Friday, March 1, 2019

Wally the Windlass

Just put Pam in a taxi for the airport. I'm a little nervous. Who's going to make sure I don't screw up!?

She has been increasingly critical of the windlass. "It doesn't feel right... I think something's wrong." And, of course my position is that there is nothing wrong with the windlass. "Maybe the operator?" I'll look at it later.

So...we were anchored in Jolly Harbour (Mosquito Creek to be exact) and it was time to pull up the anchor and she couldn't get the windlass to work. So I had to go up and show her how to do it.

But it was locked completely. And when I tried the foot switch the breaker blew.

So, obviously the chain had "castled" - piled onto itself and jammed the hawser hole, right? WRONG. Basically, there was no windlass left when I stuck my head in the anchor locker. The casing that connects the electric motor and gearbox to the capstan on deck was completely eaten away.

So, up comes the anchor... BY HAND... and we turn around and head into a mooring in Jolly Harbour.

There's a bunch of stuff missing above that grey thing

Taking it apart - blue rope to keep it crashing down and wrecking stuff. Pam's idea.

That doesn't look right

Hmmm. That's going to take a lot of glue to fix.

Clearing out the space

All out - now where does the new one go?

I would have been happy to continue cruising but Pam selfishly refused to pull the anchor up by hand each time we changed anchorages.

Chatting with other folks who had the same windlass and ended up with the same problem have told me that the company suggests that salt water is bad for the unit and you should wash down the windlass with fresh water each time you use it. Hmmmm. Who has that much fresh water on a cruising sailboat? And how many circumnavigations have taken place in fresh water?

Anyway, I might have been able to fix the old one with parts with a neighbour's also-broken unit... but I'm done with Lewmar. So a new Lofrans Tigres is on the way from Canada. Should be here Tuesday. It sits above the deck... not hidden away in the anchor grotto.

Bruce Campbell is coming down for an Antiguan vacation. I'm sure he would be more interested in learning about windlass maintenance than swimming, snorkeling, drinking rum, walking beaches, hiking and exploring. Right?

Bring your tools, Bruce!

Pam's been gone 3 hours and I've not hurt myself nor have I lost my glasses, wallet, passport, boat papers or the keys to the dinghy!! Dinghy hasn't come loose and there has been no rain in the open hatches. All of these things have happened without Pam to provide "guidance."

Should be fine this time?!


  1. Glenn, you are making the right decision going with the LOFRANS. It is fantastic. You might want to add a stainless steel or or aluminum that will cover the holes. Then below deck I used large washers or bar stock to cover the bottom. If not, then maybe another plate.

  2. PS: That is sooooooo darn funnuy how Pam was gone 3 hours and no disaster happened. That is exactly what I experience when Radeen is gone. toooooooo funny!

  3. Bringing up the windlass was my only job!! So glad that did not happen on MY watch....would have felt obligated to pay for the "thing"!


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