It only took one time
It only took one time of raising our new ground tackle by hand to show me that we need an anchor windlass. It’s not that is was ridiculously heavy. There were, however, many times when the chain needed to be secure while I was leaning over the bow removing seaweed. This maneuver was awkward to say the least, and in anything other than calm conditions, could actually have been a bit unsafe.
So, now that I have spent the last month researching ground tackle options, I am now searching for windlasses. Decision one: manual or power. Both Rebecca and I like simple. Simple is easy to install and easy to maintain. For this reason we were leaning towards a manual windlass. Guess what? There is only about one or two manual windlasses manufactured these days. All others are electric. It just so happens that Pride Marine had one on their shelves. A Lofran Royal. Sadly, after trading a large sum of cash for this shiny new chain-hauling device and bringing it back to our boat, we see that it just won’t fit. The shape of the bow and the position of both the deck pipe and forward railing mean that there just isn’t any room for it. Sooo… I guess we’ll have to go electric then.
Not only is there no room for the manual windlass there would actually not be room for any horizontal windlass, the second of two big choices. Horizontal windlasses have their motor above decks and are mounted in front of the deck pipe (where their isn’t a lot of room on our boat). Vertical windlasses are smaller above deck because their motors are installed in the anchor locker. They also go behind the deck pipe, where we do have room. So, vertical it is.
The ease of use of an electric windlass, in many people’s eyes, is a big safety feature. It allows the operator to raise and lower the anchor as many times as necessary without thought of the effort involved. This ease of use is balanced out by two short-term challenges. First is that electric windlasses cost more money. What else is new? The second is that they need power to run! This makes installation a lot more complex!
Bringing in the bridle line.