Windlass Rain…

This year we are in dire need of a good rain. This year we are in dire need of a windlass fix. Driving south toward DC you’ll pass over the itty bitty Patuxent River. It has been an almost dry river bed for a few years now so this abundant spring rain we are hiding from is sort of welcome. The river bed is so dry you could mount a windlass down there on that rock and pull the bay west.

I was reviewing my notes from one of my discussions with the previous owner of Cat Maudy. He said that the windlass had been damaged and that that damage forced him to do some impromptu engineering. Additionally, the manufacturer only distributes product in Europe so I opted to just replace the existing windlass.

I called Vetus. After chatting with Vetus about their windlass line, made by the Italian firm Lofrans, I decided against the Vetus windlass. The Vetus gypsy doesn’t accept chain and rode. Hmmm. They told me to call Maxwell. Not Lofrans? No, we bought Maxwell. Lofrans builds your windlass? Yeah, go to Maxwell. OK then. That’s also what my friend Dan said, “Get a Maxwell.”

I called Maxwell and the pre-sales tech support was great. I selected the RC-10/10. It is a vertical windlass with a 1200 watt motor and 1500 lbs of pull. It is not stainless steel so it is cheaper than the Lewmar and Lofrans. Right now we have 160 ft of 10mm chain. When you add the weight of the chain and the 26kg Buegel anchor this windlass is well within the numbers.

So much for all this blathering. Here is a little picture of the then and to be:

This windlass will “free fall” the ground tackle off the bow and straight into the Marianna Trench if you allow it. The capstan is fixed to the drive shaft (and of the course the motor) but by loosening the cone clutch the capstan and gypsy operate independently. So we can deploy the second anchor. This feature had been de-engineered from our previous windlass. The second anchor, a 22kg Delta Fastset, has only about 25 ft chain and 250 ft of 3/4in rode which allows us to get the thing off the floor with capstan.

I have to wire it in order to test it. The diagram is like this:

This installation will have a chain counter, foot switches on deck, and an activation switch in the chain locker. But the parts currently look like this:

So while the Patuxent is getting a much needed rain I’m taking a break. Of course the alternative blog post to this post could have been…

… it was raining with no end. I should have tested the windlass before we left the dock but I was in a “we don’t need no stickin’ testing up in here” mood. We made the anchorage with force 10 winds that nearly blew Jane off the fore deck and I thought I heard her say, “the !@#$ windlass is jammed.”

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