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adorabelle63

Expensive windlass worth the price?

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There are two lockmasters on sale one £115 and one £97 (sounds like the start of a school exam paper lol) one of them purports to be new and unused...the other has been used for four years. 

there is also an Easylass at £50 which research (old stuff on this site) tells me were selling in the marinas for £30 brand new back in the day....

which (if any) would be best?

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Pieces of string come in all lengths.

The best one to buy meets your needs regarding: -

Budget.

Personal needs.

Physical health/strength etc.

Propensity towards succumbing to waters' gravity.

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A friend recently lost one of my two windlass'. Obviously they lost me favorite one rather than back-up one.

Research on here made me conclude that the Neal ones were best...there isnn't any on the Bay...so I bought a fishing magnet for £22 instead!

 

 

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22 minutes ago, adorabelle63 said:

which (if any) would be best?

 

A normal ordinary windlass is best

 

Once you do any significant amount of boating you'll come to realise they are consumable items, getting dropped in or left behind on lock beams once in a while, never to be seen again. It would surely hurt to do that with a £100 windlass!

 

 

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There are a few canals where the paddles are exceptionally stiff. Hudderfield Narrow springs to mind. For such, perhaps a fancy complicated thing like the Lockmaster might be desirable. For everything else, a bog standard double headed windlass is best. Not an aluminium alloy one, as they can't be fished out with a magnet! Maybe get one normal one and one longish one - the latter being good for "cracking" a stiff paddle, but often suffers from being unable to fully rotate without bashing it or knuckles on the lock gate structure. For most of the time you will find the short one quite adequate.

 

Spend the cash difference on some weight training in the gym!

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I'm with MtB on this. I always prefer to use a standard cheap heavy steel windlass, on the basis that the weight is not a problem to me and if I had something fancier I'd be worried about it. The one time I dropped one in, it bounced in off a grass bank so I was a bit unlucky, then after a few minutes of fruitless magnet fishing I gave up the search.

 

A longer windlass is also needed for the Wey, and there are some other places that need specialized local implements.

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7 minutes ago, Peter X said:

A longer windlass is also needed for the Wey,

 

The eye is different too IIRC, so a CRT windlass just doesn't work. 

 

The good news is at the first lock where you buy your Wey Visitor licence, they will rent you the right windlass. 

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59 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

 Not an aluminium alloy one, as they can't be fished out with a magnet!

Oh yes they can - if you put a few jubilee clips on them ?  After my long aluminium windlass went for a swim, when I bought a replacement, the first thing I did was put some jubilee clips on it. It hasn't gone swimming yet but we tested it to make sure we had enough clips on it. I think it has four. 

 

haggis

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I have heard of people drilling and tapping the end of the handle to screw a steel bolt into it

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Ordinary proper steel double headed windlass with a small square extension welded on the head 2" long, fits everything, winds long and short, little and large. Painted red so I can see it in the grass, magnetic, unique, MINE!

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I don't like alumimium ones, I had one break off at the weld when being particularly agressive with stiff paddle gear. Resulted in bruised knuckles and a lot of bad language.

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To my mind, the only decent modern windlass is the alloy Dunton. The majority of offerings in chandlers are dismal, the flimsy open eyed things absolutely dire. Over many years I’ve acquired several old ones from working days, including a forged Wheelock and a Harry Neal, the latter being my default option. British Waterways cast replicas based on the Neal, which are also good in the hand, I have several of these. I’ve never tried the modern mechanical types, a bit of regular greasing of the paddle racks might help to solve the issues they are designed to address.

Dave

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10 minutes ago, dave moore said:

To my mind, the only decent modern windlass is the alloy Dunton.

Unfortunately I have seen someone (who definitelyt does know what they are doing!) snap the head off a Dunton without really exerting that much force, (standard Grand Union ground paddle).

 

They may cost more, but I'm not sure I trust the integrity of a Dunton any more than the cheaper Walsh alloy offerings.

 

We have snapped the  heads off two different long throw Walsh ones, (Cath 1, Alan 1) - If you want to be confident of not being left holding just the handle, I'd say avoid alloy altogether, (though we still use them....).

Lockmasters, on the other are useful, but exceedingly expensive, ballast.

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£115 for a handle? It’s no wonder the vandals stole them.

 

I offer a choice to crew on Vulpes;-

 

1. Bog standard double headed steel, or

 

2. As above, or

 

3. As above 

 

My Neal windlass lives in a secure place and only comes out for my personal use at Spon Lane locks. 

 

JP

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Bog standard windlass and a mooring pin will operate any paddle gear that is capable of being opened! That £115 can be found more useful uses!

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2 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

I have heard of people drilling and tapping the end of the handle to screw a steel bolt into it

Please sir that was me! Probably no better than jubilee clips but looks nicer 

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2 minutes ago, Loddon said:

Please sir that was me! Probably no better than jubilee clips but looks nicer 

 

I hope you chucked it in and dragged it out with the magnet, to check the screwed-in bolt works ok...

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

I hope you chucked it in and dragged it out with the magnet, to check the screwed-in bolt works ok...

 

 

No  but I have lifted it from long grass with the magnet ;)

It is a 12x60mm bolt.

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Some old boaters called them 'Irons' and that's what they were.   I always used single headed forged ones.  Proper job.

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7 minutes ago, Loddon said:

No  but I have lifted it from long grass with the magnet ;)

It is a 12x60mm bolt.

 

Thing is, its difficult enough to get the magnet to hit on a whole steel windlass accidentally dropped in (in my personal experience). Hitting on a bolt in the handle of an ally windlass in 7ft of murky water is probably an order of magnitude more difficult, I reckon, hence my interest....

 

 

 

 

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Go Windlass https://gowindlass.co.uk/ Bought for my darling Lock wheeler for her birthday. Has made the job much easier for her. Fun watching the decision making process of which way to turn, change ratchet direction, repeat three times and open paddle. It hasn't speeded up the process but made it less hard work. 

  • Greenie 1

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I prefer aluminium, because they do less damage if you accidently knock something, such as the paintwork on the boat or a camera.

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42 minutes ago, Loddon said:

Please sir that was me! Probably no better than jubilee clips but looks nicer 

I go along with that, I wouldn't want clips on one personally 

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43 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

I go along with that, I wouldn't want clips on one personally 

I agree that jubilee clips do nothing for the appearance of a windlass but they are a talking point ?

Haggis 

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