Archive for the 'ground tackle' Category

Windlass handle

Windlass handle

I (Jon) finished these jobs variously on March 10th, Apr. 20th and Apr. 25th.

Somewhere across the Pacific the handle used to crank up the anchor windlass broke about 3 inches from the bottom.

Multiple welding shops here in Australia said they didn’t want to bother. Another wanted to charge me $75 just to weld the 3 inch piece back on. Finally I found a shop willing to do it for a reasonable amount $20.

This worked great for two months at which point the handle broke again, this time one inch further up, 4 inches from the bottom.

At this point, I was beyond extreme frustration levels. Syzygy was headed to Bundaberg after this and it was unfortunately most reasonable to use the welder right next to the marina. This meant I was probably overcharged even with respect to Australia’s over-inflated prices. He charged me $120 to weld on a new 6 – inch stainless bar onto the cylindrical pipe forming the entire handle. (this is, of course, what Matt said I should do originally, but I tried to get away with something cheaper.) This stainless bar was supposed to be exactly like the old one. The next time we went to go use the handle to crank up the anchor, Justin finds that the stainless bar that was welded on was not exactly the same, it was nearly twice as wide. And it didn’t fit into the slot made for the handle on the anchor windlass.

So a week later while sailing along at 2.5 knots on completely flat seas, I pulled out the grinder and took off enough so that it fit.



Serviced Windlass

No luck with my previous plea.

So, between Jonny and I we got the windlass apart, cleaned all the gears inside, and re-oiled the whole thing.  Karen cleaned up the wooden pad on the foredeck where it is mounted, then I faired it with epoxy fairing compound (we had taken some big chunks out of it while trying to get the windlass off), sanded smooth, and painted it with an epoxy primer (primekote).  Eventually I’ll have to put two coats of something different on it after it yellows, but there’s no time now.

Jonny dismantled the windlass, but wasn’t around when it time to put it all back together . . . boy was that NOT fun.  There is no manual for this windlass, anywhere; I spent a long time looking around the internet, inquiring in forums, etc.  So just figuring out how the one-way bearings all went back together was a challenge.

Eventually I figured it out, all the parts got cleaned spick and span, I rinsed out gunk and metal filings from the housing so it was all pristine, put it all back together, and added nice fresh oil.

But the real bitch was the very last step: trying to get the bronze hand wheel back onto the stainless shaft.  The threads at the end were all mangled and cross-threaded, and I spent hours, literally hours, just messing with trying to screw the wheel back onto the shaft, without forcing anything.  No matter what I tried, including gentle filing to clean up the threads, nothing worked.  The shaft was a standard size, but the pipe thread on the shaft was a custom-sized pitch–meaning I couldn’t find any taps/dies online that would work on the threads.  I put it aside for a while.

Pete showed up and managed to get the handwheel to thread on the shaft.  Didn’t do anything special, just sat there and messed with it and got it to work.  Now it’s saying something for someone to best me on a task like this, which is to say that Pete is a phenomenon.  I’m just thankful we didn’t have to scrap the whole windlass for this one little problem, especially after I spent so much time making everything so clean and pretty.

Replaced primary anchor

The bow anchor was a 44 lb Bruce (genuine forged bruce).  I wanted a heavier anchor for general use.  I sold the 44lb and bought a 66lb cast bruce look-alike.  Supposedly not as strong as the genuine thing, but I’ve never heard of an anchor breaking.  It was a great decision.  It worked well for us across the whole pacific, and almost never dragged.

Can anyone identify this windlass?

And give me a link to a manual for it?  I have no idea how to take it apart and service it.

I know it needs servicing because every fifth crank or so I move the handle without anything happening.  It feels like the pawls don’t want to catch, or something.  Regardless, the windlass is important, and no doubt it looks like all hell inside, knowing my luck and having experienced everything else breaking on the boat.