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Old 06-08-2011
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Question Swivel Shackle or Not?

Just curious, I have always used a swivel shackle with my anchor. But read in L&A that they often don't, at least with a spade type anchor?

Some say its another point to fail. Some would say it helps the anchor set better and when the wind shifts?

Does it depend on the type anchor?

What say you and why?
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Old 06-08-2011
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I agree that swivels can be a weak link, but oversizing it should help.
I would definetly use one on an all chain anchor rode.
Which L&A issue was the article in? I'd like to read their reasoning.
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Old 06-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjung View Post
Which L&A issue was the article in? I'd like to read their reasoning.
Nov/Dec 2010 Issue #126, with Jessica Watson on the Cover

Article: "Anchoring Made Easy" by Alex and Daria Blackwell.

Talking about the Quickset Ultra and the Rocna...

"Yes, we know that there is a suggestion to use it with a swivel, but we are not in favor of swivels as in our opinion, corroborated by colleagues' experiences, they add another opportunity for a potential weal link. On that note, we are also not supporters of a long slot as on the Manson Supreme. In a 180 degree wind shift this could conceivably cause the anchor to be pulled out of the bottom - just as if you were employing a trip line."
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Old 06-08-2011
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Never having used a swivel I am on the one hand tempted to try one out but on the other wonder what is their value ?

OTOH, I hear a lot of white noise in regard to swivels failing and the pins not being up to the job yet I see and/or hear of so very very few reported cases of actual failure that I do wonder if much of the muttering is nowt more than hoo ha.

In all my years of anchoring out (though not as many times as I might have liked) I've most certainly had anchors drag yet not once have I had a component fail, even with boats where the quality of the ground tackle was most certainly in question.
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Old 06-08-2011
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There isn't any more reason for a swivel to fail than any other part if properly selected. And if you are worried that swivels wouldn't swivel, is this any different that just not having it.

I feel swivels done correctly make sense.
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I'm not sure what the swivel is supposed to do in an anchoring, as opposed to mooring, situation. If the wind shifts 180 degrees the anchor will (I hope) reset. The twisting that a swivel is supposed to eliminate is not a big problem with anchor use because: 1) it is short term,and 2) the anchor should reset, reducing or eliminating the twist.

A mooring, which is fixed and long term, is of course, another story.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdw View Post
Never having used a swivel I am on the one hand tempted to try one out but on the other wonder what is their value ?

OTOH, I hear a lot of white noise in regard to swivels failing and the pins not being up to the job yet I see and/or hear of so very very few reported cases of actual failure that I do wonder if much of the muttering is nowt more than hoo ha.

In all my years of anchoring out (though not as many times as I might have liked) I've most certainly had anchors drag yet not once have I had a component fail, even with boats where the quality of the ground tackle was most certainly in question.
They have absolutely NO value, IMHO - other than perhaps allowing an anchor to "flip" over into the proper orientation when coming up over a roller... Anyone too lazy to deal with that manually, well, they deserve whatever might be the result of introducing something as needless as a swivel into their ground tackle system....

There have been many documented instances of failures of swivels, their main problem stems from the difficulty of properly inspecting them, many of the components are hidden from view even upon dis-assembly... And, if you're using hi-test chain, chances are any appropriately sized stainless swivel will be the weakest link in your system... ACCO makes a hi-test galvanized swivel sized for 1/4" hi-test, otherwise they are extremely hard to come by...

Boggles the mind how often I see swivels clamped right to an anchor , without any intervening bow shackle, just begging for a side load upon the anchor stock to pry the jaws of the swivel apart, or induce an eccentric load on another part of the swivel, a disaster waiting to happen...


KISS, a single bow shackle between anchor and chain, there is no reason to add additional complexity and potential points of failure, IMHO...

Here's just one recent cautionary tale:

Latitude 38 - 'Lectronic Latitude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
They have absolutely NO value, IMHO - other than perhaps allowing an anchor to "flip" over into the proper orientation when coming up over a roller... Anyone too lazy to deal with that manually, well, they deserve whatever might be the result of introducing something as needless as a swivel into their ground tackle system....

There have been many documented instances of failures of swivels, their main problem stems from the difficulty of properly inspecting them, many of the components are hidden from view even upon dis-assembly... And, if you're using hi-test chain, chances are any appropriately sized stainless swivel will be the weakest link in your system... ACCO makes a hi-test galvanized swivel sized for 1/4" hi-test, otherwise they are extremely hard to come by...

Boggles the mind how often I see swivels clamped right to an anchor , without any intervening bow shackle, just begging for a side load upon the anchor stock to pry the jaws of the swivel apart, or induce an eccentric load on another part of the swivel, a disaster waiting to happen...


KISS, a single bow shackle between anchor and chain, there is no reason to add additional complexity and potential points of failure, IMHO...

Here's just one recent cautionary tale:

Latitude 38 - 'Lectronic Latitude
There you go. A number of instances of failure. Interesting.

Thanks for that JE.

Have to say I've never had any particular problem in maintaining anchor orientation and that covers Danforths, CQRs, Rocna plus very lately a Bruce and a never used Spade.
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Old 06-09-2011
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When I bought our Bruce 30kg I asked about swivels at a large local marine supply. I knew the fellow behind the counter had been around for a long time and had talked to him about different pieces of gear from time to time, a very knowledgable guy. Instead of giving me an answer about swivels he reached under the counter and brought out a horribly mangled and broken, large, heavy duty anchor swivel (an expensive stainless one, don't remember the brand). I don't use one. Even with all chain rode and anchoring extensively I don't have any problems getting the anchor up into the roller.
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Old 06-09-2011
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I'm with JE and the other anti-swivel guys on this one. Keep it simple by using a bow shackle.
I put the pin of the shackle through the anchor. Some people don't do this because if you use a shackle bigger than your chain size, as often recommended, the shackle won't go through the chain link. For this you need an oversize end link.
The reason for preferring the pin through the anchor stock is to do with bearing surfaces; the straight pin gives the best contact with the parallel sides of the hole through the shank. It just looks better fron engineering point of view.
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