This past weekend was the annual Vancouver Boat Show – it has become our rather expensive habit to head over every year with a “big purchase” in mind. This year, we had decided that we were going to purchase an electric Windlass – we currently have a manual windlass, which is definitely better than just pulling the anchor up by hand, but can take a really long time to bring the anchor up and gets rather hot and sweaty mid-summer! We very often just opt to pull it by hand anyway but as I cannot seem to manage the final pull free from the bottom myself, that means either Owen is stuck with doing it, or we are both up there (and no one is at the helm!).
When we arrived at the show, Owen knew exactly what we wanted – it was just going to be a case of finding the best price. When we saw the actual unit that he wanted (Lofrans Tigress) close up however, we realized that it was WAY bigger than we had thought, and the way the motor is situated, it would stand out from the mounting platform, leaving a nice 1/2 inch space under it for lines to catch. Though it is the forever workhorse of the windlass world, we pretty quickly realized that it was not going to work for Solstice Tide.
So now what? We looked at a Lofrans X2 1500 and thought we had it settled at that – but then of course, we found others to look at (it is a big show!) – so we had it narrowed down to 3 – a Lofrans, Lewmar and Maxwell – all with similar specs.
After hours of googling and figuring, Owen had determined that we could safely carry 5/16 high test chain, rather than needing to go to 3/8. As the models we are looking at all have a top capstan, that will allow us to use a heavier chain on a storm anchor if necessary.
So, our little list of models in hand, we approached our favorite boat chandlery (Harbour Chandler in Nanaimo – highly recommended!) and asked for quotes. We wandered back a bit later and Matt gave us the list of prices, but also mentioned that he was pretty sure that he has a windlass in stock, with the capstan, that was ordered for someone who never picked up or something of that nature. If it works for our boat (has to be at least 1000 watts), he would be able to give us a great deal on that. Owen will go do some recon on the model at the store (they just couldn’t remember in the chaos of the boat show which model was actually in the store) and that may make our decision for us. Otherwise, we will need to narrow down the three options to one winner and get it ordered.
I am so excited about the idea of having this done, but realize how much work it will be. Our v-berth is not finished – at all. At the same time we install the windlass, we need to make a proper chain locker, and if we are doing that, we might as well finish the v-berth – our friends will be happy to hear that is happening – I am not so excited about all the work involved!!! At least we will be able to get some more storage sorted out – and maybe this will be a good opportunity to remove some of the stuff that we have had kicking around up there and lighten the boat up a bit – which will be needed once we feed another 200 feet of chain on board!
Though it was a rainy, wet weekend, and we didn’t actually walk away with the windlass ordered, it was a great opportunity to meet up with some friends, have a weekend away and get over to the “big city”. Once the windlass arrives, we will find ourselves with a lot of work to get done before a haul out in the spring, so it was a good chance for downtime!