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Lewmar Windlasses Horizontal vs Vertical

Lewmar Windlasses Horizontal vs Vertical

Deciding which windlass is perfect for your boat can be a difficult task. Whether you are looking for the best or the most powerful windlass, it's always important to ask your technical specialist about which one is best for your boat type. There are many aspects to take into consideration prior to purchasing a windlass.

MAURIPRO Sailing devised a helpful article describing the difference between Horizontal and Vertical Windlasses. Enjoy!

HORIZONTAL VS VERTICAL WINDLASSES

Horizontal Windlass

The Horizontal windlass is a simple design generally used by boaters who require an optimum performance from their anchoring system. Boaters who frequently anchor, especially in deep water, require a no-hassle self-tailing system. The horizontal windlass offers the best performance with small or unusual locker designs. As the anchor rode enters the gypsy, it makes a 90 turn and feeds directly into the anchor locker. A minimum fall of 12"/ 30cm is recommended.

This is located above deck, making it easier to install, but also takes up a lot of deck space. It is more suitable for smaller boats or ones with strangely shaped chain lockers. They also only provide 90 wrap of the anchor locker, offering less security. Although it is not stable enough for strong drives, it will work nicely for casual ones.


Horizontal Windlass

Horizontal Windlass Key Features:

  • Most of the windlass unit is on the deck
  • Easy installation
  • Good for boats with small anchor lockers
  • Anchor rode enters the gypsy, makes a 90 turn and feeds into the anchor locker
  • A minimum fall of 304mm (12") is recommended in order to have enough gravity to pull the rode down into the locker.

  • Vertical Windlass

    Vertical windlasses provide an aesthetic value, giving the added protection of the anchor rode, making a 180 wrap around the gypsy. The integrated design of the vertical windlass requires at least 16"/ 40cm of fall. This is to allow gravity to properly self-tail the anchor rode through a 90 vertical turn into the anchor locker. Additionally, the nylon line is lightweight. A shortfall in a vertical windlass system might prevent the rode from feeding properly into the locker.

    This type of windlass is placed below deck, which clears up more space above board, but makes it more complex to use and install. It does have 180 wrap around the gypsy, which does offer more security, making it more ideal for severe water conditions.

    Verical Windlass

    Vertical Windlass Key Features:

  • More of the unit is hidden below deck
  • ESuitable for large anchor lockers
  • Anchor rode makes 180 wrap around the gypsy providing more security
  • Anchor rode enters the gypsy, makes a 90 turn and feeds into the anchor locker
  • A minimum fall of 406mm (18”) is recommended in order to have enough gravity to pull the rode down into the locker.
  • After making your final decision make sure to understand the difference between both windlasses. Commonly the complexity and difference between structures give a completely different experience while sailing, so we recommend to subscribe to our newsletter to get professional information or send us a chat and we will gladly help you pick the right one for your needs!

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