Question about Powerwinch 36' Class Freefall P77736 775 Lb Pull

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Powerwinch windlass not working.

I just bought the boat and hadn't tried the windlass. At an anchorage yesterday I tried to freefall the anchor and nothing happened. the voltmeter showed a drop as i used the freefall switch so I assumed there was power to the unit or at least to the switch. It wouldn't lift either. The motor doesn't even try to run. No breakers tripped and I don't see a breaker dedicated to the windlass. I think it is an electrical problem but am unsure. The unit appears to be in very good condition and not too old.I would appreciate any ideas you may have. Thank you,

Posted by greatnorthre on


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Of course, first check the voltage at the connections to the windlass. Have someone operate the switch while you measure with a volt meter. If no voltage check breakers, or fuses. Heavy current devices like a windlass will often require fuses near where they connect to battery power.

A windlass requires a LOT of current to run. Not just voltage. Trace the wires from the battery connection all the way to the windlass. If possible, loosen any connections (ex; a lug with a nut or bolt) and clean with a wire brush then reconnect. Be sure to disconnect the battery while cleaning. Many times wires will corrode past the insulation. Especially if they were not tinned wire to begin with (tinned wire has a silver shine, regular copper has a copper color and typically turns dark or even black when corroded).

Since a windlass requires a lot of current, often there may be a relay near the windlass that might go bad. Listen to see if this is activating while someone operates the switch.

Posted on May 15, 2017


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