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Old 13-06-2011, 14:25   #1
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Chain Jamming in Windlass

OK 5 times anhoring with my "new" boat and 2 times the chain has jammed in the windlass on the way up. And the second time I'm 125% positive that it wasn't due to the chain bunching up in the anchor well so that it couldn't drop.

The chain just seems to wrap around the windlass too much before it strips off to fall into the well. This happens when the chain is hanging free the 2 times it has happened.

Is there any reason I can not make up a bracket or roller type of doodad and mount it next to the windlass so that the chain strips off correctly?
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Old 13-06-2011, 14:28   #2
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Re: chain jamming in windlass

Maybe the chain doesn't match the gypsy?
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Old 13-06-2011, 14:36   #3
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Re: chain jamming in windlass

I think Lowcountry might have something here. If it's not jamming from bunching up in the chain locker but rather sticking to the gypsy, the gypsy might be the wrong size.
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Old 13-06-2011, 14:47   #4
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Re: chain jamming in windlass

Does the windlass have a anti jam pin that sits vertically under gypsy?The pin keeps the chain from sucking under gypsy.When the load increases during raising it tends to want to wrap.If the gypsy is wrong size it usually skips.
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Old 13-06-2011, 15:09   #5
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Re: chain jamming in windlass

You know it didn't occur to me that the chain and gypsy might not be matched as the boat came this way (used) when I got it. It seems to fit together well, is there a way to verify for a discontinued windlass?

The windlass doesn't have any pin (a vertical Simpson Lawerance Spirt Altantic). It has a plastic arm that I think is suppose to strip the chain off the back side of the gyspy. This arm just gets forced into the gyspy teeth (I don't know if it is a cause or an effect of the problem).
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Old 13-06-2011, 15:10   #6
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Re: chain jamming in windlass

You need a certain distance between the tangent of the gypsy towards the top of the cone of piled chain. The weight of the chain hanging below the gypsy is required to keep the gypsy from "skipping". If your chain "cones" up too high it won't "stick" to the gypsy and jumps the gypsy. Knocking the cone down can help give a few more inches. In the last boat I had to go below and knock down the cone about half way through raising chain to be sure I had enough grip to finish the haul in.
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Old 13-06-2011, 15:36   #7
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Re: chain jamming in windlass

I don't think were was a cone problem. There was a good 2' plus drop down the to the pile in the well and I was watching for this this because I thought it was the cause last time maybe.
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Old 13-06-2011, 17:32   #8
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Re: chain jamming in windlass

The chain size should be stamped on the gypsy. You would then need to closely measure your chain.
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Old 13-06-2011, 17:40   #9
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Re: chain jamming in windlass

mine catches because the clearance between the windlass and the deck is too low..LOL...learned that from a neighbor yesterday-- his block is 4 inches deep mine only 1/2 inch deep...could that be your problem??? is it a manual windlass?? i tail my chain when bringing it up.--have to keep an eye on it or it will bunch up..just dont get fingers or hands caught in the chain.....could get nasty.
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Old 13-06-2011, 17:42   #10
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Re: chain jamming in windlass

so is there any opinions of the bracket/roller idea to help direct the chain off the windlass and into the well, basically at a point where that plastic arm is already trying to?
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Old 13-06-2011, 18:26   #11
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Re: chain jamming in windlass

Don,

You could have 3/8" chain with a 10mm chain wheel or vice versa or just a link-length mismatch.

The stripper should not be pushed into the chainwheel either... but I think this happens because of a size mismatch.

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Old 18-06-2011, 01:13   #12
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Re: chain jamming in windlass

I agree with Jedi, it sounds like a classic case of chain not matching the gypsy quite right. The difference between spot on and 'not quite' can be as small as 0.5mm or whatever that is in that old imperial system. Yes many winches are that twitchy on sizing.

I say that as it looks as if the chain is not being peeled out by the stripper easily. A good match wouldn't have that issue. It is especially important with horizontals more than verticals, even if still important on both.

Don, if you look close around the gypsy you may find a number, probably along the lines on '0732', but not that very one, maybe one like this 'RC0723'. If you can PM me that I have the gypsy database from hell and can tell you exactly what chain is supposed to be on that gypsy. I can also give you very accurate measurements for that chain.

That number will be on the inside of the cheeks just beside where the chain sits or could be right out on the outside edge but still just on the 'inside' of the gypsy. On the S/L's they weren't big sized numbers so you may have to wire brush and look hard.

But before you do that give the stripper arm a good looking over to make sure it's still OK and fixed in place well. Some of the S/L ones were a tad on the limp side and prone to doing things they shouldn't have.

Worst case it could be a case of asian made chain and their love of poor calibration, if indeed any at all. You may just simple have sections of your rode that have differing sized links than the rest, it's not that uncommon. Sadly about the only fix for that is replacement with a well made chain.
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Old 18-06-2011, 01:58   #13
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Re: chain jamming in windlass

Mine did that until I replaced the worn stripper. On this Lewmar it's a fancy composite or stainless steel gizmo that mounts to the gypsy inside the capstan...very important that it be in good shape. And it has a very tough life in there...
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Old 18-06-2011, 05:56   #14
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Re: chain jamming in windlass

I tcould be where the rotation placement of the stripper is wrong. Too far forward, or back?.......i2f
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Old 18-06-2011, 06:05   #15
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Re: chain jamming in windlass

Quote:
Originally Posted by daddle View Post
Mine did that until I replaced the worn stripper. On this Lewmar it's a fancy composite or stainless steel gizmo that mounts to the gypsy inside the capstan...very important that it be in good shape. And it has a very tough life in there...
Thats what happened often to mine. So with a large screwdriver I bent the stripping bar further into the middle. And now it works fine

What was making it bent in the first place was adding new chain where the galvanizing was larger than the old chain so the gypsy must have been more comfortable with the less galvanizing.

With the high cost of some gypsies try to fix it first before buying something new
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