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Old 18-01-2006, 10:09   #1
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Anchor Swivel

I have a stainless jaw jaw on my Delta anchor. I have been wondering if a swivel is a good idea. I have read that the swivel is the most likely place for a brake. What are your thoughts?
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Old 18-01-2006, 10:56   #2
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I am interested in this as well. I don't use a swivel as I had heard similar stories of it being a weakpoint. I also don't see a problem (in my mind) of the chain having a swivel or not. If the boat swings 180 and the load comes on, the anchor is going to break out and reset with or without a swivel, surely?. But an open to opinions.
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Old 18-01-2006, 12:35   #3
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Now that at least two of us would like to know i'm sure that Gord will find some goverment report giving us the best possible answer!
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Old 18-01-2006, 13:15   #4
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Don't use it, don't consider it and purge it from your mind completely. If you anchor frequently under many different conditions the results will be when it will fail and not if. And that can happen at the worst time. Any chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
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Old 18-01-2006, 13:19   #5
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FWIW mooring buoys all use swivels, which would have to be rated at least as strong as the category of the buoy. I don't see where you would need a swivel in your tackle unless you were planning on anchoring for a long period, or expected to swing a lot.

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Old 18-01-2006, 15:01   #6
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Great Cost - Little (if any) Benefit

An anchor rode swivel is primarily a convenience. It allows the rode to self-untwist as it clears the water, sometimes easing the seating of the anchor in it’s roller. It might also prevent some twist from entering the set rode.

As Alan indicated, the swivel cannot prevent a rode from veering off the preferred 180 degree angle from the anchor (as originally set), which is determined by the current lie of the boat.

Each element that you add to your anchor & rode assembly, increases the chances of a component failure. Most swivels have a lower Working Load Limit than the chain size they are designed to accommodate, in which case they would be an unnecessary “Weak Link”.

Unlike anchors, which are continually raised and reset, Mooring assemblies are near-permanent installations, in which any “Twisting” can become compounded over time. They present a special case, where swivels might be more functional than on our anchor rode.

As a mere convenience, of dubious merit, I wouldn’t recommend that anyone invest in an anchor rode swivel. Depending upon it’s quality, I might go so far as to suggest removing an existing swivel.

I believe there are now higher quality swivels, that may have a greater working load limit than most conventional shackles. I’d expect these to cost upwards of four times that of a good shackle.

Sorry, I don’t recall any pertinent Gov’t study on the subject.
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Old 18-01-2006, 16:48   #7
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Once again I get to disagree....

Most swivels are questionable in terms of strength and construction however I invested in a WASI Powerball.. very expensive but built like a tank..

http://www.swisstech-america.com/anc..._linkpage.html
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Old 18-01-2006, 17:33   #8
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Quote:
WASI Powerball
Hmm, never heard of a WASI anchor, or powerball.

It looks just like a German anchor that sat in my garage for while until the owner picked it up...Think it was called Bulgawa or some such thing. It was not SS like the WASI however.

As for the topic at hand: I have never ever had the need for a swivel, not sure what they are good for, if naything...?

Heard of plenty of people that lost their boats because of corrosion inside the swivels.

I'd say go for a heavy galvanized anchor with lots of chain, no need to reinvent the wheel...Or put a swivel on it...
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Old 18-01-2006, 20:31   #9
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I tried a fancy SS swivel this last summer and I'll be removing it this year. The darn thing only swivels when there is no strain on the chain. I mainly bought it so the chain would straighten out while hauling it in with the windless. It doesn't work.

The powerball looks like it would take the twist out, but that small neck bothers me. And they don't tell you what it's made from..................._/)
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Old 18-01-2006, 21:17   #10
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OK Chuck, now purged from my mind. ..... Can someone tell me what we were talking about?

I don't quite get the couple of comments about the chain straightening. One of the main reasons of me not fitting a swivel, is that the chain lyes on the chain gypsy one way. As the anchor is pulled onto the bowsprit, I want it to to draw on one way only. The chain laying in that gypsy ensures that. If the anchor swiveld at any stage, it would not pull into the Bowsprit correctly.
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Old 18-01-2006, 22:59   #11
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Take a walk round any commercial boats in your area and see if you can spot a swivel on their anchors. Question should be answered for you after that. I've never seen one on any boat I've worked on and the only bad experience I've had is 3/4" high tensile chain parting in a storm. Probably would have parted sooner with a swivel in the equation.
Does anybody ever hang around the commercial guys when they need some advice about equipment issues? I'm a bit biased obviously, but these guys do it for a living. When I first started running my own fishing boat I used to do what the old, rich fishermen used to do. Worked for me.
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Old 18-01-2006, 23:08   #12
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Living in a commercail fishing harbor lends well to this logic. I always look at what is on the commercial boats. Of course, some of it will not work well on a sail boat, but some things really work well. Works great when choosing electronics.
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Old 18-01-2006, 23:24   #13
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Yep Pete, I have been following that advice. I have the scruffy looking paint job, JUST like the commercial boats in my Marina
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Old 19-01-2006, 03:08   #14
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The WASI Powerball, cited by JonD (and to which I previously alluded*), is indeed a very high quality swivel. There’s another, similar, made in Italy.

Unfortunately, the performance of these (and all) swivels is dependent upon a straight in-line pull. They are not intended to accept side loading. Side loading can easily occur as the boat swings (especially in tidal waters) & veers.

* “... I believe there are now higher quality swivels, that may have a greater working load limit than most conventional shackles ...”

FWIW: Having observed numerous commercial fishing boat over the years, I wouldn’t hold their anchoring equipment up as any ideal, towards which I’d strive.

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Old 19-01-2006, 03:36   #15
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I guess it depends on the area you are and what the survey regulations are.
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