is a big BUT) think abouty how you will be heaving in the anchor, The horizontal version allows you to use your own weight to pull backwards, a motion that the body is well used too and has no problem with. However, the vertical system means you have to use muscle power all the time, and (except for winching in the genoa) this is an activity that the body is not too happy about. Think abt winching in the genoa against a strong wind, and remember that you are only winching abt 5yds of rope, now multiply that effort by 6 for anchoring in 5 fathoms. Not recommended!
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Old 27-08-2004, 03:51   #3
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Vert. vs Horiz.

When considering Vertical Axis; You might also contemplate the difference between genoa winching from the cockpit, sitting upright (feet & hip braced) /w hand/arms at about waist height - vs - anchor winching kneeling on foredeck (poorly or unbraced) /w hand/arms at knee height. I think this will be precarious & backbreaking work.

Though slow, the Horizontal Axis winch allows you to Stand and use your Back Arms & Weight in their more efficient mode.

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Old 27-08-2004, 15:17   #4
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I would agree with Gord. I have a Vetus Alex III electric horizontal windlass, but the first time out the switches were bad and I had to go manual. Mine does work manually as well as electric. I also broke down in 4ft seas and had to lay down the hook and wait for help. I was just a swell trip<g>.

When it came time to raise the anchor the horzontal motion was not that bad with the deck pitching in 4 ft seas. You could time it with the ups and downs and I was able to pull up a 33 lb anchor attached to 100 ft of 10 mm chain. Had it been a vertical windlass it would have been a royal PITA to raise the anchor on a deck pitching up and down.

Not all the time you use an anchor is it going to be nice and easy. If you anchor with lots of chain and you put out a lot of scope the powered windlass earns it's keep. They cost a lot 0 - but they work hard and can raise anchor fast. Speed sometimes matters.
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Old 28-08-2004, 02:49   #5
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A windlass installation described in “Good Old Boat” Magazine:
“Painless Anchoring” by Norman Ralph
http://www.boatus.com/goodoldboat/painless.htm

MY comments on a few points in the article:

“For lengths of 90 feet (50 Amps), the recommend size wire is #4 AWG.”
- NOT True! #4AWG is way too small over this distance - use #3/0 AWG (000) Tinned Copper, per ABYC “E-9" Table IX. (even at 10% voltage drop #2 AWG is required)

The Jamestown wire quoted is SAE wire”
- SAE wire is probably untinned - whereas the more expensive “West Marine” wire IS tinned.
- Use only tinned AWG wire, then shop for price.
- #4 SAE is roughly equivalent to #6 AWG. (only 89.5% of AWG CM) (so his under-sizing is even worse!)
- See my post "Ohms Law & Boats" (Maintenenance ...) for wire sizing details.

“the foot switches required a three-conductor cable of 16- to 18-gauge wire, as they only carry the current of the reversing-relay coils.”
- While the statement is true; I’d recommend #14 AWG wire for improved mechanical strength & corrosion resistance.

“I connected the heavy battery cables to the windlass wires with copper split-nut connectors. Then I covered these with electrical tape and then with friction tape for abrasion protection and a final wrapping with plastic electrical tape.”
- Tape, of any type, is a very poor product for use on a boat. I recommend Adhesive-Lined Heat Shrink (2 layers for loose connections like this) & Silicone.
- Tighten the “Split Bolt, then re-tighten again the next day (copper wire extrudes a bit). Then seal.

More on the Horizon 600 Windlass:

From the Simpson-Lawrence “Horizon 600" page at:
http://www.boatersland.com/sil600gf.html

I haven’t seen the Manual that comes with the windlass, but the above site is mis-informing us:

Current Draw @ Working Load = 40 Amps (rated at 400Watts)
(Note: I believe it’s also available /w a 600 Watt Motor)

Website Cable Size Guide: Length of Cable Run:

0'-23' - 8 AWG
This should be #4 for total 23' (Pos + Neg) -or- #2 for 23' One Way (56' Total)
23'-50' - 6 AWG
This should be #2 for total 50' (Pos + Neg) -or- #2/0 for 50' One Way (100' Total)
Legend: What the web-site says -vs- What I say

Buyer beware - due your due diligence!

Gord


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Gord
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Old 31-08-2004, 12:08   #6
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Andy - You've gotten some good advice here. If you are going to go with a manual anchor windlas then you should definitely go horizontal. We had a manual horizontal windlass aboard La Nostra our first season - pulling up a 45 lb CQR on 175 ft 3/8 chain. It was a long, slow process which took a lot of energy and gave back and arms a real workout, but it was sure better than trying to crank around on a plane parallel to the deck! Can't even imagine that!
After that one season we installed a Lofrans Falkon electric windlass - which now pulls up a 60 lb CQR on 200 ft of 3/8 HT chain ... a real chore! I rank it as the single best improvement we've made to the boat! Now if we are not totally happy with the set and placement the first time we drop the hook, we just pull it up and drop it again .... and again and again if need be - no sweat! Drops faster and under more control and no problem getting it up fast and easy.
BTW - my old manual windlass, chain and anchor are for sale ... but they are big and heavy (read: hard to ship) and are in Grenada.
Good luck ...
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Old 31-08-2004, 14:59   #7
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Not convinced yet

OK,
Thank you for all the responses and input.
There are two concerns I have with the horizontal axis manual.
One is speed. I watched an old Frenchman winch up 160 ft of chain in a few minutes using his vertical axis manual windlass. The windlass had a long arm for the handle, which gave a lot of torque and then he was able to crank the chain up quite rapidly. Watching him with his chain was part of the reason for my interest in the horizontal. I have been in a few nasty squalls, one being a Sumatran, that trapped me in some frightful bays and I strongly believe that you should be equipped to get your anchor up very rapidly. From what I have seen of the revolutions on a horizontal axis, the length of chain you pull in for each pull and push is less than half a revolution. That seems quite slow to me. Any input from owners of horizontal manuals as to how long it takes to pull in 150 ft of chain?

I understand now that the response I will get to that last paragraph will be "well, get a electric windlass as it will be both fast and easy." In return I would say that I have very few pieces of equipment on my boat that require electricity. They are predominantly manual and I like that fact and found that in most cases they did not need to be repaired but when they did they were easy to fix. Also when all power goes out I am not helpless. That is my other main concern with an electric windlass. What happens when you have no power? Then you run up to the prow with the manual lever and raise your rode in 25 minutes?

I was planning on installing a hand hold next to the windlass for the heavy seas so that you can hold yourself down in rough conditions and so that you have an anchor for your upper body to work from, making the cranking process much easier.

My last point is that I cruised for eight months using on the small winch on side of the mast to pull up my 45 lb CQR with 16 ft of chain at the end of a thick nylon rode. This was difficult in rough conditions and somewhat tiring but it was still faster than a manual horizontal axis windlass would be.

I don't want to come across as stubborn here. I think what I would like is to be convinced of the best possible choice before I go out and spend the little money I have.

Thanks again for all the input and please keep it coming.
Captain Andy
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Old 31-08-2004, 15:18   #8
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With my Vetus I have rasied 100 ft 10 mm chain manually in a 4 ft sea. The windlass works manually by inserting a handle and pulling back and pushing forward much like any other manual windlass. When you push forward it ratchets and it pulls up when pulled aft. If you let go the ratchet holds fast.

I wouldn't own an electric that didn't work that way for all the reasons you cite. It's pretty fast but pulling 100 ft of 10 mm with a large anchor is no small bit of strength with ANY manual windlass. It still takes the effort to raise it and nothing changes that. Slow and easy or fast and hard are the only ways it comes up manually. Long handle or not.
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Old 31-08-2004, 15:31   #9
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Windlass

On the weekend I did duty as the committee boat for our fall regatta. I anchored in about 175 feet of water. I used the winch on the mast as always but it was slow going with about 30 feet of chain on. It is a satisfactory way to do it on our 28 foot boat but it would be nice to have a longer lever. I will look in the Vetus catalog for the manual unit. BC Mike C
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Old 01-09-2004, 02:09   #10
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True, a longer handle will give you greater leverage - but will also increase the radius of your grind - possibly causing back problems (as you sway like a lifter on a cam). You’ll need to ensure that you actually have a free circle to crank the longer handle (no stays or stanchions etc. in the way).

I admire the “manual” (KISS) philosophy. Often less is more. What happens when you run out of power (exhaustion)? They call it “weighing” the anchor for a good reason (your CQR & chain will weigh over 81#). Whatever equipment you use, you always have to keep the “abandon the anchor” (temporarilly) option open for emergency harbour escapes.

I don’t think extra “handholds” at the bow will be much use when raising the anchor, as you will have both hands well employed in grinding the winch. The extra support that would be useful, would be for your lower body (hips, thighs, knees and feet). With a Horizontal winch, you’ll likely be on your knees, and far enough away from the winch to allow handle clearance (think reaching out somewhat) - a less than ideal working position (which is “load” tight to body - analogous to lifting).

As Paul B. says, that winching Speed is inversely proportional to winching Power (mechanical advantage). The slower winch will have proportionally more power than the faster winch (& visa versa).

Given your admirable penchant for simplicity, you might consider upgrading the existing (mast mtd.) Halyard winch to a larger two-speed version. Located at about waist height , you’d be operating the winch from a standing position, and using your body weight & leverage to best effect (& grinding the more efficient 'Vertical' circle). It would also be useful in going aloft (& hoisting sails, of course).

Good discussion, folks.

FWIW,
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Old 01-09-2004, 12:52   #11
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I have the Vetus catalogue in front of me. The Servus is rated for 265 pounds and has a handle like a regular winch handle, and the Ursus for 550 pounds has a longer straight handle. The benefit of these seems to be that they will handle the chain whereas my winch will not. However I think a good self tailing winch on the mast with a long handle will work for me and I will pull the chain by hand. Looks like you need to be on your knees to operate the Servus and standing for the Ursus. BC Mike C
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Old 01-09-2004, 17:09   #12
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I just would not trust a winch on the main to be of sufficient strength on my boat. It may be fine in calm weather. When things are flying around and waves creating large forces on the rode, it could be more than that tiny winch can handle.

My boat has a Lewmar 16 on the main and I sure wouldn't use that. When my windlass was in serveice I pulled in it by hand. I didn't like it but it wrks too (when the weather is fine).
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Old 01-09-2004, 19:19   #13
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My 5 cents....

I installed a S-L 555 Sea Tiger on my CSY 33 a few years ago.

Yes, it is horizontal and it is rated at 1100 lbs.
2 speed it is and almost bullet proof.

With 100 feet of chain out in shallow water, I never even bother to use the Sea Tiger initally, just put the ship in forward idle to get it going, then run forward and retrive the chain by hand.
Easy as shooting fish in a barrel.

When the chain is about vertical, or when the wind is blowing strong, THEN I use the windlass to haul the load.

Such a simple and strong set-up that I would not trade for a similarly priced electric wonder machine untill the health gives out big time..And then perhaps I should not be out there in the first place.

In fact wifey has insisted on pulling the chain lately whenever we leave an anchorage, she says it gives her upper body strenght and energizes her.

(Fine honey, go up there and pull the chain out of the water, then crank the windlass, I will be back here in the cockpit manipulating the controls for the diesel engine. )

Of course one never uses the windlass, electric or manual, to pull the boat forward against wind or current, or to break the anchor free.

Only to lift the chain / anchor from the bottom and up to the bow.
In deep waters that could put quite a load on the windlass.
Around here in Florida and the Bahamas one anchors in 10 to 15 feet of water...With a 55 pound anchor and 15 feet of chain @ 1.09 lbs per foot that is only 70 or 80 lbs to lift.
In deeper waters, say 100 feet, that would be more like !50 lbs or more..

For the record, one should have a windlass that is rated at 3 times the expected load..

On my boat with the 55 Delta and the 215 feet 5/16 HT chain, that is a max of 285 lbs of load and with a windlass rating of 1100 lbs that would be a bit on the conservative side.

But I sleep good with good gear....
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Old 05-09-2004, 15:52   #14
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CSY man hit it on the head. If you are in a rush, pull up the first several feet by hand, then use the windlass for the heavy work.
He also reminded me of a point I failed to mention earlier - that manual we used to have was a two=speed. I high gear the retrieval was fairly fast (not as fast as my electric, but reasonable). Then when the going got hard there is just a little lever to flip and it shifted gears. Much slower in low gear, buta LOT of pulling power. I always stood up when using the manual windlass (horizontal) and was able to use arms, back and legs - pretty good workout. BTW - the electric also has a manual mode for when the power goes out. I've tried it out and it does work fine - just takes longer.
I'd still suggest you go with the horizontal. You had mentioned that you could find several horizontal designs, but only one vertical. Gotta be a reason, eh?
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Old 06-09-2004, 01:35   #15
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confused

Capt. Harry:
I’m confused - perhaps you could elaborate on how you were able to ”...always stood up when using the manual windlass (horizontal) and was able to use arms, back and legs...”
Sounds more like a Vertical action, to me.
Gord
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