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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:



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