Anchor chain counter

Jamie Wendell

I had a similar problem, wherein the chain counter would count on its own, regardless of the anchor position. I had Alban in Martinique look at it and he cleaned the magnet. It worked for awhile and then quit completely. I am convinced it is the sensor that fails - not the magnet.
My approach was to replace the Lewmar A500 unit with the newer A560. It comes with a new sensor/magnet combination and uses a different technology. It requires 3 wires vs. the 2-wire system installed with the original Lewmar A500 on my A54.
Fortunately, Amel was wise and they ran a 3-wire cable from the cockpit to the windlass. Getting the old sensor and magnet out of the windlass was the biggest issue, but I was able to do that and hook up the new sensor using the previously unused wire.

The new display is a big improvement and actually self-calibrates. It was a lot more expensive ($500 USD) than simply replacing the sensor/magnet ($90 USD), but it really works and has proven very reliable. Keeping the buildup residue on the magnet is still important though.

I am a happy camper now when I use the windlass - no more counting in my head as I deploy.

Jamie Wendell
Phantom, A54 #44

Paul Dowd and Sharon Brown

Thanks Scott, good info. I’m amazed at all the positive feedback I’ve been getting on this comparatively trivial issue!




S/Y Ya Fohi - Amel 54 #98 - Grenada


From: <> On Behalf Of Scott SV Tengah
Sent: 01 September 2020 22:45
Subject: Re: [AmelYachtOwners] Anchor chain counter


We just had this problem. It was a rusted magnet.

It's very easy to open up the windlass and see the magnet on the gypsy. On A54 #69, we have two windlasses, so I just took the gypsy from the port windlass and put it on starboard. There's no counter on port anyways and we barely use it, so the gypsy looked nearly new. 

By doing that, you could probably get quite a few more years of life and it will isolate whether the problem is the magnet or the sensor. If you look at the AutoAnchor manual, it shows you how to get into diagnostic mode to determine whether the sensors are getting power. That may help you figure out what's wrong. I suppose there could be wiring issues, but for us, it was easily remedied by swapping gypsies and hence, magnets. Good time to grease up the windlass, too.

2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah

Ya Fohi - Amel 54 #98