Dropping your anchor and raising it back up again can be a pain in the neck. And if you’ve ever tried to weigh anchor manually, you know how difficult it can be. Luckily, there are electrical windlasses to make your life much easier. While windlasses are integral to many boats, they are often neglected during maintenance. This piece of mechanical and electrical equipment is usually on deck and exposed to the elements, and not maintaining it properly can cause corrosion issues and failed components. Here are some tips for maintaining your electric windlass.
Lubricate Moving Parts
When inspecting your windlass, disassemble the chain wheel and clutch cone system and lubricate all moving parts and fasteners with lithium grease. It is essential to clean and grease the surfaces of the two clutch cones and the chain wheel where they meet. Every windlass is different, so consult your owner’s manual and parts breakdown for your specific brand and model.
Flush the Windlass
After every extended trip, flush the entire windlass and the chain/rope rode with fresh water. Also, spray any accessible electronics with a corrosion blocker. Note that if you have a windless with a composite-type motor enclosure, use only a corrosion blocker that does not damage rubber, paint, or plastic. And you should check the rope for wear and replace it if necessary.
Inspect the Entire Device
It’s always a good idea to inspect the entire length of the chain and rope, as you likely don’t see it in its entirety very often. Even if the rope was stored in the locker all season, it could fray from friction against the chain lying on top of it. Check the rope for signs of fraying or loose threads that could get caught in the windlass or bow roller.
Inspect the Motor
If you have a horizontal windlass with the motor in a housing above the deck, check the housing for any cracks or damage. If you notice any, remove the housing and ensure water hasn’t intruded and caused corrosion on the motor.
If you have a vertical windlass with the motor below deck, check the motor for traces of corrosion. Even though the engine is below deck, it doesn’t always mean it stays dry. If you find signs of corrosion, remove the electrical connections, clean them, and reattach them. You may need to replace the motor if it’s severely corroded and rusted.
Marine Electric Systems, LLC is a Leader In the Maritime Industry
We here at Marine Electric Systems have over 30 years of industry experience. You can trust our team for reliable service and expert craftsmanship in the Maryland, Baltimore, Annapolis, and Baltimore city areas! We’re highly certified and adhere to all ABYC and NMEA regulations. We specialize in top-notch electrical solutions for recreational, commercial, and government boating clients. Anything from electrical refits, to navigation systems, or boating maintenance. To stay up to date on our services, follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also contact us at 410-263-0807.