Anchor Chain Swivel

clyst

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I have a stainless swivel attached direct to the anchor . The yokes are attached to the anchor and chain by an Allen type bolt peen over to prevent undoing .Because it's difficult to check the actual "swivel " bit inside its body nor the attaching bolts I'm a little concern of its integrity. Has anyone else had/have concerns or know of any failures ??
 

Seajet

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I wouldn't have thought a swivel is normal unless anchoring for long periods ?

I think you are right to be concerned, I have been at our moorings ( nb mooring not anchor ) for 40+ years and almost every case of a boat going walkabout has been due to failure of the swivel; in those cases the simple galvanised mild steel type, but definitely, literally the ' weakest link '.

If I was in your position, not trusting the thing, I'd never get a moment's sleep or be able to leave the boat at anchor - ditch the swivel !
 

RichardS

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I have a stainless swivel attached direct to the anchor . The yokes are attached to the anchor and chain by an Allen type bolt peen over to prevent undoing .Because it's difficult to check the actual "swivel " bit inside its body nor the attaching bolts I'm a little concern of its integrity. Has anyone else had/have concerns or know of any failures ??

I had a swivel of the type where the Allen bolt is actually the part which goes through the link on the chain and the hole in the shank. It worked OK but if I unscrewed the Allen bolts (they were not peened over) I could see that they were both slightly bent outwards due to the "stretching" forces. Whilst I was not too concerned that they would give way completely, I replaced the swivel with a Kong version a couple of years ago where the single Allen bolt is not a load-carrying part of swivel and could, in theory, be replaced with a cable tie and still function.

Richard
 

GrahamM376

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I have a stainless swivel attached direct to the anchor . The yokes are attached to the anchor and chain by an Allen type bolt peen over to prevent undoing .Because it's difficult to check the actual "swivel " bit inside its body nor the attaching bolts I'm a little concern of its integrity. Has anyone else had/have concerns or know of any failures ??

I think attaching a swivel direct to the anchor is more likely to induce failure due to side loads, better to have a few chain links in between so it stays in line. I removed ours this year as its been used many times in its 3 year life and a bit sloppy but impossible to check the amount of wear. Will be replacing it with a new one.
 

Seajet

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I don't have many rules on my boat apart from ' the person who cooks doesn't usually do the washing up ', but I'd certainly add ' if you don't trust it and can't check it, bin it ! '
 

NormanS

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As I have said in the past, I am lucky in that the water that I sail in is quite thin, so my anchor doesn't need a swivel.
What does your swivel actually achieve?
 

vyv_cox

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I have studied swivels intensively, destructively testing a large number for articles in YM. I have put the results on my website at http://coxengineering.sharepoint.com/Pages/Connectors.aspx. and at http://coxengineering.sharepoint.com/Pages/Swivelconnect.aspx

Advice is, don't use one unless you find the need to do so. Many owners buy swivels because they think they should but this is often not necessary. If you decide you need one, buy a good one, Kong or Osculati recommended, in each case they are far stronger than the chain they are used with, as the website shows. Ignore any comments about mooring swivels, the types used with them are markedly inferior and cannot be recommended.

The type the OP has, with jaws that extend each side of plate anchors, can be adversely loaded laterally, in which plane they are far weaker. My second link shows a way that this disadvantage can be overcome.

I originally bought a swivel because that was the recommendation of my windlass manufacturer, Maxwell. I first had one like the OP's but it fractured when anchored in Ibiza. I replaced it with a Kong directly attached to the anchor until I experienced the problems illustrated in my second link. I have now been using a Kong with three links of chain between it and the anchor for many years (6-7?). Last season I tried an experimental year with no swivel at all. We found that there was a far greater tendency for the chain to twist than without it, which was clearly upsetting the windlass. It should be remembered that most anchors rotate as they are being lowered and raised, as much as once per two metres. This is the cause of the twisting. At the end of the season we took a decision to go back to a swivel, but this time an Osculati cranked type. We had all sorts of problems with it, initially it was just the right size to jam in the cheeks of the bow roller, overcome by redesigning the forestay attachment. Then we found that the swivel sometimes jammed itself unfairly against the anchor, preventing it from setting. After a month or so we reverted to the Kong and three links, with which we are very happy.

We live aboard in summer and typically spend more than 100 nights per year at anchor.
 

Jock89

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I had a swivel of the type where the Allen bolt is actually the part which goes through the link on the chain and the hole in the shank. It worked OK but if I unscrewed the Allen bolts (they were not peened over) I could see that they were both slightly bent outwards due to the "stretching" forces. Whilst I was not too concerned that they would give way completely, I replaced the swivel with a Kong version a couple of years ago where the single Allen bolt is not a load-carrying part of swivel and could, in theory, be replaced with a cable tie and still function.

Richard

+1
Jock89
 

robertj

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I took advice from the venerable Vyv Cox on my set up.
Kong swivel and three or four links to the anchor, attached to a wichard s/s blind shackle.
I disassembled it last year and found it perfect.
We anchor all the time throughout the summer and spend some 60 nights laying to the anchor.
Next investment for me is a Rocna/Mantus.
 

Richard10002

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In my seagoing past I had a Kong with a few links between it and the anchor - probably as a result of Vics advice.
 

clyst

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Thanks for all your comments . A special to Vyv Cox for the detailed input.
Iv just checked my swivel ........The only mark on it is a "Force" label . Anyone come across this type ? Are they good or rubbish ?
The idea of a few links of chain from the anchor before the swivel makes sense and a modification I will do if I have room between the anchor and types when stowed. If not then it's a bin job .
 

RichardS

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Thanks for all your comments . A special to Vyv Cox for the detailed input.
Iv just checked my swivel ........The only mark on it is a "Force" label . Anyone come across this type ? Are they good or rubbish ?
The idea of a few links of chain from the anchor before the swivel makes sense and a modification I will do if I have room between the anchor and types when stowed. If not then it's a bin job .

It might be a Force 4 anchor swivel. http://www.force4.co.uk/force-4-sta...wivel-connector-6-8mm-chain.html#.VeLjtrJViko

I'm sure it will be good quality but the intrinsic design has been significantly improved in the Kong version. I don't think that peening over the Allen bolts is a good idea as you cannot check their integrity. It should not be necessary if they are tightened properly.

I would remove the Allen bolts and check the swivel off the chain before deciding whether you should change it. I could tell my Allen bolts in the same swivel were bent because when I screwed or unscrewed them they went tight and the loose and then tight as the bend revolved.

Richard
 

clyst

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It might be a Force 4 anchor swivel. http://www.force4.co.uk/force-4-sta...wivel-connector-6-8mm-chain.html#.VeLjtrJViko

I'm sure it will be good quality but the intrinsic design has been significantly improved in the Kong version. I don't think that peening over the Allen bolts is a good idea as you cannot check their integrity. It should not be necessary if they are tightened properly.

I would remove the Allen bolts and check the swivel off the chain before deciding whether you should change it. I could tell my Allen bolts in the same swivel were bent because when I screwed or unscrewed them they went tight and the loose and then tight as the bend revolved.

Richard

That looks about right !! The problem I now have ...and Iv just checked is that I don't have room to fit a couple of links between the anchor and gypsy and the anchor is a Rocna so all in all not a good set up NB the Rocna works fine though!!
 

RichardS

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That looks about right !! The problem I now have ...and Iv just checked is that I don't have room to fit a couple of links between the anchor and gypsy and the anchor is a Rocna so all in all not a good set up NB the Rocna works fine though!!

If you decide to go for the Kong swivel wouldn't worry about the links. I have a Rocna and the Kong is supposed to be much better with side loads than the Force 4 type so there is virtually no chance of any problem. Alternatively, try the links without any swivel and see if your Rocna comes up the right way. If it does you might not need the swivel at all.

Richard
 

clyst

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If you decide to go for the Kong swivel wouldn't worry about the links. I have a Rocna and the Kong is supposed to be much better with side loads than the Force 4 type so there is virtually no chance of any problem. Alternatively, try the links without any swivel and see if your Rocna comes up the right way. If it does you might not need the swivel at all.

Strangely enough the Rocna 9times out of 10comes up upside down WITH a swivel . That's a PITA !

Richard
 

NormanS

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I don't have a swivel, but I do have a "bent link" between the anchor and the chain. This ensures that the anchor comes onto the roller correctly 100%.
 

KellysEye

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>Advice is, don't use one unless you find the need to do so.

I agree. We were anchored in a bay in Greece and one night there was a wind reversal, in the morning three boats were on the rocks and all had swivels. I always found if I pulled an anchor up it and the chain was twisted it would untwist itself on the way up.
 

Dougal

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Oh bugger I'm parranoid now.... Last year we actually reduced our chain AND S/S swivel size to enable easier retrieval. We never usually anchor for more than two nights at a time, so maybe I'll ditch it all together!

Anchoring and weighing is a pain for us, we have a bow sprit, baby stay and offset roller. Biggest issue is fouling the stay with the Delta anchor. Maybe I'll try one of those bent links mentioned above.
 

robertj

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If you are going to fit a swivel fit the best! Your boat is hang off this so my advice is to forget cheaper substitutes.
 
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