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Old 16-05-2009, 20:16   #31
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Originally Posted by TaoJones View Post
An item in today's 'Lectronic Latitude is well-worth reading by those who may have concluded, after reading this thread, that a swivel is always the right answer"
Anyone with even a small bit of engineering understanding can see that these Kong and all that look like them stainless steel toys make no sense when they are loaded sideways like when the wind swings direction. For most yachts (with galvanized anchor gear), it's also the wrong material (stainless instead of galvanized).

It is very unfortunate that shops put these in the spotlight because the reason they do this is profit, not the safety of our boats. Even for the right galvanized ones, information is often inadequate and prices outragiously differing. For example, two well known places:

West Marine lists no working loads nor breaking loads for them, not even a brand name other than "West Marine" like if they produce these in the back of their stores, see West Marine: Galv Jaw And Eye Swivels Product Display

Lewis Marine on the other hand manages to list the info needed and offers them at half the price: View Catalog

We find the same ones, often with working loads casted onto the part itself, for even much less in many shops along our travels. These versions align themselves with the chain and are never loaded sideways waiting for a failure to happen.

But they don't look nice and shiny so most of us fixate on Kong and family.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 16-05-2009, 22:10   #32
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Put a few chain links between the kong swivel and the anchor and the side loading is no longer a problem.
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Old 16-05-2009, 22:42   #33
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Put a few chain links between the kong swivel and the anchor and the side loading is no longer a problem.
True, but that is a fix for when you're stuck with one as they are designed to be connected to the anchor directly. Even with that fix, they are still the wrong material for 99% of the boats that use them.

I'm sorry to be all over this but I really think that fancy looks should not be a criteria for anchoring gear when you are actually planning to use it for it's intended purpose.

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Old 17-05-2009, 05:16   #34
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Ok I have been looking at Swivels everywhere and Wasi Power Ball seems the best I can find. Even comes with a Lloyds certificate.

Has anyone had any experience with these?

Nick - What do you use?
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Old 17-05-2009, 05:27   #35
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Late to this thread, but regarding shackle strength compared to hi test chain strength, Crosby makes a higher grade shackle, the 209A (for alloy) which is about twice as strong as standard 209, IIRC.

I don't understand the twist getting into the chain when being hoisted, either. If that's the case, wouldn't it have put the opposite twist in the chain when lowering ?
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Old 17-05-2009, 06:00   #36
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... Crosby makes a higher grade shackle, the 209A (for alloy) which is about twice as strong as standard 209, IIRC...
Indeed.

Crosby’s 3/8" (7/16" pin) G-209A Alloy Shackle has a WWL of 2 Tons (4400 Lb).
http://www.thecrosbygroup.com/produc...g/BODY_062.HTM
and ➥ http://www.thecrosbygroup.com/produc...g/body_068.htm

Whereas the ACCO 3/8” G40 chain has a safe working load (SWL) of 5400 Lb.

Thus requiring the Crosby 209A 7/16” (½" pin) shackle with a WLL of about 5800 Lb. (to match).

This would still require the “over-size” link(s) on your chain, to accommodate the shackle pin.
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Old 17-05-2009, 08:37   #37
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Never used a swivel in 35 years....

I dont ever remember using a swivel on the anchor chain for any of my boats. The only times I remember a twist problem was:
  • after being anchored for an extended period of time.. like weeks
  • In the Pac NW with the tide and current spinning the boat all night
  • one boat that didnt have a grooved bow roller.
The first two situations take care of themselves while retrieving the anchor if you go slow. The third situation required a grooved bow roller.
I think you need to analyze what's really going on with your system... lack of a swivel is not the problem....
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Old 17-05-2009, 08:46   #38
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I have often used one of these....

Or a similar forged high end product like Wichard...
West Marine: High-Resistance D-Shackles Product Display
I know... it's stainless, but has a rated strength of 16500 lbs and will fit your 3/8 chain. Unless you are not retrieving your anchor often, I see no issue with the stainless, galv mix in the chain. Even if you did start to see the first couple of links get corroded, (which I've not observed) it's easy to just cut off a couple of links once a year... everythig is a compromise...
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Old 17-05-2009, 11:45   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Or a similar forged high end product like Wichard...
West Marine: High-Resistance D-Shackles Product Display
I know... it's stainless, but has a rated strength of 16500 lbs and will fit your 3/8 chain. Unless you are not retrieving your anchor often, I see no issue with the stainless, galv mix in the chain. Even if you did start to see the first couple of links get corroded, (which I've not observed) it's easy to just cut off a couple of links once a year... everythig is a compromise...
The Crosby Group 2009 General Catalog

The 1/4" version of this Crosby hammer lock is 4300 lbs. Working load not breaking load....it is rated for ultimate load of 4 times that amount. This fits in 1/4" chain. We eliminated shackles on the big Alaska fish boats years ago. All we use are hammer locks. 3 times the strength of a shackle the same size, and they fit the chain we are using.
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Old 17-05-2009, 20:31   #40
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Ok I have been looking at Swivels everywhere and Wasi Power Ball seems the best I can find. Even comes with a Lloyds certificate.

Has anyone had any experience with these?

Nick - What do you use?
I use the one I linked to in post #31 of this thread: big & galvanized. My chain is 6,600 pound working load and I use a 3/4" swivel.

During hurricane Ivan in Grenada (120 knots sustained winds at anchor), I had a 5/8" swivel of the same type and a 5/8" shackle. The swivel was fine, the shackle not. I replaced the chain with new and upgraded swivel and shackle to 3/4".

The WASI Power Ball is just another shiny toy. This one comes with a certificate, so what do you do? wave that to the insurance people if it breaks? Galvanized swivels with a working load matching that of the chain have been accepted by insurance companies for ages and don't even need a certificate to proof that. Yes, you need an oversized end-link on the chain, just specify that when ordering a new chain (both ends) or have them welded on locally.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 17-05-2009, 20:50   #41
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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Or a similar forged high end product like Wichard...
West Marine: High-Resistance D-Shackles Product Display
I know... it's stainless, but has a rated strength of 16500 lbs and will fit your 3/8 chain. Unless you are not retrieving your anchor often, I see no issue with the stainless, galv mix in the chain. Even if you did start to see the first couple of links get corroded, (which I've not observed) it's easy to just cut off a couple of links once a year... everythig is a compromise...
As you write yourself: it's stainless, so the wrong product if your chain is galvanized. I used one after a hurricane destroyed my primary shackle and after a couple of months some links were already destroyed; it does not take years.

Cutting a couple of links off??? why would you do that for? just because you want a shiny thingie? what's the logic or the fun, the thing is on the seabed and attached to galvanized gear that's not pretty looking!!? Why not put on an oversized endlink and use a galvanized shackle and swivel and forget about it until it's time to replace (turn over end-for-end) the chain? Cutting links off after every couple of months at anchor is not very handy while at anchor, lots of work and all because one want a shiny thing between ugly anchor and chain? If it's that important, buy stainless anchor and chain and then a stainless shackle and swivel make sense. But these are really only usefull when showing it off in a marina, not down in the mud.

The stainless shackles from Wichard are very good and strong (the high resistance, forged versions) and I helped friends putting one between their stainless anchor and stainless WASI connector (which was failing because of sideways loading), which connects to their WASI stainless 10mm chain. This is the same as putting a couple of chain-links between the anchor and swivel. I have yet to see a truly strong enough stainless swivel; they are all too fragile and for small chain, like these: West Marine: Stainless Steel Jaw and Jaw Swivels Product Display

But, it's like I wrote before, it doesn't matter how many boats break the shiny toy or how many words are written about it, lots of cruisers keep buying them anyway... because they are weak & sexy.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 17-05-2009, 22:11   #42
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But, it's like I wrote before, it doesn't matter how many boats break the shiny toy or how many words are written about it, lots of cruisers keep buying them anyway... because they are weak & sexy.

cheers,
Nick.
I don't know about anyone else but I buy the "shiny toys" since I think it is the best solution for my anchor rig.
I would not trust the galvanized swivels you use unless they are very oversized and hardly even then. If I did use them I would have to either get new chain with an oversize end link or have a competent welder put one in. Why would I go to all that trouble when I believe I already have a better solution?
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Old 17-05-2009, 23:01   #43
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I don't know about anyone else but I buy the "shiny toys" since I think it is the best solution for my anchor rig.
I would not trust the galvanized swivels you use unless they are very oversized and hardly even then. If I did use them I would have to either get new chain with an oversize end link or have a competent welder put one in. Why would I go to all that trouble when I believe I already have a better solution?
You wouldn't. That's why I try to make you see that what you believe in isn't true. Only when you realize that, you would change your mind.

In this thread is the link to the story with the failed Kong connector. Many many sailors who I see opening up their shiny connector find that it is bent at the cheeks around the anchor or the pin/joint. All that indicates that these connectors are prone to failure. On the other hand, where are the stories about the failed galvanized shackles and swivels? These are mostly non existent. Why don't you trust them, they have been in use for ages with no trouble, a great track record? Same can't be said for the shiny connectors as they have been the subject of horror stories since their introduction!!

You don't need to oversize galvanized shackles and swivels. You only need to match their working load to that of your galvanized chain. My chain is 6,600 pounds working load. That is in between a 5/8" and a 3/4" swivel / shackle. I survived hurricane Ivan with 5/8" but the shackle was straightened to the point I had to use a hacksaw to get it off (the swivel was fine) so I went to 3/4". As linked by another poster earlier in this thread, there are galvanized shackles made from alloys twice the strength of the regular versions. These allow you to go smaller for the same strength and a little more money.

The only thing you need to oversize is the endlinks on your chain. That is no trouble at all when you order new chain, you just specify it and for example ACCO chain takes care of it. It's no extra work. Welding a bigger link on your current chain is easy for any local machine shop / welder. It's a little trouble but the return in increased safety is well worth it IMO. It's like any safety related improvement: you do the trouble because of the result. But you must first discover that for some things, the old & proven way is better than the new toy. So follow the links, read the stories from fellow cruisers, search Google, listen on the dock, take your connector apart and inspect it, read about the chemistry of two different metals that are in electric contact and submerged in salt water etc. etc.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 18-05-2009, 08:57   #44
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Nick, You experienced a much different scenario than I have. Used the Wichard stainless shackle on both a 42 ft cat and 47 ft mono throughout the Carribean and found no obvious issues with interaction between the chain and the shackle. Everything on a boat is a compromise, stainless rigging on aluminum masts, or even stainless bronze mix attached to aluminum masts, bronze props mated to Cast Iron engines etc. Whatever you use you must keep an eye on it's condition. I dont really understand how you get a larger link on the end of your chain? Maybe someone can fill me in there. I hope you are not having someone weld together a larger link. One thing that is obvious from all the above discussion is that swivels can be a problem. I've always been a believer that "where there is smoke there is fire"... meaning if swivels were not a problem there wouldnt be all this discussion about how to find a good one! Every time I look at a swivel design, my engineering gut feel comes away concerned about that little shaft that is holding your whole boat.....
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Old 18-05-2009, 20:45   #45
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Cheechako,

How long were you at anchor with the stainless shackle? It sounds like a lot with different boats. I can't explain why you don't have a problem with it, all I can say is that after being anchored for two months, I found major problems which I never had before and never after (I used the stainless shackle while waiting for the haul-out in Trinidad after hurricane Ivan, which destroyed my anchor roller, shackle etc.).

About stainless rigging on an aluminium mast. The problem is that aluminium rigging doesn't do well and same for galvanized or stainless steel mast. So we are forced to deal with different metals there. For some parts, like bronze propellers on stainless shafts etc. you add zincs to deal with the problem. The bronze to stainless mating as done with turnbuckles is to prevent galling of the threads, but the bronze is chromed to deal with the situation.

However, there is no such reason for doing this with the anchor gear as both 100% galvanized and 100% stainless are readily available and suited for the job. Avoiding trouble is better than dealing with it; this too is part of good seamanship imo.

Bigger endlinks. As I wrote before, this is normal and you can just specify that when ordering chain. I find it alarming that cruisers don't know that. The chain manufacturer (ACCO) did that on my chain and even x-ray'd them with paper report attached to the oversized links. I had asked for that. The cost was minimal compared to total price. I also had them load test the chain and that report came with it too.

About welding an oversized endlink on a chain: how else do you think it is done? every link on your chain is welded, this is how it is. Oversized links can be of thicker stock and every good welder will make it stronger than the regular links. The disadvantage of doing it later is that the endlink isn't galvanized (the manufacturer does it before galvanizing the chain). But you can use instant-galvanize or ospho+paint or whatever corrosion-resistant coating for the link.

About strength: we survived a cat4 hurricane with 120 knots of wind at anchor. The boat is 55,000lb the anchor 176lb, the chain 3/8" G7 6,600lb working load (lists $10.- per foot at West Marine, paid $3.14 direct from ACCO incl. agent fee), the shackle and swivel galvanized regular steel 5/8". The only damage was the result of other boats dragging into us and into the chain, but the shackle was flattened a bit. The swivel was fine. I don't believe for a minute that one of these shiny connectors would have stayed in one piece and certainly not during the 180 degrees windshift straight to 120 knots again. I can't even use them as they are all too small to fit on the anchor... they are not even made for bigger anchors and the forces that come with them. Everything that connects to your anchor should align with the chain when loaded sideways, not with the anchor. The working load specified for shiny toys is not valid for sideways loading: the wind isn't allowed to change direction nor can you have a current through the anchorage. This is impractical imo.

I would rather not have a swivel and I tried that. I got twists so I put a swivel in again. If you don't have a swivel and no twists: don't change anything. If you have a swivel, take it off and see what happens, maybe you can do without. My observation is that we need one.

cheers,
Nick.
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