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Absolutely Not. From an engineering standpoint it is not possible to create a free fall unit that is as reliable, over many seasons of use & a variety of conditions, than a non-freefall unit. All LSM winches are direct drive, our units do not rely on one way bearings, magnetic breaks, actuators, or additional gearing for deployment. Simply stated there are less parts to fail & no break or removal of the solid shaft from the gearbox. Your anchor will deploy at a controlled drop speed every time. This eliminates any possibility of the winch letting go while underway (a potential life threatening situation), ensures higher load ratings while at anchor, keeps maintenance to a minimum, avoids chain piling on top of your anchor under deployment, and helps to prevent overruns and tangles while deploying the anchor.
Consumer Satisfaction is paramount with LSM. As such we do not, and will not, create a product that has the potential of causing more problems for a consumer than they fix. So, to combat the issue of getting your anchor down in current, the GX series was engineered to drop up to 50% faster than most other units on the market under power. Even with this fast drop rate they are still #1 in retrieval speed under load.
In our experience customers have a higher level of satisfaction over seasons of use and variety of depths with non-freefall units. Our commercial users especially appreciate the simplicity and durability of our non-free designs. All GX and Elite series winches feature a Emergency Manual Release for emergency deployment only.
Unlike capstan and windlass winch types that drop the rode underneath the top deck, drum winches are anchoring systems that keep the rode on the drum. The advantages to this style of system are endless, drum winches offer a fast drop and retrieval rate under power, are easy to install, and can be used with almost any type of rope and chain. There are no tangles, no chance of slippage, and in the Lone Star System no clutches or actuators to fail.
With a drum style anchor winch you must first consider the length and diameter of your required rode, then choose the correct winch model to hold that rode based upon drum size. Note Double braid nylon and dyneema style line available here have a higher breaking strain per diameter than standard 3 strand lines.
View more on how to choose the right GX Series winch for your boat below:
LSM build products with consumer satisfaction in mind first & foremost, over the long term. This has led LSM to pioneer many innovations in the field with several worlds first designs and over 12 Patents and Design Registrations under their belt for innovation. Lone Star’s current GX Series feature the first and only IP68 motors with proven certification (Dec 2015). They feature oversized drum shafts, a twin shaft bearing design for less side load on the transmission, Italian Manufactured gears and cases, oversized custom designed and manufactured motors, an Emergency Manual Release as standard, and a 316Ss frame, spool, and shaft construction.
GX Series motors are the highest speed and torque models on the market today per drum size, and are made for real longevity, not to an easy sales pitch. GX Series motors feature a 6160 T6 hard anodised aluminium external construction, not stainless steel. Find out why here : Aluminium vs. Stainless in Thermal Dissipation
GX Series are the fastest down under power and up under load per drum size on the market. Average mid size drum winches will drop at around 100ft per minute. Ours do it at around 150. Our winches also retrieve at about the same speed as they pay out. They are also extremely power efficient, only using what is required to do the job! The working scope on the GX Series is wider than most others on the market. This is the sort of performance that just cant be faked, and is why the GX series is so popular with commercial operators. All this means you are purchasing a fast, ultra reliable winch right out of the box with no clutches to fail or add ons. At LSM Reliability is paramount.
Before you spend $1,500-$3,000 or more on a new anchor winch, view the full drum winch shootout here:
With an additional Side by Side longevity comparison here:
All GX Series Lone Star Anchor Winches feature fully sealed IP68 Certified Motors (Worlds First for Anchor Winches), Italian Manufactured Transmissions, oversized solid 316SS drum shafts, & twin shaft bearings.
All fabrication and assembly is completed utilising western manufacturing methods labour & QC in Melbourne, Australia.
Find out more about our Manufacturing and QC here:
The GX Series drop speeds are from 139ft to 170ft in the first minute (with a full drum), depending on which of the 6 models you choose. This is without any additional fastfall devices.
An even bigger difference between the GX series and our competitors however, is our retrieval speed under load. In 2014 the team at LSM set out to develop the ultimate anchor winch motor range, and with the help of the Worlds Largest DC motor manufacture 5 new GX Series motors were developed. These have proven to be a quantum leap forward in performance and reliability, proof being that no other winch manufacture can claim their retrieval speeds under a standard load being the same or close to the same as drop speeds under no load!
Our engineering at play here is the same principle used when choosing an outboard for your boat. You could use a 50hp for a 20ft boat, you will eventually get where you want to go, but it will be slower and the motor will be working harder, which will ultimately lead to a poor performance, poor efficiency, and a shorter working life.
Check out a video on drop and retrieval performance & longevity against the competition below:
When deck mounting an anchor winch this really is no concern. However if you have a tight anchor locker, please print one of the PDF links below and check to unsure you have adequate room prior to purchase.
Motors can be rotated to 24 different positions, so your primary concern is depth (drum diameter). If you have depth to clear the drum size the motor can usually be rotated forward to accommodate.
Drum Winches do not get line tangles as they do not twist the line like a windlass system.
Drum Winches can tangle if the line is over payed out (such as in a freefall system), or if the operator is not paying attention under power.
As a rule however, no, direct drive drum winch systems do not have issues with line tangles.
Feel free to Contact Us with any questions about your Lone Star Winch, regardless of place of purchase. Every GX Series winch is backed by a 5 Years plus Lifetime Warranty against water ingress. We keep all spares in stock so you can rest assured if your winch ever does require attention you will be back on the water in no time at no additional cost.