We’ve had a few issues with our little windlass in the past. It seems to have been abused to the point of failure recently. I posted about that here. And last year we had to replace the motor. That post is here. I am going to take the high road here and blame all of this on previous owners and/or years of dedicated service and hard work (and perhaps just a little abuse).
There is a noticeable difference between the old gear and the new one.
Port Madison is a great place to anchor for an evening or overnight. Too bad our windlass decided to rebel the last time we were there. It all started well. Step on the button and the motor dutifully pays out chain. Then … it all went wrong. The windlass started to spin and chain was roaring out. The 50 foot mark, then the 100 foot mark flew by, and then the 150 foot mark. They were recently repainted and looked nice for the second or so I saw each one. We managed to get it stopped with about 175 feet of chain sitting on the bottom. We were only in 15 feet or so of water.
Thirty four years ago, the Ideal Windlass Company manufactured a nice little windlass. Serial number 937. Since that time, that little windlass has been dutifully serving it’s masters on the bow of our boat. Last month, it finally decided to go on strike and refused to do the job it had been conscripted to do. It would pay out chain nicely when anchoring, but was just too tired to pull it all back in again.
Ideal claims that parts are available for 99% of their products manufactured since 1940. (I doubt most companies could make that claim about their products.) An email exchange with Ideal proved them right — at least for the part we needed. A quick call to Ideal when we got back from our trip and the exact replacement motor for our 34 year old windlass was on it’s way to us.