All You Should Know about Anchor Windlass

15 June 2022

Anchors are intended to hold marine vessels to the seabed of a body of water, preventing them from drifting due to current, swell or wind. Anchors hold the entire vessel to the same spot because they are heavy and the way they are designed, they bed themselves into the sand/muddy seabed or snag on rocks etc on the sea floor.

Some anchors are permanently stowed on the bow fitting of the boat, which makes them ready to be deployed quickly and easily in an emergency or in any other circumstance. But before anchors can perform their intended functions, they must be lowered and raised by a capable component first.

On larger yachts the anchor and chain are too heavy to throw in the water and raise them back in, somost utilise an anchor windlass.Awindlass is a mechanical winch/pulley that can withstand heavy loads. When it was first invented, the sole purpose of drawing water from wells or lifting heavy construction equipment. The anchor windlass has gone through many modifications and advancements, allowing it to be adapted and used in the marine industry.

WindlassDesign and Ordering Chain

The design of an anchor windlass has been carefully crafted to ensure that it can carry out its purpose.The gypsy for example, is the anchor winch cylindrical drum that is designed to fit specific sized chain into the cog like grooves when it is being reeled in or out.It is extremely important to consider the anchor winch gypsy when purchasing new anchor chain, as you’ll have to get chain that fits the gypsy.If you get the wrong chain, the chain won’t sit in the grooves of the gypsy properly and can lead to the chain getting tangled or snagged on the winch or it could slip through the gypsy if the chain is too small. The best way to order new chain is to accurately measure the chain with vernier callipers. If you don’t have access to verniers you can alternatively remove the gypsy + 1 metre of chain and bring it into the Riggtech Bosun’s Locker so we can do it all for you.

Anchor Windlass Primary Location

An anchor windlass can be effective in carrying out its operations if it is installed in the right place. Normally, large ships and vessels position their anchor windlass in a windlass chamber or room. Alternatively, they can also be placed at the forecastle deck, above a deep locker for the chain to drop into when the anchor is stowed or is being reeled in.

Installing this device on the deck can provide better control for the boat operators. Doing this can also provide more storage space for the ships and boats since a windlass chamber does not exist anymore. Placing the anchor windlass on the deck can also make it more accessible, which is crucial in case of emergencies. This placement can, however, exposes the anchor windlass to outdoor elements.

To know more about anchor windlasses or to order chain for your yacht, you can contact us at Riggtech.

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