How to Change a Windlass Gypsy


Last Updated on September 13, 2023 by Amy

As part of our outfitting process, we replaced our anchor chain with a longer, stronger, and lighter anchor chain. This meant we had to replace our windlass gypsy too so that it would work with the new size of the anchor chain.

The anchor chain and windlass are all critical parts of our anchoring system, so it’s important that we get these all working correctly, especially since we anchored nearly half the nights on our world circumnavigation.

Our windlass is a Quick Dylan electric windlass which we’ve been very happy with since 2014.

Steps to Change a Windlass Gypsy

If it is an electric windlass, disconnect it from the power source.

Remove clutch bush. We use our universal deck key from Mantus, or you can use a winch handle.

Slid the winch drum up and off.

Lift the chain fall cover.

Remove the screws using a hex key or Allen wrench. Put them aside to reuse with the new gypsy.

Wedge open the pressure lever.

Pull the gypsy up and off.

Use a toothbrush (or paintbrush, or cloth….) to apply marine grease to both sides of the new gypsy.

Grease the shaft thread.

Refer to your owner’s manual to make sure you install the gypsy right-side-up.

Re-install screws.

Put the drum back on the shaft.

Reinstall clutch bush.

Reconnect the power and test.

Good job!

Watch the Video: Changing a Windlass Gypsy


  1. Thanks David for the responses. I was thinking Rocna but the videos on the Mantus look interesting. Reviews give it a very high rating. Also considering the Ultra having used one in very soft mud with great results. Safe travels.


  2. Hi David,

    Couple of questions on your anchor set up if you are OK responding.

    1. Did you go with 3/8″ high test? Are you going all chain and if so how many ft are you carrying?
    2. What anchors do you carry and how has your experience been with them?
    3. Have you set up and deployed a stern anchor and if so what is this set up on the FP?

    Much thanks for the info.


    1. Hi Gary,

      Always happy to help answer questions!

      1) Yes, we have 3/8″ HT chain. We went with all chain and have 300′ in preparation for deeper anchorages in places like the South Pacific, although, we used quite a bit of chain up here in Maine and Nova Scotia.
      2) Our primary anchor is an 85lb Mantus. The boat came with a 45lb Delta, but we had prior dragging experience with a Delta and have never used it though it’s still on board. We sleep really soundly with our Mantus which is about the highest praise I can offer. It held solid in a 40+ knot squall with 180 deg wind shifts!
      3) We have not deployed a stern anchor yet, though since I would guess we’ll have to do so eventually, here is the set up I imagine. We have quite a bit of rope rode that came with the boat, which we would use for the stern anchor. Once set, we’d cleat the rode off on one of our stern cleats. In order to retrieve, we’d use one of our aft winches to help as needed.

      Hope that helps!


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