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Old 25-03-2006, 15:17   #1
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Wire

I am about to replace my windlass and run new wire because I am changing from 24 volt to 12 volt. Some of the wire that is used now is tinned and some is regular copper. The tinned looks like it has held up better than the copper but the copper does not look bad after 20 years. My question is would it be a mistake to use copper welding/battery cable instead of tinned? The price difference is great, about $12. per foot for tinned and less than $2. per foot for stranded copper. I need about 100 feet.
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Old 25-03-2006, 16:43   #2
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What gauge of cable are you contemplating paying $12/Foot (Tinned Cu.) for?
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Old 25-03-2006, 20:11   #3
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2/0 or is it 0/2?
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Old 25-03-2006, 21:42   #4
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I think that I would...Windlass units really have problems with low voltage operations. The effect of salt ladden air on non-tinned wire can be dramatic. The quality of wire permability to air and the compounds of wire may have changed over time -- but I wouldn't risk it.

The effect of a windlass wire overheating or the loss of a windlass motor would make the savings dramatic.

As for the cost of the Ancor Wire -- at West Marine (last year) for 2-0 wire was $9.49/ft in 50' rolls.
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Old 26-03-2006, 02:43   #5
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Review the thread “Cleaning Corrosion from High Tension Electrical Cables” at:
http://www.cruisersforum.com/showthr...&threadid=3456
and note that ‘s/v HyLyte’ recently paid* under $3.00/Ft for 2/0 (‘00') tinned copper.
* available from Pacer Marine or GenuineDealz

2/0 Cu may be, or may not be, large enough for your new winch. You indicated 100 feet of cable, suggesting the winch is nearly 50 ft away from the battery.
2/0 would be ample for a 100A 12V load (nominal 1200Watt) at only about 25 ft distant (50' of wire).

I wouldn’t imagine you installing any smaller windlass than 1200W.
What size winch are you installing?
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Old 26-03-2006, 06:23   #6
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$3.00 per foot is not a problem. I will check the links, Thanks. The windlass that I am buying is a Lewmar V5 gypsy/drum 12 volt. I understand it is 2000 watt, 120 amp. The wire run will be something close to 45' from the batteries to the windlass. It looks like I will need to upsize to 4/0.
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Old 26-03-2006, 07:14   #7
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Lewmar specifies a 150A ‘Slo-Blow’ Fuse for the V5. They specify 120A as the “Normal” current (300 Lb Pull)*.
2000W / 12.7V = > 157 Amp Load

Accepting the maximum 10% Voltage Drop (not recommended), a 157 A Load at 100 circuit Feet requires a minimum 3/0 cable - I’d recommend using 4/0 in your application.
The 4/0 would be about 50% more expensive than the 2/0 you were contemplating.

* Specified Typical Working Load of 300 Lbs (which would allow you a 75# Anchor & roughly 150 Ft. of 3/8” Chain), whereas the Windlass is capable of 4400 Lb Maximum Pull. That's a very powerfull windlass!

I know, it’s easy for me to spend your money - but remember, you only want to do this once.
I expect that you’ll want your $4000 Windlass to be able to handle your $2000 Anchor & Rode under most conditions.
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Old 26-03-2006, 07:25   #8
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This has helped me a great deal. I know where to buy tinned wire at a much better price, and 4/0 is the best choice in wire size. I had planed to call Lewmar again and make sure what size wire I would need now that I have a closer idea of the lenght of the wire run. Thanks
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Old 26-03-2006, 07:34   #9
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Common mistakes that I ran into from my PO on a pretty large windlass (Vetus Alex II).

Replace the pigtails coming out of the windlass with the new wire you run. Just attaching 4/0 to the pigtals means if you overload the windlass it will burn up after the pigtails (mine did). Attach a resettable breaker as close to the battery as you can get so thiat if you snag something with the hook it will trip that breaker first. Don't over size it as that was how mine got burned up from the poor installation.

Then you can quickly reset it so you can continue. With all that voltage on the windlass it is really easy to heat it up to some pretty high temperatures. It is a bit of a PITA to have your breaker trip easily but it might keep your boat from starting on fire. Had the cable to the bow been smaller it would have started a big fire.

I also run 3/8 chain and you best remind yourself everytime you go to the bow to be careful. It's all too easy to try and grab the chain should it slip. One partial trip around the gypsy with 3/8 chain is enough to do some nasty damage to fingers. The gypsy bites back hard.
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Old 26-03-2006, 07:43   #10
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Paul, The finger issue is exactly why I am buying the Lewmar. The Ideal windlass that I have now has tried to bite me many times. With the new Lewmar I will not touch the chain, I will be hosing it off instead of fighting with it.
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Old 26-03-2006, 09:39   #11
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Just out of curiosity... am I a dinasour for using a manual windlass? Does anyone else use them?

I feel a bit out of date with that..
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Old 26-03-2006, 09:53   #12
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Sean, I will have a used Ideal windlass for use with 3/8 BBB chain with drum for sale soon. I will be able to sell a complete system with wire and charger. New it would be at least $7500.!
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Old 26-03-2006, 09:57   #13
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We have a Lewmar which is a good windlass -- but it, like all of (the ELECTRIC models) are sensitive to low voltage use. The motor tends to overheat if you "starve" it with low voltage -- then the unit cuts-out until it cools.

You MUST run the engine at least 1200 RPM or so to get the voltage boost from the alternator to really maintain the 13 + Volts at the aft to get the voltage at the bow during retrieving.

We used to like to sail of the anchor, but alas it really isn't good for the windlass to lug it like that.

A number of people suggested a small gell or AGM battery forward. The advantages are you don't have to utilize the same size wire to feed the battery.

We haven't done this -- but it's an interesting approach.

A GREAT source and manufacturer of Combiners, Yandina, has a website reference to this that you might consider:

http://yandina.com/Bank3.htm
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Old 26-03-2006, 10:03   #14
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I don't think I will have a problem as long as I size the wire right. We have an 8- 6 volt battery bank at this time and I will be adding another 4 batteries some time this year.
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Old 26-03-2006, 14:39   #15
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Reinforcing thoughts

Normal prudence dictates that one runs the engine when raising anchor....if nothing else by doing so one has more options available should something go wrong with the wind and tide. Cruisers WOULD necessarily have adjustable or settable (by one means or another) multi-step regulators driving a high output alternator. Therefore, in anticipation of raising the anchor the engine could be run sufficiently long so as to have the service batteries at or near an acceptance voltage of around 14.4V.

Even with a 0.4V drop across the cables you would deliver close to 140A (with a 165A alternator running not at high speed) to the windlass motor. This situation marks a HUGE benefit over planning to use oversized wire and oversized fuses or breakers.
BTW: I agree with pblais' comments. Nuisance blowing of a windlass fuse is not acceptable. Use a properly rated breaker (including the time-current curve).

Now realize that you will not normally even come close to drawing that 2000W when raising anchor and, therefore, the windlass will run quite briskly with nice quick retreival rates not achievable without running the engine and using depleted house batteries.

Forget placing an auxillary battery near the bow....you merely add to the pitching moment of the boat which, for cruisers, is usually too much due to all that chain, and anchors, etc. carried forward.

No offense, SG, but that Yandia link advises using an unacceptable 50A combiner which would have to be protected with fuses or breakers. Even so, a fuse or breaker which would not nuisance blow would NOT protect against the combiner point contact abuse due to surge currents imparted with 2000W loads or a high output alternator charge to the battery which would be capable of charge accepting more than 200A if it is rated to drive a 1200W or higher windlass.

Sean: it is wonderful to have a manual windlass capability yet if one needs to retrieve much chain whilst the bow is pitching into a significant swell one needs to do it as quickly as possible. That means you have to do it by hand having strong arms, back and bracing of the body because no manual windlass will do that as fast (assuming that you are strong enough). An electric or hydraulic windlass CAN sustain much quicker longer lasting retreivals to get you up and out of there without breaking a sweat, especially running near 14V instead of a battery resistance-sagging 12.X Volts (work out the percentage differences). Remember that windlass motors retreival rates vary DIRECTLY and linearly with applied voltage for a given load.
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