Secured for the “big blow” & windlass project update.

Securing in a slip at Utsches Marina (Cape May NJ) was a good move, as the winds have been very strong for the past 24 hours. Utsche’s basin here offers good protection, shore power, showers, all the comforts of home.

The white dot is were we are. The green dot is where we need to go to get to the C&D Canal towards the to of this map.
The seas this hour are running more than 10 feet high as measured by this NOAA weather buoy 44025 (halfway back towards Long Island.)

We were saddened by the news of the sinking of thousands of boats on Florida’s west coast, including that of our Looper friends, Marilyn and Jim of Spinning Dreams III.

On one of the trawler forums there was also a picture of a sunken Mainship, similar to ours, which sank at the dock only 10 days after its new owners closed to purchase her. There were also pics of surviving Mainships after the storm which miraculously made it through unharmed, while other boats around them were severely damaged or destroyed.

Hurricane Ian certainly left its mark.

Fortunately, our favorite places survived damage in the St Johns River area of Florida where we hope to be in a month or so.

We figure we will be here until Thursday when calm seas up the Delaware are predicted. This gives us time to work on projects like the windlass. Here are some progress pics.

New vs old electric motors and gearboxes which power the windlass.
This component was looking forward to being replaced!
A torque bar of angle aluminum stock is being fashioned for the new installation. Elongated holes in the deck are signs that more strength was needed under the deck where the windlass is mounted. This torque bar will ensure there is no horizontal rotation of the windlass.
1/8” x 1-1/2” stock to back the windlass mounts and eliminate any rotation of the windlass as it weighs the anchor and 200 feet of 3/8” chain rode.
Instead of 3.5” of mechanical advantage in the mounting screws and backing plate, there will be about 15 or 16 inches of mechanical advantage under the deck to counteract the rotational forces on the windlass.

This project’s torque bar will FIX this defect in design / manufacturing for this portion of our foredeck.

Elongated mounting holes (above) have been filled with fiberglass filler, as shown further below.

As shown above, the deck’s core is very soft Balsa wood. This was common practice in the early 2000’s. This was adequate for decking, so long as it did not get impacted by water intrusion. Balsa core was NOT adequate for cleats, again my opinion.
A windlass should have the same structural integrity of a cleat IMO. It has got to have more backing than Balsa core.
Manufacturer’s backing plate + our torque bar will be bolted to the undersides of the deck.
Close up

Ready for re-drilling.
The new windlass shaft and base being fitted into its new home.

Addendum 5:00pm Saturday:

I successfully mounted the new electric gearbox and motor under the deck to the new windlass unit (what you see above deck). It fits without any “major” modification to the boat. Feeling accomplished, but out of energy right now to actually finish the job. More work when I am fresh and the weather cooperates… and of course more details for you here will follow!

Addendum 5:00pm Monday

Backing plate is cemented into place.
The windlass shaft is shown, as well as the hole where the chain will come down.
Only two nuts are needed to hold the backing plate overnight until the 3M 5200 cures.



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