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4788 windlass relay location-gctid813556

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    4788 windlass relay location-gctid813556

    My windlass has voltage to the foot switches but the windlass does not work either up or down shorted across the switchs nothing

    You said you have power at the switches, so you've got the switch turned on (that stumped me the first time).

    I guess you should check at the windlass itself to see if you have corroded contacts. John Higgins did a write-up a while ago of cleaning/repairing his windlass. Search for that, it might help. Those windlasses suck a lot of power. I guess my next check would be good clean contacts at the battery.

    Good luck!


      I had the same issue when I first got our 4788. The windless would pull up the anchor but would not drop it. Not the worst problem to have, as the other way around would have been a real pain.

      I removed the pedals and contacts accessing from the anchor locker in the bow in front of the v berth. I cleaned the contacts and re-assembled and it worked fine ever since.

      Good Luck,

      Jerome Robbins
      Commodore, Fidalgo Yacht Club - 2019
      Anacortes, WA

      Presently: 1999 Bayliner 2859 Ciera Express, V8-7.4L
      Previously owned:2001 Bayliner 4788 - twin 370 Cummins,
      1994 Bayliner Ciera 2855 V8-7.4L
      1994 Bayliner Classic 2252 V6-5.2L


        Is it chocked both ways. It will just lock up. One thing to try is release some chain a few feet. Put it in windlass pull on chain have admiral hit foot switch.
        jim and Anna 1994 4788 Refresh 310 Hinos


          I presume it's a Muir Cougar. It's possible that the motor brushes aren't making contact. I had that intermittent fault a while back. If that is the case, you'll have to remove the motor and have it looked at by an electric motor repair shop. Often they are just stuck and need some grease so they don't bind.

          Schematics and a parts/manual is available online. Removing the windlass requires power disconnection and undoing 4 nuts off the bolts holding it to the bowsprit board in the chain locker (access by lifting the master bed head wall mirror) and cutting thru the silicon around the housing, then using a pry bar to slowly lever the windlass from the deck. It's a two person job - one on deck and the other in the chain locker to get the nuts off. You may as well check the gearbox for excess gear play and any oil leakage at the same time.

          I trust this assists. Cheers
          John H
          Brisbane QLD Aust

          2000 - 4788/Cummins 370's


            I had the same issue and it was just the foot switches and I had power to the switches as well.but nothing moving on the windlass. I was given ideas that it was the windlass and brushes etc and / or relay solenoid. The relay was a non issue because I did not have one.

            I would keep it simple and do the foot switches first. Cheap and easy.




              Check the ground wires at the bracket just inside/aft of the chain hole. It gets a lot of spray as the chain comes in and will corrosion on the mating surfaces.

              Mine was intermittent and cleaning the mating surfaces fixed my problem.

              But it wasn't long after and I had to have the windlass pulled and the motor rebuilt at an alternator shop.

              I was amazed at the corrosion build up inside the windlass case (although it was 15 years), even with it covered when not in use.
              1999 4788


                If you have those foot switches, you probably do not have relays . Are they round rubber switches with chrome rings around them ?

                If so, just remove the screws from the rings, lift the ring off and then the rubber and take apart the switch. Clean the contacts and it should work good as new for a few years.
                Huntington Beach, California
                2018 Element 16
                Currently looking for 32xx in South Florida
                Former Bayliners: 3218, 2859, 2252, 1952


                  Maybe I am doing it wrong, but I don't use the foot switch at all. I drive from the upstairs helm 100% of the time and I have a remote switch their and yes I have a relay in the chain locker next to the winch motor. Push the rocker switch on the bridge forward to let the anchor out and push the switch toward the rear and bring the anchor up.
                  Just love being on my 3870............Bill
                  1985 3870
                  Twin 130 Mits. not turbo charged
                  Name of boat is "Plenty Of Fish"
                  Live on board full time.
                  North Myrtle Beach, SC