A windlass is a device, often made of stainless steel, used to raise and lower a boat's anchor by winding the chain. It is usually located at the bow of the boat, and can be either horizontal or vertical, and is designed to meet different needs in terms of boat deck configuration. The windlass can be either headstock or headless; the headstock is the part of the windlass that winds the anchor rope, while the windlass itself will wind a chain. The sprocket is an essential part of the windlass, designed to prevent the chain from slipping and to hold it in place. Windlasses are often made of stainless steel (inox) to resist corrosion and marine conditions. Find horizontal and vertical windlasses at the best prices on comptoir nautique. For other mooring equipment such as fenders, anchors and thrusters, please visit the"Mooring" category.

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Guindeau horizontal


A horizontal windlass is a stainless steel windlass model that is mounted horizontally on the boat's deck. It is generally used on smaller boats, as it takes up less space than vertical windlasses.

A vertical windlass, on the other hand, is a type of stainless steel windlass that is mounted vertically on the boat's deck. It is generally used on larger boats, as it can support heavier loads than horizontal windlasses.

An anchor windlass headstock is a device used to wind up the anchor rope, rather than the chain itself. This can be useful in certain cases, such as when the chain is jammed or damaged, or when the anchor is too heavy to be pulled up by hand.

The headstock is usually mounted on an articulated arm which can be pivoted to turn the anchor. This allows the anchor to be positioned so that the textile part is wound onto the headstock, rather than the chain. Once the anchor is in position, it can be reeled in using the windlass, as usual.

Ultimately, the choice between a vertical or horizontal windlass depends on your needs and the size of your boat. If you have a small boat and sail mainly in shallow waters, a vertical windlass might be a good option. If you have a larger boat or sail in deeper waters, a horizontal windlass would be more suitable.


Manual windlasses are operated by hand, usually using a crank or lever to turn the anchor chain. Electric windlasses, on the other hand, are powered by an electric motor housed in a watertight case, which makes raising or lowering the anchor quicker and easier.

Both manual and electric windlasses have their advantages and disadvantages. Manual windlasses are generally cheaper and more reliable than electric windlasses, but can be more difficult to use in some cases, such as when the anchor is very heavy. Electric windlasses are easier to use, but can be more expensive and less reliable than manual windlasses.

When buying a windlass, it's important to consider details such as chain size, motor power and the accessories needed for installation, such as dollies and brackets. It's also crucial to consider price when buying a windlass, as it can vary considerably depending on size and features.

If you have any questions about shipping, availability, prices, product lists or technical details, please do not hesitate to contact our Comptoir Nautique team.

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Guindeau horizontal
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