Date: Wed Jun 6, 2001 7:33 pm

We have not spoken since 1998 emails, but you were instrumental in my selecting the above two windlasses for my anchoring system, despite the Practical Sailor remarks on your poor choice of metals for P301, which you did not deny, only pointing out the new materials on PW35.

Note I may be wrong about P301: is it P501? You don't offer it anymore. Do you have a replacement?

I am probably the only boat with these two on the foredeck. They fit perfectly on my Allied Seawind II 32' ketch, which has over a 100 sisterships. PW35 is fitted with 150' of HT 1/4 chain spliced to 150' of 1/2" nylon, and a Delta35. It was scheduled to be my primary anchor, but has had little work (although always responds when tested from both cockpit remote and local foot pedals), as I always seek and seem to find shallow protected shangri-las, where the 3/4" nylon with 28' of 5/8"chain and 22lb Claw anchor, all stored on deck to avoid interfering in the anchor chain well, has worked perfectly, (once I lengthened the heavy chain to 28' from original 8', it dragged often before, as any Bruce will, but nothing to do with Powerwinch).

The PW301 gypsy head designed for rope also works with the last 30' of heavy chain without a hitch, so the whole operation is a breeze, and female crews have blessed the equipment. It is also positioned to back up the PW35, if there were an electrical problem with the latter.

After two years of heavy sailing, including a year crossing to Africa and back via Caribbean down to Grenada and return to New York, I need to repaint the housing (duly kept under its blue sunbrella cover, like the PW35), as the polyester powder coating is peeling off. That seems simple enough, but I would appreciate your advice by return on a proper and effective procedure.

I understand from a most pleasant Candy Warren that the housing is aluminum alloy. What approach do you recommend for

(a) Complete removal of the peeling coat;

(b) Physical cleaning (aluminum oxides) and surface preparation of the metal cover;

(c) Primer and final paint system.

I am familiar with zinc chromate and other steel primers, not with aluminum systems, and Boeshield by itself would not hold, I am afraid.

Jan 3, 2002

I have two electric windlasses, with two anchors (A Delta 35 on 150' 1/4" GT chain plus 150' of 1/2" nylon, and a Claw 22 on 28' of 3/8" chain plus150' of 3/4" nylon) on Simpson Lawrence KA BR-22 DELTA rollers (long shank, can accomodate 66lb Bruce!) on each side of the old roller. The Claw rode is stored on deck on port in a sumbrella cover supported by the lifeline, behind the P350. Both windlasses are set on the raised square reinforcement that is aft of the bowsprint platform and cleats.

These windlasses came from Powerwinch, one a Power35 (with cockpit control besides the foot pedal) for the chain and rope on the Delta, feeding into the chain well, the other a P-350, a simple powerful horizontal gypsy (rope only) which I had seen on lobstermen. The combined cost was comparable to one SL or Maxwell of similar power, and I liked the redundancy (age 67, back operated). I can no longer find the Powerwinch website (they had last year an improved version of 350 with better materials), but there are other powerful electrical winches for rope only.

Indeed, today, I would simply use any rugged and powerful gypsy head for rope only, and roll in the chain when it comes. This is what I do with my P350 on the Claw rode. I thought I would need a wrap of rubber webbing to improve adherence of the chain, but it has not proven necessary. And I always use the P350: the Delta 35 with chain has actually never been put in the water, even in my year offshore, I just test it regularly to make sure the chain is loose and unblock it when needed. After I upgraded the old 8'x3/8" of chain to 28' of same, I have dragged the Claw only twice in 3 years, always in winds above 40kts, and re-moored without further mishap (except in one case locking the Claw under a big rock off Las Palmas YC, and I had cut the buoy rode around the propeller while re-mooring so I could not simply lift the anchor by the buoyed end...).

In conclusion, starting from scratch, I would use one gypsy head windlass for both rope and chain (no indented drum), aligned to serve the two KA BR-22 rollers and the chain locker entry, as well as a deck storage aft of it, and a 22lb Spade anchor (Aluminum or galva-steel depending on the kitty) which is the best by far according to extensive testing by the manufacturer and Pratical Sailor, with 28'x3/8" or 100-150'x1/4" GT chain depending on my cruising area (depth essentially, I love 10-12 ft in the lee of the shore, but some areas offer only 35-50+ ft) and 150'-200' of 3/4" nylon behind the chain. A Claw 22 is a good value for day anchor (Bruce is equal but much more expensive, and both set well but tend to drag before the other designs once set). Delta 35 or 22 is OK if you want a plow anchor, but Spade is a step improvement of that design.