Mailport: January 2011
Anchor Swivel Test?
Could you do a test on anchor swivels? There are two primary manufacturers, Swiss Tech America WASI power ball and Ultra Flip Swivel. Since both are expensive, I would appreciate your doing a test on them. I have a 42-foot sailboat with a 35-pound plow anchor.
Replicating real-world use fairly with identical conditions to test the swivels would be a challenge, but we will work on a protocol that includes load and corrosion-resistance tests. That would give some clues as to the quality of the materials.
However, we must note that we are reluctant to endorse stainless-steel in the anchor rode because of inconsistencies in the materials and manufacturing processes (which often change from year-to-year), and the fact that stainless fails without warning.
We encourage our readers to do what mooring fields across the country do: Use no swivel, or if they must, use a high-quality galvanized swivel that is replaced at the first sign of corrosion or on a one- to three-year rotation. If you don’t do much anchoring, you could extend that period longer. Also, keep in mind that if you are anchored in a muddy area for a long time, the mud’s anaerobic conditions can render the stainless’ properties useless.