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Model -No.50 Manual Ratchet Windlass

Prices from £6,550 £7,860
-No.50 Manual Ratchet Windlass

The No.50 windlass is modelled on the original old ratchet windlass made by Lunenburg Foundry in Nova Scotia for so many years. We restored one of the originals some years ago and sadly when we enquired about purchasing new parts, the foundry told us that they no longer made their windlasses. After some consideration, we took the decision to make the parts we needed in-house, but also to record all of the dimensions of the good parts so that we could make these windlasses in the future if a customer ever needed one. In addition to the No.50, although the smaller windlasses are of a completely different design, this did provide inspiration for our other ratchet windlass designs: the model No.20 No.25 and No.30. 

The No.50 can be supplied with a wide range of specifications, from a basic two ratchets, brake, cain gypsy and warping drum, through to a windlass with two gypsies, two warping drums with dog clutches to facilitate independent operating of each warping drum and gypsy, and two brake assemblies. It can also be supplied with a power function: the model No.51, which is covered in this website. Although we can provide a windlass with a standard set of dimensions, these windlasses tend to be made to order and therefore made to fit a specific vessel.  

The No.50 is a manually operated windlass, suitable for vessels up to 65 tonnes displacement.

The No.50 can be supplied as a powered windlass, with the motor and gearbox positioned below deck and a dog clutch, as a means for selecting manual or powered operating, incorporated into the main shaft arrangement on deck.

For more information, including technical data and downloads, click on the relevant section heading at the bottom of the page.

As described in the text above, the No.50 can be supplied with a gypsy, brake, warping drum and dog clutch arrangement at each side of the windlass, which can facilitate independent operating of the warping drum and gypsy, for example if the operator needs to work with the warping drum whilst the vessel is at anchor. This image shows a typical gypsy, brake, warping drum and dog clutch assembly, in this case with a 16 mm chain.

Additional Information

The No.50 is a large windlass, designed for vessels of up to around 65 tonnes displacement. It is supplied with a hand wheel operated brake arrangement. Gypsies for chain sizes 13, 14, 16 and 18 mm can be supplied with this windlass, although specials and imperial gypsies can be machined in house for any desired size of chain within this range. The windlass can be operated by one person, or by several crew, depending on the circumstances. It is not uncommon for two crew members to operate each lever or spike, generating a significant pulling force, sufficient to retrieve heavy ground tackle in adverse conditions.


With deck machinery generally there is a need to take great care and maintain a high level of awareness with regard to the moving parts of both the machinery and associated equipment such as ground tackle, chain, ropes etc. Operating and Maintenance details can be downloaded from this site, and should be read and understood before attempting to operate the windlass. The procedures for anchor deployment and retrieval provide warnings, to alert the operator to potential hazards and therefore it is essential that the procedures are followed carefully.


The main shaft bearings are lubricated via grease nipples installed into the bearing caps; the pawl(s) will also fitted with a grease nipple. The brake assembly can be greased using a pot of grease and a brush such as a small paint brush. A light oil is recommended for the pawls inside of the ratchet assemblies, and then the same grease pot and brush method for applying grease to the ratchet/star wheel part of the ratchet assembly. The windlass should be covered when the vessel is not in use or if the windlass is not in use for any extended periods of time.


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