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Houdini Mechanic of the Day

After a winter in Baltimore, or for no other apparent reason, our automatic anchor windlass has decided to act up. The windlass is a motor that turns the chain holding the anchor…allowing either the anchor to get dropped into the water….or to bring it back on deck. Our best guess, is that the bearings are jammed or corroded, preventing the chain from dispensing.

Captain Pat spent 3 days ripping apart the Windlass casing, and gypsy – but for some curious reason, the windlass refuses to budge from it’s current position above the anchor hold. By now, there are only 3 bolts left, holding this device to the fiberglass foredeck. A logical thinker would expect that once the 3 bolts were removed – the Windlass would be set free.

It was now time to remove these remaining bolts – located inside of the anchor hold. The opening to this hold is approximately 2 feet square, and inside is a smelly mess of 150′ of chain (equates to 1 ton of weight), and approximately 1 foot of depth, at an angle…that we’ll call “workspace”.
While happily working on computer projects, with Soxy purring peacefully on my lap, somehow, I got volunteered to be the Houdini anchor locker hold mechanic.

After an hour of bolt turning contortions, trashed fingers and a body smelling of seaweed…all 3 bolts were successfully removed. And, the windlass still doesn’t budge from it’s position. No screws, no bolts, no budge. This device seems permanently affixed. I’m thinkin’ sledgehammer thoughts, but alas, Captain Pat will come up a new approach tomorrow. For now, I’m back to computer projects and lap cats.

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