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Old 09-11-2015, 10:15   #1
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Custom Made Windlass Gypsy?

Has anyone ever heard of such a thing?

We don't have enough chain, and don't have room for more! And Lofrans does not make a combination rope/chain gypsy for our Titan windlass! (or so we were told - "Big windlasses only use all chain!")

I would love to use 80 meters of g7 10mm chain spliced to another 80 or so meters of rode. Seems to me that this is a great solution for boats like us (catamaran) that want/need to limit weight as much as possible, yet want to add scope?
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:23   #2
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Re: Custom Made Windlass Gypsy???

Many of us have used chain/rope combinations. There are compromises, you just deal with them.
One thought, if you get over 80 meters of chain out and then some rope, you can hand pull the rope as you are only lifting the rope weight until the end... once you get it up ....go to the windlass for the chain.


Why do you think you need more than 80 meters of rode though?
PS: Many big windlasses have a capstan for rope.
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Old 09-11-2015, 10:58   #3
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Re: Custom Made Windlass Gypsy?

The difference I see in a combo gypsy is a groove at the bottom for the rope. You could easily cut such a groove on a lathe. They also have a spring loaded pawl to hold the rope in the groove, don't know how you could make that.
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Old 09-11-2015, 11:17   #4
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Re: Custom Made Windlass Gypsy???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Many of us have used chain/rope combinations. There are compromises, you just deal with them.
One thought, if you get over 80 meters of chain out and then some rope, you can hand pull the rope as you are only lifting the rope weight until the end... once you get it up ....go to the windlass for the chain.


Why do you think you need more than 80 meters of rode though?
PS: Many big windlasses have a capstan for rope.

So many more places to anchor if you can go deeper! This was our first year living aboard, and we anchored out 75% of the time (the rest was because we were getting repairs done (shaking down a liveaboard!). We had to turn away from 3 or 4 otherwise very nice anchorages because they were too deep.
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Old 09-11-2015, 11:30   #5
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Re: Custom Made Windlass Gypsy???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Many of us have used chain/rope combinations.
I have a capstan on the other side, and if I wanted I could also put one on top (the Titan is a veryt strong and versatile windlass!), with just a relatively minor mod to the windlass locker cover - so lifting the rope is not the problem - it's switching from rope to chain once it's lifted that's the problem!

Unless it rolls on the same gypsy, and therefore is a seamless transition, I would need to:
1) use the capstan to lift the rope (don't forget I will be in 8 - 15 meters of water so that's 8 - 15 meters of chain I would be lifting - not happening with my back!
2) attach a snub line, that is tied off, to the chain after it comes over the roller,
3) release the rope from the capstan and feed into locker
4) Add another snub line to the chain that can be pulled up using the capstan until enough chain is aboard to loop over the gypsy
5 take the load with the gypsy, remove the snub line and haul up the chain!

Lots of work, especially if you start to drag in the middle of the night!!!
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Old 09-11-2015, 11:34   #6
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Re: Custom Made Windlass Gypsy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy View Post
The difference I see in a combo gypsy is a groove at the bottom for the rope. You could easily cut such a groove on a lathe. They also have a spring loaded pawl to hold the rope in the groove, don't know how you could make that.
I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure the Gypsy for our windlass is in the 800+ euro range! I learned many years ago to leave engineering and R&D to others. I'm much happier paying a bit more for something proven!!
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:03   #7
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Re: Custom Made Windlass Gypsy?

Could you haul the rope with a halyard winch on the mast (with someone tailing it, since it will be too big to go in the self-tailer) until the chain is over the top of the windlass?

Snub the chain with whatever chain stopper you have and transfer the chain to the gypsy on the windlass.

You will only be lifting about 80kg or so with the halyard winch if you motor up towards the anchor.

If that winch isn't in a useful place I'm sure you could rig a snatch block somewhere and use a cockpit winch for the rope.
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Old 10-11-2015, 09:32   #8
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Re: Custom Made Windlass Gypsy?

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Originally Posted by Uncle G View Post
Could you haul the rope with a halyard winch on the mast (with someone tailing it, since it will be too big to go in the self-tailer) until the chain is over the top of the windlass?

Snub the chain with whatever chain stopper you have and transfer the chain to the gypsy on the windlass.
In a pinch I suppose so, but the real answer is no. I have a bad back and do everything I can not to make it worse.

If I can't find the Gypsy, I'll stick to all chain.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:07   #9
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Re: Custom Made Windlass Gypsy???

Quote:
Originally Posted by CookiesnTequila View Post
I have a capstan on the other side, and if I wanted I could also put one on top ...
I thought the Titan Horizontal Windlass came With a Capstan Drum
Horizontal Windlass - Titan
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:12   #10
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Re: Custom Made Windlass Gypsy?

You could have a foundry design & cast you a custom gypsy, but by the time they were done, you'd likely have spent less by simply purchasing a different windlass.
Though if you query enough foundaries in seafaring towns, you might get lucky. Here's one, for a start Port Townsend Foundry in Washington

Also, can you not modify your current chain locker to be a bit bigger? It might take a few days of glass work, after you do the cutting, but...
It's either that, or stow more chain elsewhere. Which leads me to the next option...

- When you get close to the end of what's in your locker, chain wise, attach another 40m (or whatever) to your current chain through a pre-positioned shackle on/in your daily use rode.

You can do this by using a heavy duty snap link (locking, screw gate, stainless or titanium carabiner), or, better yet. A Crosby high load shackle (the varient with a threaded pin with nut, & a hole for a safety wire or ring pin in the end).
That way, you're only dealing with the extra chain when you really need it. And it can reside elsewhere, aside from the primary chain locker. The same trick can be done to add some rope to your primary rode as well.

To pull in a combination rode without a gypsy designed for both. Attach a 2ndary line to the rope part of your rode, with a rolling hitch, up near the cross beam. And then lead that line to a snatch block on the boat's stern quarter, & from there, to a primary winch in your cockpit. Preferably a powered one.

Then, about the time that that 1st rolling hitch gets back to the snatch block, your partner puts a 2nd line onto the rope rode, up at the crossbeam, & back to a snatch block on the boat's other side, & forward to a big winch.
Repeat until you get to where your windlass can well grab the chain.

So, given that your boat's 50' long, it shouldn't take too many repetitions of this manuever to get to where you're back to hauling up your chain & hook the usual way.

Also, if your budget can take it. Often enough, if you throw a wrap or two of rope rode fully around a gypsy desned only for chain, it will haul in a rope rode. But the price is accelerated wear from chafe.

Or as Robert Heinlein often said, TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.


PS: Before doing any cutting of the structure which comprises your chain locker. If it's part of any cross beams, or significan parts of the boat's structure, talk to the maker first. As cutting the wrong thing could be bad for obvious reasons.
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Old 10-11-2015, 12:07   #11
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Re: Custom Made Windlass Gypsy?

Maxwell makes winches for up to 65'
from their catalog :
"Automatic rope/chain systems are now commonly used on boats up to 20 meters (65 feet). Consequently, Maxwell’s HRC6, HRC8, HRC10, RC6, RC8, RC10 and the NEW RC12 automatic rope/chain systems have become increasingly popular, as they offer the added benefit of less weight in the bow with the ability to carry an increased amount of rode"
http://www.maxwellmarine.com/gen_which_winch.php
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Old 11-11-2015, 11:49   #12
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Re: Custom Made Windlass Gypsy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
You could have a foundry design & cast you a custom gypsy, but by the time they were done, you'd likely have spent less by simply purchasing a different windlass.
Good suggestions about the extra line or even chain! I already have the rode and shackles at the ready in case needed.

And, I do have a capstan on the opposite side from the gypsy, and since we have about a 2 meter run of chain between the windlass and the roller, it is relatively easy to bend on and off etc. - but all that is awkward for an old guy with a bum back! We specifically bought this boat because it is so easy for one person to sail it from the cockpit by push button (at least for the heavy work!) - the anchor took me by surprise!

You have given me an idea about a possible modification to the locker! I will be looking tomorrow!!

THX
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Old 11-11-2015, 12:58   #13
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Re: Custom Made Windlass Gypsy?

If you have chain plus rope rode I can't imagine how you can deal with it 100% from a cockpit. The transition, at least, will require you change something up at the roller/windlass. I'd suggest all chain in this case since any rope will require you to go forward. But you should go forward to secure the anchor after you pull it up in any case unless just dinking around locally. And it would be best to secure it anyway.
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Old 12-11-2015, 20:12   #14
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Re: Custom Made Windlass Gypsy?

A couple of thoughts on this. Which may go over like a fart in an elevator.
Have you considered:
- Switching to 8mm G7 chain?
- Switching to a different style & model of windlass. Like a Maxwell vertical for example.
- Getting your back sorted out. Especially as, if it's giving you that much trouble with daily chores, then what's going to happen WHEN an emergency arrises. One which requires at least a mid level amount of core strength to be able to handle.
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Old 13-11-2015, 02:05   #15
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Re: Custom Made Windlass Gypsy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
If you have chain plus rope rode I can't imagine how you can deal with it 100% from a cockpit. The transition, at least, will require you change something up at the roller/windlass. I'd suggest all chain in this case since any rope will require you to go forward. But you should go forward to secure the anchor after you pull it up in any case unless just dinking around locally. And it would be best to secure it anyway.
With a combination chain/rope windlass, like the Maxwell, the transition from chain to rope is seamless - there is no need to do anything. The rope is spliced to the chain and it simply plays in or out as needed. It worked great for me on a previous, smaller boat.

I do not need to do it all from the cockpit, in fact I never anchor from the cockpit. And we always have to attach and detach the bridal. And, it is always best to have eyes on the bow and windlass when raising or lowering. But in an emergency, I want one person (myself or my wife) to be able to raise the anchor without strenuous acrobatics from the helm while maneuvering the boat if need be, after the bridal is removed.
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