Wind­lass power wor­ries

Practical Boat Owner - - Ask The Experts -


I’ve bought a V3 lew­mar 1,000w wind­lass but it strug­gles to re­cover the an­chor when it is a lit­tle windy. Pre­vi­ously I had a lew­mar H3 1,000w with ex­actly the same mo­tor and it worked much bet­ter.

My boat is a dehler 47, the bat­ter­ies are AGM 250A and are 7m from the mo­tor.

The ca­bles be­tween the bat­ter­ies and the mo­tor are 50mm2. The con­tac­tor is lew­mar ref. 68000937 and is sit­u­ated 1m from the mo­tor. I used 50mm2 ca­bles to con­nect the pos­i­tives (d1, d2) of the mo­tor to the con­nec­tor.

I have 14.0V at the wind­lass and when it’s op­er­at­ing it drops to 12.5V – that’s an 11% drop. But the house bat­ter­ies only drop to 13.6V and the con­sump­tion is only 55A, when be­fore I think it was around 80A.

I think that maybe I have an elec­tri­cal is­sue, if you could help me to solve the prob­lem I’d ap­pre­ci­ate it. Jorge Lopes, by email dun­can Kent Replies: The mo­tor in the V3 wind­lasses can draw up to 131A at work­ing load, ac­cord­ing to Lew­mar’s spec­i­fi­ca­tions, so quite a bit higher than the H3’s 85A. The H3 would have ac­tu­ally only re­quired 35mm² ca­ble, whereas the V3 will need 50mm² ca­ble in your 14m-long cir­cuit. Are you ab­so­lutely sure it’s 50mm²?

I’m slightly sus­pi­cious that you’re only see­ing 14.0V at the wind­lass when idle as, as­sum­ing the en­gine is run­ning (es­sen­tial), that fig­ure should be closer to 14.414.8V. Have you tried check­ing the volt­age at the bat­ter­ies with just the en­gine run­ning and the wind­lass idle? If it is higher than 14.0V then it’s likely you have a bad con­nec­tion some­where in the bat­tery to wind­lass cir­cuit.

An­other com­mon prob­lem can be the con­di­tion of the con­tac­tor so­le­noid. If the ter­mi­nal con­nec­tions are poor or the so­le­noid con­tacts worn or car­bonised by spark­ing, it can re­duce the cur­rent flow­ing to the wind­lass mo­tor. Did you re­new it with the wind­lass, by the way, as the V3 ver­sion will ob­vi­ously have a higher cur­rent rat­ing?

Fi­nally, the wind­lass is prob­a­bly the heav­i­est load most boats have and is there­fore a real test for the con­di­tion of your bat­tery bank.

I don’t know how old your bat­ter­ies are or how well they’ve been main­tained dur­ing cy­cles, but it might be an idea to check their con­di­tion as well.

Jorge lopes has in­stalled a new lew­mar V3 wind­lass but is hav­ing prob­lems with elec­tri­cal sup­ply

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