What is the routine Anchor Windlass maintenance?

Written by Anand Gautam

Windlass is a very critical equipment for anchoring and mooring purpose. It is exposed to heavy weather, sea water, humidity and various stresses. So, it must be maintained at all times and foundations checked.


Fig.: Windlass maintenance

Anchor windlass maintenance:

1. General maintenance

  • Retighten electrical connections(starters remote control/ electrical motors)
  • check for leakages in main system/ servo system
  • send oil sample to oil company for analysis
  • Cleaning and painting
  • Brake drum should be free of oil, grease and other deposits. The brake drum should be cleaned periodically with a solvent prescribed by the maker
  • The brake drum and the disk should be checked for wearing out or damage
  • The foundation of the windlass should be checked

2. Windlasses/ cable lifter units

  • check following items: brake collar, brake lining, brake level in gear box, coupling claws general condition
  • Lubrication(check level of oil, greasing points)
  • release weight from cable lifter/ chain
  • The direction of tensioning should correspond to the correct operation of the brake. As the reverse direction for tensioning would render the brake ineffective, check should be carried out to ensure the same
  • Brake test of the windlass is to be carried out to the pressure mentioned by the maker on the jack tool. If necessary, the spring tension adjusted. It should be done in guidance of the instructions and in the tensioning direction. The number of turns on the drum should also be checked and should be same as to the makers quote
  • The securing device of the tension spring adjust should be checked periodically for any tamper
  • Anchor windlass testing should be carried out to check the efficiency of the windlass. The windlass should raise the anchor with chain from 82.5m to 27.5m at a mean speed of 9m/min

3. Chain stopper

  • lubrication

4. Mooring winches

About the author

Anand Gautam

Anand Gautam is a marine engineer, Graduated from M.E.R.I. Mumbai. He likes to sail onboard ship and is one who is passionate about his job. He loves to share his knowledge, information, and ideas to everyone in a simplified way just for his satisfaction.

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