Tuesday, June 29, 2010


My Maxwell Nilsson VR-700 windlass failed back on June 17th when trying  to raise the anchor in less than ideal conditions. This caused  me to miss being part of the flotilla welcoming Reid Stowe back to New York after his 1000+ days at sea.  It was not really a failure but actually a safeguard to protect the windlass so I would not have to do the major repairs I did previously. There was a  reason I had to break down the windlass to the gearbox level in the previous repair. It seems a previous owner of BIANKA had swapped out the sacrificial brass key in the windlass shaft and replaced it with a steel one. This caused one of the internal roll pins in the gear box to fail which is why I had to make the major repair. After I repaired the gearbox damage I replaced the steel key with the proper brass piece. Which being softer than the stainless steel shaft and bronze chain gypsy promptly failed  and sheared off as shown in the fuzzy photo below.

 This protected the rest of the windlass from further damage and happily I have spare brass keys on board. A few minutes replacing the key and the windlass was back in service. One problem solved.

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