Working on the boat

Your anchor windlass can be your friend…or not

By March 31, 2016 No Comments

The anchor windlass is a wonderful piece of equipment that makes it much easier to get your rode and anchor back on the boat. It makes cruising easier and more enjoyable because you don’t have to hand pull the anchor up and at over a pound per foot of chain and 73 pounds for the anchor that is no small task. Plus the way catamarans are designed it is very difficult to do by hand without blowing out your back (experience talking here).

Well my windlass is original with my boat, so is working on 19 years of experience. It has been a champ except for 4 times in the last seven years. The first two times I fixed it without really understanding how and the third time I knew exactly what was needed. So when the fourth time happened I knew what needed to be done, but it was beyond my abilities out in a remote anchorage. If you come back on Sunday  you can read a very funny account of my working on the windlass in the remote anchorage from a woman’s point of view.

The problem was that the connection in the motor part of the windlass that controlled the up action was busted. In the past I was able to adjust the bolt to reconnect, but I must have reached into that bag one too many times. This time I needed to order a new motor and install it. The old motor I am going to have mechanic tear down and fix, so I have a spare just in case. I mean can you really have too many spares? The correct answer is NO, but I guarantee out there you will need the one item you don’t have. That is just how it seems to work.

The good news is the motor ($1150 plus $150 shipping) was able to be delivered from Boston to St Thomas in two days. Of course it took another two days to get the thing 7 miles across the island, but that is a whole different story (welcome to da islands mon).

At the end of the week the new motor was waiting for me at the marina when I dropped of my guest. Would you believe that all I had to do was disconnect it, unbolt it from the windlass, bolt on the new one, and connect the electrical wires? I couldn’t either. I was finished in 10 minutes looking at the machine dumbfounded. A fellow captain saw me staring at it and asked if I was ok. I told him I just installed it without any issues and he did not believe me. We thought it was a rule that all boat projects have to have setbacks and other repairs that are need are found and more tools are brought up and, and, and. But not this time. YEA!!!!

The windlass is my friend again.

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