Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Windlass - working

Windlass - WorkingThis is a final word on the issues with the windlass - for now anyway.

As a result of thinking through the process of raising the anchor last week, it became blindingly obvious that I had a clutch and not a gear lever on the side of the unit.

Anyhow, I recently spent some time working on freeing up the seized clutch, by using a bit of big old rope firmly attached and brute force.

I'm pleased to say the clutch now works reasonably well. I guess with use, this will free up even more.

What I've discovered, probably because of the gearing, is that the windlass will not turn backwards no matter how much load is on it. This now seems a good thing.

To get the windlass to reverse, I turned the shaft you can see at the front there using a big wrench. With this, it turns backwards easily.

Now everything works according to plan, though I've decided to leave the anchor hanging on the brake, with the claw as a safety stop. It seems to me this is easier for quick deployment if needs be.

Longer term, I'll weld up a crank handle to use on the front of the windlass.

Problem solved - next will be to move the windlass back to a better position on the deck (see the angle of that anchor chain).


  1. Anonymous9:03 PM

    I didn't realise you had the anchor hanging off the bow side of that windlass. I had guessed that the pipe visible in the other photos was the hawespipe -- I guess that is the spillpipe/navel pipe then.

    Look at that crazy angle the chain feeds over the gypsy! There's a safe arrangement for a 250Kg chunk of steel to be hanging from.

  2. Hi Anonymous

    The camera kind of exaggerates the angle, it's really not that bad at all.

    In any event, the plan is to move the windlass much further back, so that whole issue will disappear completely.



  3. Tim,

    I think you should find out what the breaking point of the shackle is between the chain and anchor.

    It sure looks like a weak point of your ground tackle.

    Bill Kelleher

  4. Anonymous8:24 AM

    captain c here,that there shackle should not be there,we need to find you a chatham link of the appropiate size which when fitted looks like another link in the chain.if we measure the chain and when i am in cowes i will try Harry Spence the well known riggers.A nice coat of paint when she is in position and i may invite you to my wheelhouse to view it from its best angle!!regards

  5. Hi Tim

    One thing that always worried me about the engine on the winch ,is the rotating starting shaft ,It could be dangerous if any loose clothing became wrapped around it while the engine was running .I have seen some with a tubular shroud that you can insert the handle into.
    It worries me because I remember some horrible accidents with lathes when I was in engineering factories.
    Regatrds : Andrew

  6. Hi Andrew

    Good point, I have exactly the same issue with the Lister in my engine room.