Went with a vertical capstan/chain gypsy
windlass. Wanted the ability to use the windlass to help kedge off when I run aground as well as other times when needing serious pull on a line. Went with vertical because you don't have to worry about having a fairlead and getting overides. The vertical also takes up way less deck realestate.
The first time I had occasion to use the winch
, the capstan paid off handsomely. Backed myself into a corner when the engine
wouldn't start and ran aground on a rapidly falling tide, rowed out the kedge anchor and tensioned the rode
to twist the boat away from a boulder that could have done damage to the hull
, left the tension on the rode and waited for the tide to come back in. Woke up in the morning floating nicely. To do that with a horizontal windlass, would have had to rig a block which would have been a BIG problem to get a fair lead to the windlass.
I used to be a big fan of manual windlasses but going out diving
off a friends 30,000 pound boat convinced me otherwise. We anchored and reanchored 6 times in an afternoon looking for the ideal dive spot. He essentially used his large boat like we would a dinghy
because of the electric windlass. Single
handing, the electric windlass is great. I can retrieve the anchor while conning the boat from the cockpit
. Saved my butt when the wind
came up overnight and would have been nearly impossible to retrieve the anchor with a manual windlass
without ending up against a bulkhead.