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Old 04-12-2014, 01:45   #1
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Unusual Windlass Arrangement

Hi Guys,

I have just bought a Catalina 30 tall rig, and the horizontal windlass arrangement has me a bit confused..... It is unlike the setups I've previously used, and to be honest I'm not particularly confident I even know how to use it !

Is this arrangement for a chain rode normal ?? Any better setup suggestions ?

Thanks
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Old 04-12-2014, 03:19   #2
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Re: Unusual windlass arrangement ??

Sure it's normal, just a little old that's all. Chances are you could pull that gear up by hand anyway. The winch drum is made for rope not chain but that shouldn't present too many issues. Put two turns of rope on the drum and give it a try. If you are only cruising the Sydney area plus a little of the NSW coast you can get by just fine with around 10 - 15m of chain. Almost everywhere you will go will have a sandy bottom except for a some mud up the rivers.

Does the motor work ? ( a minor but significant point )
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Old 04-12-2014, 17:15   #3
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Re: Unusual windlass arrangement ??

Hi Savoir,

Yes the motor works !

Am I right in saying that this configuration is designed for rope only, and I would have to wrap a few turns around the drum, tail the rode and feed it back into the locker, then bring up the remaining chain by hand ?

The current setup is at least 40m chain, and I had a god awful time bringing it up caked in the thickest darkest most evil looking mud from the bottom of Jerusalem bay !!

Would it be possible to change the drum to something that that can handle chain or rope without the need to tail ?

Cheers.
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Old 04-12-2014, 17:28   #4
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Re: Unusual windlass arrangement ??

Yes, that is a windlass gypsy, designed to handle rope. You could use nips to haul the chain up. Slow, but at least it's not by hand.
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Old 04-12-2014, 17:32   #5
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Re: Unusual windlass arrangement ??

A chain gypsy may be able to handle the rope rode. It's going to be a challenge, though, as you must be able to first match a gypsy to the drive. You will still, probably, need to tail since there is negligible "drop" from the gypsy to the highest point in the chain locker to efficiently peel the chain from the gypsy. As for the mud, get a long handled brush so you can remove as much crud as possible, or, rig a high pressure washdown hose to get the mud off while it's still over the side.
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Old 04-12-2014, 17:34   #6
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Re: Unusual windlass arrangement ??

Hi Ryon...

Please pardon my ignorance.... but what are "nips" ?

In oz "nips" are a colloquialism for the pink appendages on mammory glands but I cant see how that would help with getting an anchor up ?

Cheers
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Old 04-12-2014, 18:05   #7
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Re: Unusual windlass arrangement ??

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Originally Posted by TopperHarley View Post
Hi Ryon...

Please pardon my ignorance.... but what are "nips" ?

In oz "nips" are a colloquialism for the pink appendages on mammory glands but I cant see how that would help with getting an anchor up ?

Cheers
We need a NSFW section. I could go places with a straight line like that!

Nips are short sections of rope with a chain hook attached. One of the ships I crew has a beautiful purpleheart windlass that is fine for hauling up the fiber rode, but when we get to the chain, we alternate two or more nips to bring it in without marring the wood.

You might try looking for a combination wildcat/gypsy spool sized for your boat. I've seen them, but don't have any experience using them. You don't have room for a conventional two-spool system, which limits your options.
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Old 04-12-2014, 18:10   #8
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Re: Unusual windlass arrangement ??

That drum will handle chain but you will have to get at least a full turn around the drum ( maybe two ) and tail the chain by hand. Hauling the anchor that way is awkward and can be messy if there is mud on the chain.

If you have anchored in mud use the weight of the boat to help you. Start the engine and put the boat in forward for a few seconds to bring it towards the anchor. Haul in as much chain as you can either by hand or using the windlass and cleat it off. Repeat the procedure. You should now have 2:1 of chain out or maybe less. If there is wind about let it do the work on the boat which should break free all by itself. If there is no wind then just give it a couple of seconds in forward. Follow that with a few seconds in reverse. You are using the momentum of the boat in reverse to help you. With the shortened scope the chain should pull upward at sufficient angle to break free. If it still won't break try reversing with the helm over in order to pull from a different angle.

As for the gypsy, I can't say whether you will be able to get one. All manufacturers sell different drum/gypsy combos for their windlasses but I don't know what is available for your model or what model you have. You will have to contact the manufacturer. At least with a gypsy you won't have to tail the chain which is a good thing.

Finally, you use the slingshot effect to your advantage to deal with mud on the anchor. Leave the dirty anchor and chain in the water and motor to deeper water that is clear of other boats. Put the helm hard over and engage reverse. After a minute or so of spinning around the anchor should be clean.
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Old 04-12-2014, 21:04   #9
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Re: Unusual windlass arrangement ??

Great advice - thankyou all !
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Old 04-12-2014, 21:56   #10
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Re: Unusual windlass arrangement ??

Trivia:
Back in the days of wooden ships and iron men, when weighing anchor the nips were located in a small area between decks. Because the height was so short, young boys were tasked with "nipping" the anchor cable. These young lads were thus called, "nippers", as youngsters are still called today (or at least used to be).
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Old 04-12-2014, 21:58   #11
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Re: Unusual windlass arrangement ??

Wow ! The stuff you learn on the net. " nippers " is used much more in Australia than you might realize.
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Old 04-12-2014, 22:08   #12
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Re: Unusual windlass arrangement ??

My morgan had a smooth drum Gypsy on the deck with a foot control to work it. I ran about 20 meters of 5/16 th chain and the rest nylon rode. I just took a couple winds around the gypsy and hand guided the road into the locker. when I came to the chain I just kept on pulling. the Gypsy was fairly large and gripped the chain quite well except sometimes it would get over itself and lock up. Mac
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Old 05-12-2014, 07:44   #13
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Re: Unusual windlass arrangement ??

Quote:
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... You might try looking for a combination wildcat/gypsy spool sized for your boat. I've seen them, but don't have any experience using them. You don't have room for a conventional two-spool system, which limits your options.
I'm going to take back this suggestion. Even if you had a wildcat for chain, you couldn't use it in that configuration. The geometry is just wrong.
Now, I'll make a crazy suggestion: Use a halyard to bring the chain aboard. I've never done this myself, but I'd be surprised if someone hasn't tried. What could possibly go wrong?
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Old 06-12-2014, 04:53   #14
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Re: Unusual windlass arrangement ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryon View Post
I'm going to take back this suggestion. Even if you had a wildcat for chain, you couldn't use it in that configuration. The geometry is just wrong.
Now, I'll make a crazy suggestion: Use a halyard to bring the chain aboard. I've never done this myself, but I'd be surprised if someone hasn't tried. What could possibly go wrong?
I have used a halyard on a friend's boat (the whole windlass was torn out of place at the time) to haul the chain out. If the chain is long, and we had over 40 metres out at these anchorages, it is very uncomfortable exercise. After doing it twice with the halyard, we reverted to hand hauling.

in my opinion, If you are already in a spending mood (and have the cash to spare) you will do best by e new installation intended to handle chain.
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:24   #15
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Re: Unusual Windlass Arrangement

FYI, here's some pictorial info on nippers. As discussed, a chain hook and a length of line would do as well at a yachting scale:

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