Windlass controller. Fore or aft? Or both?

NPMR

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We're finalising the installation of a windlass on Jeanneau 33i.

Debating the positioning of the electrical controller, it seemed obvious to put this next to the windlass. But if singlehanded, (possible this year) maybe in the cockpit would be better.

Or maybe both, so all situations are catered for?
 

cmedsailor

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At the bow for sure because when lifting the anchor you want to be near the chain to control it while dropping the chain into the anchor chain locker. In addition buy a cheap remote control from ebay to control it from the cockpit (or anywhere else you like).
 

essexsj

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I'm currently in the process of installing a windlass to my Moody 27, and have opted for the following solution to cover the scenarios I think we'd encounter:

Handheld wired control at the bow located at easy reach in the anchor locker - Quick HRC1002 2-button.
Panel mounted LCD chain counter and control unit - Quick CHC1203.

Probably a bit overkill in terms of cost and wanting to match the manufacturer of the windlass itself, but given that I'm frequently out with SWMBO, it will certainly make for a more practical and safer offering than the current arrangement of shouting back and forth whilst struggling to deploy/lift and secure the anchor amongst the furling gear etc.

We occasionally have some fraught exchanges should it take me longer than normal to free the anchor, or have issues during inclement weather... she's obviously concerned for my wellbeing - which more than likely equates to not wanting to be left onboard and dealing with me being MOB despite wearing harness and attached to jacklines.
 

Mistroma

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I was looking at these a couple of days ago and spotted the 30m range. I wondered if I'd end up raising and lowering anchors on boats either side on the quay. :D

Garage door openers usually have a means of configuring Tx/Rx to make it less likely to affect adjacent doors, often just DIP switches. I wondered if these had a similar feature and was going to ask the seller because I couldn't see it mentioned in the advert. Did you purchase some and if so, were they configurable?

EDIT:
I did find another similar unit direct from Hong Kong which said:
"Each Remote Controller comes with its own code so there is no interference with other similar remote control."

It also claimed only 50' range instead of 100' and this ties up with reviews and feedback saying other sellers sent 50' units instead of the 100' ones advertised. Happy with 50' but some people mentioned only getting 10-12m, might be marginal. Obvious answer is to extend the leads and mount the transmitter 3-4m closer to the cockpit. I have also seen several references to a big delay, circa 1 second, before it responds. Probably still worth a go as it's mostly for reversing onto town quays where I might need to slack off a few more metres and tighten again. Too big a risk of jamming to use it for retrieval of complete chain.
 
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RupertW

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Ours has to be at the bow because our locker will not self stow chain thanks to a badly designed shallow sloping shelf with the windlass above the top of the shelf - just a few inches - which means even with a metre deep large locker the chain just builds up the shallow slope and needs manually reorganising every couple of metres.
 

Mistroma

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Ours has to be at the bow because our locker will not self stow chain thanks to a badly designed shallow sloping shelf with the windlass above the top of the shelf - just a few inches - which means even with a metre deep large locker the chain just builds up the shallow slope and needs manually reorganising every couple of metres.

Same for us but it is fine when recovering 10-20m of about 40m-60m. I think that will be fine for tweaking when approaching a quay and for the initial bit when leaving, exactly when it's handy to be able to move away from the bow. Not so great for most anchoring in 4-6m as there's too much chain left in the locker and it piles up on top quite quickly.
 

mikegunn

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I have just finished replacing my windlass with a Lofrans unit. I’ve retained the original controller on a wander lead, which plugs into a receptacle in the anchor locker and added a Lofrans wireless remote. The advantage of the remote, apart from its up/down ability is that it gives an indication of chain length that has been dispensed. Interestingly, the Lofrans remote kit is not windlass specific and did required the manufacture of a bracket on which to mount a sensing coil and the drilling of a hole in the drum to accept a small magnet. It could however be easily adapted to almost any windlass. The remote unit, which has a rechargeable battery, comes with a holder that could be mounted anywhere convenient on board or can be worn from a lanyard.
Mike
 

RupertW

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Same for us but it is fine when recovering 10-20m of about 40m-60m. I think that will be fine for tweaking when approaching a quay and for the initial bit when leaving, exactly when it's handy to be able to move away from the bow. Not so great for most anchoring in 4-6m as there's too much chain left in the locker and it piles up on top quite quickly.

Indeed - when stern too moored I don't really need to be up there for the first couple of boat lengths - that's just habit.
 

GHA

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I was looking at these a couple of days ago and spotted the 30m range. I wondered if I'd end up raising and lowering anchors on boats either side on the quay. :D

Garage door openers usually have a means of configuring Tx/Rx to make it less likely to affect adjacent doors, often just DIP switches. I wondered if these had a similar feature and was going to ask the seller because I couldn't see it mentioned in the advert. Did you purchase some and if so, were they configurable?

EDIT:
I did find another similar unit direct from Hong Kong which said:
"Each Remote Controller comes with its own code so there is no interference with other similar remote control."

It also claimed only 50' range instead of 100' and this ties up with reviews and feedback saying other sellers sent 50' units instead of the 100' ones advertised. Happy with 50' but some people mentioned only getting 10-12m, might be marginal. Obvious answer is to extend the leads and mount the transmitter 3-4m closer to the cockpit. I have also seen several references to a big delay, circa 1 second, before it responds. Probably still worth a go as it's mostly for reversing onto town quays where I might need to slack off a few more metres and tighten again. Too big a risk of jamming to use it for retrieval of complete chain.


TBH I haven't fitted this one yet, just got as a spare but will fit it at some point. Tried it out with a buzzer & it seems better than the other one, steel boat so a few blind spots but this one behaves much better. Antenna on the original one was extended which helped.
 

Mistroma

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TBH I haven't fitted this one yet, just got as a spare but will fit it at some point. Tried it out with a buzzer & it seems better than the other one, steel boat so a few blind spots but this one behaves much better. Antenna on the original one was extended which helped.

Thanks, pretty certain range will be fine. I will buy a couple today and run a similar test at home to check range. I should also be able to feed a wire beside the vent pip back to the forward water tank and mount the control box 2-3m further away from the bows. That should sort out range if it does seem to be marginal.

Just going into eBay now as I'm also grabbing bits for an alarm (GPS, GSM dialler, temp./Barometric sensor etc.) I'll hook them up to a spare Arduino nano. I hope to find some time to make a start on this before returning to Greece. I might as well order the remotes while I'm at it.
 

GHA

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Just going into eBay now as I'm also grabbing bits for an alarm (GPS, GSM dialler, temp./Barometric sensor etc.) I'll hook them up to a spare Arduino nano. I hope to find some time to make a start on this before returning to Greece. I might as well order the remotes while I'm at it.

Might as well add a couple ESP8266's as well, I use the 12e, lots memory & wifi is just so handy. :cool:
 

Frank Holden

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Windlass controller? I fitted my electric windlass ( Muir with Quick controller) 16 years ago.

Solenoid lives in a forecabin locker.... Controller is on a wandering lead long enough to be run through the cockpit to the helm.

In those 16 years it has never ever been used at the helm.

Normal drill is to simply pass it up through the hatch in the frd head and use it in the vicinity of the pointy end of the boat.
 

vyv_cox

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For stern-to berthing in Greece a control at the helm is invaluable. Frees the crew to take warps ashore while I do all the windlass control while reversing in. Our Maxwell windlass came with controls for cockpit mounting and I added control buttons at the anchor locker for free anchoring.
 

Bobc

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I like watching what's happening with the chain when it's going up or down. So at the bow is my preference.
 

GHA

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I like watching what's happening with the chain when it's going up or down. So at the bow is my preference.

For a tenner it's nice to have the choice. With a remote it's handy to get the hook hanging down a foot or so from the cockpit to make sure it's ready to go. And some times single handed in a breeze you might want to stay at the tiller to motor a bit closer if it's a bit breezy. Choice is nice :cool:
 

robertj

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I have a switch in the cockpit, two deck buttons at the bow with a wired handheld remote plus a cheap wireless one off eBay.
Five years and all I’ve had to replace is batteries in the cheapo and both deck switches.
 
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