When enough is enough!
Do you ever get so frustrated with trying to fix an object that you just say enough is enough? That’s pretty much where we stand with our windlass these days. I suspect that had we been back in North America, with Lewmar service centers nearby, I could have just sent the winch in to have the initial problem fixed and all would be well now. As it stands, my attempts at repairing the beast have been unsuccessful and at best, have only delayed its demise but more likely, have compounded the problems.
So now the question becomes “what do I do about it?”
1. Live without an electric windlass.
- Definitely not. As an example of how important we feel a functioning windlass is, the last two days have been extremely windy here. So much so that numerous boats have been dragging their anchors around the lagoon. Trying to retrieve the anchor manually and then reset it under those conditions would have been awful. Doing it over and over again, as a certain boat we saw had to do, would have been brutal. In fact, we have decided to keep the boat where it currently is while Rebecca is gone primarily because the windlass is off duty. If it was working I am pretty sure I could raise anchor and reset it elsewhere all on my own. Having to do it by hand though, while dealing with the helm, would not be a lot of fun, especially in bad conditions, which would be the only reason to re-anchor in the first place. So, with that said, we believe we NEED a fully functioning windlass!
2. Continue to try to fix it myself.
- I’ve already proven myself ineffective at that. Given that the mechanical issues have now spawned motor problems too, I think I’m over my head.
3. Take it to a professional and pay to have them to TRY to fix it.
- I have already spent close to a couple hundred bucks trying to fix it back in Grenada. It may be time to stop throwing good money after bad.
OK, so we need to place it then. Even though the Lewmar windlass developed serious problems less than two years after its purchase, something that is pretty unacceptable, the easiest thing to do is to replace it with an identical model because the deck and electronics are set up for it. And if the worst should happen and the new one breaks down at some point in the future, having spare parts available for it from the current windlass would not be such a bad thing.
The problem is these things are not cheap. In fact, they’re expensive! Now, they’re available much cheaper back in the US, but even there, they’re still pricey. So, options for replacement, as I see them are:
1. Purchase a new one here in St. Maarten.
- Very $$$.
2. Have one shipped here from the US.
- Direct shipping by UPS ranges from $180.00 to 230.00 US. My friend suggested that I have it shipped to Miami and then have 4 Star Cargo bring it here. That would be much cheaper but adds a tiny bit of complexity to the issue.
3. Have one shipped to California and have Rebecca carry it back with her.
- Could be done but I’m not sure how happy Rebecca would be having to deal with the 30+ pound box.
What to do? What to do?