Windlass power worries
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