Monday, May 4, 2015

RE Mayo - the new windlass motor is in!

RE Mayo Seafood - not much to look at but great seafood for your freezer!
The office opened at 8:00 and so I dropped by to pick up my new windlass motor. They had held it for me, no problem. Back at the boat, the problem was how to tackle the installation. The windlass is controlled via a relay in the forward cabin, under the bunk. The wires to the relay are very heavy, like battery cables. The wires from the relay to the windlass are much smaller since they don't have to travel so far, 10 feet vs 45 feet for the wires to the relay.

If you like gears, you'd like a windlass
So I had several options:
- I could pull all the old wiring out and connect the new motor directly to the relay
- I could splice in the wires from the new motor to the wires in the waterproof tubing under the windlass (between the motor and the relay)
- I could cut off the old motor and wire in the new motor to the wires left behind.

I thought the best solution would be the first option and most bullet proof for moisture intrusion. The only problem was that I could not get the old tubing containing the wires between the old motor and the relay off. After about 2 hours of fruitless effort I discovered why, the top 6 inches or so of tubing (with the wires inside) had been filled with silicone! It was all one elastic mess. There was no pulling of wires through that! The windlass was not made to be repairable!

Note the raw looking docks, but sturdy - and the price is right at $0.40/ft
Then I got the bright idea of removing the windlass and gaining access to the wiring going into the tubing. That consumed about two hours! I could not get the windlass separated from the base even though I removed all four nuts. After giving up on that approach, another hour went by as I tried to reattach the four nuts. The first three went on easily but the last nut refused, it always came out cross threaded - naturally it was the one most difficult to reach and hardest to see. Finally I switch nuts with another bolt and got it on.

Now is was going on late afternoon and the windlass new motor was still not installed. I gave up and went to the third option. I just cut the old motor out, leaving as much wiring as I could behind and attached the new motor to the old wiring. So I put everything back together and pushed on the switch, no joy. Taking everything apart again (fourth time) I found that one of the leads to the motor had pulled out of the connection. So, a reconnection and reassembly and the windlass finally worked, about 4:30, a seven hour marathon.

So that was my day. Ann stocked us up on seafood for the rest of our trip north and we had scallops tonight, heavenly. We are aiming for the Pungo anchorage Tuesday night after filling up on diesel in the morning at RE Mayo. There is good weather predicted over the next week and we want to take advantage of the opening to go north.


Richard Hess said...

Good luck! If you decide to stop in Manteo, let me know I live/sail out of Colington Island. Your active Captain posts were a big help to me in March when I was taking a 65' Fleming from Manteo to Florida.