Maxwell Windlass

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11 years 1 week ago #114 by Lisa Cornelius
Maxwell Windlass was created by Lisa Cornelius
Doug or whomever knows,

Thanks for all the wonderful info. I read it all the time.

I want to replace my chain.

EXEC SUMMARY ==> Why did the Whitby builder put a through deck to
constrain chain size to less than 1 1/4 inch wide? May I enlarge it? (negatives?)

What does BBB stand for? Bumped, Bonded, Burnished? Each link precision calibrated to same size?

Regarding the Maxwell Nilsson VWC-1000 windlass on my Whitby 42 hull #332
Chain Wheel (gypsy) has #3 stamped on it. My 150 ft of Chain is Dominion BBB? (Canadian?) 5/16 inch ??? (8 mm?)
Some physical measurements with several good links contradict the various sources I have found on internet.
They also confound the experts at Annapolis (Bob owns a Whitby too), West Marine,
Chain manufacture in Ohio Windlasschain.com, etc...
Measured 11 links per foot (inside first link to inside last link), EA LINK is 1 1/4 inch wide, 1 1/2 inch long, wire size?? 11/32 in
pitch inside to inside =


I have a letter from Whitby Boat Works from July 1987, Elaine and another lady.
They included a diagram and explaination of how Whitby installed the Windlass and advice on which chain to use.
It stated to original owner (Bob Fitzpatrick) that 3/8 inch Campbell BBB is a NO NO. (too wide)
This is due to the Through Deck (1.5 inch ID) that Whitby installed under the Hawse pipe that feds the chain
into the chain locker below. Chain link width can be no larger than 1 1/4 inch.
They also state to use the "short link" BBB because it deforms less.

They also included a Nilsson (New Zealand company) booklet on install and operation.

Here is my problem. The current chain is old.
I am worried that 21 years of sitting in water in the bottom of the chain locker has weakened it.
There is no drain in my divided chain locker. I have since cleaned and dried it out and put a false bottom
of heavy rubber anti-fatique mat in to hold the chain above any standing water. (2 inches high)
I throughly cleaned chain with Naval Jelley (15 min exposure) neutralized with baking soda and rinsed multiple times.
I inspected total 150 ft. Last 30 ft is marginal. I vacuum and sponge any water now to keep it dry.

I want to replace with 300 ft of hot dipped galvanized high strength G4 ?
Or some contemporay, easy to acquire chain ACCO?
Prefer lighter weight/less volume of 5/16 inch with more strength than 3/8 in.
Any weave or shackle to 8 Plait anchor line will NOT pass the thoughdeck and Hawse.
Also hard to do with windlass (chain and line) it is possible. Upper part of windlass is used to pull in line.
How to stow? Line does not drop or push well.

I took the Chain Wheel (gypsy) to West Marine, Annapolis (Fawcets and Bacon's).
I have tried many types of chain by placing the gypsy on a wall on PVC pipe and running 15 ft of the chain as a test.
I tried 5/16 inch and 3/8 inch of High Test, BBB, G4, Grade 30, Grade 40, Proof Coil, Acco and many other brands.
Acco works in wheel best but too wide to fit in through deck (1 1/4 inch)
Acco 5/16 G4 Chain (#5001-40502)

I have talked at length to Maxwell in CA. (Will Vrooman Ph 714/689-2900 ext 103)
According to Will and Joe at Maxwell in CA I need: 2439/033 chain wheel for 5/16 HT chain.
They said parts may exist in New Zealand. I found mention of that on CrusierNet forum too.
But no new wheel as of yet. Guys in New Zealand have no email? Will try to call soon.


Thanks in Advance,

Patrick Cornelius Gaia hull #332

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11 years 1 week ago #115 by Larry Donaldson
Replied by Larry Donaldson on topic Re:Maxwell Windlass
Bend Before Breaking BBB

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