for those who care about such things The Adventures of Estrella is updated after falling almost 6 weeks behind.
Shame on them whoever they are ;-)
Sorry to hear about your engine problems. I hope the repairs are successful. How has that Windlass been working out for you?
s/v HyLyte :)
Since the windlass is 10 years old and I installed it poorly myself it is naturally working great ;-)
Only the things I spent thousands on having professionally done are coming apart (professionally rebuilt transmission, professionally reglassed stringers with new motor mounts, shaft and coupler etc)
All the stuff that is 30 years old or poorly installed by me is working perfectly ;-)
I am seriiously thiinking Electric windlass though. Man with 300' of 3/8BBB and a 66lb Rocna on the end of that thing I have to remind myself that cranking in the anchor is a multi stage process. A couple times I decided it "HAD to come up NOW" and realized that decisioin is not mine to make when I was sitting on deck exhausted having 80' more chain to crank in.
I know I am younger than you are and I assume after all your years using this windlass you are in better shape than I am but man that little push button business sounds great sometimes.
Then I see Lofrans Tigress $1700 and the wire and the time installing etc etc etc. and I remember why I have that wonderful Sea Tiger.
Adam, Adam, Adam...
I HATE to say I told you so....But!
Hopefully you are using Low Gear until you have shortened the chain up. It's slower but takes about half the effort, but for twice as long. (I ran into a fellow that had the same windlass on his boat for 5 years and didn't realize he even had two gears until I mentioned it!). Another trick is to get a piece of Aluminum tube that will fit over the windlass handle. Extending the handle a foot or two makes it alot easier although the throw is longer. (I used to stand sideways with that, rather than behind the windlass, as the side to side action seemed easier.)
In our case, when we anchor I have Kitt hit the Man-Overboard button on our Garmin GPS when we drop the anchor. From that point on, the GPS Arrow points directly at the spot so that, we always know where the anchor is relative to the boat and when we're retrieving the Anchor, she merely has to line the Arrow up, dead ahead, and idle forward while I retrive the chain. In that manner I never had to pull up more than the length of chain between the stem and the bottom. Usually not more than 20 feet here in Florida but once 60 to 80 feet in California. Even 80' was doable--but slow--in low gear. Of course, that trick works just as well with the Maxwell, although now all we have to do is push a button! (If you do decide to chage to an electric windlass, I strongly recommend the Maxwell line. Maybe when you get to NZ!)
I sympathize with your experiences with "Professionals". I think we've all had that experience, unfortunately.
Hang in there. As time passes you'll become more fit, and more experienced, and it gets easier. Then, at some point you'll go through the same ballony I did about giving up a reliable manual windlass in favor of a power version. Had I not damaged my arm, I'd still be using that old 555.
Please give my regards to your darling, and say hi to you Mom and family. We think of you often and are glad to see your posts from time-to-time.
/s/ Scott & Kitt
s/v HyLyte :)
Noticed you two discussing the manual Sea Tiger and electric upgrade, and I find myself in agreement on cost/hassle. Unfortunately, I have some sort of clone that is not an actual SL555; whatever ID it might have had is either corroded away or buried under paint/alum. oxide.
Do you know if the 'cloners' (probably Taiwanese) were so faithful in their copy that SL-555 parts will fit? I tried email to the outfit that took over the Simpsson-Lawrence line, but no reply -- perhaps they don't want to deal with clones.
Sea Tiger Spare Parts
I have never heard of a clone for the Sea Tiger and, frankly, I find it unlikely that one exists as there is too little demand. The "Genuine Artical" actually does have a cast case that, one the paint's been removed, looks pretty cheap. Never-the-less, ours held up quite well for many years, more so than did I.
Spare parts can be obtained from Lewmar. See: Lewmar Spares (Select "Windlass" and "555").
You should be able to find the exploded parts drawing on the Web.
Note that doing any work on the device is a filthy proposition as the gear case is filled with grease that has to be removed. I used a big plastic wash tub and a gallon jug of kerosene to get the grease out that I couldn't scoop out by hand. (Once the case was cleaned out, I used a couple of bags of cat litter to absorb the resulting mess.)
The most important seal on the device is on the bottom plate. I replaced ours--now Adam's--with a gasket cut from a thin sheet of gasket cork. IF this isn't done properly, however, the new grease will leak out when the unit heats up in the sun and can create a heck of a mess.
The most important thing with this windlass is regular maintenance, including polishing the clutch cone with a little 600 grit emory cloth. With that, it will work forever. Without they will surely freeze up at which point the gears get broken when one struggles to "unfreeze" the unit.
Simpson-Lawrence SeaTiger #SL-555 Windlass manual c/w exploded views, parts, and etc:
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