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I just installed a new windlass...

Guest Contributor

I just installed a new windlass in my ‘87 340 Sedan Bridge replacing the working stock winch. I used the existing 6 gauge black and red wires that run directly between the bow and the starboard battery where I installed the solenoid and circuit breaker.

When I press the UP button, the windlass operates.  When I press the DOWN button, the breaker pops.  So, I lifted the black wire coming from the windlass at the solenoid and tested again.  The windlass operates in UP and not in DOWN, but this time the breaker did not pop.

My conclusion is that the black wire between the windlass and the solenoid is chassis grounded somewhere along its path. 

My question is: Where along its path would the black wire get grounded?  Also, is there a schematic available for this model?


I appreciate any insight that you may have.  Thanks!


Rising Contributor
Welcome to the forum.

Not knowing what new windlass was installed...

Here is a link to the Lofrans X2 windlass w/ the manual link.

On page 14 it shows the wiring, that would be typical for any windlass. A thick black and protected red from the battery, both to the control box. This model has two wires from the control box to the windlass motor. The model on my boat has three wires .

There are also smaller control wires to the switch(es).

On my boat the control box is about a foot away from the windlass.

What model windlass? Where is the control box?

Guest Contributor
Hi wingless. Thanks for getting back to me. I installed a Lewmar Pro Fish700. The solenoid is installed in the battery compartment and the up/down switch is in the dash on the bridge. My problem lies with the existing black wire that runs between the windlass and the the battery. Somewhere along its route, it is grounded. I need to find and remove this ground so that the circuit does not short when the solenoid reverses the polarity.
There is a ground block behind the breaker panel and I think that this may be the point where the wire is grounded. If I could find a schematic, I would know for sure. Otherwise I would have to pull the wire off the block and trace it.

Rising Contributor

Thanks for the info. Here is the manual for that Lewmar Pro Fish 700.

The wiring diagram is on page 14.

My suggestion is to disconnect both wires run from the contactor to the windlass at both ends.

With the far ends isolated / insulated from everything else, use a multimeter set on resistance (Ohms) to make these measurements:
wire to wire - should be infinite
each individual wire to battery positive and to battery negative - should be infinite

Make a temporary solid connection between the far ends of those disconnected wired and measure the resistance of that wire loop. This should be a low resistance, under 10 Ohms. (Nulling the meter leads will provide a better measurement, but not required.)

Please report on the results.

Yes a wiring diagram would be handy, but it is not going to document defective / failed wiring.

The brute force method may be required to locate the failure.

Note for safety, always unplug the boat and disconnect all battery negative terminals before working on the wiring.

Guest Contributor
Hi Hambone , I can't help with your problem. But I also
have a 1987 sedan bridge and would love to have a windlas have seen no boats like ours with one.Would love to see how yours is installed.Is there a anchor locker?

Guest Contributor
Hi quack, If your boat has a winch, then you have 12v in the anchor locker. I mounted my solenoid in the anchor locker, then picked up a wireless windlass controller on Amazon for $50. Works like a charm. Let me know if you have any specific questions.

Guest Contributor
Thank you for getting back to me I have not been on here in a while.Was wondering what kind of windless you have and is there a deck hatch.I have to go below to get at chain.I am in Tennessee , were are you located?