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Windlass Installation Issues

The installation of the windlass itself is another demonstration of the Prout Catamarans lack of attention. In our Escale the windlass is held in place by four hex nuts and an assortment of washers. I question the use of mere washers and hex nuts to hold the windlass in place. A backing plate seems more appropriate. Then again, none of the cleats on board are supported by backing plates either... another point on the task list.

On the anchor locker side of the windlass, three washers have an OD of 1" while the last one is barely bigger than the hex nut it is supposed to support. Naturally, one may wonder why such a small washer - that's because Prout Catamarans drilled the hole for the electrical connection so close to the mounting hole that a larger washer would not have fit.

Prout Hawse Hole for Anchor Locker Chain

Instead of installing a hawse pipe for the chain, Prout opted to just drill a hole through the fiberglass/plywood deck. The plywood is not protected in any way from the elements or the abrasive effects of our chain running through it. Solid fiberglass decks in high stress areas with expected penetrations (windlass locations, deck cleats, etc.) would have put the boat in a higher quality class.

We'll have to over-drill the core from below (without damaging the upper skin), fill it in with epoxy, and redrill the hole in order to achieve the same result - a much more labor-intensive operation. For now, we have coated the inside of the hole with a layer of epoxy. The construction of a backing plate is under way.

Best Estimate for Time Required:

Construct backing plate for windlass 3 hours
Construct backing plates for all large cleats on board TBD
Install backing plates, re-bed cleats TBD
Re-line hull penetrations with epoxy edges TBD

Total 3 hours