A windlass is a device for easier and safer lowering, lifting and securing anchors, and optimally positioning an anchor chain or cable onboard a boat. It’s the qualitative invention to keep your arms from much straining. After you put the windlass on your boat, you will definitely say, “why didn’t I do it before”?
Windlass device in a few words.
A winch consists of a mechanical, electrical or hydraulic drive, a gipsy for winding a chain or rope, and a control device. Winches can be mounted on any kind of boat, yacht or catamaran using various fastening types.
There are different types of windlasses.
By type of drive:
Manual. It gives a gain in strength due to the reduction gear.
Electric. It`s convenient and reliable. It`s used for small and medium-size boats and yachts, therefore most common.
Hydraulic. It`s used on yachts of large size and mega yachts and have a hydraulic system.
By the location of the shaft:
Horizontal (anchor windlass). It`s easier to install and maintain, but it also takes more space on the deck and requires a firm protective covering.
Vertical (capstan). It`s compact, with a low profile. All machinery except the chain gear and upper cylinder, if any, is hidden below the deck.
By type of chain dump:
Free drop. Its weight throws out the anchor, and it`s rapid.
Drive mechanism anchor drop. The lowering of the anchor occurs at the speed of rotation of the electric motor or hydraulic drive.
How to choose the right windlass for your boat?
To choose the windlass correctly, you must consider several factors:
Size of the boat.
Length of the chain/rope.
Windlass with rope or chain.
Some other features are the model, type and pulling force of the windlass.
The appropriate model is chosen according to the recommendations of the manufacturers, depending on the length of your boat.
For small boats, 5.5-8.0 m long, the type of winch along the shaft (as well as the anchor rope’s length) depends largely on the size of the box for the anchor chain. Horizontal compartments are suitable for small compartments with a total depth of at least 30 cm. For vertical, you need larger compartments so that from the top of the folded rope to the lid, there is at least 30 cm. For large boats and yachts, some specific recommendations on the type of device are not relevant. For most boats larger than 8.0 m, You can install horizontal and vertical windlass types without special problems. Here the captain’s preference for a particular model plays a big part.
3) Pulling force
This is probably the most important parameter in the selection of the windlass. To calculate this parameter, you must add the weights of the anchor, rope and chain. And then, multiply the resulting number by three to obtain a safety margin, taking into account flux force, wind gusts and other factors. In determining the pulling force, you should remember that the winch is not intended to pull anchors stuck in the ground. It’s only meant to pick it up, so you have to release it in other ways. Similarly, the device will break if it has to hold the boat in chains in the high wind. Therefore, you must relieve the load from it during the anchorage, set the chain with a stopper or fix the rope on the deck bracket.
4) Additional equipment and useful features.
Pay attention to a few more moments when you`ll buy a windlass:
Whether there is a remote control, because it saves time and energy for a yacht skipper or motorboat, it is also an additional safety since it`s not recommended to go on deck in a strong wind.
A deck footswitch is useful regardless of the availability of remote control. Panel models are popular on motorboats.
Whether it is possible to drop anchor freely, there wouldn`t be a possible quick stop in an emergency if not. Moreover, while fishing, as long as the anchor is down, the boat can be carried away many meters from the chosen location.
How noisy the mechanism works. It`s not the most important factor, but still, don`t forget about comfort.
Choose the world’s most popular Lofrans windlass.
In our online store https://gaelixmarineservice.com you can buy the world’s most popular windlass Lofrans. All types of the windlass, for all types of boats, yachts and mega-yachts. These Italian manufacturers’ products combine high quality, excellent design, functionality, and the best prices. Also, Lofrans windlasses have low noise and energy consumption, with very high performance.
All electric and hydraulic winches have a free drop function. The time for lowering the anchor to the bottom is not limited to the motor’s speed of operation (20-30 meters per minute) but occurs in just a few seconds.
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