New Westsail owner, new sailor

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  • April 25, 2016 12:38 PM
    Reply # 3984443 on 3969758
    Deleted user


    The sprocket is called a gypsy and should have been for 5/16 chain ???? showes dimensions and Part #'s

    The previous owner did use it ? right, so it should be sized correctly ? But ? based on what the net shows It is not over sized. And you do motor up to the Anchor; Not have the windless pull you to it right? 

    I use and old sea tiger 555 Manual so I will not be of great help with your model.

    How did she sail for you? 

    One note; if you get into replacing running rigging (lines for sailing) Bud's website has good prices for that. look for parts.

    Best of Luck:


    edited below...>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Mark: I was in an english mode (well just not thinking about the correct US label) see windless Gypsies and wildcats  and did you know in Wyoming the rope drum is also a wildcat; but used mostly for cable.   For Matt I gave the name gypsy,  as that may be how it was labeled within the manuals? but I could be wrong, which I am some times. oh well, another beer will fix it all and I can smile again.

    I.e when shopping for the part make sure they know it handles the chain.

    For the issue with the chain on top of the rode. If it is on top, the chain is 6" to 14" higher above the waterline = not great for sailing  200# * 1 foot = adding 4.5# to the top of the 44' mast. Or if you pull it all the way down under the shower, it is like taking 12# + away from the top of the mast. You Know it is all a balancing act, just don't fall off the ball!

    Lastly this topic has set me to thinking about making a "Devils Claw" I think it could be a hell of an idea?  ;)

    Last modified: April 26, 2016 4:40 PM | Deleted user
  • April 26, 2016 7:50 AM
    Reply # 3986360 on 3969758

    Sorry Norm , but the drum that handles the rode is the capstan drum or gypsy . The wildcat handles the anchor chain .

    By the way we have a ABI manual windlass . I'm prolly doing it wrong (again) , but why is chain on top of rode a bad thing ?

    Last modified: April 26, 2016 8:05 AM | Anonymous member
  • April 26, 2016 4:39 PM
    Reply # 3987157 on 3969758

    Hello Matt,

    I may be able to provide some more specific information regarding your windlass/chain issues. 

    Your Horizon 900 windlass likely has a #RCO860 gypsy (gypsy is the correct word used in the industry).  Your gypsy will have its number cast into the side of one of the chain pockets.

    The RCO860 gypsy was designed for 8mm chain and will fit 5/16"BBB chain.  5/16"BBB chain has a pitch dimension of 25.4mm, 5/16"G4 chain has a pitch dimension of 26.2mm.  Pitch is the measure of the inside of a chain links length.  You can confirm what chain you have by measuring the diameter and pitch or look for the stamp on the side of the link opposite the weld.  BBB will be stamped 3B, G4 will be stamped G4 or HT4. 

    The final versions of the Horizon 900 came with a modified gypsy that would also fit 5/16"G4.  As I recall it was a RCO862 or 864.  The Horizon Series has been out of production for about 15 years, it was replaced by the ProSeries. 

    If you are running 5/16"G4 chain on a gypsy made for 5/16"BBB you will run into a issue where the chain will slip every 12 to 16 links.  This is due to the accumulative effect of the longer G4 links.  By the time the gypsy has made 4 revolutions the chain will be off by about 18 to 20mm or 3/4" at which time it will slip and start the whole process again.

    The RCO860 gypsy was designed to handle 5/16"BBB chain and 9/16" 3 strand line.

    One often over looked aspect of using a windlass is the "Fall Distance" under the windlass.  A horizontal windlass MUST have a minimum of 12" of fall under the chainpipe.  You are relying on gravity to pull the chain or rope down into the locker.  If there is not sufficient "fall" the chain or rope will back up and jam in the chain pipe or on the windlass gypsy.

    I hope this is helpful and not confusing.


  • April 28, 2016 10:31 AM
    Reply # 3993094 on 3969758
    Deleted user

    Thanks everyone, this gives me lots of helpful info. I'm hoping to spend some time this weekend sorting it out. I also got some information about the wiring from the previous owner.

    Next question, where do you attach your jacklines?

  • April 29, 2016 8:28 AM
    Reply # 3994664 on 3969758
    Deleted user


    Mine run from the front of the house to the back (with pad eyes installed at both ends) they are coated ss 3/16 cable 7x7  "please note these WILL and DO roll underfoot" but the carabiner slides well on them. One item I do not like is, I have to unhook and rehook to do work on the bowsprit. They are a pain!, but also really make you feel safer and are the best $'s spent if you were to be washed over. My pref. is for a simple fixed length tether. If I were to do more long open ocean sails, I would also have a short second and put some thing on the mast for this to hook to, access to both sides of the mast base without unhooking.

    That said, I believe many people run flat nylon strap from the (bowsprit base) back to the cockpit? along the cabin sides. If tight on the cabin, they would never get under foot but can stretch a bit (nylon you know).

    Not sure there is a correct answer! just tie a line to something, one of the 50 footers "were you think they would work i.e. fwd back to cockpit" and hook your tether on and move around the boat at the dock, If you don't like it there retie and try again (think about trip hazard and ability to clip on) Most work will be at the mast but some can be up front. Then when you have what you want install (flat strap, or ?) Also do put a pad eyes "more than one for you and crew"  in the cockpit by the companionway (this one you stay attached to 99% of the time while on deck)

    Last modified: April 29, 2016 8:39 AM | Deleted user
  • June 03, 2016 5:49 AM
    Reply # 4055931 on 3969758
    Deleted user

    Got my windlass back from the shop, with new brushes, bearings, and control arm. So that part should be good to go. Will have another opportunity to test it soon, and I'll pay close attention to how often the chain jumps.

    Turns out that the 180' line is supposed to be a tow rope, according to the previous owners, so that mystery is solved.

    Thanks for the help, guys, I'm getting close to being able to go out for a few days!

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