Windlass Problem - Lofrans Marlin


16 Feb 2004
Me - Hampshire. UK Boat - Greece
The windlass was installed about 3 years ago and worked faultlessly for 2 years.

Last year we had an issue with intermittent starting (either up or down). The solution which worked every time was a light tap on top of the windlass gypsy with the alloy clutch handle and it would start. Sometimes once started during an anchor drop or weigh the windlass would start OK sometimes it needed a further tap on the head.

Wiring was checked - voltage at the motor was present when the windlass was switched in either direction.

At the end of last season the motor/gearbox was removed and taken to a Lofrans agent for inspection. Inspected, brushes were fine and it was suggested to check the alignment of the windlass motor/gearbox mounting against the capstan shaft. When refitted it seemed to work OK.

At the start of this season it's returned to it's fault status, this time less intermittent and more predicatably unreliable. A member of the crew experienced in electrickery re-inspected the armature and brushes and pronounced that the armature was carbonised and pitted and needed cleaning. When cleaned the windlass worked very reliably for a couple of days and then failed.

Given that it is very lightly used and that we are seeing carbon deposits we are wondering to the cause.

Any ideas welcome - my hunch is that the main cables from the battery to the control box/windlass motor are not of sufficient diameter - could this cause arcing at the brushes/armature?


jon and michie

Well-known member
28 Dec 2014
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after opening up the motor - I found that one of the brushes had sort of seized in its housing after removal there was a corrosion build up on the inside of its housing - I removed the rust and works a treat now.