We at R&M Precision Marine have more than 15 years of experience with anchor winches and maintain the best customer service and prices Australia wide.
          Anchor Winch/Windlass sizing

What size winch/windlass that suits your boat.

 If you have a 10m (33 ft) boat, typically a 270kg (600 lb) pull windlass would be selected.
 The rule to cross check your windlass selection is to add the total weight of the chain and the weight of the anchor together.
Rope is very light and does not affect the actual lifting performance of the windlass, but can be factored in.
 For safe cruising in all types of conditions and sea areas,  Recommended that you multiply the total weight of your anchor and chain by 4. This number should be less than the maximum pull of the windlass you have selected. Should your findings be at or more than the maximum pull,select the next largest windlass.
 The windlass does not stow the anchor rode in the locker. Gravity stows the rode in the locker. There must be a free and clear area under the hawse pipe for the incoming rode to lie; if not the rode will jam.
 Your windlass is a retrieval device; the windlass retrieves the anchor and rode. A windlass is not a high load bearing device.
 When at anchor your rode should be secured to a cleat or other mooring point on the bow.

You should never anchor off your winch or use your winch to draw your boat to the anchor spot. The anchor winch is designed to pull up a dead weight and should not be subjected to the strain of your boat riding at anchor.


Anchor Winch/Windlass anchor locker

How long is the anchor rode you wish to use and will it fit into your locker?

 Begin by examining the depth of the anchor locker to determine the amount of 'fall' available.
 The fall is the vertical distance between the top of the anchor locker and the top of the anchor rode when it is completely stored inside the locker. This measurement is important in determining whether your boat will be best suited for a vertical or horizontal windlass.

Horizontal Windlass
 The Horizontal windlass is a no-nonsense design widely used by boaters requiring optimum performance from their anchoring system. Boaters who frequently anchor, especially in deep water, require a no hassle self-tailing system.
 The horizontal windlass offers the best performance with small or unusual locker designs. As the anchor rode enters the gypsy it makes a 90" turn and feeds directly into the anchor locker. a minimum fall of 12/ 30cm is recommended.

Vertical Windlass
 Vertical windlasses provide aesthetic value and offer the added security of the anchor rode making a 180" wrap around the gypsy.
 The inherent design of the vertical windlass requires at least 16/ 40cm of fall.This is to allow gravity to properly self-tail the anchor rode through a 90" vertical turn into the anchor locker. Additionally, nylon line is light weight and a short fall in a vertical windlass system might prevent the rode from feeding properly into the locker.


Anchor Winch/Windlass etc. Component terminology

  Often referred to as a drum, rope drum, or warping drum. The capstan is primarily used for hauling rope.  

Chain Stopper
 Similarly, chain compressor. Located between the winch and bow roller.Secures chain and anchor and takes the load off the winch/windlass.Highly recommended for systems utilising all chain and for semi-automatic rope and chain systems. 

Free Fall

 Release of the winch clutch mechanism allowing the anchor and rode(chain or rope and chain) to run out freely with no engagement of winch gearbox or motor. 

  Often referred to as chain wheel or wildcat. A special wheel with pockets, to accommodate a specified chain size, for hauling up the chain and anchor. With automatic rope/chain systems the gypsy is designed to haul both rope and chain.

  Often referred to as weighing or lifting. The operation of lifting the anchor and rode.

  Pertaining to the winch or windlass. Drive shaft, capstan and gypsy are positioned horizontally to the deck.

Manual Override System
 Often referred to as emergency crank system. A means of manually cranking the winch to haul in the rode and anchor should a failure occur in the motor, gearbox or power supply.

Maximum Pull

  Sometimes referred to as rated lift, stall load, or simply lift/pull. The maximum pull or lift load of the winch. 

  The line that secures the boat to the anchor. This may consist of all chain, all rope, or a combination of rope and chain.

  A windlass driven by a hand or power-operated crank or gearbox. Often implies to pull or lift a weight by using a winch.


 A machine for raising a weight by winding a rope and/or chain around a drum or chain wheel, driven by a crank, motor, etc. back to top.

Working load
 Often referred to as the normal working load or the typical lift of the winch. This is usually some where between 25% to 35% of the maximum pull or rated lift. This workload should approximately correspond to the total weight of the anchor and rode aboard the boat.