The windlass on my 1999 SO 45.2 is not working. It had been working intermittently before but now doesn't work at all. I can hear clicking when I push the up or down buttons, but the windlass motor does not come on. It is a Goiot, I think model 312. I suspect it is a bad relay or solenoid. There is a plastic box in the forward storage compartment (in front of the forward cabin), which I believe contains to eelectronic controls for the windlass. I cannot get the screws out to open it. They have some give but seem to be plastic, and I am afraid I will break them if I use too much force. Does anyone have any experience removing these screws and opening this box? Steve
The 36i breaker is mounted at the battery panel. I found that under load there was more than a 2V drop across the breaker, which was enough to prevent windlass operation. The relay/contactor was fine. Replaced the breaker (easy), problem solved.
Screws holding the cover on the 36i are stainless steel with flip-top plastic covers, and easily removed. I really can’t believe yours are plastic wood screws, but understand your concern.
For me, there was a click followed by chatter. I could see that power to the contactor was > 12.7 until the control button was pushed. Batteries stayed at 12.7V. I had the Admiral working the remote while I crawled around with DMM probes. No load: less than 0.1 drop across the breaker. Contactor engaged, > 2V drop. Who would have thought?
If you have some jump leads you could connect directly to the terminals by passing the solenoid. You should wear heavy gloves and safety specs. The jump leads get very hot very quickly and there may be some sparks. We had to do this for a couple of weeks a few years ago. Make sure you have communication signals. You can’t hear someone shouting from the deck.
You can diagnose which part is broken by tracking down the voltage drop in the system. If it's not across the windlass then it's not the windlass. It sounds very much like the solenoid. Open the solenoid and inspect the contacts. They look like little brass colored blocks. If they're corroded or covered in soot then sand them clean.
If it was working intermittently before, good chance that the brushes need to be replaced.
The carbon brushes will wear overtime and get shorter until they can no longer press enough on the collector of the rotor. You will have to remove the back-cover of the motor in order to get access to the brushes.
I finally got the cover off the control unit. The plastic "screws" were not screws but were latches. By pushing and turning they popped out, and the cover came off. The control unit consists of 2 solenoids, one for up and one for down. I jumped the heavy wires to bypass each solenoid, and the windlass worked fine. I just had to avoid the sparks. This indicated that it is not the brushes in the windlass motor or the circuit breaker, but could be the switches, wiring or solenoids. I replaced the solenoids, and it worked perfectly. Surprising that both solenoids stopped working at the same time, but now all is well. Thanks for all the great suggestions. Steve