Windlasses

Electric Windlasses for anchoring are now generally fitted as standard on new sailing yachts and motor boats. Upgrades on older yachts are increasingly popular with the advent of improved DC electric charging systems and the tendency towards...

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Electric Windlasses for anchoring are now generally fitted as standard on new sailing yachts and motor boats. Upgrades on older yachts are increasingly popular with the advent of improved DC electric charging systems and the tendency towards longer lengths of anchor chain.

The Jimmy Green Team can advise you on all the options regarding your anchoring system, whether you are looking for a suitable matching component to replace a part of the existing set up or whether you are starting afresh.

Team Jimmy Green can help you match a new or replacement windlass to your existing chain and anchor, advising you on all aspects of the selection process including the calibration of the gypsy and all the accessories required to finish the fitting out task.

Team Jimmy Green can also provide you with all the necessary information to determine the optimum windlass for a new installation including suggestions for your corresponding anchor rode set up i.e. chain, warp, combinations, connectors, shackles and anchors

The correct model of anchor windlass is critical for hassle free anchoring manoeuvres over the long term.

  1. Windlass Selection Criteria

    Decide between Horizontal and Vertical = the orientation of the axis of the gypsy wheel.

    Horizontal or Vertical Windlass Selection

    Horizontal features:

    • Horizontal rotation in relation to the deck.
    • Installed on the deck with a relatively large footprint
    • Recommended for chain lockers with a reduced height or volume
    • Electric motor and the gearbox in protective casing and easily accessible for maintenance.

    Vertical features:

    • Vertical rotation in relation to the deck
    • Reduced volume above deck with the electric motor and the gear box located in the chain locker.
    • Aesthetically pleasing, low profile, reduced deck footprint models are available
  2. Determine the pulling or lifting power that you will require

    Windlass manufacturers utilise their own very different methods of calculating how powerful an electric motor will be suitable for your intended anchoring set up.

    Lewmar suggest that the maximum pulling power of the windlass should be greater than 4 x the total ground tackle weight (4 x the weight of your anchor, chain and warp)

    Maxwell recommend that the minimum pulling power of the windlass should be a minimum 3 x the total ground tackle weight (4 x the weight of your anchor, chain and warp)

    Lofrans recommend that the total ground tackle weight should be 25% less than the specified working load limit of the windlass.

    All three windlass manufacturers publish boat length guidelines for each of their models based on average displacement

    Err on the side of caution if your yacht is relatively heavy for her length.

    Remember to factor in windage as well as weight and your intended anchoring usage should be a major consideration. For extended cruising and living at anchor, it is worth making sure that your new windlass will deal with any anchoring mishaps.

    Lofrans
    Lofrans Windlass Selection guide

    Lofrans also have a very useful online tool for Lofrans Windlass Selection

    You will need to know the yacht length, the chain size and calibration, the length of chain and the weight of anchor.

    Lewmar

    Lewmar Windlass Selection Chart

    MaxwellMaxwell Windlass Selection Guide

  3. Select from three different top quality manufacturers: Lofrans, Lewmar and Maxwell.

    Team Jimmy Green can also advise prices and specifications for other manufacturers such as Quick.;

    Chain Locker Criteria:

    The windlass is designed to retrieve the ground tackle i.e. pulling up the chain and anchor. It is gravity that effectively stores the chain in the locker. The clearance height (fall) between the top of the stacked chain and the underdeck must be a minimum of 300mm in order to ensure the chain drops into the locker quickly and the windlass performance is not impaired. The fall is the vertical distance between the top of the anchor locker and the top of the anchor rode when the entire rode is completely stored inside. Ensure that the chain naturally disperses from directly under the hawse pipe otherwise it may need an extra device to achieve this effect.

    Anchor Rode Security:

    Do not rely on the windlass as a high-load bearing strongpoint.
    Secure the chain to a chain stopper, cleat or bollard on the bow when lying at anchor.

    A Chain Snubbing strop or bridle is a very good method of achieving this objective and simultaneously introducing a shock absorbing element to the anchoring system