To swivel or not to swivel
Adding a swivel to an anchor rode is a bit controversial. Many will advise against doing such a thing, fearing that the swivel becomes the weak link in the system. I tend to be in that camp.
When we upgraded our primary anchor on ZTC to a Rocna, I noted on their website that they specifically said not to add a swivel unless you found, after using the anchor for a while, that it was necessary. I followed that advise and found that it wasn’t needed.
When we took over One Love and upgraded her anchor to a Mantus, I left the swivel that was already on the rode in place. Why? I don’t know really. It just seemed like the path of least resistance when wrestling with that 85 lb. anchor.
The swivel which was living between our anchor and the chain.
As most of our readers know, we’ve spent much of our time since acquiring this boat on a dock. In the times that we have anchored, we’ve had two occurrences, one taking place yesterday, where the swivel has jammed, preventing the anchor from raising fully onto the bow roller. It took a fair bit of effort, and compulsory cursing, to get yesterday’s situation resolved. Not wanting it to happen again though, when we were at the dock picking up all of our stuff yesterday, I removed the swivel altogether, replacing it with a super strong rated bow shackle. How does it work? Well, the anchor deployed just fine, of course. The true test will be when we try to pick it up. Let’s hope it works.
- I haven’t written too much about our Mantus but that’s only because of how much time we’ve been dock bound. I will say now that on the times that we have anchored, the Mantus has grabbed first time, every time. In fact, it grabs so hard that when it’s really blowing and the boat is moving back quickly, I actually use the engine(s) in forward idle a bit to soften the blow when the boat stops in place.
- The jamming issue is not totally the fault of the swivel but more so an interaction between it and the anchor. It seems to occur when the swivel slides down the slot at the end of the shank a bit and then does not return to the tip before the anchor begins to get raised, or perhaps gets loaded.
- Our new friends on Wandering Dolphin recommend the Wasi Powerball swivel. I don’t have any experience with it but will say that it does look pretty cool. If I had one, I’d try it, for sure.