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bhoulihan 01-04-2006 12:29 PM

Anchor Windlass Help
I have a Guindeau Windlass (Leon Somer) 1,000w #S601. I have the Operators Manual; and even a note from the manufacturer, but I cannot get the damned thing apart. The clutch does not work and nothing I do seems to help

Has anyone experience with this?

Any/All comments will be welcomed.


Nausikaa 01-04-2006 07:14 PM

Hi Bill,

I am not sure what the problem is and am unfamiliar with this type of windlass but many years ago I experienced a problem with the windlass on a big ship not disengaging.

Th clutch disengaged the interlocking cogs which seperate the gypsy from the winch allowing the winch to turn without turning the gypsy. The cogs had been coated with grease and when trying to disengage them the greasing was so effective it caused a vacum making it impossible to seperate the wheels. By playing the windlass backwards and forwards a number of times (just as much as the play between the cogs allowed) the vacuum was eventually broken and disengaged.

In all probability this will not be the answer to your problem....but it just might. Anyway, good luck with it.

All the best



bhoulihan 01-10-2006 01:18 PM

Stephen - I am not sure. The manufacurer tells me that the drum should just pop off, maybe with some help with a hammer and a block of wood. They think it might be full of salt. The hammer didn't work for me. I just don't want to damage anything.

Thanks for your thoughts

Nausikaa 01-10-2006 01:35 PM

Hi again Bill,

I am a little skeptical to the idea that salt would be the problem as to get salt in there, you would need to get sea water / spray in there which then need to evaporate. If sea water can get in then so can fresh water to disolve the salts. I assume you have tried giving the thing a good hosing down or even a spraying with WD40 or other penetrating spray and that this did not help.

Well, goog luck with it. I hope you sought it out soon.

Cheers // Stephen

JeanneP 01-11-2006 04:38 AM

I know nothing about this make of Windlass, but friends had a windlass that they couldn't get the motor off, and they were hammering it with no effect. Peter took a look at it and found that there was a retaining clip on the shaft, and by expanding this the motor slipped out quite easily.

Who knows, this might be the case and the mfr. just didn't think to mention it.

bhoulihan 01-11-2006 11:40 AM

Thanks again for your thoughts. I suspect there is a clip or lock somewhere as the "bolt" holding the drum on the shaft is not tight, but removing it doesn't seem to do much. Also the detailed drawings of the unit along with a parts list doesn't show any holding or clip device. It was the manufacturer's idea about salt intrusion, though not real likely in my opinion.

It only took me a year to figure out that Guindeau is "windlass" in French. So much for international understanding.

I think I may take it off the boat and bring it home - Maybe I can get a puller to get it apart.

Thanks again for your thoughts.

phorvati 01-17-2006 12:28 AM

I suspect its a vertical windlass? My Lofrans 1000W which i purchased used had some problems as well. Its a vertical setup with gypsi and capstan(drum). The first year I bent the keyway along the shaft and broke the capstan(aluminum). I replaced both of them but made a mistake of letting a year go by without taking the capstan off. Then I discovered that it was hard to take the capstan off.

Yes the manufacturer is right. Salt water got in and aluminum capstan siezed to Stainless shaft and keyway. I just had to spray wd40 on several ocasions. Like 4-5 days in a row. While hamering the capstan with a rubber mallet. Also try punching the keyway further in. Sometimes if you get the keyway moving, the capstan moves as well. Get a spare clutch and keep the top greased up so that salt water cannot get in.


Bedouin 01-17-2006 07:08 AM

You can do as much damage to something with a puller as you can with a sledge hammer. Drown it with WD40 and use a wire brush to clean it down; maybe something will become obvious. My thought is that oxidisation can be as strong as welding two things together. I like the idea of a rubber mallet and WD40; you will feel better afterwards and maybe jar something free. Aahhh, the joys of owning and maintaining a yacht, ain't it great. Keep us informed of progress,;)

bhoulihan 01-17-2006 11:15 AM

Phouvati/Bedouin - Many thanks for your input. This is a horizontal windlass with the gypsy and drum on the same side. I am going to try soaking with WD-40 or another product I have (ain't age great - the brain is really dead).

I suspect the aluminum drum may have seized against the stainless shaft. Though I can move the clutch - it is difficult and nothing happens - and I can only move it in one direction.

It seems a good windlass - 1,000W - so I don't want to toss. I will keep spraying and praying and working the rubber mallet for my emotional well being.

Thanks again.

Chetan 01-17-2006 04:11 PM


perhaps an unrelatede post, but wanted to know what are the essential preparations required to prevent the GRP from getting damaged by chain on the anchor - both during storage and deployment?

any advice appreciated



Bedouin 01-18-2006 01:41 PM

Hi Chetan, the only way to prevent damage is to have no contact between the GRP and the chain. An alternative to scratching up the GRP could be to put a barrier between them of aluminium or stainless steel, maybe a length of the same plastic as a 'chopping board' as used in the galley. That is available from specialty plastic stores and some hardware outlets. If you don't want to do that then there is nothing you can do so far as I know



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