Windlass - opinions please

SkunkBoat

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#1
I'm considering adding a windlass to my 265 express. I have no experience with a windlass. Always had a smaller boat.
I've used a capstan on a destroyer but that doesn't help me here...

Looking at Lewmar ProFish 700, H700 or V700.
ProFish seems ideal with the FreeFall, H700 is same thing without freefall.
Both get bad reviews on West Marine site. Water intrusion, clutch won't release, never makes it thru a season without a problem.

V700 gets better reviews, assuming that because the motor is below deck. I like that. I like the look.
But no freefall available - you have to power the anchor down
the vertical also needs more drop into the anchor locker but I don't think that is a problem on the 265.

I know there are other brands but they seem to be twice the already too expensive price of a Lewmar. I know I can get it cheaper somewhere beside West Marine.

Assuming I get one, I imagine I might do better to add a dedicated Deep Cycle battery somewhere forward. My House bank is 2 Dual Purpose group 24s in parallel.

opinions please....
 

DennisG01

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#2
I added a V700 to my Sea Ray (cruiser) a while back and was happy with it. For the price, it seemed like a good bang for the buck, but also I knew it wasn't anywhere near a top of the line model. No real issues with it. Always take reviews with a grain of salt - most people only post negative reviews so things get skewed. Not having free-fall never seemed to bother me as I was never anchoring in more than about 50' of water. Yes, a vertical windlass will need more "drop" into the anchor locker and you can find those specs in the user manual or online at the manufacturer's website. I had a solid 36" so it was of no concern to me.

I didn't see any reason to add a dedicated battery as I would only be using the windlass (other than small/short adjustments) when the engine was running.

Was it on this site? Someone was selling a (used) Good windlass for a great price. They aren't the prettiest, or well known, but they are fantastic windlasses with excellent customer service. They're made right there in your home state, too! They even have a rebuild program that is top notch. Heck, I was toying with the idea of getting that Good windlass just to give me a fun project since the price was so good!
 
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journeyman

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#4
V700 gets better reviews, assuming that because the motor is below deck. I like that. I like the look.
But no freefall available - you have to power the anchor down

You can make it free fall by securing the fallsafe pawl and loosening the clutch manually. I don't, but it can be done.
 
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drbatts

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#5
I have/had windlass on both of my gradys. I will never own a boat this size without one again. My previous boat(265) had what I think was a horizon 600, not sure as it had no labels and always worked, so I never spent time investigating it. It Didn't have a free fall option but you could easily pop the line off the drum and hand line it out. My 305 has a v700, which again doesn't have a free fall, but pays out line fairly quickly. Most of the anchoring I do is not in deep water so it has not really been an issue. As far as batteries go it runs fine off my normal set up, as Dennis said above engines are usually running when the windlass is being operated anyway. Most of the time I will motor up to the anchor as i'm pulling in the slack line with the windlass.
 

Ozz043

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#7
I only fish at anchor, shifting spots regularly if there is no action. I had so many issues with the windlass causing the rope to twist, Frey, and the chain/rope slice got caught continuously....I even had to remove half the rope (tuck it to the side so it was not cut) so there was enough fall into the anchor locker.

I have mounted a big @#* drum winch on the bow, it’s so much quicker (diameter) and quieter and is certainly one of the best investments I have made on the boat.....chuffed
 
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SkunkBoat

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#8
I have mounted a big @#* drum winch on the bow, it’s so much quicker (diameter) and quieter and is certainly one of the best investments I have made on the boat.....chuffed
I was considering putting a just a capstan but the crew would still have to stow the rode. I keep imagining how nice it would be to push a button and it all comes up and stows itself....I don't have much faith, thats why I'm asking ;)
 

DennisG01

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#9
I actually have quite a bit of experience with not just my own windlass, but windlasses on other boats - whether friends or customers. Lot's of customers. Generally speaking, windlasses are one of those things that you don't think about all that often. They pretty much just work. Probably the most common thing, over time, is a weak finger spring - but that's easy to take care of. But there is definitely maintenance with the rope. It gets stiff - especially if used in saltwater - and the gypsy doesn't grip it as well so it just slips. Then, again because it's stiff, it doesn't fall as nicely. But, there are things that can be done to keep things working nicely.

-- 8-plait falls nicer than 3-strand. Just double check that the gypsy can handle it (it should, though).
-- Rinsing/washing the line on a regular basis makes a HUGE difference.
-- Finish the washing by soaking it in fabric softener.
-- When it gets really bad, it's usually the chain to rope splice that gives the most issues. Cut off a few feet and simply resplice. You can also turn the rope end for end.

Install it correctly... tinned marine wire, good connectors (adhesive lined shrink), protect/coat all connections... those things go a long way to keeping the 'lass healthy and giving you years of pleasure :)
 
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Fishtales

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#11
Wash it like they said. The only prob is you then get water in the bilge which some can't stand. I've had good luck with the windlasses I've owned. I've taken a couple apart, cleaned and greased when they stopped working. Cheaper than replacing. The 3 strand rode seems to be the best in my book.
 

journeyman

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#12
Water in the bilge is a fact of life for a Grady owner. Wash/rinse your windlass and rode. Deal with it!

Once a year ( I do it in the spring) place the entire rode in a wheel barrow and soak/rinse with fresh water then soak with fresh water/fabric softener. Dilute the fabric softener first to avoid blue spots on the rope.

Once a year ( I do it in the spring) I remove the gypsy and clean/re-assemble with fresh grease. Never had one seize.

8 plait will allow more rode to be store if that's what you need. It piles better. Whether it's better than 3 strand is debatable. Re-splicing the 8 plait is more difficult than 3 strand when it wears but it is a skill that can be learned.

I use a separate anchor/rode package that I use when fishing in deep water as I want to be able to drop and chase a fish. I retrieve it with a ball. Hauling it with the windlass would take too long.
 

SkunkBoat

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#13
We had a 60 degree day so I just spliced three old 200ft shots of 1/2" 3-strand. They had been tied together with "that'll work knots". I' got another 200ft never used so I won't be switching to 8 plait.
Will these splices work on a windlass or will I have to taper them? 5 or 6 tucks each way

 

glacierbaze

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#14
"I've used a capstan on a destroyer but that doesn't help me here..."

Actually, it will be a big help. I have also been on plenty of sea and anchor details on a destroyer, with a chief and a first who would tear you a new asshole if you put your hand, or your foot, or your body, in the wrong place. Having seen those big lines smoking under the strain on the capstan, or watching tens of thousands of pounds of anchor and chain run through the hawse, you will practice safety habits that you don't even think about, even though the scale of your equipment is reversed.
 
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Fishtales

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#15
Water in the bilge is a fact of life for a Grady owner. Wash/rinse your windlass and rode. Deal with it!

Once a year ( I do it in the spring) place the entire rode in a wheel barrow and soak/rinse with fresh water then soak with fresh water/fabric softener. Dilute the fabric softener first to avoid blue spots on the rope.

Once a year ( I do it in the spring) I remove the gypsy and clean/re-assemble with fresh grease. Never had one seize.

8 plait will allow more rode to be store if that's what you need. It piles better. Whether it's better than 3 strand is debatable. Re-splicing the 8 plait is more difficult than 3 strand when it wears but it is a skill that can be learned.

I use a separate anchor/rode package that I use when fishing in deep water as I want to be able to drop and chase a fish. I retrieve it with a ball. Hauling it with the windlass would take too long.
That's rode maintenance (horrible pun).... I do the same with the ball when fishing. Mark it, let it go and come back for it later.
 

SkunkBoat

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#17
"I've used a capstan on a destroyer but that doesn't help me here..."

Actually, it will be a big help. I have also been on plenty of sea and anchor details on a destroyer, with a chief and a first who would tear you a new asshole if you put your hand, or your foot, or your body, in the wrong place. Having seen those big lines smoking under the strain on the capstan, or watching tens of thousands of pounds of anchor and chain run through the hawse, you will practice safety habits that you don't even think about, even though the scale of your equipment is reversed.
I was line 5. I was a line captain yelling at guys who thought they could hold a 9000 ton destroyer with their bare hands...

Watched them pop like rubber bands in Naples. We were "Med Moored" stern to the dock with anchor deployed.
 
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Ozz043

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#20
I couldn’t work out how to have the pic and the text hahah

My beast showing the winch, it’s massive but strong as a bull and the diameter pulls up the anchor in no time, also I have a sock over the chain and so it is silent going over the roller .... every 10m I have some blue cord spliced into the rope so I know how much I have out .... no water, sand or weed gets into my bilge from the winch anymore.....