Monday, January 15, 2007

Winch handle

Winch handleI've started work on getting the anchor winch sorted out.

The immediate problem being the gypsy is supposed to be able to turn independently of the warping drums, but they are currently seized together.

A second, but related, issue is that the key which is supposed to allow the gypsy to engage/disengage is also jammed.

I've tried the gentle application of heat to burn off the paint, which initially seemed to be the cause of the problem, though now it appears the main parts are rusted together and so more drastic measures need to be employed.

The key is brass (soft) and the rest of the winch is cast (brittle), so it's not just a case of banging away at the thing with progressively bigger and bigger hammers.

Anyway, to make my life easier I've welded myself up a new handle, which you can see in the picture. At least I can now crank the thing over easily enough.

The plan is that the winch will ultimately be powered by a 24v electric motor, though I'm hoping the handle will enable my anchor to be lifted by hand, and therefore be useful as a standby in the longer term.

I had originally planned for the handle to be longer, to make life easier, but the winch itself would need to be mounted higher for a longer handle be usable without causing some sort of back injury, or scraping one's knuckles on the deck for that matter.


  1. Pilot Miles6:45 PM

    Hello Mr. Zim. An observation I might make if you don't mind. I have watched the anchor come up many times aboard our vessel and wonder if it will really be a problem if the gypsy spins along with the heads. It seems that if you needed the use of the heads you could always just lift the chain clear of the gypsey so that it would not interfere with the movement of the mechanism. The anchor would presumably be hanging from the hawse hole and you could certainly take the weight of the anchor from the deck with a chain dog of pun intended. It would be a shame to crack the cast ironwork with heating or banging. Just a comment.

  2. Hi Rick & Karen

    An excellent idea, and one I think I'll adopt.

    It's an obvious answer now you have pointed it out.

    My goal is perfection, the reality is acceptance of a workable solution given limited resources and time constraints.




  3. Pilot Miles11:26 AM

    The pursuit of perfection with these large old vessels, as you know , can be time consuming and expensive. in regards to the anchor winch you might want to think that as far as raising an anchor goes, it will work perfectly. Part of this whole boating thing is making the best with what you have....and that certainly includes time and dosh. We have learned that projects like these can go completely to rubbish if you don't keep a firm course set on "the big picture". Regretfully there have been many restoration/conversion projects like both of ours that have gone only so far to founder as it became to overwhelming or just to damn expensive to continue. Remember Tim that the project list for Lady jane will never end but that once she is fully seaworthy and you are living aboard you will certainly have acheived a certain perfection . Sorry for all of the rambling but what can you do at 0400 on a sleepless night aboard. We're docked here in Belfast, Maine living happily aboard the Wanderbird as the blizzard rages outside. See ya TZ

  4. Thanks for the post.

    Thinking of you guys there in the blizzard.