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  1. #1

    Anchor Winch (Pros and Cons)

    Good morning fisherman.

    I have a 2000 model V-Sea and considering a power anchor winch.

    What are your thought on these for my boat.

    What type are considered good.

    Does anyone with a V-Sea run one and if so what have you got and what’s involved in fitting one.

    Have looked at under deck and windless type.


    Sent from my iPhone using Ausfish mobile app

  2. #2
    Ausfish Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Kalbarri, WA

    Re: Anchor Winch (Pros and Cons)

    Bring out the popcorn

    No seriously, this has been asked a lot on here. Answers will vary from " save yer money, get an anchor yanker" ball to " you won't be without one, once you have tried one. " And then it will subdivide into windlass or drum type. Which will further subdivide into horizontal or vertical windlass, and freefall or power out drum. I've had a foot in every camp, using the anchor ball for a long time, but it only really worked well on centre consoles. Once I went to a cuddy things got harder, particularly if fishing by self. if you want a full run down on how i managed it, PM me.
    So I then got a horizontal windless type, real brute of thing, maxwell HRC 6 FF but the anchor well wasn't quite deep enough for the amount of rope I needed. And if you buy a windlass type, you MUST use 8-stand plait nylon,sized correctly for the gypsy, or it will end in tears. Period. If you have plenty of fall under the deck the windlass is mounted on (width is useless, you need depth, I'd say 500mm ) they are a good thing, and take up a lot less space than a drum. And they will all have freefall. Freefall is good when you are trying to spot anchor in a strong wind or tide. They operate, on windlasses, by an adjustable clutch.
    For my new boat, i couldn't really fit a horizontal windlass, and don't like verticals , so I went a drum.

    For drums, you need space to mount it under the foredeck, and a surface strong enough to bolt it to. Reinforcing may be required. And rope capacity is always an issue if you need to anchor deep, bearing in mind you need at least 3 x the depth you intend to anchor in, plus some. You will likely need to go to Dyneema, in at 4mm or better 5mm diameter, and it is expensive. Just like the 8-strand plait you need on a windlass is expensive . You can use nylon double braid in its place, but you'll get more on with dyneema. And nylon double braid isn't cheap, the cheaper double braid is polypropelene, not as much stretch, degrades under shock loading. Use a heavier rope for the last 10 or 20 metres for chafing resistance.
    Some drum winches have freefall, most dont. Reason being that the freefall setup on a drum is more prone to failure. OK, you Stressfree owners, flame away. Seen it happen enough to know it is an issue. Having manual feed out isn't as bad as I though it wuld be, I've anchored a lot in up to 40 metres in strong wind, and had no problems.

    So, to sum it up
    1) if you have plenty, at least 500mm ,of free vertical space under where you intend to mount the winch, you can consider using a windlass. If not, forget it. And don't try to re-use your old silver rope to save money, this is where windlass types get a bad name. Dumb cheap arse owners, not the winch, but you can't tell some people.
    2) A good windlass is not much cheaper than a good drum.
    3) The whole process is not cheap, budget over $2200, more if you need a professional involved in any way, including reinforcing.
    4) People will doubtless send you a link for a " comparison test" on some of the drum winches sold on the australian market that seems to point to the Lonestar GX2 being far superior to anything else out there. There are a lot of issues with this test, just google it. Word was that Lonestar wouldn't participate if there were a few more of the readily available winches included, as they would then not look quite so good. Not saying they are a bad product, but there are alternatives.

  3. #3

    Re: Anchor Winch (Pros and Cons)

    I went through some drum winch research requiring a minimum 300mm drum for my boat. Was going to be very expensive. Ended up with a tuffwinch. Sold by motor importer direct. Good product.
    Also i got 100m of 6mm dyneema from china from ali express cheap. Then top shotted with my existing anchor rope

  4. #4

    Re: Anchor Winch (Pros and Cons)

    Hi Shakey,
    Yeah, the pop corn will come out soon,
    But, my opinion, it was the single best extra I put on my boat, regardless of brand etc.
    I was killing my back on solo trips, and pulled up anchor myself with some deckies who just could'nt fit thru to pull the rope.
    It's changes my fishing habits, can now chase whiting, moving 1/2 a dozen times if necesary to get on them, which I wouldn't have done pryor.
    You should some how be able to fit one up, even if you have to modify something, the ease of anchoring afterwards will have you with a smile on ya face.
    Couldn't recommend one enough.


  5. #5
    Ausfish Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Kalbarri, WA

    Re: Anchor Winch (Pros and Cons)

    Quote Originally Posted by myusernam View Post
    I went through some drum winch research requiring a minimum 300mm drum for my boat. Was going to be very expensive. Ended up with a tuffwinch. Sold by motor importer direct. Good product.
    Also I got 100m of 6mm dyneema from china from ali express cheap. Then top shotted with my existing anchor rope
    I went the same way. Tuffwinch 240HC, 305mm drum, 1500w motor. 100m 5mm dyneema, then 100m of 8mm double braid nylon, then 20 m of 12mm silver rope on top, for chafe. Same dimensions as GX3 Lonestar, IIRC.

  6. #6

    Re: Anchor Winch (Pros and Cons)

    I was firmly in the "use a ball ya girl" camp for most of my fishing life and they still have there place no doubt about it.

    then i went in a mates boat with a drum winch no free fall ..... well what a pain in the arse that was in anything over about 35m i definately thought winches were a big wank.

    then i bought a boat that already had a a free fall drum winch fitted ....... it was like seeing the light for the first time WOW how good is this bit of kit.

    only down side i have found is having to go up front to bend the prongs if using a reef pick........ to be honest i'd had to do the same with the ball but now i have the magic button i'm so lazy it seems like a big deal.


  7. #7
    Ausfish Silver Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Sunshine Coast

    Re: Anchor Winch (Pros and Cons)

    I purchased the drum winch after walking around the gunnel to bring up the anchor solo and lost my footing, is money well spent for solo safety! I have 130m of rope so limited to anchoring at 40-50m but I usually drift fish anything over that anyway!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Kevlacat 6.2m
    115 v4 evinrudes (going strong)

  8. #8

    Re: Anchor Winch (Pros and Cons)

    I've got the factory fit Muir VR600 gypsy style on the Victory - works ok - doesn't need 8 strand but does need nylon rope of a size to suit the gypsy as recommended by Muir and it does need periodical soaking in fabric softener. Not a massive fan for a couple of reasons - you cant use a thimble to protect the splice from chafe - the rope must be spliced directly to the chain via a tapered splice to allow transition from chain to rope, when transitioning there is no guarantee it will do so smoothly - regularly requiring a bit of back and forth to transition from rope to chain (primarily caused IMO by what Ranmar touched on with the fall), You can not run a chain sock to keep the thing quiet and it will not winch up without weight on the line to force it into the gypsy - something that I found an absolute PITA once I fitted a remote to it to pull the boat off the beach during family days. IMO, about the only things going for them are price - they are a bit cheaper, weight and size - being compact would make them a bit easier to install on some boats. I won't replace it until it dies but I certainly won't replace it like for like. Drum winch, preferably with free fall next time.
    "I soak the worms in rum. The fish love em and the worms die happy"
    "Alcohol is not the solution to your problems...................but then again, neither is milk"

  9. #9

    Re: Anchor Winch (Pros and Cons)

    All winches are cheaper than chiropractures. But for simplicity and depenability i would be recommending Lonestar, they win out on every test minus freefall speed.
    using the correct rope and chain is important, when using chain guard we remove 10mt of rope from the back end, we find that the c hainguard adds just that much matterial to the drum it can cause stickyness. and for 10mt less rope... not the end of the world, if it IS the end of the world, there is always dyneema to chose from.

    every mounting location is different on boats. so like scott said above, would have to ascertain weather a drum winch could be fitted for a respectable price

    Marine outfitting solutions

  10. #10

    Re: Anchor Winch (Pros and Cons)

    i have a lonestar on my 5.5m seafarer venture get bit of kits, would be buying one again if I do upgrade

  11. #11

    Re: Anchor Winch (Pros and Cons)

    Attachment 118696 Attachment 118697Attachment 118698

    Current 23' vessel with a Micks Winch (as purchased), 28 Sharkcat (5T) with Lone Star G3-2000W bohemoth (David at fitted by yours truely, including NZ's AutoAnchor winch controller ( - legend bloke and they make the Muir, Maxwell etc AA560 controllers).. the last pic is the chain over South Pacific Whitworths special on my previous Razorline 6m..

    Honestly; the Shark Cat fit-up was a complete weapon, press button for depth and she is set, 3x depth is the suggested anchoring rode, more so 1.5x in the cat as chain holds and anchor hint: add more chain = solid anchor (just not on a reef!!!) I was never to the front of the boat, and held every time.

    The Micks on the Trophy, different story and I suggest its due to the bow sprit. Anchor lowers and holds fine, but on the up there is some pain.. I've replaced the rode (rope + chain for those learning) and anchor to what I had on the Cat, but have to head up the front to turn the anchor over every now and then.. Unfortunately it seems Lone Star (via their web page) have stopped producing the tilt configuration bow sprits (Cat had the SLR600) which are awesome..
    Attachment 118699

    The South pacific, well after a few gimbal replacements (plastic) worked "ok" for the vessel, up the front to assist the anchor rode from under the winch due to chain grab and to move the pile of rode when have a small anchor well, and while there to tie off the anchor every time you move.

    Honestly, as mentioned in other posts, save your spine, save some $ and go the biggest drum winch that fits. sure the Micks on the trophy looks a bit ugly, but who cares when the boats anchored on the spot catching some reds while the misses is sun-baking topless..

    Attachment 118700Attachment 118701Attachment 118702

    My Trophy is getting new heart: 6.2L of new Mercruiser 350hp Bravo 3 fury.. So a great Chev base 5.7L 250hp Alha with the works up for grabs..
    Only take a feed, fish again...

  12. #12

    Re: Anchor Winch (Pros and Cons)

    I'm a new boatie, and after just a few weeks on water and trying to pull anchor out by hand just a couple of times I've had enough. So bought myself a LoneStar GX2 winch a few days ago, should arrive here next week. Looking forward to it, cant really see myself using anchoring without electric winch ever again.

  13. #13
    Ausfish Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Kalbarri, WA

    Re: Anchor Winch (Pros and Cons)

    Re the anchor coming up the right way----have you seen the boomerang type anchor righters? Put them just before the pick, and they simply cant come up through the bowsprit, upside down. They can be quite expensive for a a very simple bit of kit you can fab up yourself. I didn't have any s/s flatbar lying around, but I did have a bent piece of 16mm solid, so a ground a flat on each end and drilled a hole in it, job done. Mount it two or four links back from the pick, like this below, oriented so the banana shape is arching up in the middle.

    Pulled it a few dozen times, always comes through the bowsprit right way.

  14. #14

    Re: Anchor Winch (Pros and Cons)


    Awesome idea.. will bend some stainless bar up and make one before next trip out.. winner!

    *new to this not not sure how to get the pics to display or "respond" to a comment..
    Only take a feed, fish again...

  15. #15
    Ausfish Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Kalbarri, WA

    Re: Anchor Winch (Pros and Cons)

    if you google it you can come up with different designs, some images here.

    I wasn't sure if the bit of round bar had enough bend in it, compared to the boomerang types, but it works fine. You just need to be careful with any of them as they come over the roller as they spin over real quick.

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