Ask PYS: Power

Brent – Windlass, No Payout, on May 27, 2014 asked:

My windlass will pick up the anchor but will not payout the anchor. There is a switch to reverse the mode but I think it is a mechanical issue. I took the windlass off the boat. I measured at the wiring connection to where the windlass had been, +12.6V when the windlass toggle switch is up and –12.6V when the windlass toggle switch is down. The electrical problem is internal to the windlass unit itself. Is there a company in the Lower Mainland that you recommend that would be able to take the windlass apart and rebuild it?

In my opinion, the most likely cause of his windlass troubles is the windlass solenoid black box. This device reverses the polarity of power to the windlass. From the sounds of it, it works in one direction (up) but not in the other (down). Equally likely, it could be the down switch that activates the windlass solenoid.

Brighouse Alternators in Richmond can most likely rebuild your windlass. A few of my clients have done that and they were pleased with the results.