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Old 13-05-2021, 18:54   #1
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Installing windlass with 'shallow' locker?

Hello All,

First of all, I want to mention, I'm trying to just outfit this boat for extended cruising currently. I've done a fair amount of sailing but actually never had the pleasure of trying to anchor with this boat. So please excuse any silliness in the way this is worded, as I'm simply not experienced enough yet!

Anyway this boat has, based on looking at some other examples of anchor lockers online for larger boats, what I would consider a pretty tiny anchor locker. I've not taken stock of the exact length of rode inside of it since I bought the boat, but my actual question is different: I assume that there is some minimum drop distance needed to use a windlass, and that this distance is well insufficient, correct? Or are there some windlasses which might be able to deal with this size anchor locker?

As you can see from the picture, it seems like there is sufficient space below the locket to possibly expand it somewhat with glassing? I'm not sure how realistic this is. The area below could alo potentially be used for chain, but this would lose the ability to drain water.

Basically, I'm just interested in trying to install a windlass on this boat before potentially going for extended cruising. I have seen that it *is* possible (ex this one: ), but information is very scarce. Any tips appreciated!


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Old 13-05-2021, 23:55   #2
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Re: Installing windlass with 'shallow' locker?

Combination rope/chain capstan through the deck at the aft, port side of the locker with a foot switch where it is convenient to kneel on. Haul in with both hands and flake into the locker with your right hand.
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Old 14-05-2021, 00:17   #3
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Re: Installing windlass with 'shallow' locker?

Generally, it’s recommended that you must have a chain locker that will allow for the rode to fall at least 12” for a horizontal windlass, or 18” for a vertical windlass.
The fall is the vertical distance between the top of the anchor locker, and the top of the anchor rode [pile], when the entire rode is completely stored inside.

Lewmarhttps://www.lewmar.com/sites/default...tion_guide.pdf

Imtra [distributer for Lofrans windlass] says:
“... When you position the windlass itself, it should be directly over the deepest portion of your anchor locker. Our rule of thumb is that there should be 16 inches of space above your pile of chain or rope anchor rode when it’s all aboard. If your windlass isn’t located correctly or your locker is too shallow, you may need to develop an approach to flaking or otherwise assisting the rode to avoid over-filling the locker. In some cases, this might dictate choosing a horizontal-style windlass to give you more space below ...”
https://www.imtra.com/learning-cente...nchor-windlass
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Old 14-05-2021, 01:30   #4
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Re: Installing windlass with 'shallow' locker?

using stainless chain alleviated the problems of shallow chainlockers on Feelings 446 (but did not eliminate them altogether)
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Old 14-05-2021, 01:36   #5
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Re: Installing windlass with 'shallow' locker?

You could use the current deck locker to mount the windlass in and build a new chain locker under it.

Have you checked with other owners of the same model?
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Old 14-05-2021, 10:01   #6
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Re: Installing windlass with 'shallow' locker?

We have a similar issue with our boat, Pearson 34-2. We are considering what Paul recommended; putting the windlass in the locker, and build something in the space under it to collect the chain. Still working out the details...
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Old 14-05-2021, 10:05   #7
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Re: Installing windlass with 'shallow' locker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sona1111 View Post
Hello All,

First of all, I want to mention, I'm trying to just outfit this boat for extended cruising currently. I've done a fair amount of sailing but actually never had the pleasure of trying to anchor with this boat. So please excuse any silliness in the way this is worded, as I'm simply not experienced enough yet!

Anyway this boat has, based on looking at some other examples of anchor lockers online for larger boats, what I would consider a pretty tiny anchor locker. I've not taken stock of the exact length of rode inside of it since I bought the boat, but my actual question is different: I assume that there is some minimum drop distance needed to use a windlass, and that this distance is well insufficient, correct? Or are there some windlasses which might be able to deal with this size anchor locker?

As you can see from the picture, it seems like there is sufficient space below the locket to possibly expand it somewhat with glassing? I'm not sure how realistic this is. The area below could alo potentially be used for chain, but this would lose the ability to drain water.

Basically, I'm just interested in trying to install a windlass on this boat before potentially going for extended cruising. I have seen that it *is* possible (ex this one: ), but information is very scarce. Any tips appreciated!
I don't believe the design of that chain locker intended it for a windlass; it is just too shallow. My previous boat (San Juan 28) was the same way, designed for non windlass use and I didn't mind as the anchor wasn't that heavy. Any significant upgrade will require modification to the deck and forward area. While anything can be done with enough ca$h...is it worth it for this boat?

The next time the boat is at a maintenance facility you might ask for their idea how it might be done and an estimate.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 14-05-2021, 10:12   #8
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Re: Installing windlass with 'shallow' locker?

First make sure your anchor locker is strong enough to take the strain of the windlass pull.

Next, can you wall off the area under the anchor locker and make it watertight? If so a separate sump with a pump to keep it dry should be fitted. You do not want your chain sitting in seawater. Many people just let the chain locker drain into the bilge but I don't like a lot of seawater and the mess that comes up with it draining into the bilge.

Last, have a secure point where you can tie off the bitter end on the chain. Use a rope for the last few feet so it will slip in the wildcat if you let the end out - you don't wand to be playing out the chain under power and rip the end of the chain off the strong point.

My chain locker is similar to what I have described. The windlass is on deck, just aft of the anchor locker and the hawse pipe feeds a chain locker under the anchor locker. It has a long fall. The bottom of the chain locker is raised and angled so this it can drain into a dedicated sump with an automatic bilge pump which keeps the chain dry.

The windlass is through bolted with an aluminum backing plate that goes almost the full width of the deck and the mooring cleats are also through bolted to this backing plate. The windlass motor and gears assembly are boxed in and isolated from the chain locker. It is ventilated into the forward cabin.

I realize that my boat is much larger than yours so this info is mostly FYI. Use what you can from my ideas. This design evolved over a few years and works well for me.
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Old 14-05-2021, 10:21   #9
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Re: Installing windlass with 'shallow' locker?

One idea is to split your locker lid in two, glass in half and mount the windlass to that. Personally, we have to push the chain out from under the windlass every few seconds. This is certainly not ideal.

Another idea I have seen is to build out an under locker that drains to the bilge. Folks have complained about the smell with this solution, though.
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Old 14-05-2021, 10:51   #10
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Re: Installing windlass with 'shallow' locker?

Many helpful comments already. Going back to basics, how much chain and much rope do you intend to carry? (Deepest anchorage x 7). You almost certainly want a rope-chain windlass, of which there are many, though none so fair as can compare with the Maxwell HRC series. For good self stacking under the windlass you want 8 strand brait which will lie like a chain and not hockle on the way out and remember the minimum drop it to the top of the rope chain-pile when it's all on board.

I think you'll either decide to to go without a windlass and haul the anchor by hand, or mount a horizontal windlass in the reinforced bottom of the existing locker, or the rebuilt deck over the existing locker. possibly with with some rollers across the deck to drop the chain onto the windlass of its in the existing locker. The water on the rope or chain will drain back to the bilge through the limber holes, - crude but reality on this size boat. Also, make sure that your existing electrical system is up to the task- a windlass motor pulls a lot of amps for quite a while if you're over a deep spot.


Good luck and feel free to contact me through this website for a discussion.


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P.S. Your fiberglass skills and your electrical knowledge will prove to be more important than your ability to bolt in the windlass.
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Old 14-05-2021, 11:41   #11
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Re: Installing windlass with 'shallow' locker?

I have a maxwell vertical rope/chain windless on a Hunter 40 with a shallow locker that looks similar to your situation and it works fine and the windless is mounted outside of the locker. You just have to be very careful when retrieving the chain as it will pile up on you and you will need to push it out of the way. Always wear shoes and gloves.



Make sure you size the electrical cables correctly and run the engine/alternator to keep up the voltage when you operate the windless.
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Old 14-05-2021, 12:24   #12
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Re: Installing windlass with 'shallow' locker?

[QUOTE=SeaStory;3407112]One idea is to split your locker lid in two, glass in half and mount the windlass to that. Personally, we have to push the chain out from under the windlass every few seconds. This is certainly not ideal.

/QUOTE]

We added an inner forestay to a sloop which then required an amazing and expensive number of downstream modifications, including moving the windlass using the approach in this quote. Moving the windlass to this location resulted in the same problem - the chain piles up and requires manual adjustment every 10 to 15 seconds or the chain jumps off the gypsy because there isn't enough weight on the chain to keep it in place. It is a major pain.

A power windlass is wonderful when everything works well. On this boat, we have a windlass switch at the helm. Its ok for dropping the anchor but it would be very unwise to raise the anchor without someone at the bow dealing with the chain pile. So raising the anchor is best controlled by the person at the bow.

Someone above also commented on the issue of water in the anchor locker draining into the bilge if a new locker is made below the old. I agree - salt water from the locker in the bilge is not a great idea but it is even worse to let the chain sit in salt water for long periods of time.
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Old 14-05-2021, 12:40   #13
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Re: Installing windlass with 'shallow' locker?

Many very helpful replies already. Thank you all for the volume of diverse suggestions.

As far as my skills for the project:
-I've done a large number of rather complicated electrical work already and I am very confident with this part of the installation
-I've never worked with / crafted with fiberglass, so I would definitely need a more preliminary foundation if this kind of work was needed.

I generally DIY everything, as there are no services like this available at my marina.

I've seen two posts here suggesting to just use the locker as-is, but based on all of the other posts this would seem to be a rather inconvenient method not officially supported by any of the windlass manufacturers.

For rode length, I was thinking 100 to 200ft nylon. The main trip right now on my bucket list is Dry Tortugas national park, which appears to have some good spots with 10' depth as a starting point. I don't have a good idea of what the volume of 100ft or 200ft of nylon rode would look like compared to this locker size, just not having seen it before. From my measurements, the depth is 6" and the total volume of the locker is ~2022 in^3

One other thing to mention about this boat. The whole front section , does not drain to the bilge. Water will pool at the bottom of the storage area (a problem I discovered before fixing a leak near the lifelines) So it would likely look like building a box of some sort with a sump as described, that would fit in the area below the locker. Is there any advantage of putting the windlass itself inside of the locker if going this route? Or is it just kind of wasted space?

Perhaps I will look into getting that kind of "box" crafted to sit below the existing locker somewhere. I'm not sure what would be the easiest material for me to either order somewhere or make myself. I've usually made things out of wood or PVC, and this box doesn't really need to *exactly* fit the curve of the boat as long as it can wedge in the space. Any suggestions of how to start working on this box would be appreciated, as it sounds like that's the best route to start with.

Anyway thanks again everyone for the insight. It's been very helpful and encouraging.
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