Maxwell Windlass Issues

Maxwell Windlass
Warren Elliott

Hull #: 44

There’s been quite a lot of discussion on our email list concerning operating problems with our windlasses. These are principally the clutch not releasing, jamming when rope/chain splices transit the chainwheel with the “Freedom” version and failure/stalling of the unit.

To release “stuck” clutches, some captains have had to undertake some severe hammer work, as advised by Maxwell. The answer here seems to be proper maintenance, with at least annual cleaning and greasing required. The rope/chain splice problem is best minimized by having a good, professional “thin” splice made up. Some captains report that pulling the anchor line during the critical splice transit helps. A great way around both of these issues is to go to an all chain rode and add a down switch. This way, there is no splice to jam, and the clutch never needs adjusting, just leave it

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