Today we started what will be a 3 or 4 day project. When we left San Francisco in August the windless worked. Well at our first anchorage the windless quit working. I have been pulling up the anchor by hand. The last part when the anchor actually leaves the bottom I used the gypsy and lever to pull it up. I had been waiting until we someplace where we could repair or replace the windless. I preferred to repair it as it is a manual windless and should be simple to dissemble and repair. If we replace it we will have to go with a electric windless which means running wires and installing an additional battery in the v-berth.

We started by removing the windless from the bow. Lisa held a wrench on the bolt while I crawled into the chain locker and removed the nuts. Because the chain goes through a hole in the windlass then we had to drag chain around the deck. Also we are at anchor so that needs to stay attached.


Lisa got the oil that had leaked cleaned up. She also picked and scrubbed the silicone that was used to bed the windlass up from the deck.


I started working on the windlass but the first thing I needed to do was remove the plate on the bottom and that had been sealed with lots of a liquid gasket compound. The plate is about 1/8 inch thick and the gasket compound was not only on the underside but all around the side. I gave up for the day and we went off to the Ace hardware store to see if I could find something to grab the plate and remove it. Finally I came up with the idea of using an easy-out to catch the hole and pull the plate up using the easy-out. That worked.


Next we needed to get pour the oil out of the windlass. We used an old milk carton but holding the heavy windlass steady on a rocking boat was difficult.


Now for the disassembly of the windlass. To add some difficulty to the job the chain seemed to always be in the way. Finally everything was out.


The parts causing the problem are 2 springs that have broken. On the end of the spring where it is straight it is suppose to have a loop and the other gear, that looks just like this one, is suppose to be attached.

I bent the ends to create a loop. After cleaning everything I reassembled everything and before putting oil in tested it. IT”S WORKING!. Added 2 quarts of 90 weight gear oil and sealed up everything. Watched for an hour for leaks and then remounted it to the deck. Final test we hauled in the anchor chain to the bridle, untwisted the bridle, and redeployed the anchor. Everything is working. Saved over $3000 dollars.