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Old 28-03-2011, 02:54   #1
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Lighthouse 1501 Windlass Motor Burned (?)

hi all, this morning i encountered a serious problem with my lighthouse 1501 :

while trying out the windlass (hooked up only to house bank battery, with engine NOT running), the motor at first operated normally, but before finishing pulling 30 ft of chain or so, the motor stopped working and became very hot. the heat also melted the perko switch, which no longer conducts current.

question: (1) what happened? (2) would the motor be burned & now destroyed beyond repair? -- i hope not... the 1501 motor is supposed to be overload-proof, etc, right? (3) what may have caused it to happen?

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Old 28-03-2011, 05:08   #2
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Re: lighthouse 1501 windlass motor burned (?)

Sounds like a classic "overload" (burnt out) to me.

I’d suggest contacting Lighthouse:
Tel: 951-683-5078
Fax: 951-683-4191

As their literature makes no sense to me.
Ie: “... Continuous duty linear power unit (no field windings to burn out). No external grounding required (unit cannot induce electrolysis). No overload protector required for motor...”
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 29-03-2011, 07:13   #3
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Re: lighthouse 1501 windlass motor burned (?)

Looks like a typical DC permanent magnet motor to me. If stalled the motor can get very hot. Not as bad as a series motor, but still burnable. I hope it's under warranty. If you have the ability you may OHM the motor and see if it still has the original resistance. If so you might have only burned the switch, (connection?).

What size of fuse did you use?
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Old 29-03-2011, 09:07   #4
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Re: lighthouse 1501 windlass motor burned (?)

its way beyond warranty... i have 250 amp fuse, better than the 300 amp recommended by lighthouse. the fuse is intact.
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Old 26-04-2012, 21:30   #5
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Re: Lighthouse 1501 Windlass Motor Burned (?)

I obtained a Lighthouse 1501 windlass installed on the 1987 vessel I purchased in 2003. Within the first year of operation, the windlass locked up and failed. I discovered that the windlass had been installed in 1995. Because I lived in southern California at the time, I contacted Lighthouse in Riverside, California. They requested that I ship it to them and they would inspect it. I drove to Riverside with my motor and spoke directly with the owner of the small company.

As it turned out, the magnets that lined the interior of the electric motor case had become broken and separated causing the pieces to block the rotor from turning. They had run out of spare magnets for the style of motor that I had and they were no longer available from their supplier back east. My only option was to buy a newer motor from Lighthouse at about $650.00. The newer motor is wrapped in a layer of Kevlar and has a few other features that the older motor didn't have.

Apparently, whoever had installed the Lighthouse windlass in 1995, on my boat had not put a bead of silicon around the down tube that the motor attaches to with the three hex screws. That little oversight allowed sea water from the anchor rode to collect on the top of the motor case and eventually corrode the upper seal of the motor. Sea water then flow into the motor interior where it caused its damage. It was then a matter of time before it caused the sealant securing the magnets to the inside of the case to corrode and break down. That allowed the magnets to pull away from the case interior and jam against the rotor. Lucky me...

They are very strict about how the motor should be installed to insure long motor life. The bead of silicon is crucial to the proper installation and long motor life.

The folks at Lighthouse are very knowledgeable and helpful.

Good Luck and fair winds!

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Old 26-04-2012, 23:44   #6
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Re: Lighthouse 1501 Windlass Motor Burned (?)

thanks dan, i had the problem fixed locally. turned out that i had somehow mishandled it and caused the top parts of the unit to get severely burned. i replaced the parts, had the whole thing cleaned up and put it back in and it worked. then i started the trip and sailed from hong kong to japan. the boat is now at the akita marina, on the other side of the honshu island that suffered last year's tsunami.
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