First, I reckon that all the advice about just hauling it in by hand is not very useful under anything but benign conditions. When the day comes that you need to get the hook up when it is blowing stink and your engine
or situation doesn't allow you to motor
up to the anchor, then you will be damn glad to use the windlass!
One way to ease the problem of getting the rope to chain junction past the warping drum would be to replace the eye/shackle join with a rope to chain splice. There are lots of different ones shown in books
, and they are mostly pretty easy to do. Once you have done this you can continue to use the drum to pull in the chain, tailing carefully as you go. Not elegant, but it works!
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Broken Bay, NSW, Oz