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Old 22-08-2018, 08:42   #1
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Anchor chain constantly jams

I have an older Simpson Lawrence horizontal windlass on my boat. It still pulls well, but the galvanized chain constantly jams now against the steel bar that's in front of the chain gypsy. I now have to sit there with a large box wrench to whack my chain out of the jam 4-5 times each time I raise anchor.

The jam happens when the chain remains in the gypsy too long and gets pulled too far forward on its underside and wedges against a steel bar.

Any tricks for fixing this?
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Old 22-08-2018, 10:08   #2
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Re: Anchor chain constantly jams

Sounds like your chain and gypsy no longer match due to wear.
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Old 22-08-2018, 10:18   #3
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Re: Anchor chain constantly jams

Pictures?
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Old 22-08-2018, 11:48   #4
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Re: Anchor chain constantly jams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
Pictures?

Indeed.


My instant diagnosis might have been premature, now that I think of it. Let's see whatcha got.
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Old 22-08-2018, 11:58   #5
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Re: Anchor chain constantly jams

Chain stripper, an upright post that disengages the chain from the gypsy, allowing it to fall down the chain pipe.
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Old 22-08-2018, 12:07   #6
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Re: Anchor chain constantly jams

Flip your Gypsy, I do mine every six months. All these planned maintenance jobs are on a calendar on my laptop. You might have to file new pawl slots, its easy. I have removed my stripper, she got lazy .
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Old 22-08-2018, 12:22   #7
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Re: Anchor chain constantly jams

We have a horizontal windlass. Various jams from different causes. Images would help.
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Old 22-08-2018, 12:33   #8
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Re: Anchor chain constantly jams

Thanks for the replies so far guys. This is the best shot I've got at the moment. I know it's not very clear.. It's actually a video still. The chain on the starboard side is the one I use usually and that's the one that grabs. As you can see, the windlass might as well be from the Titanic... but hey it still works!
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Old 22-08-2018, 12:40   #9
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Re: Anchor chain constantly jams

Here's another shot... also a video still (we were swinging off the bowsprit from a halyard... of course)
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Old 22-08-2018, 13:02   #10
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Re: Anchor chain constantly jams

Another shot of the ground tackle setup...

Edit: ...and a prettier shot of the boat
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Old 22-08-2018, 14:24   #11
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Re: Anchor chain constantly jams

Assuming the wildcat and chain are matched, one or the other is probably worn. Measure the chain pitch using several links. If the chain is past it, try end for end in order to run with unused links. We have a section of new chain we can drop onto the wildcat to check fit. You may need to replace the wildcat.
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Old 22-08-2018, 14:48   #12
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Re: Anchor chain constantly jams

may or may not be related to your problem, but with my Lofrans Tigres horizontal if I do not keep slack in the chain while weighing anchor (usually accomplished by idling forward while retrieving) I have exactly the same jamming issue at the stripper / hawse pipe.
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Old 22-08-2018, 14:56   #13
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Re: Anchor chain constantly jams

This is really just another idea, but is it possible that your stripper is loose or not in quite the right place? somehow not doing the job? Otherwise, I'd be thinking that the gypsy is worn, or somehow something else is affecting how it cups the chain when coming in. Jamming is a real nuisance! Hope you get it sorted soon.

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Old 22-08-2018, 15:06   #14
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Re: Anchor chain constantly jams

Totally different windlass, but on my Maxwell vertical the stripper has a bit of movement from sloppy bolt holes, and when it moves in the wrong direction it fails to strip properly and jams occur. PErhaps something similar is happening with yours... kind of hard to imagine wear causing a sudden change in behavior.

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Old 24-08-2018, 07:41   #15
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Re: Anchor chain constantly jams

Hi all,

Thanks so much for the replies. My apologies for the delay in responding.

The steel bar I referred to is actually the chain stripper - I did not know the proper term before. That's what it's getting lodged against. On my last boat the windlass was my arms, so I'm new to these things.

I am not sure if this only happens when I have a lot of tension on the windlass chain - that definitely could be part of the problem. It's something I'll test.

The biggest issue seems to be that the gypsy is very rough, partially oxidized (it's chalky white) steel - and the galvanized chain just doesn't slip in and out of it easily. I'm sure stainless would slip in and out better, but it's pricey. I'm wondering if a good cleaning and painting of my gypsy would help it slip out better.
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