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Old 10-02-2019, 16:25   #1
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Windlass Foot switches, remote, or hand switch for new windlass

Still chugging along with the new bowsprit construction...just got my lofrans tigress in the mail.....Iíve never had a windlass or never used one. Was looking for experiences with switch selection\location or anything else anyone would like to add..they make a radio switch a hand held switch and foot switches. Which one do cruisers prefer and where to install. On the bow , in the cockpit, both?. Im trying to make the boat as single handed friendly as I can . I should wire the windlass to my house bank right? The lofrans tigress came with no directions so I have to track down wire size and breaker sizes which Iím a capeable of doing. But if anyone has installed these and remembers wire size and breaker size Iíd appreciate it. So anyoneís recommendations and suggestions will be appreciated I tend to really over think things.
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Old 10-02-2019, 16:41   #2
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Re: Windlass Foot switches, remote, or hand switch for new windlass

So I don't have a windlass, but if I did I'd have the button on the bow (I have chartered boats that had that.) I really need to watch it come up and see what's going on in case there is a snag or glitch. A button in the cockpit seems like a bad idea to me, but I haven't tried it, so maybe I may be missing something. Is this for the Downeaster 32?
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Old 10-02-2019, 16:48   #3
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Re: Windlass Foot switches, remote, or hand switch for new windlass

well. I sure your going to get lots of opinions..
we have a foot switch, deck mounted, near the windlass.. up only..
are you think up only, up and down? both on deck near the unit?


we're thinking about adding up/down control in the cockpit.. leave the deck up alone...free fall down from on deck. yes I have the know how and the parts...so lets leave it out of the discussion..


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Old 10-02-2019, 16:49   #4
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Re: Windlass Foot switches, remote, or hand switch for new windlass

I have a tigress.....love it.
I installed an up only switch which I wired to a hand hold I store in my bow locker.

I also have a washdown....as I raise anchor I wash down, I find it an excellent setup.

I do not like foot switches for multiple reasons.

I see no use in a down switch.....makes absolutely no sense to me....just back the clutch off and let gravity do the rest.

I would not bother running controls aft because aft is not where I anchor from....I anchor from the bow. Thats where I raise it from too.

I bring the boat to a stop into the wind, walk up, crack the clutch, as the boat drifts back I let out some chain, enough for the hook to hit the bottom plus 30 odd ft.
I then lock the clutch, let the boat pull the chain taught which aligns the hook,,,then let more chain out. I do that a couple of times until I have plenty of chain out. Set a snubber and it's done.

I hooked mine up to my main house bank, cant remember exactly but about 20ft of one ought. Never had a problem in 15 years.

I don't feel that everything has to be controlled from the cockpit to be set up well for a single hand boat. It's more about prep and thought process than controls all in the cockpit......just my opinion.
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Old 10-02-2019, 16:51   #5
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Re: Windlass Foot switches, remote, or hand switch for new windlass

I much prefer a wired handheld controller like the Quick/Imtra one. The deck mounted switches mean you often have to lean or stretch in odd ways, possibly over the moving chain or drum. I had a crew member rip off his finger in the drum while stretching for the footswitches. It made an impresion on me.
The wireless ones are probably better now than in the past. They used to have a habit of running out of battery or not connecting at inopportune times.
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Old 10-02-2019, 16:53   #6
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Re: Windlass Foot switches, remote, or hand switch for new windlass

Yes itís for the downEaster 32...looks a little oversized but Im sure itís not underpowered.
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Old 10-02-2019, 16:54   #7
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Re: Windlass Foot switches, remote, or hand switch for new windlass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allied39 View Post
I have a tigress.....love it.
I installed an up only switch which I wired to a hand hold I store in my bow locker.

I also have a washdown....as I raise anchor I wash down, I find it an excellent setup.

I do not like foot switches for multiple reasons.

I see no use in a down switch.....makes absolutely no sense to me....just back the clutch off and let gravity do the rest.

I would not bother running controls aft because aft is not where I anchor from....I anchor from the bow. Thats where I raise it from too.

I bring the boat to a stop into the wind, walk up, crack the clutch, as the boat drifts back I let out some chain, enough for the hook to hit the bottom plus 30 odd ft.
I then lock the clutch, let the boat pull the chain taught which aligns the hook,,,then let more chain out. I do that a couple of times until I have plenty of chain out. Set a snubber and it's done.

I hooked mine up to my main house bank, cant remember exactly but about 20ft of one ought. Never had a problem in 15 years.

I don't feel that everything has to be controlled from the cockpit to be set up well for a single hand boat. It's more about prep and thought process than controls all in the cockpit......just my opinion.

how do mark you chain? the only reason I see a need for a slow outfeed is knowing how much has been let out.. otherwise..yep.. unless one is in a tidal current..but then a slow down..isn't good either..
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Old 10-02-2019, 16:57   #8
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Re: Windlass Foot switches, remote, or hand switch for new windlass

I by far prefer a hand held. I just made my own (not wireless) out of a small crane switch unit from McMaster Carr. Had the electrical socket in the anchor locker for the remote to plug in to in case I wanted to remove it. It's so much better when you can watch what's going on over the bow pulpit, hose off or remove debris from the chain, etc while retrieving. Not to mention trying to balance on a foot switch inconveniently located.
The remote just operates the solenoids, not high amperage.
For windlass wire size measure how far your battery for the windlass is away, including all the routing twists and turns! Unless you have a dedicated bow battery, it's big cable.
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Old 10-02-2019, 17:02   #9
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Re: Windlass Foot switches, remote, or hand switch for new windlass

I have a toggle switch on the helm for up and down. That's all I need. There is a foot switch for up only next to the windlass but it is really just for the main halyard and don't use it for the anchor much.
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Old 10-02-2019, 17:11   #10
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Re: Windlass Foot switches, remote, or hand switch for new windlass

Yes Iím thinking up only also. (From reading allieds reasoning)I didnítt even know they made a down. Whatís that for ? More for pulling the chain up out of the locker I guess.. Iíve got a scarca excel#5 and 5/16 chain. Iím thinking thatís plenty of weight for gravity. Just hope it not plenty of weight to make my bow a submarine. Iím gonna put a wash down up there too. Care to elaborate in that? I saw the recessed hose attachments but thought Iíd keep looking like that ideas gonna leak and or clog with crud quick fast. But since I donít have a locker up there guess thereís not many options.
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Old 10-02-2019, 17:20   #11
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Re: Windlass Foot switches, remote, or hand switch for new windlass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastward ho 24 View Post
Yes Iím thinking up only also. (From reading allieds reasoning)I didnítt even know they made a down. Whatís that for ? More for pulling the chain up out of the locker I guess.. Iíve got a scarca excel#5 and 5/16 chain. Iím thinking thatís plenty of weight for gravity. Just hope it not plenty of weight to make my bow a submarine. Iím gonna put a wash down up there too. Care to elaborate in that? I saw the recessed hose attachments but thought Iíd keep looking like that ideas gonna leak and or clog with crud quick fast. But since I donít have a locker up there guess thereís not many options.
I use our down switch very often. I don't like having to grab a winch handle and play the chain out with it while bent over on the deck. I also like to keep the clutch at a particular tension. One that can put significant umph into picking up my heavy gear, but enough to slip when the anchor is stuck to protect the windlass gears. Using the down switch I can stand and carefully play out the chain the way I like it.
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Old 10-02-2019, 17:24   #12
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Re: Windlass Foot switches, remote, or hand switch for new windlass

Down is easy to do so why not? Sometimes when the wind is blowing you want to let out another two fathoms... and it's easy...
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Old 10-02-2019, 17:29   #13
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Re: Windlass Foot switches, remote, or hand switch for new windlass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allied39 View Post
I have a tigress.....love it.

I installed an up only switch which I wired to a hand hold I store in my bow locker.



I also have a washdown....as I raise anchor I wash down, I find it an excellent setup.



I do not like foot switches for multiple reasons.



I see no use in a down switch.....makes absolutely no sense to me....just back the clutch off and let gravity do the rest.



I would not bother running controls aft because aft is not where I anchor from....I anchor from the bow. Thats where I raise it from too.



I bring the boat to a stop into the wind, walk up, crack the clutch, as the boat drifts back I let out some chain, enough for the hook to hit the bottom plus 30 odd ft.

I then lock the clutch, let the boat pull the chain taught which aligns the hook,,,then let more chain out. I do that a couple of times until I have plenty of chain out. Set a snubber and it's done.



I hooked mine up to my main house bank, cant remember exactly but about 20ft of one ought. Never had a problem in 15 years.



I don't feel that everything has to be controlled from the cockpit to be set up well for a single hand boat. It's more about prep and thought process than controls all in the cockpit......just my opinion.

So Iím assuming that you pull the boat to the anchor using the windlass as opposed to motoring forward as you retrieve the road?
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Old 10-02-2019, 17:30   #14
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Re: Windlass Foot switches, remote, or hand switch for new windlass

I'd definitely go hand switch. One of my boats has the foot switch near the windlass. I always step on it by mistake. Not fun.
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Old 10-02-2019, 17:35   #15
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Re: Windlass Foot switches, remote, or hand switch for new windlass

Lofrans website says the 12v 1500 watt recommends 110amp breaker. And the wire size is 2guage....But its rated at 80 to 130 amp draw..so I should get a 130 amp breaker and larger wire ? against what the manufacturer recommends doesn’t seem logical.....but you never know with these marine company’s.....don’t get me started on raymarine and their confusion.....
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