Suddenly installing the actual new Windlass wasn't the hard part anymore. Wanna install a windlass, read on-

I have the opposite writing problem from some other bloggers:  instead of needing inspiration and looking for things to write about, I have too much right now and have to slow down to organize and get it right.  Today I bought a new book on blogging that did inspire me, I keyed in on some of the advice: write what inspires YOU and write what you would want to see in a published article.   I like that, going to try to write more that way.  Getting back into my Windlass project (this is the second part of the series),,,,,it wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought it would be, because of the existing hole and deck structure. 

Last “Windlass for Dummies” post I wrote was the intro to this project that would take me over two months to complete, this post is getting to the actual work and what slowed me down.  In August the new Windlass came into the store and I picked it up, but it sat on the deck of the boat because the preparation work on the deck didn’t go like I had thought it would.  First, the old Windlass holes had to be filled in and waterproofed with epoxy (1).  I probably would have had an inkling this needed to be done but got the inspiration and courage to do the epoxy through the holes from the MV Jolly Mon blog post on installing a windlass on his own boat, with great pictures and post organization well before I started my project.  He made is look so easy.  But be warned- when you’re doing the epoxy, you need to either thicken it using the silica sand or close the bottom of the holes so it doesn’t go right through and get all over your anchor rode.  I didn’t; and I paid the learning price.

My solution to my dripping epoxy was simple duct tape to keep it in the holes till it dried and it worked.

Next, you need to understand what’s under your old Windlass and what you’ll need to do before you start.  Mine had a 1-inch solid steel plate under it and two inches of a custom teak insert on top of the deck (above chain locker).  This added 3-inches, which was 3-inches too much for the new Windlass spacing.  I didn’t know that when I started the project or didn’t take that into account.  You MUST know this before starting.  But pictures tell this story better than I can, check it out:

Here was my starting point after the old Windlass came off-

So, after dicking around for a few days thinking I could cut the plate, it needed to come off.  LOOK, I ever traced the sizing thinking I could cut it and I did one drill foray into it: 

So, the plate needed to come out and I needed to get a 5-inch hole saw through the teak, the deck and the rest to get a hole that would work. The plate was a BEAST, I had to remove a portion of the teak and then take half a day to get the plate to come up.

Trying to remove the plate, bottom piece of teak already out. This would prove to be the key to removing it as well as pure brute labor.

Next, I prepped to drill the hole with a hole-saw.  Here’s how it could have been done better:  1.  If you can find a solid piece of wood for the guide of the hole-saw to go into, it’s better vice the hole in the center like you see here. 2.  QUALITY hole-saw WILL make a difference.  I dorked around with a low quality hole-saw for several days working on this project until I got a good quality brand,,,and it made a huge difference.  3.  You’ll see the pattern in a second,,,but I should have drilled 1/2 inch to 1 inch larger than the pattern and this oversight kicked my ass in the end.  Here’s me patterning, notice the old holes filled in with epoxy and the new holes already drilled:

Here’s where it became not such a simple installation, as the first hole saw was a bear to use, some of my tools broke and I had to run to Home Depot nearly every day for several weeks in a row.  But I admit, I also multi-tasked and did some other projects at the same time to give myself a break.  More on the next phase coming Weds and Fri.  I’ve also added to the About Us and this Blog pages to keep my content updated as I go along and am working on updating the info about the boat.

Here’s the link to the first part of this series:


1.  Cutting Holes: Windlass Install/MV Jolly Mon – Accessed numerous times in July, August and September 2018 on the Internet.  First accessed and read in July 2018 in order to gain the courage to cut holes in my own deck and install my own Windlass.  The author of that blog has no idea who thankful I am that he wrote such a clear and coherent post, I hope mine can be as good.

5 Responses

  1. Excellent work and you used my favorite product – duct tape!!! It is currently keeping our elderly fridge freezer from leaking and I drives my husband crazy that I won’t buy a new one! You would think he would be grateful for a thrifty wife???

    1. Thrifty wife is fine but when you get to keeping a fridge in a house together with duct tape, it might be a sign. Have you seen the cool ones with the screens on the outside? But yes, I love the stuff-

      1. You are just as bad! It still works fine and nobody can see my duct repair. When it dies we will get a new one…😁

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