Thursday, April 10, 2014

Honey Ryder Projects - Windlass Switch Cover

We have a windlass switch in the cockpit that will allow us to lower and raise the anchor via from the helm.  We have not used it because we prefer to tag team when anchoring - one on the bow and one at the helm.  However, it's nice to have this in case emergencies or if by chance, one of us is ever singlehanding the boat.
The location of the switch is on the aft port panel inside our cockpit, right next to the engine panel.  We find that we can and have accidentally bumped it while hoisting or storing the outboard motor or a few other times.  We generally don't realize it for several second....."What is that noise?  Hum?  Crap - the windlass." and we find we have dumped out 20ft+ of chain in no time!  D-oh!
The solution was to get a new switch that locks.  Those run $75+.  Glup.  Plus switching out switches isn't always straight forward.  Our next idea was to have someone weld up two small brackets that would act as a cage, thus protecting the switch.  We found a metal fabrication shop here and they could and would do our small job.....or so they said....for $100.  Maybe that was their way of saying "we really don't want to mess with a tiny job like this."
Plan C- I said something to Tom about too bad there isn't a deep footman's strap as two of those would work.  That got Tom thinking and he pulled out a couple of extra I straps to see if that would work. Too small but the concept would work.  Off to the local chandlery.  $5 later and we have a homemade protection cage for our windlass switch.