For anyone raising an anchor from the murky depth by hand, even for the young and agile it is just a matter of time when that becomes old and it’s time for some mechanical advantage. Hand crank
, hydraulic windlasses
, or electrical windlasses are available and fairly easy to install.
Mounting any type of windlass is pretty much the same. For the hand crank type mounting it, is all that is generally required but for power assist versions, they will require either hydraulics or electricity and the installation can be more involved. If the vessel is equipped with a hydraulic supply aboard then this might be an option but, in most cases, when considering installing a new windlass, an electric boat anchor winch is a far simpler choice when it comes to running cables vs hydraulic lines and the price of electric components and windlasses makes the electric option very competitive.
Choosing the best Electric Boat Anchor Winch
Choosing the best electric boat anchor winch will depend on several factors such as the size of the vessel, the type of vessel, the weight of the vessel, and personal boating habits. For pontoon boats ‘Minn Kota Inc
®’ manufactures a pre-spool windlass
that has rope wrapped around a drum and does not require a chain locker to collect and house the anchor chain or rode.
For boats with a chain locker, there are electrical windlasses with gypsy’s that can accommodate rope together with chain and feed via a hawse pipe installed through the deck it into the chain locker below. Boat anchor winches are manufactured in different configurations namely vertical and horizontal
. The vertical windlass
has the prime mover located below the deck and offers a low profile such as the ‘Project 500®
’, a vertical low-profile windlass manufactured by the ‘Lofrans®'. Other vertical windlasses are not considered low profile and installing additional components such as a capstan above the gypsy will increase the height of the windlass while retaining a compact footprint such as the ‘Project 2000 ®’, vertical windlass and capstan manufactured by the ‘Lofrans®
’ company. Horizontal windlasses tend to occupy a significant amount of real estate on the fore deck. They can also have the prime mover below deck or located behind or in front of the gearbox. These types of windlasses can accommodate a variety of combinations of capstans and gypsys depending on the model
Anchor Winches for Commerical Boats and Deep Sea Fishing Vessels
An alternative method is to mount a winch drum on the fore deck such as the ‘Patriot EZ-2®
’ direct drive drum winch manufactured by ‘EZ Anchor Puller
®’ EZ Anchor puller produces Anchor Winches for deep sea offshore vessels. The Rebel Anchor Winch
is suited for vessels up to 45' and is composed of worry-free stainless steel. EZ Anchor Puller winches can be mounted above and below deck. This family of electric boat anchor winch drums offer a drum that can accommodate chain, cable, rope or a combination thereof. These units typically do not require localized operation and perform well remotely allowing the skipper to drop and retrieve the anchor from the pilot house. These stainless steel electric anchor winches are the perfect winch for large commercial fishing and boating vessels.
Irrespective of the type of windlass that is aboard it is a matter of time when spare parts are needed. Electrical windlasses require a large amount of power to operate and therefore the foot switches, relays and circuit protection can burn out. Although these components are well-made, moisture intrusion is a possibility rendering the part uselesee. Therefore, having windlass spares on board is always good insurance otherwise raising the anchor by hand again can become a reality.