The vertical windlass on my boat is designed to handle only one anchor. Like many cruisers, however, I carry two bow anchors and occasionally need to use both. The problem is my windlass, like most vertical windlasses, feeds just one anchor rode through a deck pipe built into its casing. To use the windlass to handle a second anchor rode from a separate deck pipe, I had to lay aside the primary rode and hand-feed the secondary rode on to the windlass gypsy.
On my boat this entailed pulling out the length of rode to be used and piling it on deck where it could then be hand-fed onto the gypsy as the windlass lowered the anchor. This was awkward and, frankly, dangerous, because one slip could result in my hand getting caught in the machinery.
Weighing anchor was slightly less perilous, but just as awkward, because I had to tail the rode by hand as it came around the gypsy, pile it on the deck, and then afterward hand-feed it back through its deck pipe into the chain locker.
To fix the problem, I came up with a simple solution that employs a vertical anchor roller on the port cap rail, positioned so that the secondary rode coming from the starboard deck pipe passes around it and then to the windlass gypsy at the correct angle. The windlass can now draw the secondary rode out of the chain locker as easily as it does the primary rode. I still have to tail rode by hand when weighing the secondary anchor. But thanks to my rail roller I can do it while positioned above the starboard deck pipe and feed the rode straight into the chain locker without the intermediate mess of piling it on deck. Best of all, my hands are always safely distant from the turning windlass.