If your boat needs a new winch, you will have to carefully consider your options by deciding which winch is the best fit for your boat. You will need to think about which type and brand of anchor winch you need. When choosing your winch, there are three main criteria which you must have fixed in your mind before making your selection.
What length is your boat?
When selecting your windlass, the size and displacement of your boat are critical, but you cannot afford to ignore the anchoring conditions and how you will be using your boat. In general, you should expect that the larger your vessel is, the larger your chosen windlass must be, with a pulling capacity that is at least three times as big as the complete ground tackle weight. You will also need to include the usual accessories, such as a chain snubber, a chain stopper, or a mooring cleat for use when breaking or setting the anchor.
Do you need a horizontal or vertical Maxwell anchor winch?
The configuration of your winch will be determined by the conditions prevailing on your boat. Whether you opt for a vertical or horizontal drive shaft will depend on how much space you have under your deck, as well as on the thickness of the deck itself and the amount of space you have in your chain locker. Most commonly, windlasses are vertical so that the capstan is placed above the deck and the gearbox and the motor are placed out of sight, below deck. A horizontal windlass will be placed entirely above the deck, with the capstan and the gypsy situated one on each side of it.
Which rope and chain will you use?
You will need to match the anchor winch not just to the size of your boat but also to the ground tackle that you want to use. You may want to fit an automatic rope/chain system to reduce the weight in the bow or, perhaps, a chain-only system if your vessel has a greater displacement. Unless your boat is particularly large, you will probably want to employ a short-link chain rather than the stud-link chain favoured by superyachts. Study the chain sizes carefully and select a windlass that is compatible with your desired chain size.
To learn more about your options, contact a supplier near you that carries products such as the Maxwell anchor winch.