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Apr 12, 2009, 12:51 AM
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DanL's Avatar
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Multi-mode Winch

Here's a three mode winch: Reel position 1. engaged to raise anchor or haul towline, 2. freewheeling to drop anchor or release towline, and 3. lock position (if desired).
Requires 1 servo and a Tx channel that can place the servo into three positions (only two if the "lock" option is not used.)
Pictures of my tug winch and construction sketches attached.
Most assembly with hot glue.
Shuttle bar and its support base made with 1/4" thick delrin.
The small cam bar is necessary to compensate for the arc of the servo arm, since the shuttle bar must slide straight back-and-forth along the servo body.
Works really well - I was surprised....

EDIT 1 - Winch drive mechanism drawing has detail of shuttle bar construction added. The bar is basically suspended from the servo arm and swings to slide the shuttle bar and reel to desired position.

EDIT 2 - For automatic stop:
Put a normally closed microswitch at a point that the anchor head or such will activate and open the microswitch when the anchor is fully home. That will cut out the motor. With this system, your control servo is still active though.
As soon as you switch to freewheel, the anchor will drop and the "anchor home" microswitch will be deactivated (closed), and the motor will be again ready to pull when you go back to the Engaged position. See added sketch.
Last edited by DanL; Apr 12, 2009 at 01:12 PM.
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Apr 12, 2009, 01:11 AM
Taking care of the pond.
Very nice.
Apr 12, 2009, 07:54 AM
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A-37's Avatar
Smart concept. Well designed/built. Professionally presented. And it works!

Good job.

Apr 12, 2009, 09:43 AM
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joe31hat's Avatar
Very Interesting!!! Thanks for putting it into 'MINI HOW TO' for us newbies.

Again very cool! Nice job!

Apr 12, 2009, 10:13 AM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
Wow! Fantastic! Thank you!
Apr 12, 2009, 01:13 PM
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DanL's Avatar
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See Edits

Based on questions received, see edits to Post#1.
Apr 12, 2009, 01:30 PM
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very very nice but mot nearly complicated enough! yes I am being sarcastic that is really great have to remember that one! I have seen verious designs for a windlass but none of them have a workable freewheel feature to be able to drop the anchor. Another thought is that you could use the same winch setup to raise and lower sails too!
Apr 04, 2010, 09:16 AM
Registered User
Dude that's insane! Design me a gib roller reefer. Please!
Apr 04, 2010, 08:31 PM
Cheif Bottlewasher
more coffee's Avatar
Originally Posted by fooman2008
very very nice but mot nearly complicated enough! yes I am being sarcastic that is really great have to remember that one! I have seen verious designs for a windlass but none of them have a workable freewheel feature to be able to drop the anchor. Another thought is that you could use the same winch setup to raise and lower sails too!
Yes me as well ..theres some posabilities there ..Im considering it for Darby..very considering it

one wall I hit though Foo is trying to get a Scale anchor thats heavy enough to drag the scale chain up and through to fall .. A guy almost wants to put a roller on ball bearings to reduce the friction where the chain exits the hull..a fair-lead of sorts ..Is it called a Hawse..that hole ..where the chain exits ..
Apr 05, 2010, 02:29 AM
Registered User
If you check my history on this board you will find out that my first post(s) were on a DD thread about the proper terminology for ground gear. LOL! You made my day! I had a thought previously about casting the flukes from lead and using a lighter (3-d printed GRP maybe?) material for the stock. A pin through the flukes and the stock would enable the flukes to swivel so the anchor could be stowed properly.
P.S. The chain is stowed in the chain locker, it travels to the deck via the chain pipe, normally around the anchor windlass (and it's wildcat) then across the deck, and out the Hawse pipe......
Last edited by fooman2008; Apr 05, 2010 at 02:31 AM. Reason: more
Apr 05, 2010, 06:33 AM
Mmm, tugs...
patmat2350's Avatar
cast it in depleted uranium...
Apr 05, 2010, 10:08 AM
Registered User

This is a nice drawing, but it won't work.
At first the placing and setting of the microswitch are very critical.
In this setting its just a guess if the switch will always works
At second because the anchorchain is always wet, this isn't an ideal place for a microswitch because these microswitches don't like water

This is how I made it on my Smit Kamara.
No need for a servo, juist a switch for running the motor clockwise or counterclockwise.
When the anchor is pulled in its pocket (or when it got caught underwater) the strain in the anchorchain lifts up the complete winch and a microswitch switch off the motor. Therefore its not possible for the motor to keep running when in "overload"
When lowering the anchor the motor turns the otherway around, with a lever the drum becomes disengaged and the anchor falls freely.

Ankerlier Smit Kamara 1 (0 min 7 sec)

Ankerkluis Smit Kamara (0 min 7 sec)

Ankerlier Smit Kamara 2 (0 min 11 sec)

Everything is going a bit fast due to the speed of You Tube and because the anchor is falling in free air, and not in water.

The idea came from this site.
It took me quite a while to figure out how it works, but I adapted the principle of their winch for a heavier version for the Smit Kamara which would be fully functional
Apr 05, 2010, 12:13 PM
Registered User
Been watching intently don't want to muddy the thread to much but would be nice to see a good wright up on the system finished out.

great stuff lots of possibilities !!!! Thanks to all for taking the time.
Last edited by THE HORSEMAN; Apr 06, 2010 at 01:19 PM.
Apr 05, 2010, 01:47 PM
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Old No7's Avatar
Wow, that's cool!

But as a long-time bass fisherman... I'd be concerned about tangled lines or chains when in the "free spool" mode -- as you should see some of the messes I've made with my reels!!!

Not to be critical... But some type of tension device or speed limiter might be needed to prevent the lower wraps of line from over-running the top ones... Especially when the anchor stops, but there's still line coming off the spool.

Good luck!

Old No7
Apr 05, 2010, 04:18 PM
Cheif Bottlewasher
more coffee's Avatar
Where did you get that righteous anchor chain!!

I do like this set up..

Just another example of why the Admiralty should release the funds for some shop tools ..lathe and milling machine ..
Last edited by more coffee; Apr 05, 2010 at 04:25 PM.

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