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DavesWorld
09-06-2007, 12:31 PM
After untangling my anchor line/chain and resettiung the windlass circuit, the controls for operating the windlass on the bow are inoperative. What troubleshooting/repair steps should I take to restore these controls? The cockpit controls are fine for paying out the line but I need to finesse the frayed line a bit to get it taken in properly.

thanks

SeaBird
09-06-2007, 12:48 PM
Locate the 5A automotive blade fuse in the wiring harness located in the anchor locker and see if it is blown.

The fuse can be difficult to locate since it is tie-wrapped within a wire bundle. You may have to cut the tie-wrap and loosen up the wires to locate the fuse.

John

DavesWorld
09-06-2007, 02:53 PM
Thanks. I like working on the windless issues as they provide a good deal of fun just finding the breakers :smt089

SeaBird
09-06-2007, 03:41 PM
Yes, I have had multiple windlass issues myself.

It seems that the windlass is underpowered since I trip the breaker with only the slightest load when reeling in. I have to make sure the boat is in gear and moving towards the anchor or else....

I did not even realize there was both a fuse and breaker for this thing until I popped both. I located and replaced the fuse easy enough but what an effort to locate the breaker in the engine compartment! It's dark down there and the breaker is black making it that much more difficult to locate. The trip lever is also black so go figure!

Have you ever used the manual handle? I once tried when I blew the breaker and the windlass would not budge.

Overall I dislike when the windlass fails.

boatmailster
09-06-2007, 05:23 PM
Yes, I have had multiple windlass issues myself.

It seems that the windlass is underpowered since I trip the breaker with only the slightest load when reeling in. I have to make sure the boat is in gear and moving towards the anchor or else....

I did not even realize there was both a fuse and breaker for this thing until I popped both. I located and replaced the fuse easy enough but what an effort to locate the breaker in the engine compartment! It's dark down there and the breaker is black making it that much more difficult to locate. The trip lever is also black so go figure!

Have you ever used the manual handle? I once tried when I blew the breaker and the windlass would not budge.

Overall I dislike when the windlass fails.

check for loose connections on windlass, batteries and breaker
breaker will trip easy when there is low voltage in the system (caused by loose connection or weak battery)

comsnark
09-06-2007, 06:15 PM
Or. . .you do what I did: I let mine sit for the winter in a non-functioning condition. When I went to troubleshoot the thing in the spring, I found it working just fine. :thumbsup:

(wiring on boats is an odd thing sometimes)

boatmailster
09-06-2007, 09:40 PM
After untangling my anchor line/chain and resettiung the windlass circuit, the controls for operating the windlass on the bow are inoperative. What troubleshooting/repair steps should I take to restore these controls? The cockpit controls are fine for paying out the line but I need to finesse the frayed line a bit to get it taken in properly.

thanks

if only foot switches on deck don't work- they need to be replaced or repaired
for some reasons (I think I know why) foot switches are connected directly do windlass and high current goes through them when are being used. They are rated only 20-25A but you know that windlass draws much more and that is why connectors inside foot switch burns out very fast. You can open it apart and clean connectors with fine sandpaper and put it together and will work like new. Problem is that there are springs and washers inside and you have to be careful not to loose any of them and put it together in order

AWBoater
09-10-2007, 02:21 AM
The general proper use of a windlass is to:

1. run the engine while running the windlass, so that there is sufficient power.

2. do not pull the anchor aboard with the windlass only, you generally must put the engine in gear and move towards the anchor point whilst retrieving the anchor rode.

You can void the windlass warranty by attempting to "muscle" the anchor aboard with just windlass power.

Presentation
09-10-2007, 09:34 AM
Have you ever used the manual handle? I once tried when I blew the breaker and the windlass would not budge.

Just to be clear, I assume you are not referring to the force required to pull your boat forward into the wind, which would add significant effort if you are using the handle or using the motor.

I tried the handle with no load on the anchor. I did this by having the anchor dangling in the air. Mine moves very easy. Its hard to describe ‘very easy’ over the internet, but I’ll do my best. Turn your engines off. Now, go to the helm and turn the wheel. The amount of effort required to turn the drives with the engine off is equal to or slightly greater then the effort I needed to apply to the bar you pop into the top of the windlass to get it to pull the anchor onboard with out load.

If yours is turning harder then this you may have an issue.

I have never had my breaker pop. I have never blown a fuse for the windlass.

The issues I have had are two:

Issue one – retrieval stops where the rode goes from rope to chain
Right were the rode goes from rope to chain the windlass keeps turning but the rode slips. Two fixes. One is to pay out the rode about a foot and try it again. If I do this I can normally get it to go. If this does not work by the 4th or 5th time I give up then try technique #2. Second is to put some pressure on the finger of the windlass then press the up button out on the bow. This means I need to go out onto the bow however this will work every time. I wish the spring had a bit more pressure. I don’t see any adjustment that I can make to increase the pressure the finger puts on the rode.

Issue two – when paying out the rode I have had the rode get tangled
This occurred often when we first got the boat this June. I let out 100% of the line and retrieved it several times. This problem has gone away for now. Since this fix I tend to do this, let 100% of the rode out, every so often, at least monthly. The problem has not come back.

MLauman
09-11-2007, 08:34 AM
if only foot switches on deck don't work- they need to be replaced or repaired
for some reasons (I think I know why) foot switches are connected directly do windlass and high current goes through them when are being used. They are rated only 20-25A but you know that windlass draws much more and that is why connectors inside foot switch burns out very fast.

boatmailster - IMO, you have provided a wealth of good information on this site, but I'll have to take issue with this one. When I read this, I couldn't imagine Sea Ray using these switches in this manner, so I looked up the wiring diagram. See page 66 - 2004 280 Owners Manual (http://www.searay.com/Archives_Manuals/Sea_Ray_Archives/owners_manuals/2004_280_SUNDANCER/2004%20280%20DA%20OM.pdf). Clearly, the deck switches are connected to the Control Box (ie relay) just like the helm switch. They do not pass high amperage and, as SeaBird correctly indicated above, they are protected by a 5 amp fuse.

If you look at the diagram, it almost HAS to be the 5amp fuse because:
a) The windlass operates properly from the helm switch. This eliminates all possibilities except the deck swiches, the fuse and the wires connecting the deck switches.
b) Both deck switches went out at the same time. They share the same fuse (not shared by the helm switch btw). Highly unlikely that 2 switches went bad at the same time.

AWBoater
09-11-2007, 06:08 PM
Both high-power and low-power footswitches exist.

Some of the windlass manufacturers, Lewmar (Simpson - Lawrence) for instance build low-power (500~600Watt) windlasses that can be directly wired using high powered switches (30-40Amp) at the helm and footswitches.

Higher power windlasses, including those built by Lemar and others typically have both a high power circuit and low power circuit controlled by contactor. These typically use low-power switches for both the helm and footswitches, the type that would use a 5A fuse mentioned above.

If you purchase a windlass in retail packaging, it usually comes in a kit, with the appropriate switches, breaker, and contactors (if needed). OEM packaging, as used by boat manufacturers may only include the windlass itself, and its left up to the boat manufacturer to use high-power switching or contactor switching.

The selection of which type depends on the power requirements of the windlass and how cheaply the boat manufacturer wants to install them. I would not be surprised to see both types in use by a particular manufacturer, depending on the model and manufacturer year and size of the boat.

boatmailster
09-11-2007, 08:43 PM
if only foot switches on deck don't work- they need to be replaced or repaired
for some reasons (I think I know why) foot switches are connected directly do windlass and high current goes through them when are being used. They are rated only 20-25A but you know that windlass draws much more and that is why connectors inside foot switch burns out very fast.

boatmailster - IMO, you have provided a wealth of good information on this site, but I'll have to take issue with this one. When I read this, I couldn't imagine Sea Ray using these switches in this manner, so I looked up the wiring diagram. See page 66 - 2004 280 Owners Manual (http://www.searay.com/Archives_Manuals/Sea_Ray_Archives/owners_manuals/2004_280_SUNDANCER/2004%20280%20DA%20OM.pdf). Clearly, the deck switches are connected to the Control Box (ie relay) just like the helm switch. They do not pass high amperage and, as SeaBird correctly indicated above, they are protected by a 5 amp fuse.

If you look at the diagram, it almost HAS to be the 5amp fuse because:
a) The windlass operates properly from the helm switch. This eliminates all possibilities except the deck swiches, the fuse and the wires connecting the deck switches.
b) Both deck switches went out at the same time. They share the same fuse (not shared by the helm switch btw). Highly unlikely that 2 switches went bad at the same time.

I did replace foot switches on a least 3 different Sea Rays with replacement part from MM Sea Ray dealer with manufacturer label inside stating that switches were rated only 20A!!!
I believe that that kind wiring is for "fail safe" operation of the windlass. In case of solenoid (control box) failure (the one in rope locker) foot switches will by-pass control box and allow to pull anchor from water (not all windlasses come with manual handle). Without this kind wiring you will need to pull a rope or chain by hand and store it on deck.
There is no fuses on those foot switches but it is possible that they stopped working because they got corroded inside - they are not completely water proof (take one apart and you be surprise)
To verify that foot swit is a problem - remove it from deck (do not disconnect wires) and short the posts with heavy duty screwdriver (there going to be few sparks!) Some boats maybe wired different than schematics available to end users

jcroll
05-09-2009, 09:15 PM
have a similar problem on my 06 290 sundancer. dealer just replaced selenoid and touch pads on helm and it was working fine. now, a day later, the helm switches may a click but windlass doesn't lower or raise. using the foot switches, i get a click when trying to raise, but nothing when i go to lower. could this be another bad selenoid or are there 2 breakers (one for lower and one for raise) on the windlass?

thanks.

Henry Boyd
05-10-2009, 07:06 AM
Jcroll,

Welcome

1. If you put your boat, engine & drive info in a signature more folks will respond.
2. There have been a number of posts on this topic, ranging from discussions on motor terminals to control boxes and inline circuit breakers. Do an advanced search with windlass as key word, and using only the thread title.

Henry