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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Opinions on anchor swivels
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Thread: Opinions on anchor swivels Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-10-2012 07:41 AM
Dog Ship
Re: Opinions on anchor swivels

My concern wasn't so much with retrieving the anchor as I have to be on the foredeck to operate the windlass anyway, getting the anchor situated in the roller is fairly easy and just part of the job.
I was more concerned with how the anchor would sit in the mud with say 400feet of twisted chain and rode, in a hard blow with a current.
But that got me to thinking, was the swivel designed for just the ease of aligning your anchor in the roller, or was it originally meant to function underwater and the ease it created in aligning your anchor in the roller came after the fact?
Is the anchor going to have a tendancy to rotate if there is no swivel?
Over 90% of the boats in our marina have a swivel, and they have one for a reason I just don't understand the reason. Why would you needlessly compromise a connection? A splice or a shackle that can be easily inspected and makes far more sense to me, but am I missing something here?
Hey John, how much chain do you have on board and what type of primary anchor are you using?
07-09-2012 07:16 PM
tdw
Re: Opinions on anchor swivels

We've got a swivel on this boat and I'd second John and Dave's remarks.

We do have an occasional need to plonk the anchor with the boathook or it comes up backwards. I have noticed that if I bring it up with the boat stationary or nearly so no problem but with some way on, the anchor wil spin underwater and then not fully realign. If it brings up a lump of mud then all bets are off.

As for the swivel, I suspect it does contribute to the problem and I intend removing it at some point. Certainly if I was to be leaving the boat at anchor for any time I'd not want it there but for now I'm not overly worried.
07-09-2012 11:04 AM
jrd22
Re: Opinions on anchor swivels

I like keeping things simple and since I see no practical reason for a swivel I don't use one. We have all chain rode and generally don't have a problem with the anchor, although once in awhile I'll have to give it a pull with the boat hook to align it properly in the roller. I'm pretty sure I would have to do that almost every time with a swivel.
07-09-2012 08:26 AM
Gladrags1
Re: Opinions on anchor swivels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dog Ship View Post
Tod, what type of swivel do you have and how do you have it attached?
I am not certain of the manufacturer. I have 2 swivels, one was purchased at a boatshow from Fawcetts and the other from West Marine, I believe. I have 2 anchors, each with it's own swivel. They are both robustly built. I use them to attach the anchor to the chain which permits them to pass more easily through the anchor roller. The problem with the traditional shackle was that it would jam in the roller and prevent complete retrieval and create a difficult chore up on the bowsprit. One of the swivels is attached using an allen wrench, the other a flat head screw driver. All fasteners are treated with red loctite. I needed to remove both swivels to disassemble the bowsprit earlier this year. I did so after applying heat to the threads to free the grip of the loctite. Both swivels were in excellent shape, no bent or mangled metal and all joints showed no signs of wear.

Tod
07-08-2012 12:07 PM
Dog Ship
Re: Opinions on anchor swivels

I thought about putting a swivel in between the rope and the chain, but that will cause proplems going though the gypsy.
My 400' of rope rode is made up of two pieces of line. One 200' piece of 7/8" yacht braid and the other is 200' of 1" 3-strand.
Maybe, I will put the 3-strand on so it comes out last, reducing the effects of twist as the 3-strand will twist more than the rest of it. The 3-strand is shackled on so I can also use it for my stern anchor.
There is no real fitment problem, as a matter of fact it probably has better range of movement with a shackle on the anchor rather than a swivel.
That's why I had thought of having about a foot of chain shackled to the anchor, and then a swivel, and then the rest of the chain.
I have about 5' between my windlass and the roller so there is room for that.
07-08-2012 09:48 AM
SVAuspicious
Re: Opinions on anchor swivels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dog Ship View Post
I mean applying rotational torque to the end of the fluke by means of a load being applied to the rode. It may only be enough rotational force to turn the anchor a 1/4 or a 1/2 turn, but that could be enough to drag anchor or cause difficulty in setting it.
This will happen when you have a chain or rope at rest.
Certainly with three-strand. Not with octoplait or 12-strand and not with chain. You could talk me into a swivel between three-strand and chain.

One shouldn't need a swivel just to align the anchor. There is some other alignment or fitment problem if you do.
07-08-2012 08:13 AM
Dog Ship
Re: Opinions on anchor swivels

When I say twist, I don't mean twisting in a rubber band airplane fashion as much as I mean applying rotational torque to the end of the fluke by means of a load being applied to the rode. It may only be enough rotational force to turn the anchor a 1/4 or a 1/2 turn, but that could be enough to drag anchor or cause difficulty in setting it.
This will happen when you have a chain or rope at rest. If you apply a pulling force to that, then it will load up rotationally as more pulling force is applied. When the load is removed then the twist returns to it's resting, unloaded position. All chain and three strand rope will do this to some extent.
Most of the boats in our marina have a swivel but I'm still not sold on it.
Tod, what type of swivel do you have and how do you have it attached?
07-08-2012 04:06 AM
Gladrags1
Re: Opinions on anchor swivels

I use an anchor swivel on my all chain rode to allow the anchor to swivel itself around and seat itself properly on the bow roller. The swivel also allows it to turn from side to side.

We were anchored in a cove on Friday when a line of intense storms extending some 200 miles moved across the Chesapeake. The weather service had a name for this storm. It was called a derecho. It was, thankfully, quite rare. It was easily the most intense storm I have ever ridden out on the waters. The NOAA weather radio reported the storm had a history of producing wind gusts between 60 and 80 mph! My boat is a heavy, full keeled boat weighing in around 18,500 lbs. when the storm hit, it hit with a huge blast of air from the starboard beam, healing us over and putting the rail in the water until the boat rounded up and faced into the wind. We spent the next 2-1/2 hours thrashing about from one side to the other at anchor. The anchor held marvelously and did not drag at all. It was VERY well dug in the next morning and was hard to pull up. There was NO damage to the swivel or any shackles connecting my chain to the anchor. I would, based on that experience, have no trouble recommending the use of a robustly built 3 way action, swivel on your rode.

Tod
07-07-2012 09:38 PM
Flybyknight
Re: Opinions on anchor swivels

What ever you do, Don't buy Chinese!
Bad experience.

Dick
07-07-2012 02:41 PM
SVAuspicious
Re: Opinions on anchor swivels

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dog Ship View Post
my main concern was removing the twist in the chain.
Where does the twist come from? From the boat making full circles. Why does that happen? Current reversals and substantial wind shifts over time. You'll find that the time it takes to get the anchor up is plenty of time for a few twists to unwind. For most (most, not all) people the swivel is a solution looking for a problem.
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