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Old 30-07-2009, 11:50   #16
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Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
I am going to the boat next week Monday and can take s then.
Excellent, I'm looking foreword to seeing them.
Thanks.

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Old 01-08-2009, 22:16   #17
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Charlie, take the boat into deep water, let the chain out to near the last links. Secure the chain with a chain hook temporarily. Splice a 100' of 1/2" yellow twisted polypropylene rope, with the bitter end secured to the interior of the anchor locker. Retreive the rope, flaking it out against the hull and providing a bed for the chain that is about to be flaked on top. The chain will unwrap itself and assume a comfortable position in the locker.

Besides cushioning the chain, the poly line floats, in case you ever have to cut and run from an exposed anchorage.
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Old 02-08-2009, 00:33   #18
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You better check if you can haul the combined weight of anchor and chain back up again before letting it out in deep water. I have heard many stories about this ending badly.

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Old 02-08-2009, 07:53   #19
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Charlie, take the boat into deep water, let the chain out to near the last links. Secure the chain with a chain hook temporarily. Splice a 100' of 1/2" yellow twisted polypropylene rope, with the bitter end secured to the interior of the anchor locker. Retreive the rope, flaking it out against the hull and providing a bed for the chain that is about to be flaked on top. The chain will unwrap itself and assume a comfortable position in the locker.

Besides cushioning the chain, the poly line floats, in case you ever have to cut and run from an exposed anchorage.
I really like the idea of the 100' of Poly but would be afraid to let all 300' of chain out. I don't know where I would go to get that depth either prbably a few miles off of shore or maybe La Jolla Cove LOL. I do't know thta the windlass would be up to the task of retrieving the rode or not. I would do it w/o the anchor but the chain is the lion's share of the weight.
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:53   #20
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Correct me if I'm wrong but, if the windlass can't retrieve the free hanging weight of the anchor & chain what hope do you have of using it to actually haul it when necessary with the additional load of wind & seas on the boat when it's being used?
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:18   #21
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Dandy,

Windlasses are not meant to pull the boat to the chain, though this is how it works in very light conditions.

The rating of a windlass - such as 1200# means it can presumable pull 1,200# which is less than 300' of chain and an anchor in most cases for example.

If you have crew at the helm and motor forward you are lifting only the weight of some of the chain with not the wind load on the hull.

The correct way to retrieve anchor chain is to take out the catenary...which pulls the chain somewhat taught. The weight of the chain will then cause it to form a catenary and this pulls the boat toward the fixed end - the anchor on the bottom.

The boat now has some way toward the anchor and you continue to haul in the chain, removing the catenary and the weight continues to pull the boat toward the anchor. When you are above the anchor, or close to it, there is no catenary to assist but you are now at the break out location lifting the shank vertical and all your windlass has to do is lift the weight of the chain and anchor which might be 10-30' (assumed anchoring depth) plus the weight of the anchor.

With more wind, and single handed you have to take some time as the boat yaws and progress with the catenary can take quite some time, making only a few feet progress each swing through the eye of the wind.
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:20   #22
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Charlie, et al, Consider the entire weight of the chain and anchor. If you don't think your windlass can handle that load, you had best reconsider the nature of your anchoring gear. Your boat is hanging on the end of it, being potentially buffeted by wave after wave of ocean and wind force, the combined jerking of the boat's mass against a fixed anchor in the mud. That's a powerful jolt to the bolts holding the bow roller, windlass, anchor cleat or sampson post. Then, of course, there's the electrical load on the batteries, supply wiring, switches, etc., when retrieving the anchor and chain while being blasted by forty or fifty knot winds and heavy swells. If your system isn't built for such loading, someone screwed up in their planning and budget expectations. Dropping and retrieving an anchor that has only static loads better not even be a mild problem, other than the ten minutes or so that it takes to suck it back up. Further, even if you don't free-drop it, you can just lay it all out in a quiet bay and bring it back aboard with the windlass, which will straighten things out quite well. The chain will be a bit mucky, though. If the concern is that the windlass won't draw up the rope rode, then test it. Many gypsies (the actual sized device on the windlass that holds the chain links) are built to handle chain-rope combinations. If yours doesn't, and you can't afford one that does, then do without and accept the limitations of your anchoring options. When I was younger, and had the energy and strong back to drop and retrieve my anchor several times in a difficult bottom, a manual windlass served me. Now that I am older I have a windlass that serves the same purpose, and will continue functioning in the worst conditions possible. If you can't afford the anchoring gear or don't have a boat that can carry the loads to secure itself to the bottom in bad conditions, maybe you should be selecting another option. Gardening comes to mind, or perhaps water colors.
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:42   #23
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Hi Roy I don't mean this to be critical of you but my understanding of the manner in which a windlass is to be used is that it is used to pull up chain and anchor not to pull the boat forward. In all but the midlest conditions I motor up until the chain is falling straight down and then bring the windlass into play. That way the windalss is only picking up the amount of chain that is as deep as the water- With 300' of chain the most I would have the windlass handle would be 100' and that would be a 3 to 1 scope which I hope I never have to set. A friend who is an "unlimited" captains license was telling me stories about when he was a jr officer how his captain let out all the chain on the ship into deep water and the windlass was not strong enough to bring the chain up. The ship had to use additional winches to bring in the chain and then finally thye had to drive the ship to shallower depths to rest some of the chain on the bottom so that they could bring all the chain in.
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:59   #24
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Charlie, no offense intended or taken. Your anecdote about a "ship" isn't quite applicable to your issue. Probably, ten feet of their anchor chain exceeds the entire displacement of your vessel. The entire length of the chain they had aboard constitutes a slightly different situation, utterly unthinkable to or circumstances. Further, don't you think that the designer, who specified the characteristics of the ship's anchor windlass, might have made a mistake in calculating his safety margins? The likelihood of a ship dropping its entire rode might be minimal, but what responsible captain would avoid this maneuver if in extremis? And then, if he had successfully survived the situation, wouldn't it appear reasonable to be able to extract oneself from further danger? Sure, using the engine, or sails, or dinghy to assist in retrieving the chain and anchor is appropriate. Isn't considering a safety margin of windlass capacity an appropriate step in selection? For most of us, 1200# capacity meets that requirement. My boat weighs 12,000 pounds, loaded. In light airs and seas, the windlass has no difficulty with that. In nasty situations I can flip the Balmar regulator to the "small engine mode" to reduce alternator reduction of horsepower, I can rev the engine up to whatever its maximum capacity to assist. If all goes badly, I can loose the chain until I run out of the polypropylene tail, chop it with a knife, and get the hell out of danger, returning later to find the yellow "telltail" floating on the surface. But then, I also have two other anchor rodes and anchors tucked away for those unfortunate possibilities.
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Old 02-08-2009, 14:25   #25
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Some quick math places 300' of 3/8" chain at about 660 lbs. That doesn't seem like that much weight for a decent windlass. My boat had 3 strand with 50' of 5/16" and I never used a windlass.
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:33   #26
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Submerged in salt water it will even weigh less. But still, many boats get into problems when they put all their chain overboard in deep water. The pitching alone will create shockloads etc. I once talked a boat into how to retrieve it after they accidentally dropped the whole length overboard while on passage from Aruba to Curacao.
Also, when loaded at or close to it's max capacity, the windlass will barely turn so it will be very slow. I believe that a 1200 lb rated windlass will not turn at all over 1200 lb load.

Also, the windlass should never have to hold a boat at anchor. This is what a chain stopper and a snubber are for. I am somewhat sure that every windlass manual will clearly state that one of these devices must be used.

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Old 03-08-2009, 09:58   #27
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Good grief, this discussion seems destined for argumentation rather than resolution. This is pretty simple stuff. A rational skipper will not go out in rough weather, in deep water, to untangle their chain. A rational skipper will not carry so much chain that he cannot retrieve it under static load, in calm conditions. A rational skipper already knows that windlasses are for retrieval of chain, not as the securing point of mooring loads. This discussion appears to be spiralling down from a simple question of how to get the chain links unkinked, to the point where we are going to argue how many mermaids can dance on the anchor shackle. Lighten up folks.
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Old 03-08-2009, 21:54   #28
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Roy,

I am afraid that you started it with this remark:

Quote:
If you don't think your windlass can handle that load, you had best reconsider the nature of your anchoring gear. Your boat is hanging on the end of it, being potentially buffeted by wave after wave of ocean and wind force, the combined jerking of the boat's mass against a fixed anchor in the mud. That's a powerful jolt to the bolts holding the bow roller, windlass, anchor cleat or sampson post.
Also, remember that the forum is a group discussion, not just multiple replies to the original poster. For example, I would now reply that all deep water I know always has swell regardless of the weather, and so on. The scope gets wider as the thread grows.

I actually looked something up: a Maxwell 1500 windlass (1500 lb max. pull) will haul 60' of chain per minute. But that rate is only valid for loads of 220 lb or less. So, if you try to pull up 600 lb, it might only do (they don't specify this) 10' per minute. If you have 300' hanging down, it would take very long to haul that up, possibly burning up the motor because it is not rated for continuous duty (probably run 1 minute, wait 5 minutes etc.) So, all this just to explain that it is much more complicated than "a 1500 lb windlass is able to pull 300' vertical rode + anchor, total weight 600 lb, up". We don't know that and it might very well not be able to do that!

So, we need testing... who volunteers?

cheers,
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:40   #29
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I already did. One quiet morning, a couple miles off San Diego, glass-like conditions. I laid out 270' of 1/4" high-test chain and retrieved it with a Lewmar V-2, with capstan. I didn't keep track of the time. Chain weight plus anchor a little over 300 pounds. The windlass motor got warm, not overly so. Current is fed via 2/0 Ancor cable, about 20-25 feet from the batteries. The engine was running at about 2000 RPM. I am happy. I haven't yet tested retrieval in 50 knot winds and ten foot seas, but, despite the nastiness of the situation, I am somewhat confident that the system will perform as needed. Unless I'm mistaken, other windlasses, besides the Lewmar, have temperature switches that shut down the windlass before the wiring burns.
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:04   #30
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There was a long thread on chain twist a while back. Bottom line is you need a groove in your bow roller to help avoid it....
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