Power windlass for UK 33/35 CK

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Power windlass for UK 33/35 CK

Postby arrancomrades » Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:16 am

Hello,

Advancing years are making me think of fitting a 12v windlass with 10mm chain gypsy and warping drum. This would replace the trusty old manual windlass that has served me well for 18 seasons and was already pre-owned when my father bought it in 1963 - see photos. Problem is that I can't find anything that fits without either being ugly or needing modification which I've still to tackle the suppliers about.

Fall-back, if I actually go ahead with the project might be to put a vertical windlass on the starboard side of the coach roof, beside the fore hatch which means sacrificing most of the hanging locker but has compensating benefits, like moving the weight aft.

I would appreciate details of any installations that are satisfactory. Home for a few days than away again so limited in ability to discuss. Thanks.
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Re: Power windlass for UK 33/35 CK

Postby Castaway » Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:46 pm

Hello, Mike.

Just back from holiday and seen your post. Castaway has an old S/L manual windlass still, but it is mounted on the after end of the bowsprit, so the chain drops straight into the chain locker right up forward. Of course, this isn't good weight distribution, but it suits us fairly well. I have thought of installing an electric windlass, and several types would fit in that position, though perhaps with different hole spacing. Of course, you would have to move your bitts to make way, but there's going to be a lot to do whatever place you choose. I don't think I would bother to take the chain across to the coachroof; just another line to trip over, and if it's slack at all, it will scrape and rattle with every movement of the boat.

Your heirloom windlass looks big enough to lift the boat, not just the anchor; I doubt if you'll find a 12V one to match it! If you do put a Lofrans or similar on the bowsprit, check the clearance for any manual handle against the mast; I bash my knuckles if I'm not very careful.

Kind regards,

Gerald
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Re: Power windlass for UK 33/35 CK

Postby arrancomrades » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:39 pm

Thanks Gerald,

Latest status is that having made a template of the Lofrans Cayman horizontal beast, I've given up on horizontals as they won't fit due to chain leads and general bulk so came back to short-lists for a vertical gypsy and drum windlass with the motor nice and dry under the deck.

Option 1 was to put it to port just aft of the mast with the chain leading just forward of the bulkhead and the motor aft of it. This would be similar to the existing chain locker which will only take 40 metres of 10mm before the pile reaches the ceiling. I would need one of the extended vertical shafts which the manufacturers say are available if you search their websites to destruction - see below. Deck thickness 53mm plus a 72mm chock to get the chain lead high enough for the cathead. (I suppose it could be replaced by a conventional stem-head sheave at unknown mega£££.)

Option 2, which is now the favourite, is to put it to starboard on the coach-roof with a plywood 'tank' in the hanging locker for the chain. This should take at least 50 meters of chain even allowing for a wee sump at the bottom for accumulated water and mud. Obviously, bye-bye hanging locker, but for me on my own this is not an issue. The drum would be much better placed for canal work and for hauling in a muddy chain which could be sluiced down on deck, three metres at a time. I note your comment but the chain would be slack alongside the ropes which already lead from the mast to the cockpit.

The boat was pre-wired at birth and has thick cables which easily reach the mast but would need to be extended for Option 2.

The standard models are 1000W and will pull a ton (or tonne). I don't need nor want this but cannot find a 700W model to suit 10mm DIN 776 chain. Despite Lewmar listing it in their catalogue it does not seem to exist in real life. Both they and Lofrans are impossibly hard to deal with, mostly via my excellent local chandlery and appear to be mostly interested in selling trinkets for wee motor-boats.

So for now and until I finish the other big job which is refreshing the completely seized stuff under the steering pedestal, it's all on hold. As I own 1 x 65lb, 4 x 35lb, 1 x 22lb anchors plus two wee dinghy ones, and a heap of new chain which I bought at auction, I could actually afford to cut free two anchors and their cables for less than the cost of a new windlass, assuming I was unable to haul up with the old manual one due to disability or worse.

(Did you know that the big GRP plate with six bolts under the steering pedestal is CEMENTED onto the deck !?!?)

Merry Christmas.
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Re: Power windlass for UK 33/35 CK

Postby Castaway » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:30 am

Mike,

We rely on less chain and smaller anchors, which still leaves us grossly over-specified by Baltic standards!

I didn't know about the base of the steering pedestal. I have occasionally toyed with the idea of reversing its position to gain a couple of inches more room aft of the wheel, but strike that one!

I've just been told that delivery on my new engine is March next year, so if it follows Brexit, I may get done for double lots of excise duty! Fingers crossed for a reasonable parliamentary vote.

Kind regards,

Gerald
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Re: Power windlass for UK 33/35 CK

Postby arrancomrades » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:24 pm

This was a duplicate post, just ignore . . .
Last edited by arrancomrades on Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Power windlass for UK 33/35 CK

Postby arrancomrades » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:35 pm

ACs Win 11.jpg
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(NB: Photos have been drastically compressed reducing clarity. I will need to add more replies to add more photos. The mug covers the chimney for the diesel stove.)

There were no reports of successful installations so I was back to square one. My initial preference was for the horizontal type. Putting it ahead of the mast would give a large chain locker but it wouldn’t fit and both drum and gypsy would be well off-centre. It’s also a lot of weight right up in the bow and would need a new cathead. The good news is that I had bought a ‘previously owned’ Delta anchor for its short shank. Its digging-in performance is much better than my old CQR but it doesn’t sit so well on the cathead. I also had a pile of Lofrans chain bought at auction.


Aft of the mast where my old manual windlass sat required the chain to lead forward from under the gypsy (not available) and the locker only took 40 metres of 10mm chain (3/8” equivalent) before jamming.

(Background: When I got the boat it had 8mm chain which is strong but not heavy enough to inhibit swinging around – the difference was marked when I made the change many years ago. I happened to have an old SL ‘oilbath’ windlass with a 3/8” gypsy from the wreck of my father’s boat which broke its mooring in 1966. I fitted this before our ‘early retirement’ Mediterranean cruise, partly because I did not want to be beholden to the mature engine and its alternator. This SL windlass delivered sterling service for 18 years but sailing alone at my advanced age really pointed to power.)

So next to look at one of the vertical models mounted on a wee plinth to port of the mast where the mooring cleat is. The motor and electrics would be nice and dry in the cross locker above the door into the chain locker but it required the optional long shaft which the suppliers claim to offer for decks of up to 125mm thickness. Even so, the dimensions were all very tight and the 40 metre limit would apply. The deck is 53mm thick here further constraining the height of the plinth. The lead to the bow roller was on the edge. The Lewmar catalogue contained an option which should have worked.

Both Lewmar and Lofrans publish confusing and sometimes contradictory details online. Their drawings do not show all dimensions. When I asked my excellent local chandler to try and engage with Lewmar (having already failed myself) her enquiries ran into sand. I got the impression that they are only interested in selling ‘trinkets’ for motor boats, and gave up.

Last option was to fit a Lofrans vertical windlass to starboard of the forehatch on the coachroof. Lofrans were equally uncommunicative but a standard Project X2 would do and I placed the order online with a discount supplier. Maxwell/Vetus were too expensive and Quick did not have a suitable offering.

The advantages of this position are that the weight is brought well aft, the locker will take 50 metres of chain (less the three which are always on deck) and the electrics are dry and accessible. Another benefit is that when hauling up glutinous mud on the chain I can sluice down three metres at a time between the windlass and the cathead.

The downside is that I’ve had to give up the hanging locker and build a plywood tank for the chain. Ladies would not approve! (Of course neither would they approve of building the tank on the dining table – see photos.) Now that the job is done, I might add that the claimed ability of the windlass to haul in manually is misleading and the chain does not run freely out of the tank, requiring the use of power when dropping the anchor.

Per photos, the tank was built of 9mm marine ply as big as can pass through the locker door and is bolted and screwed to the forward bulkhead which was already well glassed into the boat and reinforced by other joinery. I incorporated a generous space for a water trough underneath it but in practice the amount collected is minimal and next winter I may reduce this. The tank is held together with West epoxy fillets. It takes about one litre of volume to stow one metre of 10mm chain and the tank measures 57 litres but the chain piles to one side and even 47 metres occasionally jam under the pipe.

Finding the exact position for the windlass was difficult, not helped by non conformance with the Lofrans drawings, including those on the enclosed CD. Even more challenging was the navel pipe. The marina’s engineer came up with a bit of old s/s handrail with a curve at one end and by trial and error I got it to fit despite the windlass being ‘toed-in’ by 8 degrees to the centre line and a similar amount due to the camber of the deck. It might have been better to go to a supplier of ‘hot-rod’ car exhausts to get a better shape.

I levelled the deck with epoxy then did my best to create a parallel epoxy surface under the deck using four identical bolts and various templates. No tolerances are stated by Lofrans. The balsa was hollowed out in the way of all the holes and backfilled with thick epoxy. Hoisting the motor onto the bolts tested my strength and had to be repeated many times. Eventually, I moulded the top of the navel pipe into the deck with epoxy and so far this has been satisfactory. Being winter, I only got one shot of resin per day!

The boat had been pre-wired with mainline cables but there was still work to be done in the battery compartment and to extend them round the fore cabin. The ‘Up’ switch is operated with the heel of a boot and was placed to facilitate safe use of the warping drum, while ‘Down’ is hand operated.

It certainly has plenty of ‘grunt’ and there is very little chafe when pulling but for veering some protection is required, being developed ad hoc using scrap fittings etc. I may get away with repainting the deck about monthly rather than adding chafing strips.

I have to run the engine even when handling the boat under sail, but ‘tough’. So far I haven’t tripped the protective relay. Surprisingly the chain jumps the gypsy a bit when veering, ho, hum . . . I think the sharp turn down into the locker is to blame. Also I had become used to running the chain out quickly so the anchor didn’t ‘drudge’ before digging in but so far no problems.

The new windlass weighs about the same as the old but the heavy pedestal has been eliminated and the weight is all to starboard, balancing the batteries, tanks etc. which used to give a permanent list. Moving the weight aft has lifted the bow a couple of inches, hurrah!

All life is a compromise. Would I do it this way again? Probably, but would take more time over the design of the tank and navel pipe and look again at the option to port of the mast. As usual, taking all winter over the job helped a lot and reduced the cost which was still over £1,000. I anchored 93 times in 2018 which is fairly typical of my sailing. I own four 16kg (35lb) anchors and bought the chain for about £2 per metre so it might have been cheaper to risk cutting loose the whole lot if I couldn’t haul it in manually. You do the sums!
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Re: Power windlass for UK 33/35 CK

Postby arrancomrades » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:41 pm

Oops, photos turning a bit messy but I'll plod on . . . . .

Showing drip tray and under deck with electrics.

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ACs Win 31.JPG
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Re: Power windlass for UK 33/35 CK

Postby arrancomrades » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:48 pm

Last one with photos of deck.

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ACs Win22.jpg
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Re: Power windlass for UK 33/35 CK

Postby RadioZephyr » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:52 pm

Mike, you’re a total madman, I love it!
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Re: Power windlass for UK 33/35 CK

Postby Castaway » Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:49 am

Mike,

We only lay to the bow anchor twice this summer; I think I'll stick with the old SL manual windlass, and just get a longer handle as I grow weaker!

Best wishes,

Gerald
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s/y 'Castaway', (UK F35 cat ketch, centreboard, 1987)
Lerwick Boating Club
Shetland Isles, Scotland
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