A cautionary tale about anchor swivels

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A cautionary tale about anchor swivels

Post by BarryandLinda » Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:38 am

A few weeks ago we were anchored in Newtown, in Clamerkin Lake prior to crossing the channel to Cherbourg. To catch the tide through the Needles we had an 0330 alarm set, and late in the evening we decided to pick up a visitors buoy rather than haul in 15 metres of ( muddy ) chain and anchor at that time next day. We had also considered heading to Hurst Castle and dropping anchor there. As I hauled the last of the chain in and the anchor came up I noticed it was hanging oddly and wouldn't swivel over the stemhead roller. Then I saw that a portion of the anchor swivel was missing and the anchor about to disappear. I grabbed it and tied it off while we picked up the visitors buoy, then took a closer look.
The pin/shaft that secures the two sections that the swivel sits in had snapped and looks severely corroded. I have now returned to having one substantial shackle on the anchor where I can inspect it at all times.
We switched from a standard shackle to a swivel about 6 years ago and have used the anchor extensively over that time throughout the Med, France and the south coast of the UK, and have been pleased with the way it makes anchor recovery easier. We would have expected it to last a lot longer. It is branded INOX AISI 316 SWL Kg 850. On the opposite side it has ( what appears to be ) a corporate logo, Italy, Patented.
If anyone uses this type of swivel it may be worth checking the condition.

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Re: A cautionary tale about anchor swivels

Post by carina » Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:47 am

A rather late reply but here goes!

An anchor swivel should NEVER be attached directly to the shank of the anchor. It should be connected via a short 4 link section of 10mm chain.

This ensures that the swivel is always pulling in the line of its strength and not taking a sideways strain, for which they are not designed.

I have never found a need for one and prefer the solidarity of a high quality shackle, but others have found that days of anchoring can get their chains in quite a twist.

Tests have also shown that some anchor swivels are not fit for purpose. Those that are good are the KONG type.

This web site gives a very good run down on this

http://coxengineering.sharepoint.com/Pa ... ctors.aspx

steve parry
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Re: A cautionary tale about anchor swivels

Post by steve parry » Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:11 pm

Hi All,

I have used one of these swivels for the past 11 years without any problems. Each year I remove and inspect both the anchor and swivel before I start the new season. I reassemble using good quality grease etc, my swivel unit is a heavy and robust unit (pay for what you get springs to mind!!?)

I have never heard of attaching a piece of chain between the swivel and anchor, surely this defeats the object/use of the swivel? I have never seen one rigged in this way and I don't think my makers instructions indicated to do it this way either.

Interesting web page on the tests etc, I can't see those type of loads being on a swivel if the anchor and cable is laid correctly. If it blows up, you just lay more chain out and THAT is what takes most of the load.


Steve Parry

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