Introduction

A windlass refers to any pulley or mechanical system used to shift large weights in a vertical or horizontal direction. Advanced anchor windlass systems effectively operate the anchor and associated machinery. On ships and large vessels such as container vessels or oil carriers, the windlass is located in a specialized location at the fore of the ship, known as the windlass chamber or room. However, some vessels also have the windlass positioned on the forecastle deck.

 

The benefit of having the windlass on the deck is that it allows a higher degree of control while operating the device. In addition, space that would have been occupied by a windlass chamber can now be effectively used for storage, which is a high-demand commodity on board any ship.

 

Having the windlass on the deck would also make it more accessible in the event of emergencies. Personnel on board would find it easier to operate, especially in the case of a manual or partially-manual system, if the windlass is positioned on the upper deck as compared to a closed room. However, having the windlass on the upper deck also raises the possibility of damage due to the elements. In general, the forecastle deck is subject to green water loading (rare, but still a possibility) and bow slamming.

 

Anchor windlass

 

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