Anchor Windlass leak/short?


Dan Carlson
 

Hello all, 

I'm looking for Anchor Windlass troubleshooting and tips. 

My anchor Windlass has sparked where the chain links bounce against the steel around the bow roller when raising or lowering after heavy rain and/or heavy seas.  

I had this condition last year also, but then I had the anchor Windlass rebuilt last March.  

I suspect that it is caused water leaking around the foot switches in the top of the casing.  So I am looking for confirmation on that as well as any other potential sources to track down while I dig into it. 

I also recall reading someone who replaced the foot switches with a hand control because of the ongoing issues with the foot switch? So it seems that solving the leak might not be an easy solution?  

And I am open recommendations on the best replacement for the foot switches if that is a good solution. 

Thoughts? Recommendations? 

Thanks and regards, Daniel and Lori Carlson on sv BeBe, SM #387, currently in Antigua.


 

Dan,

Here are my thoughts:
  • There is a possibility that it might be a friction spark. 
  • There is a possibility that it could be static electricity.
  • It could even be a 230VAC item on your boat which is leaking voltage into the bonding wire and from there into the water through the prop.
  • If it is an electrical spark, that would probably be caused by a positively connected item touching a negatively connected item. Have you attempted to measure voltage between the motor case and 24VDC negative? Also, check for AC current.
I am sure someone will add to and possibly correct these remarks.

Bill

CW Bill Rouse Amel Owners Yacht School
Address: 720 Winnie, Galveston Island, Texas 77550 
View My Training Calendar

On Thu, Dec 9, 2021 at 8:31 AM Dan Carlson <carlsdan61@...> wrote:
Hello all, 

I'm looking for Anchor Windlass troubleshooting and tips. 

My anchor Windlass has sparked where the chain links bounce against the steel around the bow roller when raising or lowering after heavy rain and/or heavy seas.  

I had this condition last year also, but then I had the anchor Windlass rebuilt last March.  

I suspect that it is caused water leaking around the foot switches in the top of the casing.  So I am looking for confirmation on that as well as any other potential sources to track down while I dig into it. 

I also recall reading someone who replaced the foot switches with a hand control because of the ongoing issues with the foot switch? So it seems that solving the leak might not be an easy solution?  

And I am open recommendations on the best replacement for the foot switches if that is a good solution. 

Thoughts? Recommendations? 

Thanks and regards, Daniel and Lori Carlson on sv BeBe, SM #387, currently in Antigua.


Giovanni TESTA
 

Hello,

a little tip after Bill  ;-))

To protect the 2  switches from water, UV and normal wear and in the same time to exclude possible cause of electrical trouble, I use (many years) a plastic rectangular soft cover, with scotch  tape well fixed all around. More, above all, a white plastic protective sheet, fixet with 2 elastic (front/back casing).  Obviously I have than to mark the position of the 2 buttons. Easy & effective.

When on the hard (bad season), always with a special sunbrella cover.

Fair Wins

Giovanni Testa

Sv EUTIKIA SM 428



Il 09/12/2021 15:31, Dan Carlson ha scritto:
Hello all, 

I'm looking for Anchor Windlass troubleshooting and tips. 

My anchor Windlass has sparked where the chain links bounce against the steel around the bow roller when raising or lowering after heavy rain and/or heavy seas.  

I had this condition last year also, but then I had the anchor Windlass rebuilt last March.  

I suspect that it is caused water leaking around the foot switches in the top of the casing.  So I am looking for confirmation on that as well as any other potential sources to track down while I dig into it. 

I also recall reading someone who replaced the foot switches with a hand control because of the ongoing issues with the foot switch? So it seems that solving the leak might not be an easy solution?  

And I am open recommendations on the best replacement for the foot switches if that is a good solution. 

Thoughts? Recommendations? 

Thanks and regards, Daniel and Lori Carlson on sv BeBe, SM #387, currently in Antigua.



Germain Jean-Pierre
 

In the same vein as Geovanni, I had a windlass cover made from super Sunbrella. Only removed when anchoring or lifting anchor and always reinstalled once at anchor. 

Jean-Pierre Germain, Eleuthera, SM007, NZ


On 10 Dec 2021, at 06:56, Giovanni TESTA <giovannitesta53@...> wrote:



Hello,

a little tip after Bill  ;-))

To protect the 2  switches from water, UV and normal wear and in the same time to exclude possible cause of electrical trouble, I use (many years) a plastic rectangular soft cover, with scotch  tape well fixed all around. More, above all, a white plastic protective sheet, fixet with 2 elastic (front/back casing).  Obviously I have than to mark the position of the 2 buttons. Easy & effective.

When on the hard (bad season), always with a special sunbrella cover.

Fair Wins

Giovanni Testa

Sv EUTIKIA SM 428



Il 09/12/2021 15:31, Dan Carlson ha scritto:
Hello all, 

I'm looking for Anchor Windlass troubleshooting and tips. 

My anchor Windlass has sparked where the chain links bounce against the steel around the bow roller when raising or lowering after heavy rain and/or heavy seas.  

I had this condition last year also, but then I had the anchor Windlass rebuilt last March.  

I suspect that it is caused water leaking around the foot switches in the top of the casing.  So I am looking for confirmation on that as well as any other potential sources to track down while I dig into it. 

I also recall reading someone who replaced the foot switches with a hand control because of the ongoing issues with the foot switch? So it seems that solving the leak might not be an easy solution?  

And I am open recommendations on the best replacement for the foot switches if that is a good solution. 

Thoughts? Recommendations? 

Thanks and regards, Daniel and Lori Carlson on sv BeBe, SM #387, currently in Antigua.



Thomas Kleman
 

Hey Dan- you are speculating on if there is a foot switch leak but that is knowable. Just open the windlass, inspect the switches and connections, and replace the gasket, which you can make yourself.

You should carry spares of the rubber foot switches and covers but if you dont they can be found online. As you are no doubt aware, they were an Amel modification for the Tigres.

Tom and Kirstin
SM2K 422
Tahiti


Dan Carlson
 

Thanks Bill, Giovanni, Jean-Pierre, Thomas,

The comments were all helpful and what it crystalized for me is that my hunch is that there potentially is more than just the foot switch going on and I want to trouble shoot it more thoroughly before just applying a band-aide. 

And of course with all intermittent problems, when I set about to try to test a few things this morning (after we had plenty of rain last night and yesterday's sail had out lots of salt spray on the deck) there were no sparks when operating the Windlass!  

But now I will be prepared for next time to check a few things out.  


Thanks and regards Daniel Carlson on sv BeBe, SM #387



On Fri, Dec 10, 2021, 4:37 PM Thomas Kleman <lorient422@...> wrote:
Hey Dan- you are speculating on if there is a foot switch leak but that is knowable. Just open the windlass, inspect the switches and connections, and replace the gasket, which you can make yourself.

You should carry spares of the rubber foot switches and covers but if you dont they can be found online. As you are no doubt aware, they were an Amel modification for the Tigres.

Tom and Kirstin
SM2K 422
Tahiti


Bill Kinney
 

Dan,

Just to add my thoughts to the mix:

It is very unlikely that this is a 220V leak, but if it is, it is a life-threatening issue to anybody who touches these parts and needs to be fixed right away. Get a meter on it and see if there are any AC voltages. If there are, the cause needs to be tracked down and eliminated ASAP. I can not propose a plausible way this could happen, but that does not mean it is impossible.

Static build up can not be caused by friction between moving metal parts, so that is not the source of the sparks.

That leaves us with a 24V spark as the most likely issue.  For this to happen there need to be TWO faults.  First, there needs to be a connection from one battery terminal to the housing of the windlass (Fault #1).  There ALSO needs to be a connection from the metal frame of the bow roller to the other battery terminal (Fault #2). There are NO other ways this can be a 24V spark.  Either fault can be to either battery terminal, and just to make life really difficult, both can be intermittent. Neither of these is normal, and neither is a good thing.

There are certainly other possibilities I haven't imagined, but here is my best guess about what might be the issue:

Fault #1:  There should be no connection between either battery terminal and the windlass housing, so something is wrong here.  The most likely cause here is a short from a switch, or the wiring to the switches, to the housing of the windlass.  It could also be caused by carbon buildup inside the motor from wearing brushes.  There are other causes internal to the motor that are less likely.  Water ingress to the motor housing is also a likely cause by bridging between any terminal--on any wire--and the housing. ANY water inside this housing is a problem, and has the potential to quickly cause motor damage.  It must not be tolerated. If water and switch wiring are proven to not be the issue, the motor likely needs to be rebuilt.

Remember that the switch wiring and the motor wiring are separate circuits.  If you observe the spark, turn off the breaker on the panel for the control circuits.  If the spark goes away, it is the switches or their wires that are the issue.  If it still sparks, the problem is with the motor and/or its wiring.

Fault #2: This is almost certainly caused by a cross connection between the bonding system and one of the battery terminals. Have you checked the MAS light for this kind of problem?  These can be the very devil to track down because they can happen anywhere on the boat that the bonding wires are connected to 24V powered equipment, and they can be intermittent depending on exactly what is powered up.

Both of these faults are individually, and separately, potentially serious problems that can cause rapid corrosion of metal parts on the boat and both need to be addressed.

We replaced the housing of our windlass with a solid one and discarded the switches that Amel modified the Lofrans housing to hold. A hand held wired remote control works MUCH better for us.  

It is now possible to lean forward and actually SEE the chain and anchor as it comes up, and use the washdown hose to clean off mud without having legs the length of a pro basketball player and the flexibility of a yoga instructor.  The potential for leaking switches is removed, as is switch failure.  For us this was a win-win arrangement and we'd never go back to the Amel designed system.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Hollywood, FL, USA


Nicolas Klene
 

Hello Giovanni

Any chance of a quick pic of your cover ? Thanks 
Nicolas 
DarNico
Amel 53#471

Le 9 déc. 2021 à 12:57, Giovanni TESTA <giovannitesta53@...> a écrit :



Hello,

a little tip after Bill  ;-))

To protect the 2  switches from water, UV and normal wear and in the same time to exclude possible cause of electrical trouble, I use (many years) a plastic rectangular soft cover, with scotch  tape well fixed all around. More, above all, a white plastic protective sheet, fixet with 2 elastic (front/back casing).  Obviously I have than to mark the position of the 2 buttons. Easy & effective.

When on the hard (bad season), always with a special sunbrella cover.

Fair Wins

Giovanni Testa

Sv EUTIKIA SM 428



Il 09/12/2021 15:31, Dan Carlson ha scritto:
Hello all, 

I'm looking for Anchor Windlass troubleshooting and tips. 

My anchor Windlass has sparked where the chain links bounce against the steel around the bow roller when raising or lowering after heavy rain and/or heavy seas.  

I had this condition last year also, but then I had the anchor Windlass rebuilt last March.  

I suspect that it is caused water leaking around the foot switches in the top of the casing.  So I am looking for confirmation on that as well as any other potential sources to track down while I dig into it. 

I also recall reading someone who replaced the foot switches with a hand control because of the ongoing issues with the foot switch? So it seems that solving the leak might not be an easy solution?  

And I am open recommendations on the best replacement for the foot switches if that is a good solution. 

Thoughts? Recommendations? 

Thanks and regards, Daniel and Lori Carlson on sv BeBe, SM #387, currently in Antigua.



--
Nicolas Klene
DarNico
SM2K # 471
In Marseille


Peter Forbes
 

 Yes please picture of these covers?

Peter Forbes
Carango Amel 54 #035
Lymington UK

On 16 Dec 2021, at 21:34, Nicolas Klene via groups.io <laixoi@...> wrote:


Hello Giovanni

Any chance of a quick pic of your cover ? Thanks 
Nicolas 
DarNico
Amel 53#471

Le 9 déc. 2021 à 12:57, Giovanni TESTA <giovannitesta53@...> a écrit :



Hello,

a little tip after Bill  ;-))

To protect the 2  switches from water, UV and normal wear and in the same time to exclude possible cause of electrical trouble, I use (many years) a plastic rectangular soft cover, with scotch  tape well fixed all around. More, above all, a white plastic protective sheet, fixet with 2 elastic (front/back casing).  Obviously I have than to mark the position of the 2 buttons. Easy & effective.

When on the hard (bad season), always with a special sunbrella cover.

Fair Wins

Giovanni Testa

Sv EUTIKIA SM 428



Il 09/12/2021 15:31, Dan Carlson ha scritto:
Hello all, 

I'm looking for Anchor Windlass troubleshooting and tips. 

My anchor Windlass has sparked where the chain links bounce against the steel around the bow roller when raising or lowering after heavy rain and/or heavy seas.  

I had this condition last year also, but then I had the anchor Windlass rebuilt last March.  

I suspect that it is caused water leaking around the foot switches in the top of the casing.  So I am looking for confirmation on that as well as any other potential sources to track down while I dig into it. 

I also recall reading someone who replaced the foot switches with a hand control because of the ongoing issues with the foot switch? So it seems that solving the leak might not be an easy solution?  

And I am open recommendations on the best replacement for the foot switches if that is a good solution. 

Thoughts? Recommendations? 

Thanks and regards, Daniel and Lori Carlson on sv BeBe, SM #387, currently in Antigua.



--
Nicolas Klene
DarNico
SM2K # 471
In Marseille


Giovanni TESTA
 

Hi Nicolas & Peter,

very sorry I’m not on board, neither I have a digital pic in my memory archive.

So I sketched a rough description of it. Obviously I’m not a technical designer,  I prefer to paint watercolors…;-))

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vr_ERllY0s

Any way, I hope the sketch may be enough. Also with big waves (all the bow under water) or in ocean passages, I never had leakages. More, the second upper sheet may better protect (UV) the black seals and sensor as well.

The solution may appear primitive, rough and not aesthetic, but it works.

Buon Vento

Giovanni Testa

Venezia

sv EUTIKIA SM2K 428  _  Preveza (GR)

 



Il 16/12/2021 22:45, Peter Forbes ha scritto:
 Yes please picture of these covers?

Peter Forbes
Carango Amel 54 #035
Lymington UK

On 16 Dec 2021, at 21:34, Nicolas Klene via groups.io <laixoi@...> wrote:


Hello Giovanni

Any chance of a quick pic of your cover ? Thanks 
Nicolas 
DarNico
Amel 53#471

Le 9 déc. 2021 à 12:57, Giovanni TESTA <giovannitesta53@...> a écrit :



Hello,

a little tip after Bill  ;-))

To protect the 2  switches from water, UV and normal wear and in the same time to exclude possible cause of electrical trouble, I use (many years) a plastic rectangular soft cover, with scotch  tape well fixed all around. More, above all, a white plastic protective sheet, fixet with 2 elastic (front/back casing).  Obviously I have than to mark the position of the 2 buttons. Easy & effective.

When on the hard (bad season), always with a special sunbrella cover.

Fair Wins

Giovanni Testa

Sv EUTIKIA SM 428



Il 09/12/2021 15:31, Dan Carlson ha scritto:
Hello all, 

I'm looking for Anchor Windlass troubleshooting and tips. 

My anchor Windlass has sparked where the chain links bounce against the steel around the bow roller when raising or lowering after heavy rain and/or heavy seas.  

I had this condition last year also, but then I had the anchor Windlass rebuilt last March.  

I suspect that it is caused water leaking around the foot switches in the top of the casing.  So I am looking for confirmation on that as well as any other potential sources to track down while I dig into it. 

I also recall reading someone who replaced the foot switches with a hand control because of the ongoing issues with the foot switch? So it seems that solving the leak might not be an easy solution?  

And I am open recommendations on the best replacement for the foot switches if that is a good solution. 

Thoughts? Recommendations? 

Thanks and regards, Daniel and Lori Carlson on sv BeBe, SM #387, currently in Antigua.



--
Nicolas Klene
DarNico
SM2K # 471
In Marseille