We have oversize anchors and chain to deal with tough conditions and so require an oversize windlass as well. Though we don’t like the extra weight on the bow, we think it’s worth it to have a reliable, quick way to weigh anchor, especially when a rapid retreat from ice is necessary. Our Ideal Windlass is a truly rugged piece of gear that just keeps on ticking, despite the abuse we hand out to it.
Update: Unfortunately, we did not have a good experience with the company the last time we sent the windlass in for service; in fact, they reassembled the windlass incorrectly and shipped it back to us in that state. However, the company was sold in 2016 and we have not heard anything regarding quality of service since then.