Which anchor windlass?

I am replacing a Lofrans Royal windlass and would like to size upwards. The Royal will pull 400 lbs- not enough in my opinion for a boat as heavy as a Corbin. I wish to keep to a manual windlass – any suggestions? Tom Amundsen (#089, Rio Nimpkish)

a. Tom, I don’t know what kind of sailing you do but if you cruise much of the year you definitely need more pull. I have 200′ of 3/8″ chain (1.5 lbs / ft) and a 45 # CQR as my normal anchor. When using plenty of scope in a deep anchorage recovering the anchor is a real chore. If I don’t motor the anchor out before retrieving it, I am in for, at best, an aerobic workout — puff, puff — and, at worst, I don’t get it up at all! My anchor winch is only a Simpson-Lawrence 510 manual with 550 # pull max. I consider this winch too small for my tackle. Its only grace is that it fits well on a Corbin in the small space between the anchor lockers at the bow. Last year I tried to fit a large electric winch but there wasn’t enough room for that model… Your tackle may be lighter (i.e., rope) so you could just squeeze by with a S-L 510. For my tackle the 510 is too small. Extra pull is good for the time the anchor is buried deeply in the bottom, say, by high winds. If you desire a manual windlass, then be sure to get a two-speed with double action like the Simpson Lawrence (Lewmar) Sea Tiger with over 1000# pull. If any of you have a good electric windlass, either vertical or horizontal axle, that you can recommend that also fits between the lockers (and still allows the hatches to be opened without hitting the winch) please let me know. I want to refit my manual winch. Fred Gerbstadt (s/v #095, Coochi).

b. Hi Fred & Hi Tom, this is an electric windlass that may be what you’re looking for. It has a small footprint and pulls over 750 lbs. Unfortunately I can’t measure the area needed between the lockers because Witch is in Annapolis and I’m in NJ. If you or someone can reply with that measurement, I’ll catalog all the windlasses that will fit. I’ll also get you a price on the S-L Tiger. Tom, check out the Muir Neptune manual windlass with a powerful 770 lbs. rating. I just need to check the dimensions for you. We have both of these products but they’re not featured on the website. Remember, your Corbin Owners discount – our advertised price or 10% over cost whichever is less. We can’t wait for spring! Fair Winds From Vince & Tricia Salese (s/v #005, Witch of the Wave).

c. Responding to the enquiry by Fred and Tom, I used to have a Simpson Lawrence 555 SeaTiger. It is a great 2 speed, manual windlass and worked well. However, after experiences having to try re-anchoring a couple of times with our all chain 3/8″ plus a 45 lb CQR my wife decided we should get an electric windlass. Last summer we bought a Lofrans Tigres after looking around at several boat shows. I knew it would be a challenge to fit it between the sail lockers and the strategy was to raise it on a pad above the deck, sufficiently high that the lockers could swing clear. One constraint was that I wanted to use the existing hawse pipe as this is integrated into our fwd cabin, using an angled hawse pipe to get the chain locker as far aft as possible and it also passes through my custom made holding tank. The windlass was installed on a 3/4″ thick pad of high density polyethylene, not as high as I had expected, but it did require me to trim a small part of the flange of the stbd sail locker lid. The windlass works very well and I bought the 1200 watt motor which I think is the standard now. It comes with the control relay which allows multiple control switches. We have a pair of foot switches near the windlass and a rocker switch in the cockpit. Heavy duty wires (1/0 gauge welding cable, with well sealed heavy duty lug terminals) lead from the house batteries via a Blue Seas T-1 combination cct bkr/switch rated at 120 Amp. The windlass is very nicely made but I have a couple of criticisms of the design. The rear motor cover is removed to install the 3 wires and it is such a tight fit that these can only be #2 gauge max. One of the 4 hold down bolts is very close to the hawse hole and it is very difficult to fit a backing plate. In my case the backing plate intrudes partly into the hawse pipe. I bought the windlass through North East Rigging Systems (previously Marine Exchange) kevinmontague . Kevin will take exchanges and gives a very good deal. I have bought quite a few pieces of equipment through him and I can recommend him. A photo during my installation is attachedtigreswindlass.jpg . Regards, David Salter, (s.v. #050, Opportunity).

d. As I seem to be getting a little older and much sorer, 2 years ago I bought a Lofrans Progress 2 windlass to replace my Manual windlass. I believe it has a 1200 watt motor. It takes 5/16 high-test chain and handles my 35 pound CQR anchor great. I’ve been anchored in mud in quite a few blows and where I used to have to really work to pull up the anchor I just push the button and it comes up. I actually bought the windlass on ebay off of Imtra (the American importer & distributor) who get some back for returns off of new boats where the buyer wants a different size or style. They sell them with the original warranty and say they may be cosmetically blemished. Mine was only installed and never used and was about 1/4 of the retail price. They sell the accessories at a very reasonable price and I installed mine with a hand-held remote with connections by the bow and in the cockpit. I didn’t get the capstan model, so it is very low profile. It mounts right in front of the hatches and the motor you can swing in any direction (mine points forward). I would definitely recommend it without hesitation. (PS I bought 250′ of 5/16″ high-test chain extra to get a great price on it. I don’t need the extra chain and want to sell it for $2.00 per foot if anyone is interested. The only drawback is that it weighs about 300 pounds and must be shipped by truck.) Bill Schwartz (s/v #090, Moonshadow).

e. If you desire an electric windlass, then be sure to get one with 1000 – 1200 watts, minimum. [Nick Nicholson of Practical Sailor went up one size, from a Lofrans Tigres to a Falkon, when outfitting his 40′ heavy displacement boat. Nick completed his circumnavigation and said the windlass performed well for him and that he had made a good decision in upsizing]. Also, take a good look at the windlass’s manual backup capabilities, keeping the position of the staysail stay and staysail boom in mind. Lester (s/v #010, Insouciance).

f. The Lofrans Tigress windlass also fit nicely, unfortunately they (Lofrans) do NOT leave any room for the 200 Amp. cable terminations under the cover. The cover is slanted towards the back believe it or not, thus restricting the clearance almost to nothing. I would love to meet the Genius that designed this cover / terminal scheme. Frank Bryant (s/v #186, Visitant).

g. The Data windlass is made in Turkey. Available in the EU. The company plans to import to the US in the near future. It mounts to the deck between my two bow storage lockers. The company made a gypsy to fit my 5/16 HT chain. It is a 1400 watt. unit . It served us well across the Med. The price was 1400 US. my old Simpson Laurence manual windlass was on its last legs. Richard Bacon (s/v #043, Balmacara).