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Lewmar Windlasses

Lewmar, founded in 1950 by Len Lewery and Leslie Marsh, are a world-renowned marine manufacturing group, producing a varied portfolio of equipment including windlasses, anchors, winches, blocks, hatches and steering systems.

Lewmar are among the champions of British marine engineering and production, consistently delivering top quality, innovative deck hardware solutions as a result of their continuing programme of investment in sophisticated, state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment at their two UK based production plants.


The Lewmar brand acquired Simpson Marine Engineering around the millenium and have established their range of vertical axis windlasses as a well respected development of the groundbreaking Simpson Lawrence Anchorman design introduced in the 1990's.

Lewmar windlass  Lewmar Windlass - vertical drum

Lewmar have built a wealth of design and engineering knowledge and experience in anchoring systems since their acquisition of Simpson Lawrence nearly two decades ago.

Lewmar now offer a range of compact Anchoring Windlasses for yachts and boats from 6 metres up to 75 metres length overall.

Lewmar design engineers will only countenance durable, corrosion resistant materials on deck, coupled with powerful, reliable under-deck motor and electrical solutions.

Marine grade stainless steel components, providing longevity and reliability are integral to the internal mechanical workings of the windlass. Compact, sleek profiles for both the vertical and horizontal ranges look the part and complement the forward deck layout on your boat.

The focus of Lewmar windlass design is directed at: simplicity of use, reliability in a harsh marine environment and an uncomplicated fitting process.

The pictures below illustrate a typical set up for a vertical or a horizontal windlass.

Lewmar Horizontal Windlass Set Up  Lewmar Vertical Windlass Set Up

How to choose the right Lewmar windlass for your yacht or boat.

The main considerations in making your decision:

1. Select Vertical or Horizontal - the axis of the windlass motor shaft.

Vertical Windlass Key Points:

  • More of the windlass is below deck
  • Suitable for larger chain lockers
  • Anchor rode makes a 180° wrap around the gypsy providing more security
  • Recommended minimum fall = 406mm (18") for gravity feed

Horizontal Windlass Key Points:

  • Most of the windlass unit is above deck
  • Suited to smaller chain lockers
  • Anchor rode enters the gypsy, makes a 90° turn and feeds into the chain locker
  • Recommended minimum fall = 304mm (12") for gravity feed
  • Simpler installation than vertical unit

Lewmar Horizontal or Vertical Decision

2. Select the size of windlass suitable for your boat

Lewmar Vertical Windlass Size Guide

Windlass Model

Boat Length Overall from 6 metres up to 25 metres Lewmar Vertical Windlass Guide

Lewmar Horizontal Windlass Size Guide

Windlass Model

Boat Length Overall from 6 metres up to 25 metres Lewmar Horizontal Windlass Guide

3. Select the length, rope diameter, chain size and calibration for the Anchor Rode which must fit into the chain locker

Establish the maximum length of suitable rope and chain that will fit in the locker without compromising the gravity feed.

Measure the depth of the anchor locker to determine the available fall. 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. The windlass is a pulling device that retrieves the anchor and rode. Gravitational force makes the rope and chain drop into the chain locker. The area under the hawse pipe needs to be clear of any obstruction to allow gravity to pull the rode into the locker. If the locker is too shallow or the rope/chain does not spread out away from the immediate point of contact of it's own accord, then the rode may need to be manually dispersed to facilitate further retrieval.

Lewmar Chain Guide

4. Determine the pulling power required for your intended anchor rode

Check your decisions regarding windlass model, length and size of anchor rode by using the Lewmar Windlass Power Formula:

Total weight of ground tackle (anchor and rode) x 4 * = Pulling power required

* Use x4 for all Horizontal windlass and Vertical windlass up to V5, x2 for V6 Vertical Windlass and above

This provides an insight into the Working Load, designed to allow prolonged anchor laying and retrieving, if in doubt, contact Team Jimmy Green for further advice.

Lewmar Purchase Selection process for Vertical Windlass Instalation:

Lewmar Windlass Specification Guide 123

1. Low Profile or with Drum (for rope hauling)    2. Electric or Hydraulic motor, choose power option (motor wattage)    3. Chain size and calibration - the chain and the gypsy must match exactly

Lewmar Windlass Specification Guide 456

4. Circuit Breaker - determine correct ampage    5. Solenoid/Control Box - is it included ?    6. Select additional switches and remote controls, wired or wireless

Lewmar Windlass Advisory Points

Do's and Don't


  • Make off the anchor rode to a strong point while at anchor
  • Secure the anchor (rode) when underway
  • Check all around you before deploying your anchor
  • Motor up to the anchor while retrieving
  • Shut off the circuit breaker when working on the windlass
  • Shut off circuit breaker when the windlass is not in use
  • Read the manual and follow the Lewmar safety instructions and warnings


  • Allow the windlass to hold the boat while at anchor
  • Use the windlass to pull or tow your boat
  • Use your windlass to lift a person
  • Allow anything e.g. fingers, loose clothing to get in or around the windlass gypsy while it is in operation


  • A windlass should not be used as a load bearing strongpoint.
  • Secure your anchor rode (rope, chain or combination) to a separate fixing point e.g. Chain Stopper, Mooring Cleat, Mooring Post.
  • A windlass is not designed to stow the rope and chain in the chain locker.
  • On some yachts, depending on the chain locker layout and dimensions, the chain may pile up too much in the locker and need to be manually dispersed (pulled away) from under the hawse pipe (entry point) to make more space for the remainder of the rode.

Lewmar Accessories and Spare Parts Catalogue

Lewmar Horizontal Windlasses and Capstans Catalogue

Lewmar Vertical Windlasses Catalogue   Lewmar Gypsy Guide

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