Anchor Windlass

I’m thinking about replacing my manual windlass with an electric. It looks like Sam L. Morse Co. recommends and supplies either Maxwell or Simpson Lawrence units. Does anyone out there have advice on choosing one of these units, or a better alternative to both of them?

Also, since I’m living in the tide-ripped South, I’m wondering if my old windlass might be of any value mounted aft? Probably too big and in the way, but just thought I’d ask, maybe get a laugh.


Jon Lang, s/v Jolie Brise


I have a Muir Atlantic 1000. It is similar to the Maxwell that Sam Morse specs but the boys in the yard agreed it seemed to be a better unit when they installed it. IMTRA is the US dealer for them…they have a web site. I use a rope/chain rode…9/16" nylon and 5/16 HT chain. As I recall, Maxwell couldn’t supply a gypsy for that combination. I am very pleased and Muir/IMTRA supplied it in bronze for a nominal upcharge.

Best regards…Tom


Thanks for the suggestion. I looked at them on IMTRA’s site and on the Muir site. I’ve sent them an inquiry on both the Atlantic 1000 and the Atlantic 1050 Freefall Model. The bronze finish would be very good indeed! Do you have the remote for cockpit operation? Any other parts required? Solenoid, Devil’s Claw, Chain Stopper?


Jon, S/V Jolie Brise


I have a Simpson Lawrence 500 and must admit that I am really disappointed with the manual back-up. Whatever system or brand you buy be sure there is some way to easily and quickly revert to manual operation.?



I have a rope capstain in addition to the rope/chain gypsy. I have mine set up with a knee switch at the bow and a toggle switch in the cockpit. Both are for “up” only. Seems to free fall just fine when setting the anchor. You will need a solenoid to have the cockpit switch. Also have a chain stopper at the bow. Only use it when anchor is stowed. On the hook, I use Roger’s snubber through a block at the end of the bowsprit technique. That was recently discussed by the group. If you missed it, I will be glad to describe it for you.

I agree with Roger, a good manual backup is a must. The Muir can be set to ratchet up with a winch handle. You have to change where the pawls are located is all. IMTRA has a little direction sheet to explain that. I’ve not tested it in a big blow but works fine on a still morning.

Best regards…T

Tom Harrer
S/V Whitewings III