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Old 07-11-2011, 19:01   #1
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Force Anchor Swivel - Critical Failure

I attach two photographs of a Force stainless steel anchor swivel that I purchased from a reputable chain and handling company in Hobart, Tasmania last year. I needed a swivel at the anchor to pass through the constrained anchor fitting at the bow. After looking at several other swivels, I determined that the branded Force swivel was the biggest and strongest that would fit the chain, the anchor and the anchor fittings on the stem.

As we approached an anchorage off Great Keppell Island on the Great barrier Reef last month, I noticed that the swivel was separating and thread appeared between the swivel components. Closer examination revealed that the threaded swivel bolt was holding by just two threads and I was able to undo it with my fingers. A week earlier we had been anchored inside a coral reef in 25 knot winds!

The photographs reveal that the securing weld on the threaded S/S bold had failed due to either crevice corrosion or an inadequate weld in the first place. The weld spots are tiny!

I subsequently found two Force swivels of the same model on a chandler's desk with the same failure - having been returned with identical failures. I have since returned the swivel and obtained a refund and advised the supplier of the fault.

The swivel has been replaced by a tested galvanised bow shackle and I will never again use stainless steel in any anchoring gear.
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Old 07-11-2011, 19:05   #2
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Re: Force Anchor Swivel - CRITICAL FAILURE

looks more like a welding problem than a corrosion issue
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Old 07-11-2011, 20:17   #3
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Re: Force Anchor Swivel - CRITICAL FAILURE

That is a Plastimo swivel. Known bad design and bad quality with lots of reports of failures. Glad you caught it in time.

Kong and Wasi make excellent stainless swivels. No reason to avoid quality stainless in anchor gear just because poor quality stainless has let you down. Same with galvanized gear.

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Old 16-11-2011, 20:23   #4
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Re: Force Anchor Swivel - Critical Failure

I agree with the above. The Kong swivel is a far superior beast. I previously had a cheaper swivel on my anchor and the sideways pressure was causing the swivel to spread at the jaws. I have had no problems at all with the Kong Swivel. Clive
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Old 16-11-2011, 22:59   #5
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Re: Force Anchor Swivel - Critical Failure

I have an older Kong anchor swivel with stamped SWL 1250kg. After we first purchased our boat, I contacted the manufacturer to talk about reliability and recalls. I felt that this was a quality piece of gear, but was concerned about failures. In talking with the mfg rep, I decided to keep the swivel.

As a comparison, the Kong swivel sandwiches together the 2 halves, so you don't have a threaded coupler between the 2 ends. The threaded pin (screw) would have to come out and the 2 sides would have to open before the swivel separated. The 2 sides sandwich together around the solid shaft, allowing the ends to swivel.

It is important to take apart yearly, inspect the pin (screw) and make sure it is not worn, and reassemble with blue-locktite. They even sent me a replacement, longer threaded pin (screw), which I might replace with next year.
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Old 19-11-2011, 14:18   #6
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Re: Force Anchor Swivel - Critical Failure

an old codger i was chatting to the other day said something i liked the sound of " dont use stainless steel below the water line". I think thats pretty well known but the assumption is anchors spend most of their time out of the water. I prefer big ugly industrial galvanised fittings for my ridiculously oversized anchor - I know when i drop that mother the boat will stay put. Also, because they're cheap i dont think twice about replacing them if i see any wear.
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