13 October 2022

The anchor winch on Truce is a Maxwell 1200 model.  It has performed thousands of anchoring cycles without complaint and is a simple solid piece of kit.  I have two ways to control the winch, firstly by foot switches on the deck forward and secondly by a remote switch in the cockpit.

In practice I never use the remote switch in the cockpit as I cant see how the chain is leading and when the anchor is coming up to the roller.  I much prefer to walk along to the bow and use the foot switches and get a visual on what is happening with the chain and anchor.

The last year I have been thinking of using a wireless remote control.  Such a device would make tasks such as rigging the snubber much easier.  I would be able to stand anywhere in the bow to control the winch without always reaching out with a leg onto the deck button.

Just by chance I saw a remote winch control for sale, the control was for an off road vehicle winch.  The price was $25.  Could this work on a marine winch?  After all its just a momentary switch to apply power to the solenoid – what could go wrong?  Certainly worth a try, if it didn’t work I would be out of pocket by $25.  The marine anchor winch manufactures sell wireless remotes at ten times that price, just because its got boat written on it.  A quick google showed that the cheap 4WD remote I had selected bore a striking resemblance to one supplied by a European winch manufacturer at many times the price – minus a fancy anchor sticker.

Well, I purchased the cheap off road unit.  It seems well made with a waterproof seal to keep the damp out.  The hand unit uses a small 12 volt battery for power, the same battery type is used in the water tank gauge system, I have spares on board.

Wiring the unit into the existing system was easy, just four wires to connect. Red and black wires for positive and negative went into the existing power supply. For the yellow and green wires I put in a double stud and crimped terminals to the wires and connected than together. The control box I screwed on the bulkhead in the anchor locker and left the antenna wire hanging down. Then I gave the connections a liberal spraying with CRC Soft Seal.

I switched power onto the winch and checked everything with my trusty multimeter. Everything looked good. Back on deck I switched on the remote control and gave it a tentative press. Hey presto it works!

Setting and retrieving the snubber onto and off the chain is easier.  I can pose with gay abandon to the other boats in the anchorage waving my arm about with the remote in hand. I feel quite pleased with myself.


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  1. Another accomplishment, done well and cheaply. I had a warne for many years, then a 24 v husky both with long cable. Used to winch everything up with ratchet winch for a few years. Beat going to the gym. Off to Portsmouth tomorrow then Santander. Take care.


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