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scotty 04-10-2008 12:02

a crazy idea for an anchor winch
okay now that my ground tackle weighs about 70 lbs including the chain and i anchor in mud and i set it hard i a having a hard time pulling it up by hand. i need to pull it up till its zero scope then use the motor to break it free.

i was at the store and i saw smaller electric winches like Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices and had a thought about converting one to use a boat winch type drum. it would not be anything but a take it up on deck, drop on a mount of sort, wind rope, pull anchor, and stow it all. although a weather and water proof housing could be made easily enough. the other option i thought of is to extend the shaft and mount it below deck with the drum above vertically . i think i could do this for the winch price plus 50 bucks, as i have a mill and lathe.

any thoughts ?

SkiprJohn 04-10-2008 12:10

Aloha Scotty,
Saltwater and cheap electric tools don't mix well. Have you thought of just getting an old good sized second hand jib sheet winch at a boat parts store and mounting it on the foredeck? I gave an old winch to a fisherman friend who was having the same kind of problems that you are and he was telling me for years how it came in so handy. It would work well on line and then you could hand up the chain? Or if you used it on the chain just replace it with another second hand winch a couple years later once the drum is chewed up.
Just a thought.

imagine2frolic 04-10-2008 12:22


and most people complain that they drag anchor.....count your blessing, and continue to motor over the anchor:D

Vasco 04-10-2008 12:43


Using the motor to break the anchor free is the proper way to do it. My favourite anchorage here in Toronto is about 24 feet deep and mud. I'm there most weekends (in summer anyway). My CS36M doesn't have a windlass so I haul the 33# Bruce and 3/8" chain up by hand and I bet I'm older than you. The easiest way to do this is to sit down and use your upper body strength. Don't stand up as you'll wreck your back. Just sit on the deck with your legs out straight against the toe rails or pulpit and pull.

GMac 04-10-2008 14:12

You thinking something along these lines Scotty?

The Maxi Stress Free Marine boat anchor winch suitable for boats over seven metres

One of a few versions by assorted manufacturers. I know some that have been set-up to be 'portable'.

Rick 04-10-2008 14:22

Scotty, I use one of those units mounted on my radar arch to raise/drop my outboard from/to the dinghy. It works very well because I replaced the steel cable with HM line and treated the unit with SP400 anti-corrosive and have a Sunbrella cover over it all.

This particular unit has a decent retreival rate to minimise the "exposure time" when the outboard might be swinging due to wave action that other similar units do not have.

This unit would not lend itself to hauling an anchor because the drum will not handle enough line. In addition, NONE of these cheap units will really deliver on their "rated" load due to the friction on the cheap bearings multiplied by the gear-ratio squared when under load. I would never consider actually attempting to pull 2000 lbs with this relative "toy" of winches.

scotty 04-10-2008 16:16

gmac i like that unit, but i was thinking more of the lines of just being a power winch, not a drum too. i am thinking i could replace the drum with winch type drum. maybe even extend the shaft and mount the motor above the v berth and have the drum top side, it would take much work

GMac 04-10-2008 16:47

I think you'll find Rick is right. Unless you buy a top of the line version the cheap ones just don't do what they say. By the time you get a top end one and modify it you will probably better off buying a real winch/capstan.

The problem with drum winches, like the Stressfree for example, is that when the drum is empty (everything deployed) they have good pull but are very slow. When the drum fills up they go bloody quick but have no pull. There is also fleet angle issues, getting the right sized gear to fit well and a few other trick bits which have caught more than one boater. Not to mention they are bloody expensive in comparison with a real winch.

Ex-Calif 04-10-2008 18:10

Scotty - I sympathize - We have the same problem. And with no wash system, rasing the gear manually usually ends up with me looking like a pig farmer...

Gmac - That Maxi Winch looks a bit dodgy (flimsy) - What sort of prices to they get for something like that?

GMac 04-10-2008 18:30

Actually not that flimsy really. Muir do one the same. They both use motors and gearboxes off real winches.

Prices? not too sure but not as cheap as you would expect, pretty much the same as a real winch. I know a bloke who put one in a 42ft fizz nasty and not only does he have to use rather small warp for the size of the boat it also cost him around 4K US$. he would have paid a lot less and been able to us real sized gear had he gone the more standard winch way.

They do have a place but I'd suggest that is at the smaller end of boats and they do have to be set-up right. On a smaller yacht doesn't excite me that much to be honest, more just fizzies.

They are not anything new, commercial fishos have been using things like this for many many years. A crowd makes some here as well but instead of fitting 200ft of 3/8" line like the streefree they'll take 1000ft of 3/4". A recreational v's commercial thing.

I don't have a winch, only a wench ;) (repeat that and I'll hurt you, once I get out of hospital) on my 32fter. I do run lite gear as I also race this one, 21kg (46lbs) for the anchor (alloy Spade) 15mts (45ft) of chain and 60mts (200ft) of warp combined. The Spade does bring up some seabed sometimes but otherwise no worries. I just nudge into gear and get over the top of the anchor before the final heave. If the anchor is well stuck (common) we just pull the rode up tight and cleat it off. Generally inside 30 secs the anchor will let go and easy from there. Once when it was serious buried (the morning after 45-50kts gusts) I got the family up the bow, cleated it off and everyone went aft. About a minute or so later she popped free.

As for the mud, just one of those things us poor people have to live with I suppose but then we are tougher than those lazy bigger boat people ;)

Ex-Calif 04-10-2008 20:15

We have an 18kg something or other - I honestly have never looked at what it is. The blade pivots and it has pretty big flukes. It holds like a bear so no complaints.

It's the big black beast as far as I am concerned. We have about 6 meters of chain and 50 meters of three strand. We rarely anchor in more than 8-10 meters so it works well.

I think what we need is a lighter lunch hook. There are a couple of spots we day anchor around here to swim and shore "party."

Maybe a 10-12 kilo spade with just rope.

Little Otter 04-10-2008 21:40

Hey scotty, whay don't you get a winch that was made for hauling trucks and 4-wheelers out of tight spots, like this one

You can hit the trail with confidence when you've got the premium XT25. Its lightweight, easy-to-handle synthetic rope is great for pulling an ATV out of a sticky situation, and the rope's flexibility is perfect for plow lifting. Its fast line speed means you'll be out of trouble and back on the trail in a hurry. There's no reason to worry about rollback either, thanks to our patent-pending disc brake. Full sealing protects the XT25 from the elements, and its dependable all-metal 3-stage planetary geartrain and efficient electrical system provide long, powerful pulls with less battery drain. XT25 SPECIFICATIONS and PART NUMBERS:
Part Number: 75500
Rated Line Pull: 2500 lbs.
Motor: 12V DC, 0.9hp permanent magnet, sealed
Control: Sealed handlebar mounted mini-rocker switch
Geartrain: All-metal 3-Stage Planetary
Gear Ratio: 154:1
Clutch (freespooling): Sliding pin and ring gear
Brake: Patent-pending disc brake
Drum Diameter/Length: 2.0"/2.9"
Weight: 13.4 lbs.
Rope: 50' synthetic, 3/16" diameter
Fairlead: Roller
Recommended Battery: 12 Amp/hour minimum for winching
Battery Leads: 8 gauge
Duty Cycle: Intermittent
Warranty: Limited lifetime (valid in USA and Canada only) 12V DC PERFORMANCE SPECS:
Line Pull Lbs.Line Speed FT./minMotor CurrentPull by layer layer/Lbs.01814 amps1/25005001639 amps2/215015001096 amps3/184525005157 amps4/1586 Above performance specs are based on first layer of drum Winch Dimensions: 13.12" L. x 4.51" D. x 4.69" H.Mounting Bolt Pattern: 3" x 4.88"

I realize that this is probably overkill but if you could make a weather proof housing for it, it would work perfectly.:D

GMac 04-10-2008 22:17

Now that is a real puppy, Warn is good gear. It probably will do the published numbers. Interesting price difference.

EX-Calif... 18kg, surely not that big or do I have my Maxi's mixed up. If it's the 7.7mt Maxi, that's not an anchor, it's a mooring :)

Little Otter 05-10-2008 10:30

HAHA:D yeah you could pretty much use this thing for anything you need moved, they also make a smaller version of this winch called the XT15 that cost less or you can get a portable version

Alan Wheeler 05-10-2008 11:40

I would give it a week in the Salt environment. I had a big winch on my 4WD and it required constant maintenance to keep it all free of corrosion and I only played in Fresh water.

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