Planning to improve your boat?

One way to make your boat safer to dock is through anchors. The anchor head gives the resistive forces to keep your vessel in place. However, the system is incomplete without an anchor windlass.

Read on and discover how anchor windlasses work:

What is an Anchor Windlass?

Ever wondered how boats lower and raise the anchor from the ocean bed? It’s because of anchor windlasses. It’s a pulley or mechanical system for shifting weights in either vertical or horizontal directions.

It often has a special location at the ship’s fore, known as the windlass room or chamber. Some ships put their windlass on the forecastle deck instead. It gives more control during operation.

What Does an Anchor Windlass Do?

Technological advances put more demands on the shipping industry. As a result, larger ships need heavier anchors to stop. Current anchor windlass systems operate both the anchor and other related machinery.

Anchor windlasses have barrels with a wound chain or cable around them. It either uses a belt or a crankshaft for operation. Depending on the design, cranks could use a motor instead of manual operation.

Types of Anchor Windlasses

Pick between electric and manual windlasses for your boat. Consider these factors when picking the right type of windlass. Otherwise, you’ll experience various inconveniences if they don’t work well:

Electric Anchor Windlass

These windlasses are the most common in the market. They’re easy to use and come with various configurations.

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An electric anchor windlass has both vertical and horizontal drums. You can also pick between enclosed deck mounts and bottom deck motor mounts. Your boat must have enough power to charge the batteries running the mechanism.

Some models give powered control. It’s useful when dropping the anchor since it uses an electric break.

However, most models will have a manual function for raising anchors. It’s a handy feature when experiencing motor failures or power outages.

Is your electric windlass malfunctioning? Check out this post from Fathom Bay. It talks about troubleshooting tips for this windlass type.

Manual Anchor Windlass

This type of anchor windlass has a drum on one side of the housing. On the other, you’ll see a gypsy. It’s operable with a handle, and its features allow you to operate it without a lot of help.

Manual anchor windlasses have handles cranking for the gear. It helps pull the chain up. Despite this feature, it’s tiring since you’re taking the weight while winching the anchor.

It’s cheaper and easier to install compared to its electric counterpart. Bolt the mechanism on the deck and you’re done. If your ship has limited battery power, manual anchor windlasses are better.

Get an Anchor Windlass Today!

With all these valuable pieces of information, it’s hard to dismiss the usefulness of an anchor windlass. If you want your boat to be safer, use this mechanical system.

Are you looking for more boat-related tips and tricks? Check out the rest of our blog and read some of our guides.

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