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Windlass with Chain Gypsy

Nov 18, 2010
2,286
Catalina 310 Hingham, MA
Good morning all.

I think it's time we consider a windlass with a chain gypsy. Have any 310 owners made this upgrade? Thoughts, pics, suggestions?

My initial thought is something like the Lewmar Pro-Series, unsure if the 700 or 1,000. I would cut roughly the first 1/3 of the anchor locker hatch off and then build a solid platform about 1-1.5 inches thick. I'd probably make the platform out of G10 in 1/2 inch layers joined by thickened epoxy, bolt down the platform and then tab it down to the inside of the anchor locker with glass and epoxy. Finish the top with gelcoat.

I thought about doing a vertical windlass on its side in the same place as the existing Maxwell. But I have read a number of reviews that talk about the chain jumping the gypsy when deploying the anchor.

Thanks and fair winds,

Jesse
 

Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
1,509
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
I'd like to have the chain gypsy also. Years ago, I contacted Maxwell about a conversion kit for our existing windlass, but they only had one left, and they wanted $900 for it! I'd really like to see how your project works out, Jesse.
 
Aug 29, 2016
66
Catalina 2004 310 (Hull #250) BC
This is what I have with my 200’ of chain...Is this not what most 310’s came equipped?

1575496627007.png
 
Nov 18, 2010
2,286
Catalina 310 Hingham, MA
This is what I have with my 200’ of chain...Is this not what most 310’s came equipped?

View attachment 172756
Standard equipment was the rotating capstan with no gypsy. We use that by wrapping the chain twice around the capstan and pulling up. It helps a little and gives a better angle for chain so you don't whack the furler.

Does this actually work for you? I have heard a number of issues with jumping the chain out of the gypsy with this setup?
 
Aug 29, 2016
66
Catalina 2004 310 (Hull #250) BC
That's not bad. But now you can't stow a backup anchor in the locker.
I was always taught that the proper technique was to pay out the chain rode to prevent castling and chain jamming when using the windlass for the anchor haul up. I even have a metal rod inside the anchor locker to help. Failure to use the technique definitely leads to a pileup and inevitable jam (which I can attest to trying once, out of curiosity). Certainly easier than relocating the unit.
 
Aug 29, 2016
66
Catalina 2004 310 (Hull #250) BC
Standard equipment was the rotating capstan with no gypsy. We use that by wrapping the chain twice around the capstan and pulling up. It helps a little and gives a better angle for chain so you don't whack the furler.

Does this actually work for you? I have heard a number of issues with jumping the chain out of the gypsy with this setup?
Perhaps I don't know better but yes the system works for me. Note that the drop is done manually with the gloves. Funny that the windlass doesn't run in both directions...or did I miss something?

I have never had the chain jump out of the gypsy as the weight of the rode naturally falls into the gypsy as per the photo. I suppose it could happen if one didn't give due attention to the chain castling.
 
Nov 18, 2010
2,286
Catalina 310 Hingham, MA
Perhaps I don't know better but yes the system works for me. Note that the drop is done manually with the gloves. Funny that the windlass doesn't run in both directions...or did I miss something?

I have never had the chain jump out of the gypsy as the weight of the rode naturally falls into the gypsy as per the photo. I suppose it could happen if one didn't give due attention to the chain castling.
If you are manually deploying the anchor you shouldn't have the issue. It is from deploying the anchor with the windlass.

With the setup on the windlass from the factory you would have to add a control box to reverse the windlass. With that you can also add a wireless remote or switch at the helm to help deploying and retrieving single handed.
 
Nov 18, 2010
2,286
Catalina 310 Hingham, MA
Just to add to this post, what I am trying to solve is two things: easier single hand anchoring and easier anchor deploying and retrieving for my Bride.

We have a 35 pound anchor and 5/16 chain that weighs about a pound per foot. So if we are anchored in 25 feet, that's 55-60 pounds you have to pull straight up. That can be a lot, especially if it's blowing and you are trying to be quick. Too much for my Bride. Even deploying that in a controlled way is difficult.

The piling up of chain below the windlass can be solved with a stick of necessary. But with the current setup you can't deploy from the windlass without the chain skipping out of the gypsy.
 
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Jan 17, 2013
312
Catalina 310 St. Simons Island, GA
This is the direct replacement that I have been eyeballing for some time. Looks like it can be swapped out relatively easily? Downside is you have to go down in chain size to 1/4 inch. I use 5/16" and am not thrilled by going smaller.
 
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JRT

.
Feb 14, 2017
1,597
Catalina 310 211 Lake Guntersville, AL
Too bad the chain gypsy can't be added. I'm fine with the single direction operation right now. I know I don't have the right amount of chain right now, but our anchoring is limited to stops for swimming and eating in protected areas.
 
Last edited:
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Tom J

.
Sep 30, 2008
1,509
Catalina 310 Quincy, MA
This is the direct replacement that I have been eyeballing for some time. Looks like it can be swapped out relatively easily? Downside is you have to go down in chain size to 1/4 inch. I use 5/16" and am not thrilled by going smaller.
Would be nice if it was 5/16" chain rated. I agree that I wouldn't want to go to a smaller chain size.
 
Oct 3, 2011
693
Anam Cara Catalina 310 Hull #155 Lake Erie/Catawba Island
Our boat just came with the capstan not the Gypsy, and we have 30' of chain and 200' of rode, we do not want to go anywhere!