November, 2006 Hull #: 44
There has been considerable traffic on our Sailnet email discussion group on this subject. Captains are finding problems ranging from clutch lockups to windlass slowdown/ failure, so I thought I’d give a brief overview of the problems and solutions, before more of you “suffer”–and there has been some suffering! Changing gear oil has also been batted around, but this is much less important, per the manufacturer, Maxwell.
Note that I hope to have a fuller article on this in the near future. There are two windlass models within our fleet: the “Freedom 800″ and the “VW 800″; early C380’s have the latter unit, but horizontally mounted. Boats from about late 1997 to 2002 have the Freedom model, and later C380’s and C387’s have the VW 800, vertically mounted.
Captains with the Freedom windlass have reported more problems than others, probably