Anchor Chat: Stories and Testamonials from Our Customers

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October 19, 1989

Dear Lighthouse,
With many, many thank yous for all your kindnesses. Despite "Hugo's" damage to the windlass, because it continued to hold the chain, we know it saved our boat and our lives. We are grateful beyond words....

Most Sincerely, Carol & Art Prangley

May 29, 1990

It works as well as it looks.
Thank you, David M. Feiges.

February 16, 1992

Dear Lighthouse Crew,
Lorraine and I would like to express our extreme gratitude to all of you for the fabulous job you did on the custom windlass you built for Southern Cross. Any other type of windlass would have been either a nightmare installation or something just to "get by," but we installed our Lighthouse on Valentines Day and it is perfect. Really perfect. We drilled two holes in the deck and bolted the windlass on the four bolts. It glistens amid the new paint and varnish, the crowning touch on the bow of Southern Cross.

Thanks again to everyone, from the always pleasant ladies who answer the phone, to the expert machinists who took special interest in our project. We could not be more thrilled and can hardly wait to start using the best Valentine's present we ever received.

Sincerely, Rob and Lorraine Coleman

January 5, 1997

Dear Lighthouse,
How are you? Thought you might like an update. In a word, our Lighthouse windlass is perfect. We have lived "on the hook", non-stop since leaving San Diego in May, 1995. We anchored throughout the southern Sea of Cortez and because of the dangerous summer weather, we often had to weigh anchor and leave a lee shore in the middle of the night (record 4 times in five different nights.) Our Lighthouse never failed, no matter what the depth or bottom conditions.

We departed for French Polynesia in April,1996 and made landfall at mystical Nuka Hiva island in the Marquesas. Since our arrival in the South Pacific, we have sailed to the Tuamotu Archipelago, to Tahiti and throughout the Society Islands, and then 1400 miles north to Fanning Island, where we are spending the cyclone season. We have anchored in tropical lagoons rife with coral head, busy mud-bottom harbors like Papeete, Tahiti and Cooks Bay, Moorea. Our deepest anchorage was 120 feet deep at Isle Tahaa, but our Lighthouse windlass cranked up our 3/8 BBB chain and anchor like it was only 10 feet deep. Magnificient! Your ads say "Simply the Best", and knowing we have the best windlass on the market brings confidence and sleep-filled nights into our cozy floating home. We cannot thank you and your staff enough for the fine windlass you produce. How can you top perfection? Hope 1997 is great one for you. Say hello to Mike.

Cordially, Robby Coleman, Southern Cross

February 29, 1992
To: Practical Sailor
From: Charles R. Conn II

Fellow Sailors,
I read with interest the letter from Lighthouse Manufacturing and your reply, January 1, 1992. We installed a Lighthouse 1501 on our Beneteau First 42 in the spring of 1987 prior to two Atlantic crossings and three years of full time cruising in the West Indies and along the coast of Venezuela. It performed superbly, and in comparison to some on other boats we met, I wouldn't be surprised if it is "the best windlass in the world."

I couldn't agree more with Mr. Nicholson's premise that ample all-chain rode and the ease of retrieval and re-anchoring with a powerful electric windlass are critical for serious cruisers, enabling restful nights and happy, secure awakenings. But I think his stated requirements for 1300 lbs. Pull (vs. 1000 for Lighthouse) and reversing motor capability lead him (and you) to a somewhat artificial choice of the Lofrans over the Lighthouse for value. In actual practice over three years, using a 44 lb. Bruce and 60 lb. CQR anchors with 300 feet of 5/16" high test chain, and anchoring in depths to 80 feet on occasion, we found the power of the lighthouse to be more than adequate for fast retrievals. And the easily adjustable friction clutch made control of chain run-out speed easy.

Given comparable performance characteristics for comparable prices (about $2,900 for Lighthouse w/o reversing vs. $2,600 for the Lofrans) the all stainless steel construction gives an enormous advantage to the Lighthouse, for my money. After 5 years in the tropics, ours looks and performs as it did in 1987. On the other hand, we met many cruisers who had experienced significant mechanical and structural failures owing to the corrosion of aluminum windlass housings.

One of the things ads and spec sheets don't tell you is what kind of service you'll get when you run into snags with your equipment. I've had in general wonderful support from many marine suppliers, but Lighthouse Manufacturing is a standout in this department. He spent literally hours on the phone with me, consulting on my novel installation in the anchor locker of my production sailboat. And when the windlass motor failed in the Canary Islands, (owing to a seawater dousing I was responsible for), he immediately sent a new one to our next stop in Barbados, without charge, trusting me to return the damaged one.

Yours truly, CC

P.S. I'm also indebted to Lighthouse for the suggestion of using modeling clay to plug the hawse pipe around the chain to block seawater from entering the chain locker.

July 4, 1996

To: Mr. Daniel Spurr, Editor Practical Sailor
From: Dwight F. Rettie

On the whole I found your article on windlasses fairly interesting, except for one thing: you completely omitted the one windlass I have every reason to think is the best available, the Lighthouse 1501. I shopped long and hard before buying one and spoke with several people who had one on their boat.

I have owned a Lighthouse 1501 for several years and it has performed flawlessly. Though it would end up being the most expensive you would have covered, quality and long life often cost more. The Lighthouse motor is, I believe, the only small boat windlass motor rated to operate at full power continuously-unlike others that are essentially take offs of automotive starter motors and cannot take that kind of duty. The motor is also out of the weather in a horizontal configuration that is easier to install than vertical models. Considering the fact that you took trouble to cover at least one unit of which "someone ought to be ashamed," it strikes me as genuine shame you didn't include "the best."

I should perhaps add: I have no connection whatever with Lighthouse-merely a very satisfied customer who has no qualms about recommending it to a friend.

Sincerely, Dwight F. Rettie