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We currently have a manual Lofrans Royale and given our advancing years are thinking of upgrading to an electric winch; however, as we have outboards we are not sure if we would have enough power it and were wondering if anyone else has addressed this problem.  The solutions I have are a DC to DC charging circuit from the main battery bank to a dedicated 110 amp AGM battery or having a generator that we start up each time we want to operate the winch.

All suggestions and experiences gratefully received.

Robert

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To give you a good advice it would be useful to know :

What type/size boat are you talking about ?

What outboard engines are you using ?

Are you anchoring with chain only or rope & chain ? what size/length chain /rope?

What weight anchor are you using ?

At what sort of depths are you usually anchoring ?

What is you current battery capacity ? You find it just or amply sufficient for your current use ?

Are your batteries charged by the outboards only or also by other means, if so which ?

How many hours per day do you roughly run your engines when using the boat ?

What type of electirc anchor winch are you considering ?

Where are you usually sailing ?

To provide more detail:  we have a one off 37.5ft ply epoxy cat with twin Yamaha 9.9s; so we have the equivalent of a Tiki 38.  We are using a 24kg anchor with 35m of 8mm chain with warp to extend it, our anchoring depths are whatever the anchorage we are at dictates!!!!

The batteries are not charged by the outboards at present, though that may change, but they are old so I suspect they do not give more than 6 amps of charge.  We hardly use the engines at all when sailing.  We have about 500w of solar panels. The main batteries are 4 110ah AGMs currently configured in 2 banks of 2, but that may change.

In essence we are doing a major refit in stages and are interested in finding out other peoples experience of installing an electric anchor windlass in order to inform our decisions.  We have not selected an electric winch yet.

A yamaha 9.9 has a 9 amp charging coil ,so with two you 've got 18 amps charging power from your engines . If you connect them of course .I guess part of your refit will be  a full service of your engines so if you do not know how to check the charging coils yourself ask your mechanic to check them for you . You do not need a regulator for the alternators .BTW , if your outboards are started electrically then the charging coils  are already connected to the batteries . 

When selecting a winch I'd opt for a horizontal one , not a vertical one. We use Lofrans and Ihave abolutely nothing but praise for them .earlier we used Arco vertical ones which gave nothing but trouble . Only advantage of a vertical winch is that the manual over ride is easier to use then on a horizontal winch.

Use big oversized wires from  the batteries to the winch . we use 70 sqmm welding cable .

Do install  a proper and correctly rated circuit breaker/overload switch in the positve wire to the winch.

I would be inclined to add a 100 amp battery dedicated to engine starting and lump your other 4 battries together in a single bank, giving you  a (theoretical) 440 amps for domestic needs  + anchor winch . You wire the solar panels into the domestic batteries ( you do need a good regulator for those) and whilst you do connect your start battery to your domestic bank  you do put a suitably rated on/off switch between them .

what you get then is : 

When the engines are not running the switch between engine start battery and domestic batteries is positioned OFF. No drain on the start battery so they stay full, and the domestic batteries are charged by solar .

When you do run the engines you position ,once the engines run , said switch to ON. Now all available sources of charge charge all batteries .

You will probably run your engines anyway whilst upanchoring  and the charge provided by the charging coils of the engines alone will amply off set the drain by the winch . you of course save further drain by not pulling the boat the winch but sailing or motoring towards your anchor so the winch only has to cope with the weight of the slack chain and breaking out the anchor by motoring or sailing over it instead of pulling it out with the winch.

 

  

c

hor 

Thanks Maixim, that is useful and pretty much the way we were going except I was thinking of having the spare 110Ah AGM battery adjacent to the winch to cut the weight of cables and have a switched cable to link it to the main battery bank so that when we are running the winch the power drain on the winch battery will be offset from the main bank and if we have the main bank charged from the outboards then I guess that would offset the drain on the main bank.

Robert

In your setup you will , if you run the winch with the switch tothe main bank "off " put all the drain on one battery,rather then on four batteries as per my suggestion.If you put the switch ON whilst running the winch then you still need a considerable wire between your main bank and the winch battery . I have always found it good pactice to have separate ( but connectable) batteries for engine starting and domestic users.

As long as you can start your engines you can charge even a completely flat battery .

If you do not have a separate start battery then you run the risk that overuse of the domestic ones results in you not being able to start the engines. You can hand start a Yam 9.9 but it's a pain. 

I do not know the layout of your boat but it is in any case good practice to put batteries somewhere near the  

centre, i.e. mast , if possible . The winch is also likely to live somewhere in that area so wire runs between batteries and winch can in any case be kept short .

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