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Old 13-01-2011, 21:17   #1
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Lewmar H3 Gypsy / Drum Windlass ?

66 lb claw anchor. 300 feet of 3/8 BBB chain.

I am not man enough to manually handle that with our otherwise beautiful single speed all bronze windlass, so we're going for an electrical one (with the manual backup).

Before we pull the trigger I'd like to get any opinions about the windlass that is in our shopping basket: H3 Gypsy / Drum Windlass . With the manual back-up being H-Series Emergency Manual Recovery Kit .

Thanks.



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Old 14-01-2011, 08:00   #2
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Sven--

Take a look at VW Vertical Windlass as an alternative. This has the advantage of being able to service both bow rollers and the capstan can be used from any direction. Better, the electrics are all below deck. We've been very happy with ours with 3/8" BBB chain.

FWIW...
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Old 14-01-2011, 08:43   #3
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I'd also take a hard look at one of the Maxwell units. I had a Lewmar about 10 years ago that leaked into the motor with resulting bad corrosion. I've heard similar reports from others.

I've never heard of anyone unhappy with a Maxwell. I believe they still manufacture in New Zealand (pretty sure Lewmar is China). I now have a Maxwell Liberty and am very happy. Pulls like a brute, flawless chain handling. This model also has a built in manual retrieval using a standard winch handle. I tried it once for fun and it was easy.

The horizontal vs vertical choice really depends on your bow roller and foredeck setup. I do like vertical because it's less prone to grab sheets and less in the way on deck. It's nice to have the motor and wiring all below deck but anchor lockers are pretty wet places so I think the advantage is not that great.

Carl
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Old 14-01-2011, 09:06   #4
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I think our Lewmar H3 is underpowered or over-clutched. Anyway it isn't the miracle amchine we had hoped for. We have a 40 pound Bruce and an all chain rode.
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Old 14-01-2011, 09:38   #5
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Thanks to all.

That's all great feedback. I'd worried about the mixed SS and aluminum construction of the Lewmar and all your other comments settle it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte
Take a look at VW Vertical Windlass as an alternative.
Does the VW vertical let you power down ? If it doesn't, how good is your control when manually clutching it down ? It doesn't look like the hawse pipe is integral to the unit ... how do you have yours set up to reliably free-fall into the chain locker and not snag ?

Thanks again to all.



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Old 14-01-2011, 14:51   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SvenG View Post
...Does the VW vertical let you power down ? If it doesn't, how good is your control when manually clutching it down ? It doesn't look like the hawse pipe is integral to the unit ... how do you have yours set up to reliably free-fall into the chain locker and not snag ?

Thanks again to all.

-Sven
Sven--

With the duel direction solinoid the windlass is as strong in one direction as in the other--i.e. you can easily power down--hence the ability to use it to service rollers on either side of the bow. However, you can also freewheel if you choose to do so as the ring on the top of the capstan allows very precise control of the cone-clutch arrangement (although I've never bothered with this). FWIW, we have both the hand held controller on a 3 meter coiled cable at the bow; and, a "Quick" wireless controller that I keep in my pocket (but clipped to my belt with a lanyard.) With that, and knowing how much rode is paid out per second, I can (and do occassionally) deploy my ground tackle from the wheel very eaily. Generally, however, my better half does the driving while I deploy from the bow (we have wireless headsets that allow us to speak with one another in normal tones of voice without difficulty). While there are toe switches available--and one comes with the Windlass--I decided against using one because I didn't want a second hole in the deck; and, because all toe switches eventualy fail although Maxwell's seem to be somewhat more robust than many others.

The only thing I don't like about the Maxwell Windlass is that the drive motor, made by Cima of Italy, has a painted common steel case. To prevent rusting, one needs to give the drive motor a shot of T-9 every few months. A regular maintenance routine keeps things in order however.

FWIW...
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Old 14-01-2011, 14:57   #7
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Caution, thread hijack

HyLyte;

We have a Maxwell vw1800 on Alchemy, which came with the boat when we bought a few months ago -- it will feed line out but not in. There is a "Chunck" noise when pushing the foot switch, so I don't think it is the switch or the solenoid, and the PO said as such as well. I have not gotten to the project yet.

I assume I need to disassemble the unit, and check out the gearing/motor. Any advice? Ideas on what might be sticking in there?

Chris

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Sven--

With the duel direction solinoid the windlass is as strong in one direction as in the other--i.e. you can easily power down--hence the ability to use it to service rollers on either side of the bow. However, you can also freewheel if you choose to do so as the ring on the top of the capstan allows very precise control of the cone-clutch arrangement (although I've never bothered with this). FWIW, we have both the hand held controller on a 3 meter coiled cable at the bow; and, a "Quick" wireless controller that I keep in my pocket (but clipped to my belt with a lanyard.) With that, and knowing how much rode is paid out per second, I can (and do occassionally) deploy my ground tackle from the wheel very eaily. Generally, however, my better half does the driving while I deploy from the bow (we have wireless headsets that allow us to speak with one another in normal tones of voice without difficulty). While there are toe switches available--and one comes with the Windlass--I decided against using one because I didn't want a second hole in the deck; and, because all toe switches eventualy fail although Maxwell's seem to be somewhat more robust than many others.

The only thing I don't like about the Maxwell Windlass is that the drive motor, made by Cima of Italy, has a painted common steel case. To prevent rusting, one needs to give the drive motor a shot of T-9 every few months. A regular maintenance routine keeps things in order however.

FWIW...
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Old 14-01-2011, 15:52   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by witzgall View Post
HyLyte;

We have a Maxwell vw1800 on Alchemy, which came with the boat when we bought a few months ago -- it will feed line out but not in. There is a "Chunck" noise when pushing the foot switch, so I don't think it is the switch or the solenoid, and the PO said as such as well. I have not gotten to the project yet.

I assume I need to disassemble the unit, and check out the gearing/motor. Any advice? Ideas on what might be sticking in there?

Chris
Appearances to the contrary not withstanding, the Maxwell is really a pretty simple unit. The drive motor is held in place with two bolts and can be removed from the gearbox very easily. Before doing that, however, of all things ensure that the locking pawl is not in advertantly being engaged! If not that, there may be a broken retainer clip in the worm gear assembly on the bottom of the windlass, which essentially works just like the differential in a rear-drive automobile. A Worm (or screw) gear turning horizontally drives a cone gear oriented vertically. The gear ratio is very high so it wouldn't take much to obstruct the mesh of the gears in one direction or the other. With the drive motor pulled from the gear-box, you can check its operation quite easily with a 12-volt battery. If it spins freely in both directions, the problem will be in the gear box. Fortunately, that too is pretty easily removed (4-3/8" socket headed mounting bolts). If its the Cima drive motor, that can be repaired at an electric shop (or replaced for a few hundred dollars). If it's the gear box, that will have to go off to a Maxwell service depot. One could likely fix it ones self in a pinch, but better to let the pro's do it where the damaged part can be replaced, seals and bearing renewed et al. (Jambing the motor to a stop will break gear-teeth/retaining clips.)

N'any case, Maxwell assembly diagrams are available at User Manuals .

FWIW...
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Old 19-01-2011, 07:50   #9
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How does it feed the chain into the locker ?

Sorry, one more question ...

The VW model doesn't look like it is set up to feed straight into a chain locker. I assume you don't manually hand-over-hand into the locker so I wonder how you set it up ? Do you just rely on chain weight to pull it into the locker ?

Thanks again,



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