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Thread: Best windlass for the money?

  1. #1

    Default Best windlass for the money?

    Just bought a 26' boat. No windlass on it currently. What would you all put on it for reliability and toughness. Just a swtich up front or one by the helm?

  2. #2
    Member IceKing02's Avatar
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    I SURE liked the look of Steve's Electradyne windlass. My bet is that sucker will pull your bow under the water before you burn it up. Just be careful how you decide to wire it in to the rest of the electrical system. Get the 12V Bible for Boats and see how the rest of the industry wires their motors in before you get started.

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    I just spent a great deal of time trying to make a simular decision for my 28 Duckworth that begins in production this week. Originally I wanted to go with a drum anchor puller and looked hard at the EZ Anchorpuller but It would have required some fairly significant (costly) modification to the boat. EZ Anchorpuller also went though a recent change in ownership that made me a little nervous so I ended up focusing on the more common option of adding a Lewmar windlass on the boat knowing it would have it's limitations.

    I went to the Seattle boat show this year, fairly certain I was going to buy the Lewmar Pro-Fish Horizontal windlass because I wanted the free-fall feature. I spoke with a dealer who immediately tried to talk me out of buying the Pro-Fish because he claimed the clutch is junk and since he also services Lewmar, he suggested I go with a Lewmar model that does not have a free-fall feature. Needless to say, this caused me concern because I wanted to be able to free-fall my anchor.

    Later that day I stumbled upon Quick USA. Their Genius 600F and the 1000F are very simular to the Lewmar in appearence but are built in Italy and I believe with much better components. (This is the sales pitch anyway) I came home and began doing some research compairing the two (Lewmar and Quick) and ultimately bought the Quick Genius 1000F. Keep in mind, this model is a 12 volt, 800 Watt windlass and requires an 80A breaker. The Genius 600F is only 500 Watt and requires a 40A breaker. The max chain speed for the 1000F is 99 ft/min while the 600F is 48 ft/min. the "F" designates the free-fall feature.

    Now to be fair, I don't have the boat yet so the jury is out on whether this will be a good windlass or not but it was not cheap so I have high hopes. Others on this forum might have some actual user feedback but my goal was to keep the wife and kid off the bow as much as possible while messing with the anchor. If money and boat size were not limitations, I would have gone with something hydrolic. My goal was to find a good quality windlass that works accordingly "most of the time" when anchoring in the deep water for fishing PWS and then shallower anchor deployments when tucked into a cove for overnight campouts. My wife and young son are my most frequent fishing buddies so I need to keep everything relatively simple and when possible, keep them off the bow.

    I'm not installing any switches on the bow, just an up-down switch at the helm and I will likely add a remote control after I get the boat and start using the windlass. My rode locker access is in the v-berth so if we need to help "mash" the rode in the locker, it can be done from the safety of the v-birth. On that subject, I went with 50 feet of 6mm chain and I'm going to try to get as much of my 600 feet of 1/2 nylon brait in the locker as I can. This will be my first expirence with nylon brait instead of 3-strand but all reports are it's much more supple than 3-strand and in theory, should lay better in the locker. We'll see!

    As an aside, Quick USA has now become a dealer for another anchor drum system that is becoming more popular in the US, the Aussie designed Stressfree Marine anchor winch. According to Quick, they have always built the motor for the Stressfree anchor winch so it only made sense that they become a North American distributer for the winch. If I ever decide to install a 12 volt anchor winch and ditch the windlass, I will go wth the Stressfree over the EZ Anchor, I think it's a better product and a better company. Of course Mel at Alaska Frontier Fabracations has announced that his shop is working on building their version of an anchor drum puller too so there are options out there.

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    I was doing similar research last year when my Lewmar Pro-Fish clutch locked up. My slip mate had the same problem. The mechanism that releases the clutch for free fall is the problem. It tends to slam on retrieving the anchor making a heck of a racket. Then if it doesn't retract when it should, it binds up the clutch like it did to mine and you can't get it to release. To Lewmar's credit, they replaced it under warranty so I'm not in the search any more. Now two things, if you have a Pro-Fish, retract the free fall button before retrieving your anchor, particularly if you fish in deep water. Two, the windlass I found that I was going to go with is the Good windlass. It's made in the USA, you can actually talk to someone at the factory and parts are readily available. Folks on the Shamrock forum swear by them with some saying they've had one over 20 years without a problem. There aren't many I've seen up here but there is one in Seward in the new section of slips. I was going to contact him (I forget the boat's name) to see how he likes it. Maybe he'll chime in if he's on this forum.

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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    You guys need to look at Good anchor windlass, built in the USA, bombproof from what i hear. Maybe i'll have one to show you at the shows ????
    http://www.goodwindlass.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by potbuilder View Post
    You guys need to look at Good anchor windlass, built in the USA, bombproof from what i hear. Maybe i'll have one to show you at the shows ????
    http://www.goodwindlass.com/
    Steve - once again we're on the same page and glad to hear you're carrying Good! The thing that impressed me about F850 was the bearing or bushing on the opposite side so no worries about putting strain on it. The guys on the Shamrock forum say they fish the wrecks and bull off when hung up no problem. Lewmar says that's abuse and you should tie off to a cleat so you may be on your own for warranty coverage. When my Pro-Fish craps out (again!) I'll be ready for one.

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    Member DMan's Avatar
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    You guys are scaring me. I just ordered the Lewmar Profish free fall. I don't think the room I have in my box would work well with a vertical windlass so I ordered a horizontal.
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fish Witch View Post
    Steve - once again we're on the same page and glad to hear you're carrying Good! The thing that impressed me about F850 was the bearing or bushing on the opposite side so no worries about putting strain on it. The guys on the Shamrock forum say they fish the wrecks and bull off when hung up no problem. Lewmar says that's abuse and you should tie off to a cleat so you may be on your own for warranty coverage. When my Pro-Fish craps out (again!) I'll be ready for one.
    Not carrying them yet but going to look into it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMan View Post
    You guys are scaring me. I just ordered the Lewmar Profish free fall. I don't think the room I have in my box would work well with a vertical windlass so I ordered a horizontal.
    Just remember when it starts thumping, you have to retract the free fall pin or it will jam up. Unfortunately, you have to use the tool that comes with it to retract the pin and it requires setting it out on the bow so a bit inconvenient but if you do that, it probably will last. One thing going for the Pro-Fish is they're a lot prettier than the Good, at least on a plastic boat.

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    Member DMan's Avatar
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    Thanks. So essentially if it doesn't release completely automatically then manually release it as if it wasn't a free fall?
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMan View Post
    Thanks. So essentially if it doesn't release completely automatically then manually release it as if it wasn't a free fall?
    DMan - Automatic release is not the problem, as long as it hasn't jammed up. When you go to retrieve, the little brass pin that acuates the clutch for free fall release is supposed to ride up and over the cam. Most of the time when new and properly greased up, it functions OK. However, in time it hits the cam hard causing a thumping sound. I anchor up in 300' of water so it gets a workout. Then after thumping good, it just stops the windlass. That's when you're screwed, quite literally! It jams the clutch tight. So what I'm going to do is not take any chances and when I set the anchor, I'll retract the pin so when I retrieve, it doesn't have to come in contact with the cam. Then after I retrieve, I'll release the pin so I can free fall from the helm again. I almost wish Lewmar hadn't honored their warranty so I could have an excuse to get the Good with this routine!

  12. #12
    Member DMan's Avatar
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    Gotcha, Thanks!!
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    I've looked into the Lewmar on a couple different occasions, but the price ran me off. I'll stick with my Armstrong 16 (16 y/o son with two strong arms).

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