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Old 27-04-2015, 20:40   #16
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Re: Windlass only running when engine is off...

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
So it was working fine and then one day it stopped working as long as the engine was running but worked with the engine shut down? Did you (or anyone else) work on the boat around that same time? Have any other problems that might have affected the windlass wiring?

Did you confirm this with several tests or was it a one time thing?

I have serious doubts that the windlass operation is connected to having the engine running, especially in your case that it will only run with the engine off. As I posted above, the windlass should be entirely independent of the engine.

Ok sorry for being unclear. This is what happened: I bought the boat from the second owner last season so it's new to me. I tried the windlass while laying in the dock with engine off. First it didn't work very well because the solenoid got stuck either up or down when running. I disassembled the solenoid and cleaned the surfaces. Then it worked flawless ( never thought of testing with engine on). Then I didn't use it at all until one of the last trips of the season and during that trip I discovered the issue. I did a lot of work to the boat last season like connecting a bow thruster(separate battery), changing batteries, installing autopilot etc but can't think of anything that would case the issue with the windlass.


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Old 28-04-2015, 05:35   #17
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Re: Windlass only running when engine is off...

OK, I used to have to fix electrical and electronic devices, often after someone else had tried to fix them.

I believe the best way to attack this problem is to essentially rewire the entire windlass system. You can use the same wires and cables, you don't have to replace them.

Disconnect all the wires, then following the instructions, connect them the way they are supposed to be connected.

You won't know why it didn't work correctly, but it will work correctly once you're done and that's really the important part.
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Old 28-04-2015, 07:05   #18
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Re: Windlass only running when engine is off...

Hi Flod,

I looked at the wiring diagram and to be honest, cannot sort out exactly what's going on. One problem, I do not recognize many of the devices drawn in the diagram since they do not use standard circuit drawings.

Of course A is the windlass but not clear what B is. Also what is the device just under the windlass that is not labeled with a letter? C is obviously a solenoid but D I am not certain. Maybe that is some kind of potentiometer?

Do you have the key to the wiring diagram that lists what all the letters mean? That could help.

But after two previous owners is the boat still wired like that diagram or has it been changed? Also even if I understood the diagram it does seem to be more complex that necessary but hard to say until I can understand what all the things are.

What I would do is this. First trace the large cables that take power from the batteries to the windlass. Follow the + and - all the way from start to finish and identify every connection, solenoid or device in that line. That should show you how the power reaches the windlass and maybe where the problem is.
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Old 28-04-2015, 07:25   #19
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Re: Windlass only running when engine is off...

Skipmac, that box is the contactor. This windlass is not a polarity reversing motor, it is a split field motor, hence the 3 wires from it to the winch.
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Old 28-04-2015, 08:56   #20
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Re: Windlass only running when engine is off...

One thing you can check while you are hauled out, turn the switch on without starting the engine, then check your windlass. That will help a lot in the trouble shooting.

Also, it could be coincidental, make sure the symptoms are 100% repeatable.

Just from reading about your problems with the solenoid, I would look there first, a common problem.

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Old 28-04-2015, 09:18   #21
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Re: Windlass only running when engine is off...

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Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
Skipmac, that box is the contactor. This windlass is not a polarity reversing motor, it is a split field motor, hence the 3 wires from it to the winch.
This is the unlabeled box just under the windlass and is the device labeled B then part of the contactor? Looks like B has power in from the battery, a ground and two outputs going to the box which then feeds the motor on the windlass.

Even though I got a degree in EE my field was digital logic and IC design so I'm a bit dense when it comes to the various types of motors. If I understand, a split field motor reverses direction by applying the + power to the different sides of the split field winding.

So that covers one more little piece of the puzzle.
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Old 28-04-2015, 09:26   #22
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Re: Windlass only running when engine is off...

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I would say ALL boats can run the windlass with the engine running infact all the charter boats need the engine running to save the battery. I would suggest the 1% of non original wiring is the culprit
Spot on.

Many boats (including most Moorings and ex-Moorings boats, such as mine) have a Bosch-type relay that will only energize the solenoid circuit (including the factory solenoid/relay) when ignition is on. Many Bosch relays have a "normally open" terminal (87) and a "normally closed" terminal (87a).

I bet that someone pulled out by mistake the connector from 87 and then plugged it into 87a. That would reproduce the exact symptoms reported by OP.
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Old 28-04-2015, 11:16   #23
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Windlass only running when engine is off...

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Hi Flod,

I looked at the wiring diagram and to be honest, cannot sort out exactly what's going on. One problem, I do not recognize many of the devices drawn in the diagram since they do not use standard circuit drawings.

Of course A is the windlass but not clear what B is. Also what is the device just under the windlass that is not labeled with a letter? C is obviously a solenoid but D I am not certain. Maybe that is some kind of potentiometer?

Do you have the key to the wiring diagram that lists what all the letters mean? That could help.

But after two previous owners is the boat still wired like that diagram or has it been changed? Also even if I understood the diagram it does seem to be more complex that necessary but hard to say until I can understand what all the things are.

What I would do is this. First trace the large cables that take power from the batteries to the windlass. Follow the + and - all the way from start to finish and identify every connection, solenoid or device in that line. That should show you how the power reaches the windlass and maybe where the problem is.

Have to agree that the schematic is unhelpful without naming components.
My impression is that your alternator is canceling voltage to a solenoid.
Back feeding is the term, a bit like the charge lite in your car.
Disconnect the positive lead from the alternator and start the engine and try the windlass now, if it works then the alternator is back feeding the operating system canceling voltage to the component.
Then you'll need to look how the system is wired to find the affected area.
In short everything should be connected to power only thru a positive buss bar, directly connected to the house bank battery.
The alternator + lead seems to be connected to component B? I'll assume that's the foot switch?
At the charge isolator.
All power should come directly from the Battery+ buss.



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Old 28-04-2015, 14:34   #24
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Re: Windlass only running when engine is off...

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Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
Spot on.

Many boats (including most Moorings and ex-Moorings boats, such as mine) have a Bosch-type relay that will only energize the solenoid circuit (including the factory solenoid/relay) when ignition is on. Many Bosch relays have a "normally open" terminal (87) and a "normally closed" terminal (87a).

I bet that someone pulled out by mistake the connector from 87 and then plugged it into 87a. That would reproduce the exact symptoms reported by OP.
this would have been my best bet but I didn't know how to put it in understandable words.

When I installed my new electric winch mine had the option of connecting to an alternator to ensure its only operated when the engine is going. I didn't want that. However in practice I always turn my engine on to use the winch.
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Old 28-04-2015, 14:48   #25
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Re: Windlass only running when engine is off...

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Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
Spot on.

Many boats (including most Moorings and ex-Moorings boats, such as mine) have a Bosch-type relay that will only energize the solenoid circuit (including the factory solenoid/relay) when ignition is on. Many Bosch relays have a "normally open" terminal (87) and a "normally closed" terminal (87a).

I bet that someone pulled out by mistake the connector from 87 and then plugged it into 87a. That would reproduce the exact symptoms reported by OP.
If that were the case, it wouldn't be part of the standard windlass installation (from the wiring diagram and instructions). It would be an add on and easily removed.

But remember, the OP said the windlass worked correctly when he bought the boat.
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Old 28-04-2015, 14:53   #26
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Re: Windlass only running when engine is off...

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
But remember, the OP said the windlass worked correctly when he bought the boat.
Isn't it possible
that someone moved one of the relay outputs since he bought the boat?


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Old 28-04-2015, 14:58   #27
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Re: Windlass only running when engine is off...

Don't rewire or change anything yet....What you need to do first is check for voltage along the path to the windlass. Battery>any junctions>breaker>solenoid>motor> etc
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Old 28-04-2015, 15:24   #28
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Re: Windlass only running when engine is off...

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Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
Isn't it possible
that someone moved one of the relay outputs since he bought the boat?


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He would be the one to know that.

What I'm suggesting is that he just disconnect everything and wire it the way it's supposed to be. That's based on years of experience fixing things after others have tried and made things worse.
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Old 28-04-2015, 15:26   #29
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Re: Windlass only running when engine is off...

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post

What I'm suggesting is that he just disconnect everything and wire it the way it's supposed to be. That's based on years of experience fixing things after others have tried and made things worse.
+1 on all that.
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Old 28-04-2015, 15:59   #30
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Re: Windlass only running when engine is off...

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posted by rwidman: But remember, the OP said the windlass worked correctly when he bought the boat.
No he didn't. Go back and read his posts.
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