Lofrans' Frequently Asked Questions

The two main reasons are: Safety and Utility. The anchor windlass on your boat allows you to handle different anchoring situations, even the most critical, always completed safely.

Every anchoring operation will be extremely simple, fast and firmly under your control.

No more fear of failing to recover your anchor and every anchoring will be a pleasure.

No more heavy and complicated operations!

Installing an anchor windlass means making an investment on the safety of your crew and your boat!

The strong point of every successful manufacturer is the quality and the reliability of its products. Does the product work properly as the advertisement said? Is the product worth the price paid for it? Is the product still reliable after years?

If the product is a Lofrans the answer to these question is Yes! We did not say this by our self, but it is said by the thousands and thousands of our customer all over the world who chose our products making Lofrans’ today the most popular manufacturer of anchor windlass.

This important result testifies more than any other topic the quality of our product and the good reputation of the Lofrans' brand.

The reasons to choose a manual anchor windlass are mainly two. The simplest installation, as it is not necessary to carry out the electrical work, and the price.

The power used by the electric anchor windlass is not a real problem; modern boats have proper batteries and the electric anchor windlass runs for few minutes only. On the contrary, safety, practicability and fast operations are the advantages of the electric anchor windlass. Today 95 out 100 anchor windlasses are electrics.

There are two different types of anchor windlass, vertical anchor windlass and horizontal anchor windlass. The best way to decide is to weigh up which option meets your requirements.

Vertical Windlass

The main advantage of this type of anchor windlass is that the profile deck is very compact as the electric motor and the gearbox are under the deck. They are lighter than the horizontal anchor windlasses and their price is more competitive. Their attactive design make them suitable for every kind of boat, sailboat or motorboat. With most of the mechanical components are under deck, the maintenance operations are less simple than the horizontal anchor windlasses.

Horizontal Windlass

These are the classic anchor windlass design, practical and useful. Normally they are entirely installed above deck. All mechanical components and the gearbox are protected by the body and the electric motor by the cover. This makes maintenance operations easy. The installation is very simple and it take less time than the verticals. They can be mounted into the anchor locker to further reduce the above deck profile.

The choice of model and power should be done considering length and displacement of the boat. On the following pages there are helpful selection charts to choose the proper model for your boat. This cover a lot of important of important parameters, which will address some of your questions to the different choices. That is because, it is not possible generalise with formulas, calculations or different charts, as there are plenty of situations due to the type of boat, the skill of the person who is making the anchoring operation, the wind force and sea condition.

These selection charts are the result of thirty years of experience and it must be considered as an important reference. Most of the comparisons between windlasses is done following the data declared from the manufacturer against which windlass is recommended for a specific length of boats.

That could be a mistake!
From our point of view, to get a correct evalutation, the windlasses should be compared for sizes, weight, mechanical strength, power and other visible features, so please do not compare windlasses having different features just because both the manufacturers recommend them for the specific length of boat.

Most of our anchor windlasses are available in two different electric motors, a powerful electric motor which is faster and has more pulling power, and a smaller one with a lower current draw so it is possible to use smaller cross section electric cables.

We’re able to provide anchor windlasses with three motorization types: Direct current, Alternate current and Hydraulic.

DC motorization is the most popular for reliability. Their maintenance is very limited and this kind of motorization is used for boats up to 27m.

AC motorization is suitable for boats that their length is between 27m and 36m and have a generator on board. This type of motorization offers a good torque, their installation is simple and require limited maintenance.

Hydraulic motorization gives the advantage of a constant torgue while the load changes. They are very popular on boats over 36m and they need a specific installation.

The circuit breaker protects the electric motor and the wiring of the windlass from high current draw and/or a short circuit. It’s installed on the power line and it can be tripped automatically.

A circuit breaker for anchor windlasses is essential for safety reasons. Please choose wisely the proper circuit breaker according to the manufacturer properties in order to avoid any unpleasant installation mistakes.

A windlass is designed to lift a specific amount of load and not the load of the whole boat. For this reason we strongly recommend to use a chain stopper in order to take some of the tension of the load that is applied on the windlass and avoid damaging the windlass components due to overload..

Most of Lofrans’ windlasses come with the manual override function in order for the chain to be recovered manually in case of electric system failure. The manual override is inserted inside the gearbox and it is made by spring load ratchet which has the secondary function to make a sort of mechanical fuse in order to prevent the chain from jamming in the chain locker and thus damaging the deck.

In the Lofrans’ anchor windlasses the main shaft and the gipsy are connected by a couple of conical discs called clutch. They are normally engaged by screwing the top star shaped nut. To engage or disengage the clutch you have to insert the supllied handle in this nut. By disengaging the clutch the gispy stays free and the weight of the anchor pulls down the released chain.

Some horizontal anchor windlasses come optionally with a device called "Automatic Free Fall" which allows the clutch to be disengaged automatically by simply pushing on the remote the button Down.

Most Lofrans’ anchor windlasses are able to manage the rope and the chain by a special spring load tension arm called finger which pushes the rope deeply inside the gipsy’s teeth.

Please check out our guide below

Lofrans Windlass Horizontal


For any further questions, please click here.