Installing the windlass itself was only half of the job.Now we needed to wire it.It looked to be a daunting task based on the wiring schematic and our electrical skills, but fortunately we had friends at Shenny we could bounce things off of when we were stuck.
Some people install a separate battery in the bow of the boat to use exclusively for the windlass, but we didn’t want to add even more weight up there. We figured the 38 gallon water tank, a 33 pound Rocna, and 125’ of 5/16” G4 chain plus 175’ of 8 plait rode was already enough. That left us with running the wires back to our battery bank in the quarter berth. Before we could do that, however, we needed to find homes for the up/down control switch, the reversing solenoid, a manually resettable breaker, and a breaker/isolator switch.
When Jeff was diagnosed with congestive heart failure we knew we would have to stray from our “keep it simple” principles when it came to our anchor setup.Pre-CHF we planned to have a manual windlass (i.e. not powered by electricity) or perhaps go without one altogether.After all, it wouldn’t be that difficult to raise a 22 pound Rocna anchor plus some chain by hand.
With his diagnosis came lifting restrictions, so going without a windlass wasn’t going to cut it anymore.I suppose if I had started seriously working on my pushups I could have raised the anchor by hand, but at 49 years old and aging every day, we decided that might not be the way to go.The manual windlass also wasn’t ideal in case I was incapacitated and Jeff needed to use it by himself.An electric windlass was clearly going to need to be installed.But how to do it?
Searching the internet, we couldn’t find any examples of Bristol 29.9’s with electric windlasses.This may be because boats this size don’t typically need one, or it could have been that the relatively shallow anchor locker for the 29.9 wasn’t optimally designed for one.No time like the present to give it a shot!