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Old 21-05-2022, 08:53   #1
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Maxwell VW 1500 or 2500

As title asks… we have no windlass now. Our boat has a designed displacement of 26,000lbs 44’ monohull. Plans are to use up to 300’ of 3/8” g4 chain with a mantus M2 #85. Specs say a 1500 would work…. BUT would I be better suited with the 2500… or wasted money?
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Old 21-05-2022, 09:32   #2
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Re: Maxwell VW 1500 or 2500

An excellent brand choice OP. Maxwell Marine are high quality products manufactured right here in New Zealand.

But as to your question, I think it's a no brainer. You'll never regret having something with a bit more torque but you'd certainly regret something that you find under sized. I do concede that the price increase to upgrade certainly appears aggressive, given there's very little difference (apparently) between the two.

From a quick search I see that the following prices for 12 volt:
VW 1500 $US2,630
VW 2500 $US3,925

But consider the price if you install the 1500 and then find it just wont do the business, and you have to swap it out. Ouch on the winch, but at least they use the same gypsey for your 3/8 inch chain (when will they go to metric, were in 2022 not 1822?) if you siick to that chain choice.

Aren't boats fun, decisions, decisions. But if it were me, and I can say this without spending the cold hard cash. I'm plus 1 for the larger winch. But then I'm just some dude sitting in the dark at the keyboard on the other side of the world in the middle of the night cause I woke up early.

Oh and to add, I've a way more oversized winch than either that you're looking at on my own 10mtr boat and I've never regretted the serious power and pull that it has.
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Old 21-05-2022, 14:45   #3
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Re: Maxwell VW 1500 or 2500

FWIW:

Our boat (46 ft ~ 12 tonnes laden displacement) came with a Maxwell VWC 1200 to pull its 80 m of 10 mm chain and 60 lb anchor). It proved entirely adequate in power, but after some 10+ years of service it died from corrosion. Replaced with a VWC 1500 which
replaced the 1200 in Maxwell's lineup, but somehow was re-rated despite having the same motor and gearbox. It performed similarly and we've never wished for more power.

We are long term liveaboard cruisers who stay at anchor by choice, so our windlass gets a lot of use.

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Old 21-05-2022, 17:42   #4
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Re: Maxwell VW 1500 or 2500

The larger option might be valuable later if you decide to add chain or a larger anchor. We have a Maxwell 2200, attached to 400’ of 3/8 and a 50kg Bruce.
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Old 21-05-2022, 18:42   #5
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Re: Maxwell VW 1500 or 2500

I have used both of these units on boats of various sizes, they work very well, but I always wonder when people say things like "if you add more chain you need a bigger winch".
No, the amount of chain does not really matter, as the maximum weight the winch has to lift is the lenght of chain of the depth of water, plus weight of anchor, plus some friction losses of bowroller. Yes I know, sometimes the bow is pulled around, anchor is stuck etc, so the forces are higher than just the weight of chain+anchor.

I have a different brand winch with a same chain size and larger anchor. My winch has a 1500 Watt motor. The reduction is quite big, and is slow and but has no trouble to lift (age of winch is several decades).

Bigger motors may be able to lift heavier things, but the other issue is that the speed of winching can be quicker with a bigger unit. That is very important (to me).

The last issue is duty cycle. A winch that is operating very close to its limit, overheats more easily, not good. I would like to have some reserve capacity.

The very last issue, if you were to install a bigger winch you almost certainly need to upgrade you cabling and breakers. No good to have a bigger winch that draws more amps and lose then lots of power with excessive voltage drop.

I am quite happy with what I have now, and certainly would not upgrade, but....if I had to buy new, I would buy the biggest one that would physically fit, the fastest speed (rate of winching).... if my bankaccount would allow me.
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Old 22-05-2022, 04:34   #6
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Re: Maxwell VW 1500 or 2500

Quote:
Originally Posted by HankOnthewater View Post
I have used both of these units on boats of various sizes, they work very well, but I always wonder when people say things like "if you add more chain you need a bigger winch".
No, the amount of chain does not really matter, as the maximum weight the winch has to lift is the lenght of chain of the depth of water, plus weight of anchor, plus some friction losses of bowroller. Yes I know, sometimes the bow is pulled around, anchor is stuck etc, so the forces are higher than just the weight of chain+anchor.

I have a different brand winch with a same chain size and larger anchor. My winch has a 1500 Watt motor. The reduction is quite big, and is slow and but has no trouble to lift (age of winch is several decades).

Bigger motors may be able to lift heavier things, but the other issue is that the speed of winching can be quicker with a bigger unit. That is very important (to me).

The last issue is duty cycle. A winch that is operating very close to its limit, overheats more easily, not good. I would like to have some reserve capacity.

The very last issue, if you were to install a bigger winch you almost certainly need to upgrade you cabling and breakers. No good to have a bigger winch that draws more amps and lose then lots of power with excessive voltage drop.

I am quite happy with what I have now, and certainly would not upgrade, but....if I had to buy new, I would buy the biggest one that would physically fit, the fastest speed (rate of winching).... if my bankaccount would allow me.
Thanks for everyone’s responses! Speaking to this response directly… I believe that the 1500 and 2500 have the same motor. They have different gearboxes and the 2500 is considerably slower but more mechanical advantage. As far as wiring my power is coming from the same circuit system as my bow thruster. The thruster is a WAY bigger system load than the windlass will be.
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Old 22-05-2022, 10:38   #7
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Re: Maxwell VW 1500 or 2500

Quote:
Originally Posted by HankOnthewater View Post
I have used both of these units on boats of various sizes, they work very well, but I always wonder when people say things like "if you add more chain you need a bigger winch".
No, the amount of chain does not really matter, as the maximum weight the winch has to lift is the lenght of chain of the depth of water, plus weight of anchor, plus some friction losses of bowroller.
If you drag into deep water you want your windlass (at least ideally) to be able to lift the whole weight of your ground tackle. Therefore as you add more chain length you may need to consider a larger windlass. Some manufacturers publish guidelines, and the recommendation is based on the total ground tackle weight. So a longer chain length will increase the manufacturers recommended windlass size.

A larger windlass would always have my vote. Production boats typically fit small anchor winches. This is cheaper, and the builders argue it is adequate for the minimal chain length and small anchor that is standard, but reliability suffers when the anchoring gear is upgraded to realistic equipment.

Many cruisers are reluctant to anchor in deep water specifically because their windlass struggles with the greater dead lift. It is shame to limit your anchoring opportunities in this way. There are also occasions when more windlass power is needed. Sometimes other cruisers will anchor over your chain, or the anchor is caught on debris. A higher than normal lifting force is needed to solve the problem. A larger windlass will help in these situations.

Personally, I do not rate a high retrieval speed as important. I would choose a more powerful windlass over an otherwise less powerful, but faster alternative. It is also worth remembering that retrieval speed is measured at a fixed percentage of lifting power (the percentage will depend on the manufacturer). Therefore a more powerful windlass may in practice be the same or faster than a less powerful windlass that on paper has a faster retrieval speed.

So when cruising BIB (bigger is better) applies to all aspects of the ground tackle, including the anchor windlass.
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