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all rope windlass

Apr 24, 2020
10
Hunter Cheribini 37 Portland
my windlass on my HC37 is rope only. I can't believe it was meant to be used without any chain. What do sailers do with these rope only setups? I've been adding 30' of chain and hauling by hand. 'Seems wrong!
 
Feb 21, 2013
1,918
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Rule of thumb is one foot of chain per foot of boat. You might find this article helpful.

 

Joe

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Jun 1, 2004
7,226
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
Perhaps a picture and name of manufacturer/model. You might able to change the "gypsy" to one that can handle both chain and rope. There's lots of info on this by simply google searching "windlass gypsy"
 
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Jun 5, 2010
1,011
Hunter 25 0 Burlington NJ
But!, why would the designer install a rope only windlass?
He wouldn’t; but the builder or dealer would. And : because it is cheaper. A good Lewmar windlass for 5/16” rope/chain will set you back well over what a rope-only one will.

It’s a fact of life in yachting that if we’re not buying the very very best we’re doing a lot of extra mental or physical work! You pays your money and you takes your choice. :huh:
 
Feb 8, 2014
1,276
Columbia 36 Muskegon
My new boat has a rope-only windlass and only 3 feet of chain. OId boat has a chain/rope windlass, 150' of chain and 150' of rope. I rarely let out enough to use the rope. New windlass for the new boat is on the way. "New" boat is a 1973 model and the windlass is a factory install. Did they even make dual gypsies back then?
 
Apr 24, 2020
10
Hunter Cheribini 37 Portland
I was thinking of having just maybe 10 ft or 15 ft of chain so that the winch can do most of the heavy lifting and I just lift the last bit. I sure rather have a solid length of chain down there though!
 
Jan 5, 2017
2,027
Beneteau First 38 Lyall Harbour Saturna Island
sure rather have a solid length of chain down there though!
We have a hundred feet of chain and two hundred and fifty feet of rode. That’s considered a minimum out here. When I bought our new windlass I ordered a Gypsy to match the chain I had. Check with the manufacturer of your windlass for a combo Gypsy.
 

DaveJ

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Apr 2, 2013
367
Catalina 310 Niagara-on-the-Lake
My Catalina 310 came with a rope only windlass. I have 35' of chain and lots of rode and use the windlass to raise it. A couple of wraps and lots of tension and the windlass will raise the chain, it doesn't seem to have damaged the face of the windlass drum but I don't like actually doing this. It is a Maxwell 500.
Cheers
dj
 
Apr 5, 2009
1,377
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
I also have a rope only windlass that was factory installed on my '88 C30. I use 30' of chain and do not like to put the chain on the capstan drum but have done it. I am planning to add a "French knot" lashing to the drum with parachord to see how that does.
 
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Apr 24, 2020
10
Hunter Cheribini 37 Portland
My "Good" windlass doesn't offer a chain option gypsy and doesn't have a drum I could use to wrap and hoist the chain.
 
Jan 5, 2017
2,027
Beneteau First 38 Lyall Harbour Saturna Island
My "Good" windlass doesn't offer a chain option gypsy and doesn't have a drum I could use to wrap and hoist the chain.
My $.02 worth. As I get older( 76) my 44# Bruce and a hundred feet of 3/8 BBB gets heavier every year. For me it was get a good electric windlass or a much smaller boat with a lighter anchor. I think you need to change your windlass.
 
Apr 24, 2020
10
Hunter Cheribini 37 Portland
My $.02 worth. As I get older( 76) my 44# Bruce and a hundred feet of 3/8 BBB gets heavier every year. For me it was get a good electric windlass or a much smaller boat with a lighter anchor. I think you need to change your windlass.
It's looking like that!
Thanks all!
 
Jun 14, 2010
1,562
Quorning Dragonfly 1200 home
Rule of thumb is one foot of chain per foot of boat. You might find this article helpful.

Whoever originated this "rule" is an idiot (IMHO). Boat length has nothing at all to do with anchor loads, scope, catenary, or abrasion/cut-resistance. Windage and boat weight are factors, not length.
The ideal amount of chain to carry depends on a lot of factors. People have written long scientific papers, even books, on how to properly optimize an anchor setup.
If you want to keep it simple, the depth of water you normally anchor in is a much more important consideration in deciding amount of chain to use than boat length. Also, bottom types, whether your boat is equipped with windlass, and many other factors.
 
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Apr 5, 2009
1,377
Catalina '88 C30 tr/bs Oak Harbor, WA
Whoever originated this "rule" is an idiot (IMHO).
Rule of thumb. I can (or at least am willing to) pull up about 60 pounds worth of anchor gear. My anchor is a 35lb Mantus. 5/16" chain weighs 1.1lb/ft. Therefore 60lb - 35lb = 25lb of chain / 1.1 lb/ft = 22'.
I guess I can eat Wheaties each morning before i "weigh the anchor" and find that my 30' plus chain comes to 68lbs.
Now, when my old capstan only windlass finally bites the dust, and I am forced to shell out $1500 clams, I will also go to all chain. until then, 30' is all that I think I can handle.
 
Jun 14, 2010
1,562
Quorning Dragonfly 1200 home
@Hayden Watson your strength is clearly a relevant factor. I guess my point was that this boat length rule of thumb might as well be based on thumbs, because it isn’t based on anything relevant to anchoring performance or rode handling or durability.
 
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