Onne’s New Goose: A New Windlass and Anchor

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The old Vetus windlass on Snow Goose, Onne van der Wal’s 1986 Grand Banks 32, had seen better days and although there was a 35-pound CQR anchor on the boat, Onne wanted to replace it with a Mantus anchor. He’d used a Mantus anchor on his previous boat and he was very happy with it, so he decided to stick with what he knew.

Getting the old Vetus windlass off was easier than he expected. Access to the bolts was easy since the windlass was mounted on a stand with access ports on both sides. “It was a very straightforward job,” Onne says. “I was lucky that all the old bolts came off easily.”

He drilled new holes for the bolts to mount the new Lofrans windlass, an Italian brand imported by Imtra, and used his hole saw to drill larger holes for the anchor chain to get in and out of the chain locker. He had to drill two holes for the chain, one through the top of the windlass stand, and one through the deck into the chain locker.

Before he installed the new windlass, Onne sanded the teak and gave it a coat of Semco natural teak sealer.

The wiring was next. The old wiring and solenoid were tired, so he took them all out. Using the Lofrans drawings, Onne made some sketches of his own. In his workshop, he put blue tape on the solenoid and marked where each new wire needed to go. That way he wouldn’t make any mistakes when he’d hook everything up later.

He prepped new wires by crimping terminals on and then heat shrinking them with a heat gun. He decided to solder the larger cable for peace of mind and then installed the new solenoid and wiring under the deck in the bow of the boat.

Topside, he drilled holes at the base of the windlass stand for the foot switches and connected them to the wiring. Once he knew the windlass was working he turned his attention to the new anchor.

In his driveway, he spray-painted the 5/16-inch 100-foot chain every 20 feet, attached the 100-foot rode to one end and the new Mantus anchor on the other. Imtra had delivered a pre-spliced 5/8-inch rode so that made life simple.

Onne put a Mantus stainless swivel between the anchor and the chain to prevent kinks. “I used the swivel before on Snoek and I really liked it. I never had kinks in the chain,” Onne says. “This is a beautiful stainless-steel casting. As long as you put it on correctly, you won’t have a problem.” Onne secured the swivel with stainless wire and then put tape over the wire to protect hands from getting cut by the ends.

The rode, chain and anchor were all loaded from the driveway into the Chevy Suburban. At the boatyard, Onne backed the Suburban up to the boat’s bow and then hauled the whole package up onto the boat with the windlass.

You can watch the whole procedure in the video below.

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