FAQ’s for Ideal Windlass

Identifying your windlass:

To identify your IDEAL Windlass first look for our nameplate. This plate is located on the gear case of your windlass and tells you the Model and Serial numbers of the windlass. If your windlass is vertical the gear box and motor are  below deck.  If it is horizontal your unit is all above deck.

Other ways of identification include, knowing the size and brand of boat,  the diameter of the deck plate and number of deck bolts (if vertical) or if horizontal whether the motor is exposed or enclosed in the gear case.

Can I get parts for my old IDEAL windlass?

Parts are available for 99% of IDEAL windlasses built since WWII (1940).
See “Identifying your Windlass” and then call the Schaefer Marine team at 508-995-9511

Can my old IDEAL windlass be rebuilt?

Nearly all old windlasses sent to IDEAL can be rebuilt and this is a cost effective alternative to purchasing a new unit. We frequently rebuild windlasses from the 1940’s and 1950’s.

To have your windlass rebuilt:

  • Remove it from the boat.
  • Contact our team at 508-995-9511 or by emailing Ideal@SchaeferMarine.com
  • We will call you to discuss your project and followup with an estimate before proceeding.
  • Repair timeframes range depending on various factors.

Re-chroming of above deck parts is also available.

What kind of oil and how much?

All IDEAL windlasses use 90WT. gear oil.

Horizontal windlasses have a pipe plug in the front cover of the gear box. Oil should be to  the level of the plug. Vertical units have a pipe plug on the side of the gear box. Oil should be to the level of the plug. The entire gear box is not filled with oil. It is just an oil bath. Oil should be changed every 2-3 years

My chain wildcat is slipping. What do I do?

Typically the clutch simply needs to be tightened. This is accomplished by either turning the wheel on your horizontal model or by using the capstan wrench to tighten the capstan cap. There are three styles of capstan wrench; a spanner wrench, a “Faspin” type rod or a large bronze socket into which a flat bar is inserted.  Place this wrench into the capstan cap (top of the windlass) and turn clockwise.

If your wildcat continues to slip you may need to replace the friction disc(s).

Can my rope only capstan be converted to chain?

All IDEAL line only windlasses can be converted to have a chain wildcat. The windlass needs to be removed from the boat, disassembled and reassembled with a new main shaft and several other new components.

Can my single direction windlass be reversed?

Most 12 volt windlasses have a reversing motor. All that is needed are additional controls. To determine if your motor is reversible, check to see if there is an additional terminal that is not being used.  If you have a two terminal motor you will need to purchase aReversing Kit which contains an additional foot  switch and a reversing solenoid assembly. Windlasses that run on A/C power can be reversed by purchasing a  reversing controller and additional foot switch. Older model BHW and most horizontal windlasses cannot be reversed without changing the gearing

Is my 12 volt motor a standard starter motor? Can it be rebuilt?

The 12 volt motor on your windlass is not a standard starter motor.  It has been modified for use with your anchor windlass.Many times these motors can be rebuilt. Contact us to learn more.

Can the voltage of my windlass be changed?

Voltages of existing IDEAL windlasses Sizes 2 and above can be changed. Size 2 windlasses are offered in DC voltages of 12, 24, and 32.  Sizes 3-11 are available in  AC voltages of 115, 208, 230/1/60, 208,230,460/3/60 and 208,230,380/3/50. When changing voltages solenoids or controllers must also be changed.

Can my windlass be operated remotely?

If you are using an all chain rode or a rope-to-chain rode (used on a windlass built to automatically pull rope and chain) your windlass can be operated from a remote station. A remote panel can be installed in the bridge or cockpit of your boat or a hand held remote with a deck plug-in can be used. Call our team for more information.

Can my windlass be converted to handle a rope-to-chain rode?

If your windlass is a horizontal model Size 1 or 2, or a CWM  it can be retrofitted with a combination gypsy. A new chain stripper/hawse pipe is also required.  Verticals cannot be converted.  See “Identifying your Windlass” and call the the office.

What size chain does my windlass take?

The chain size and type is very specific to the different wildcats. All models are available for many different chain sizes and types. The fit of the chain to the wildcat is critical. Our wildcats have a number cast into them that identifies what size and type chain your wildcat will accept. To find this number  look in the flat spaces between the ribs in the wildcat. This is the area where the chain rides.  Measure the diameter of your wildcat and refer to the chart below for identification. If you cannot find a number or if it is not listed below, please call the office.

Chain Size and Type

5″ dia.

7″ dia.

8″dia.

1/4 BBB

1

1

1

1/4 High Test

5

17

18

1/4 Proof Coil

3A

2

2

1/4 Accoloy

5

9

18

5/16 BBB

2

16

2

5/16 High Test

2

2

5/16 Proof Coil

4A

5

3

5/16 Accoloy

3/8 BBB

8

3

3

3/8 High Test

13

6

4

3/8 Proof Coil

13

6

4

3/8 Accoloy

7

1/2 BBB

5

1/2 High Test

30

1/2 Proof Coil

10

1/2 Accoloy

10

For all other questions, please contact our team at 508-995-9511 or email us at Ideal@SchaeferMarine.com