Anchor winch problems

I was out the other day at the back of Gi and dropped my anchor.(It is a Maxwell anchor winch)
When the time came to move on.
I started to raise the anchor and all of a sudden my sounder alarm came on (Furuno).
Stopped what I was doing and tried to work out what was going on. Couldn't figure it so continued to raise the anchor.
Again my sounder alarm went off again and I noticed it was the low voltage alarm.
It was dropping below 10v. The engine was running in idle.
I stopped and the voltage went back up to mid 13 - 14v (normal).
I raised it again and it must of dropped so low it shut my radio first, then my gps and then my sounder. This has never happened before.
I then increase the rpm and got the anchor up and didn't use it again.
Got back home and went to flush the motor and had 2 dead batteries.
Batteries I think were in good condition and never had an issue before.
Could my winch be drawing power constantly or something stupid like that.
Has anyone experienced anything like this or have any ideas.

Ben82's picture

Posts: 94

Date Joined: 01/11/11

Not an expert by any means

Wed, 2012-04-18 19:47

Not an expert by any means just a regular sparky but it sound to me like it could be a problem with the altinator on your motor

Posts: 160

Date Joined: 08/07/09

Cheers mate

Wed, 2012-04-18 19:54

Did cross my mind and aren't ruling it out.

Will put a meter on it on Friday.

Strange that the volts went straight back up and stayed there as normal when the winch wasn't in use.


carnarvonite's picture

Posts: 7609

Date Joined: 24/07/07

Power draw

Wed, 2012-04-18 19:59

Sounds like the power draw on the winch has gone up for some reason and is causing the voltage to drop right down when its working.

Suggest having a good look at the winch to see if its spinning free and not binding.

Posts: 9358

Date Joined: 21/02/08

I think its pretty normal for

Wed, 2012-04-18 20:11

I think its pretty normal for the volatage to plumet when you turn a winch on, they have a massive draw.

On my tinny, I could generate the sounder warning just from the draw starting the motor, so that in itself isn't a problem.

How old are the batteries? They're probably just shagged?


strike_zone's picture

Posts: 402

Date Joined: 09/09/10

batteries need replacing

Thu, 2012-04-19 02:20

thats what happens when your battery is knackered the voltage reading you see on your sounder is what your motor is putting into it not the output

Posts: 160

Date Joined: 08/07/09


Thu, 2012-04-19 18:18

Can see where you are comming from.

The only thing is the volts go back to normal when I stop the winch.

strike_zone's picture

Posts: 402

Date Joined: 09/09/10

huge current draw

Fri, 2012-04-20 03:14

anchor winches draw approx around 80 amps when under load unfotunatly the altenator on your motor probably supplies about half of that so if your battery hasnt got much life left in it your electronics are going to blank out because of the sudden voltage drop then when you stop your winch your sounder will show the 13-14 volt charge rate again it will take your motor a lttle while to replace the amps that the winch has sucked out of your battery i hope this has helped you out the other thing to consider is have the installers used the correct gauge of wire when installing it the cable should be as thick as the battery leads from the motor

scotto's picture

Posts: 2152

Date Joined: 21/04/08


Thu, 2012-04-19 06:10

My thoughts are your batteries are knackered mate.

neville hood's picture

Posts: 51

Date Joined: 26/09/11

This had me a bit worried on

Thu, 2012-04-19 08:04

This had me a bit worried on my boat The voltage would drop heaps when i lifted my sarca on the stress free maxi. This would be normal but too much use would not help the batteries over time. Like the boys said your batteries are probably shot. I now have a spare battery and box as a spare if I think i will use my winch a lot more as it fits in the battery compartment. 

just dhu it's picture

Posts: 1065

Date Joined: 14/05/09

auto sparky

Thu, 2012-04-19 19:55

i would get the wiring and system checked out , you should see on the sounder 12.4 to 13.4 volts when motor is running , if this drops when your winch starts it would indicate that theres a bad connection in the wiring loom causing a voltage drop , you need to find if the winch is wired direct to the batterys or the fuse panel on your dash.  it could be the alternator isnt cgaring enough or the charge is not getting through to the batterys due to a crapy connection to your batterys,  your batterys may have gone flat due to the bad connection or they hav not been running long enough to re instate the power drawn during start up  

NORUN NOFUN's picture

Posts: 430

Date Joined: 15/08/11

get your batteries checked out

Fri, 2012-04-20 07:45

I have a stress free anchor winch on my tub, it has top notch batteries, wiring, teminals.

When I have the motor running and then use the anchor, the battery voltage will drop. As said before, the winch will pull big amps and your voltage gauge will drop.

Save your time and money and get the batteries checked out first - take them to a battery place that can load test the batteries, not just the standard check over.