Maxwell’s innovative approach to design resulted in the introduction of automatic rope/chain windlasses to the global marine market during the mid-1990’s. These were a drastic departure from all other windlasses, revolutionary in design and technical features. Subsequently, building on the success of these products, Maxwell designed and developed the exciting RC range of automatic rope/chain windlasses. With characteristic Maxwell ingenuity, they broke design barriers with the development of both a vertical and horizontal rope/chain windlass range. Incorporating two unique and internationally patented features. The RC and HRC Series attest to Maxwell’s ongoing commitment to innovative design and development.

The selection process of your anchoring system

Selecting anchor-handling equipment requires considering the boat’s style and size, expected anchoring conditions, and ground tackle’s weight and type. Maxwell Marine offers a wide range of windlasses to fit various ground tackles, bow configurations, locker spaces, and power requirements.

  • The revolutionary vertical 316 stainless steel RC Series automatically handles rope/chain combination rodes. Similarly, the horizontal HRC series does the same and is suitable for vessels up to approximately 24 meters (80 feet)
  • The traditional VW (Vertical Windlass) Series design manually handling a rope and chain combination rode. The groundbreaking exception in the VW Series is the hybrid VW10 which blends the utilitarian features of the VW Series with the convenience of handling rope and chain in the chain wheel
  • The VWC (Vertical Windlass with Chainpipe) and HWC (Horizontal Windlass with Chainpipe) Series, handle all-chain rodes safely and effectively
  • The multipurpose VC (Vertical Capstan) Series suits all types of line handling.

Vertical or Horizontal?

Vertical systems have several advantages: They take up less space on deck and are easier to maintain. They are less expensive than equivalent horizontal models. Chain, or rope/chain alignment with the bow roller, while not as critical as horizontal windlass alignment, should be within a tolerance of about +/- 2% for smooth retrieval of chain or rope/chain. With vertical anchoring systems, more chains are in contact with the chainwheel minimizing the possibility of chain jumping. Line-pull on the warping drum can be in any direction, as opposed to fore and aft only, on horizontal models.

Horizontal models excel in situations with extreme deck thickness (over 200mm – 8”) and limited below-deck accessibility. Additionally, they are advantageous when locker space is limited, or two anchors need to be handled from one winch.

Chain or Rope/Chain anchoring system?

Chain only

A rode consisting entirely of short link anchoring chain provides the ultimate in holding security. Chafe resistance combined with excellent catenary effect ensures the best holding and is suitable for use on all Maxwell anchoring windlasses including those designed for use with rope/chain combination rodes.

Rope and Chain

A rode consisting of a combination of short link chain and nylon rope, 8-plait Brait preferred, provides a good compromise between holding security, weight, and shock absorption. A length of chain attached to the anchor provides good chafe resistance for those portions of the rode often touching the sea floor. The remainder of the rode being nylon rope which significantly reduces the weight of the rode and provides some shock absorption and quieter operation.

This type of rode is only suitable for use with Maxwell windlasses designed specifically for rope/chain combination rodes. The length of the chain or rope is only limited by chain locker size, so it is possible to have a longer length of chain (used for most anchoring situations) and then additional rope (for those times where it is required to anchor in deeper water). Remember, don’t leave a vessel anchored on the rope rode for long without monitoring to prevent potential chafe issues.

The Best of All Worlds

For over 50 years, Maxwell has signified top-tier performance in anchoring solutions for pleasure boats, superyachts, and commercial vessels. Furthermore, this global reputation for excellence evolved through continuous R&D, innovative design, customer service, and an unmatched commitment to style and quality. Maxwell understands that boat owners desire not only flawlessly functioning equipment but also aesthetically pleasing products performing to the highest standards. Maxwell’s anchoring systems are renowned for their reliability and performance throughout the international marine leisure industry. Our range of windlasses, capstans and accessories is extensive, providing anchoring solutions for vessels up to 90 meters (300 feet).

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