Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:13 pm Post subject: X-Winch Install - Edencraft 6.0m
This thread has been put together to give members here an indication of what’s involved in a drum winch installation. As the title suggest it covers the installation of an X-Winch Medium drum anchor winch into a 6.0m Edencraft.
Before I kick it off however, I would like to acknowledge and thank member KRAY-Z-TRAIN for allowing me to take pictures during one of his installs. Every thing you see below is Als handy work. I'm sure you will all agree he does a top job. Thanks again Al.
The boat itself is a mid 1990’s 6m Edencraft built to survey in Corowa (possibly by Carpy). It is currently fitted with twin 90hp Mercury outboards mounted on a half pod. The boat has a raised, self draining floor and a dive door and is used to fish Port Phillip and Westernport and to chase Tuna and other game fish from Portland through to Bermagui.
The drum winch pictured below is an X-Winch Medium. Whilst these look similar to other drum winches, there are a number of significant design and mechanical differences that set them above most of the other winches on the market.
The first step in any install is to identify where all the components (winch, circuit breaker, solenoid, and control switch) are going to be located and to mount them. This takes some thought and whilst there are no set rules, there are a few basic principles to follow. _________________
As the function of the circuit breaker is to protect the cable from overload and accidental short circuits, the most appropriate position for it is as close to the power source (batteries) as possible. With the mounting position identified it's time to drill the mounting holes and install the circuit breaker.
Important to note is that the solenoid must be fitted in an upright position. In this install it was mounted to an inner bulkhead at the end of a storage pocket. The mounting position is within a meter or so from the winch motor.
The Control Switch
The control switch is usually mounted in a readily accessible position around the helm. In this case two old and unused switches were removed to make way for the anchor winch control switch.
Whilst most anchor winches are normally positioned inside the anchor well, in this installation the owner wanted the winch attached to an internal bulkhead. He also wanted it fitted as low as possible inside the boat as low as possible inside the boat so as to minimise any change in the centre of gravity low.
Important to note with any drum winch installation is that the centre line of the winch drum must be directly in line with the centre line or the bow sprit. This will ensure the rope and chain lay on the drum nicely instead of gathering to one side.
As mentioned above, a backing plate is supplied with the X-Winch. Whilst its intended purpose is to add strength to the mounting position, it can also be used as a drilling template once the desired mounting position for the winch has been identified.
With the holes now drilled and sikaflex applied to the winch frame and backing plate, it’s time to bolt the winch into position.
When completed, use metho and a clean cloth to remove any excess sikaflex. _________________
The following pic is taken from the bow of the boat and show the winch in position, with the winch motor removed.
With the winch now bolted to the internal bulkhead, the anchor chain and rope would have to pass through a custom made hawse located inside the anchor well. The following pic shows the cut-out made for the hawse. It also shows the bollard has been removed from the deck and relocated to the inside of the anchor well. Under normal winch operation there is no need to tie off so the hawse is only there for when it becomes necessary to tie off in order to raise a fouled anchor.
The Bow Sprit & Roller
For this installation a customer SARCA bow sprit was manufactured with integral rear roller (now patented). The surface to which the bow sprit would be mounted was sanded flat, before being hit with a fiber fill and resin. The sprit was then set on a bed of sikaflex and bolted into position.
With all the gear now mounted, it’s time to begin wiring. Almost as important as the winch itself, is the use of the right cable (size and type) and the quality of all electrical connections, particularly the power connections. If undersized cable is used or the quality of terminations/connections is poor, excessive voltage drop will occur. This will affect winch performance and cause unnecessary heartache on the water.
The pic below is of the power cable used for this install. You will note it is marine grade multi-strand (flex) tinned copper, size 2B&S (approx 35mm2). Tinned copper cables should be used in all marine installations as they are not affected by corrosion in the same way standard copper is and will therefore give a much longer service life. The size of cable used is determined by the amount of current that will pass through the cables whilst the winch is in operation. The X-Winch medium requires size 2B&S.
Poor terminations result in high resistance joints. These cause cables to overheat and excessive voltage drop to occur. When fitting lugs to cables, make sure you use a good crimping tool to do it. And when that’s done, solder the ends before applying the heat-shrink.
A good quality heat-shrink goes a long way to improving the installation. The heat-shrink used in this install is the same as that used by Telstra for underwater cable connections. The heat-shrink itself is epoxy impregnated. As heat is applied, the epoxy melts to form a solid watertight bond around the cable and lug. Speaking of lugs, it is important to use the right size lug for the application. These need to be size matched to the cable and ofcourse to the connection posts. A mix of 6 and 10mm lugs were used in this install.
Here, the epoxy can be seen oozing out from the heat-shrink and on to the surface of the lug.
The above process is repeated for all power cable connections. Control connections are made via a lighter gauge tinned copper wire and insulated connectors. _________________
The following pic of the circuit breaker indicates how all terminations should look when done properly.
Similarly, all low current connections are made using insulated connectors as can be seen on the solenoid in the following pic.
Next step was to refit the motor to the winch, terminate the power cables and install the terminal cover.
With all power and control cables connected, it’s time to clean up and test the winch for correct operation before moving to load the rope and chain. If the drum runs in the wrong direction eg up when the switch is pressed to the down position, simply swap the positions of the two wires going to the outer connections on the control switch.
Once all is OK, secure the power and control cables via appropriately sized and positioned ‘D’ clamps and cable ties.
With cables now secured and the winch tested and confirmed to be functioning correctly, it’s time to load the rope and chain on to the drum. _________________
It should be needless to say that the rope chosen for the application must be suitable for use in marine environments and have a braking strain that is greater than the weight of the boat loaded and on the water. In fact it is best to determine the size and type of rope needed as this will assist in winch selection prior to purchase.
For this application, a high quality marine grade 8mm polyester double braid rope was chosen. The pic below shows it removed from the spool and made ready for loading on to the winch drum.
The rope is passed through the bow sprit, cut out for the custom hawse and through an eyelet on the drum shaft before being tied off with a firmly locked figure 8 knot.
Depending on the boat itself, loading the rope on to the drum requires a bit of a team effort. In this case one person was needed to operate the control switch, a second to lay the rope on to the drum properly and a third to apply some tension to the rope as was being loaded.
In this particular case, a full 100m of 8mm double braid was loaded on to the winch with capacity to spare.
As with the rope the chain must have a breaking strain greater that the weight of the boat when on the water. An 8mm close link chain was chosen for this application. As a guide, the length of chain used should be no less than the length of the boat. 8 meters of chain was used in this install.
The connection between the rope and chain is up to the individual and there are many options available. The rope may be spliced onto the chain, an eyelet may be added to the rope to allow connection to the chain via a ‘D’ shackle or by other means as desired by the installer or boat owner.
In all cases however, it is important to ensure this connection is not bulky and will work through the sprit, over the rollers and on to the drum nicely.
Any sharp edges, which have and ability to wear and damage the rope should be removed. In this case, the end of the ‘D’ shackle screw (seen below) was ground away, the screw was then welded to the shackle and ground back to form a nice smooth finish. Cold gal was then applied to reduce the possibility of rusting. An alternative could have been to use a split chain link to perform this connection.
With the rope and chain now on the drum, it’s time to attach the anchor. In this case, a size 3 SARCA was used. It was attached to the chain via and anchor swivel and large stainless ‘D’ shackle.
The next step ofcourse is to winch the anchor onto the sprit and perform several lower and raise operations in order to ensure the anchor leaves the bowsprit freely, and returns to the sprit correctly. This test is best done with the bow of the boat in a slightly raised position ie similar or higher to the position it would take whilst on the water and in calm condition. As far as releasing the anchor goes, this is the worst case condition. In rough seas, as the bow of the boat enters into a trough between waves, the anchor will release more readily.
Where lighter anchors are used, it is sometimes necessary to increase the height of the rear roller to ensure the anchor releases from its home position freely and without personal intervention.
Although the installation of a drum anchor winch is pretty straight forward many people get it horribly wrong, especially with regards to the power wiring. It is essential you use the right size and type of cable and that a proper crimping tool is used to fit the lugs. Undersized cable or poor cable/lug connections result in overheating and the heat can be quite substantial due to the high currents the cables are carrying. So how hot can they get? Hot enough to start a fire and write off the boat in the most extreme cases.
Other symptoms of undersized power cablse or bad connections is slow running of the winch, and insufficient torque to raise the anchor.
Back to the job. The custom hawse has been fabricated and is now installed. Following installation, the boat and winch were put through their paces and after some 30 odd drops, the owner is absolutely wrapped with the way the whole thing performs.
Pics of the boat and the custom hawse will be posted at a later date.
Before closing, a special thanks must also go to the owner for allowing me to post pictures of his boat and winch install on a public forum. Thanks again Wayne for allowing me to do that.
Well I hope that has given you some insight into the installation of a drum anchor winch. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
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