Skip to main content

Lofrans Royal manual windlass maintenance

There is no anchor windlass in the bow and I was considering the options for quite a while now. A vertical windlass would probably be the easiest to fit on deck or on the anchor locker lid, but it requires power. That means lots of long and heavy gauge wires or another battery close to the bow.

I wanted to avoid adding more electronics and try to keep things as simple as possible. 

The Lofrans Royal Horizontal Windlass is the last manual windlass still in production and we were lucky to find a second hand unit for less then half the price. The horizontal windlass is more bulky but we're hoping it would be possible to install it inside the anchor locker on a glassed in platform. We're not there yet, first the unit had to be serviced.

The windlass arrived in a decent condition. Except a few external rust spots in the aluminium housing all the internal parts are in an excellent condition. But due to no recent maintenance, it was getting stuck and moving hard. I decided to disassemble it completely, give it a good clean and new grease.

It was really hard to remove the line drum from the shaft, I had to heat it with a torch and hammer it off. It took several hours of trying, but I managed to get it off without damaging the unit. The shaft was getting stuck behind this drum.

Every component got a very good clean, with paper towels and a wire brush, then plenty of new grease. After assembly it moves very easily, just like new. 


I was happy to find this very detailed video on how to disassemble and assemble this windlass. If you're considering doing the same job, I really recommend watching it first:



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

New ventillators and smoke detector

Three old ventillators have been replaced last weekend as they were falling apart due to UV damage and the brittle plastic. We could get the exact same type of ventillators, so we went with those. No new holes to drill and hopefully these will do the job for another 10 years. I was also considering changing them to solar vents, but I haven't read too good reviews about them. They're usually much bigger (need a bigger hole) and according to many they tend to die after a year or two (either the battery or the fan motor gets loud) and doesn't worth the extra price tag.  We're going to add some regular 12V car fans inside before we sail to warmer climates. We already have a gas/propane alarm in the galley and now I also installed a battery powered smoke detector. Very easy and no drilling required, it's held in place with velcro strips.

Bilge reinforcement - Part 2

Read Part 1 After careful surface preparation the bilge reinforcement project continued with laying the new laminate. I consulted with West System on what fabric to use and they suggested biaxial cloth without chopped strand matting. The biaxial cloth is very strong and CSM would just add weight. We bought 600g biaxial cloth with 45/45 degree strands from Composite24 and West System 105 epoxy with 206 fast hardener at a local marine store. Cutting fabric The work was done in sections, we started with the bilge bottom while the keel nuts and washers were removed. It got 4 layers that come up 10cm at the bilge sides. This area gets most of the load and we wanted to reinforce it by connecting the fabric on the bottom to the fabric layed on the sides. 4 layers on the bottom In theory these types of reinforcements are suggested to be done either with the keel dropped or while the keel is hanging so it's not compressing the joint while the boat is standing on th

Scanmar bilge and swinging keel

The Scanmars, at least the SC33 and SC35 that I'm aware of, are infamous of developing a swinging/pendulum keel due to the lack of structural members in the bilge that could prevent the hull from flexing sideways at the hull to keel joint. Here is an article (in Swedish) that mentions this problem (svajköl) and here is another one from a surveyor who claims it's a weakness in the construction. The "stringers" on these boats are only floor beams, that are not going down deep enough to the bilge to act as a structural element. If the boat had harder groundings the attachments of the floor beams could delaminate from the hull, making the hull-keel joint even weaker and the swinging keel symptom worse. When we were on a boat hunt we've checked out almost all the SC33 on the market at the time and paid attention to how their bilges looked like (and in the end bought a SC35 without reinforcements 😄). As the bilge on the SC33 and SC35 looks very similar, I thoug