I am surprised to read comments about building a shelf. In my B32 (2003) the Cayman 88 is fitted onto what is obviously (to me) an original shelf which is simply the aft part of the area under the aft end of the anchor locker doors. It all looks very neat and professional and the windlass works very well. My electrics are on the starboard side and the relay is in the (congested) connection panel behind the switch panel. There seems to be no performance issues with cables that long. The installation was professionally done when the new boat was fitted out but I have added a remote control system. I would say that wireless remote control is an essential facility to have, especially if you single-hand. I have to say that my Cayman 88 with the remote is a total joy to use and, every time I use it, I remember the miserable, wet, messy, back-breaking struggles I had on previous boats which had no windlass. With a remote you can set and recover your big heavy anchor wit your hands in your pockets.
If anyone wants photos of my installation I can get them when next up at the boat – probably in the next couple of days.
There isn’t much maintenance to do but I’d advise taking the gypsy off every year and giving the mating surfaces a good clean and grease (I use seacock grease). The little manual ratchet (which I’ve never used) which manually locks the gypsy is always solid with salt at the end of a season. I habitually hose the windlass down occasionally, trying to get fresh water under its mounting surface to minimise corrosion, but it’s 18 years old and looks almost new.
Don’t get the proper Lofrans ‘marine’ remote – get a cheap winch remote off eBay. Forget wired remotes: it would be hopeless trying to connect it up in a heavy sea.
Don’t bother with a chain counter either … the Cayman releases about 5 metres every 10 seconds. I certainly wouldn’t bother with a separate battery unless you anchor constantly. Just keep the engine running when using the windlass.