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A relatively specialized windlass, Maxwell's VW10 Series Rope Chain Windlasses are similar to the capstan versions of their RC10 Rope Chain Windlasses - featuring "hands-free" transition from chain to rope - except that it doesn't have an integral chainpipe.
This means that, if desired, the VW10 can be used to handle a second anchor, since without the integral chainpipe, it is easy to switch from the chain or rope of one rode over to the other.
As its name implies, the VW10 is also similar to the VW vertical windlass in that it can be used with all-chain rodes. If used with a spliced rope/chain combination rode, however, its "Wave Design" chainwheel allows for rode retrieval with no need to manually switch from the capstan over to the chainwheel when the chain arrives.
Without an integral chainpipe, the VW10 windlass fills a unique niche as a "spliced rope/chain"windlass which can be mounted horizontally to a vertical bulkhead or customized mounting surface.
When mounted on a centerline bulkhead inside a chain locker, as is sometimes done, this configuration allows for below deck installation.
However, care must be taken not to create too high a lead-in angle, as this can result in the chain skipping or jumping due to the chain engaging only a small fraction of the chainwheel.
VW10 windlasses are offered in two configurations:
VW10-8 — 5/16" chain, 1000W motor - This is the windlass featured here
VW10-10 — 3/8" chain, 1200W motor - See Related Products, below
VW10 Windlass features —
• Provides the versatility of operating two anchors from one winch
• Functional rope hauling from any direction using independent warping drum with clutch disengagement of chainwheel
• Capstan permits use of traditional shackle and thimble rope and chain connection, if desired
• High-quality finish on above deck components, manufactured from marine grade 316 stainless steel and chromed bronze, for long term durability.
• Cone type brake/clutch mechanism permits manual "Free Fall" anchoring. Cone clutches, unlike flat dog clutches, provide smooth progressive engagement ensuring safe operator control
• Chainwheel locking pawl
• Simplified through deck installation by modular design and precise alignment of gearbox to the topworks utilizing marine-grade stainless steel bolts
• Marine grade anodized aluminium gearbox and spacer
• Heavy duty, dual direction motor, designed for marine winches
• Easily disassembled for servicing
• As with all windlasses, use in conjunction with a chain stopper, snubber or mooring cleat to take the load when lying at anchor
• 3-year limited warranty
What's in the box (U.S. models) — windlass and chainwheel, panel mounted on/off circuit breaker, single black covered high amperage footswitch (no solenoid required), and clutch release/emergency manual retrieval handle.
Recommended options include: chain stopper (or chain snubber); see Accessories, below.
Additional options include: dual direction solenoid and second deck mounted footswitch - if dual direction powered operation is desired, wired or wireless handheld remote control, rode counter; see Related Products.
Is one of these windlasses a good choice for your boat? You can use the recommended typical boat lengths provided or, for a more rigorous determination, take the total weight of your ground tackle (anchor + rode - presumably correctly sized for your particular vessel) and multiply by 3. The maximum pull capability of the windlass should be at least as large as the resulting number.
Click here to see the Installation and User Manual for the VW10 windlass.
Heavy on the technical side...
The patented Wave Design™ rope/chain wheel incorporates two unique design concepts that greatly improve the handling and control of the rope/chain spliced rode. The outer ribs of the chainwheel are angled slightly forward ensuring that the rope and the chain are smoothly guided in the wheel during anchor retrieval.
As the rope pulls into the wheel, the opposite facing inner ribs grip the rope in an undulating manner, securing the rope more firmly in a "wave pattern" action (like a rope clutch) that is far superior to the traditional "jam cleat" manner of holding the rope used in all other rope/chain wheels on the market. Not only does this Wave Design hold the rope more securely, it is also kinder on the rope resulting in increased longevity of your anchor rode.
The ingeniously designed Wave Design™ Chainwheel on every RC Series windlass, is able to accommodate a wide range of chain pitch differences within the specified marine short-link chain size — G4, BBB, and Metric.