Adjustment of brake settings of the windlass

When the brake lining has worn away, it can be adjusted to render the necessary holding force. Often manufacturers recommend replacing it with a new one after a specific reduction in the thickness of the brake lining. However, when the liner thickness reduces within the limits applicable, the brake setting can be adjusted with the regulating screw as a makeshift measure.


Both the linings, upper and lower should be changed at the same time. During liner replacement, it is very important to secure the chain and anchor with extra lashings if the ship’s staff is carrying out this job at sea. The job should preferably be carried out in calm waters without uneven rolling or pitching.


When the anchor and chain are secured by the stopper and extra lashings, the brake assembly can be checked.


Anchor windlass brake


For that, the brake has to be fully opened, and all the pins connecting to the brake has to move smoothly. Cleaning, greasing, or hammering pins may be required for this purpose.


The brake nut can be used to adjust the length of the brake spindle, which in turn corresponds to the liner thickness. It is very important that while replacing the brake liner assembly of a windlass, the position of the brake screw-down lever and the position of brake bands corresponding to the brake position is marked.


After replacing the liner, misalignments are often observed while reassembling the whole unit. The spherical roller bearings assembled to the main shaft are precision-built, and care must be taken while removing them. If any roller bearings fail, they should be completely replaced. Never strike a roller bearing with a steel hammer.


A wood hammer or soft hammer should be used to strike it lightly. Lastly, the foundation of the windlass should be examined after and before each anchoring operation.

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