Anchor winch turning itself on!


Joerg Esdorn
 

A cautionary tale.  Yesterday, one of my two Quick anchor winches came on without my pressing a button!  I was sailing and the port winch started pulling the port anchor in - i.e. the motor was turning against the slipping clutch, cranking the anchor against the bow structure.  The noise was incredible and it took me a while to get the winch turned off.  The wireless remote and the switch at the helm station didn‘t work.  I knew the switch labeled „cockpit controls“ turns off the winch but that also turns off everything else in the cockpit.  So I decided to turn off the switch in the forepeak.  

What happened?  I investigated today and found that the remote control had some water on the circuit board.  That water was enough to short out the on/off button and the „up“ button for the port winch.  After drying it and applying some Corrosion X, all was good again.  I am replacing the remote, though, since the elaborate gasket is failing in a number of places which may be the reason for the water.  But it could have been condensation as well.  I‘m also going to check out the port winch to make sure the clutch survived the ordeal.   

I have long had a rule to turn the „cockpit controls“ button off when I leave the boat at anchor.  My concern is that the anchor winch might turn on miraculously and pull up the anchor!  Turns out that‘s not just a theoretical concern!    

Joerg Esdorn
A55 #53 Kincsem
Currently cruising Brittany

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