I'm looking for basic advice on choosing the correct windlass for my boat. Any tips, advice or cautions would be very much appreciated.
The West Advisor articles are my go-to references for most things marine. West Marine has put together an excellent article on selecting the right windlass for your needs. I'll link it below. I did as much research online as I could and then I went into my local West Marine and they helped me pick one out within my budget. They also gave me a recommendation on a local shop to install it and they did a great job.
If you have a small chain locker, a horizontal windlass is going to work better than a vertical windlass because of the area a vertical windlass takes. Are you using an all-chain rhode, a rope or a rope chain combo? This will determine the proper windlass gypsy which will narrow your selection.
Definitely take some notes from the West Advisor article that @SailingFree posted about selecting the correct windlass. The Anchor rode storage you have will most likely determine which style of windlass will work best. From there your budget will determine the rest.
Installing a windlass is the best thing we've ever done to our boat. Especially now that we are a little older. The look of a vertical windlass is hands down better than a horizontal but that doesnt mean it's better performing. I will say that if you have the room in your rode storage locker, a vertical windlass is worth the extra effort in installation. I will also say that a remote controlled windlass is worth the extra cost. The deck can be somewhat sketchy in rough weather on my boat so we prefer having the remote controlled windlass. You could also wire foot switches to operate the windlass from any position on the boat. Just my two cents. Best of luck in your search.
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