Discussion in 'Newbie Lounge - NEW' started by Guiness, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. Guiness

    Guiness New Member

    Sep 1, 2014
    Lake Erie Islands
    2007 280 Sundancer
    Garmin 720s
    Twin Merc 220's
    Is there any trick in operating the windless? I never had one before and for most of the time it will be just me and my it really that simple just hit the button and up comes the anchor... or is there some maneuvering involved. Sound like a stupid question but as I mentioned I never had one before just trying to get an idea of what to expect.
  2. Quint4

    Quint4 Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    S.W. Ohio
    330 Sport Bridge
    5.7 MPI 350 Merc Bluewaters
    First thing is, safety. They are very powerful and will remove a finger or toe with no hesitation.

    They also use a lot of battery amps to retract the rode/chain. As a general rule I have my engines running when retracting. There will be a 60 amp breaker somewhere between the windlass and battery......find it, as it may trip sometime and need reset.

    Once anchor is properly deployed you can tie off on the cleat near the windlass to eliminate the constant strain of wave action on the unit. (calm waters you can get by with out cleating)

    I like to watch my rode/chain when retracting.......if it starts to get tangled I immediately stop and deal with it before it is in a miserable wad.(usually this does not happen....just be aware)

    Find and be familiar with the "hand crank" so if all else fails you can manually wind in the anchor.

    Others will probably add some more tips.
  3. Guiness

    Guiness New Member

    Sep 1, 2014
    Lake Erie Islands
    2007 280 Sundancer
    Garmin 720s
    Twin Merc 220's
    Thanks Quint ... I will look for the breaker and hand crank. I appreciate the advise.
  4. SloBurn

    SloBurn Member

    May 30, 2013
    Greenwood Lake, NY
    1994 270 Sundancer. 7.4L Merc. Tow with a 2006 Dodge RAM Hemi
    340 HP Merc 454 c.i.
    They do work better when there's not a lot of tension on them. Sometimes I'll maneuver to relax the tension before I hit the button. I get tangles on the slack side down in my rode locker, so watch for that when deploying. And tie it off to a cleat, don't leave all the tension on the windlass itself.
  5. Gofirstclass

    Gofirstclass Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2010
    Tri Cities, WA
    1995 550 Sedan Bridge,
    2010 Boston Whaler 130 Super Sport,
    1981 Boston Whaler 130 Sport,
    CAT 3406C's, 580hp.
    When deploying the anchor, if there's any wind or current, point the bow into the wind/current. Bring the boat to a stop, the lower the anchor. I painted about a 1.5' section of my anchor chain white, every 25' so I can count how much I am letting out, and painted a 6' section all white right next to the anchor so when I'm bringing it in I know when I'm about to get to the anchor.

    Anyway, back to the subject of lowering the anchor. When the boat is stopped, lower the anchor and when there's about enough out to give a 2:1 scope, put the boat in reverse and back away from the anchor. When you have about 4:1 or 5:1, stop letting out your rode and you should feel the rode tighten as the anchor sets. When the rode it tight, the bow will swing to where it's on a straight line pointing at the place where the anchor has set. At that time, let out enough additional rode to give you the proper scope. A scope of 7:1 may be needed if the wind is blowing or if you're in a current.

    When you're raising the anchor, idle the boat toward the anchor to take the strain off the rode. Just bump it into gear long enough to get moving, then go back to neutral. You will hear the difference in the tone of the windlass motor when the rode is tight again. At that point, stop retrieving the rode, bump it into gear and repeat the process.

    It's not difficult, but you'll soon learn the sounds of the windlass when it's straining and when it's free spooling the rode in.

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