November 2011 Product Updates
Canada Metal Pacific (CMP) of Vancouver has acquired New Zealand-based Rocna Anchors, a company embroiled in a controversy over anchor quality after production had shifted from New Zealand to China. According to CMP, Rocna anchors will continue to be produced in China, but at a different plant in Ningbao, China—one that is wholly owned by Canada Metals Pacific.
Rocna anchors made in Shanghai were recently the subject of a “specification notice” issued by marine retailer West Marine, which was reported on in the September 2011 Practical Sailor. The notice informed Rocna anchor owners that some Shanghai-made Rocnas did not meet the company’s original advertised specifications.
CMP President John Mitchell announced the purchase. “We have been searching for a line of anchors and anchoring products to complement our CMP anchor chain,” Mitchell said in a press release issued in late September.
Based in Vancouver, CMP is a producer of CMP chain, Martyr marine anodes, Octopus marine autopilot drive systems, and Intellisteer remote steering systems. Company and product details can be found at www.canmet.com. Key Rocna personnel are being retained to assist with the transition and support ongoing activities.
CMP has stated that it will continue to honor warranty claims associated with the Rocna anchors. It also is working to extend support worldwide for a program similar to the one announced by West Marine. West announced that it would—under its No Hassles Guarantee—allow dissatisfied owners to exchange their Rocna anchors for a store credit.
As reported in the September Practical Sailor, Rocna recently acknowledged that “about 300” of its anchors were built with metals of “reduced specifications” and that its well-advertised 2010 claim that its anchors had been tested to meet international standards for Super High Holding Power set by the Royal Institute of Naval Architects (RINA) pre-dated the actual certification by one year. A former production manager for Rocna claims a much higher number of anchors built to reduced specifications, although Rocna disputes these claims.
The current plan is to continue to produce anchor shanks made from Q620 steel, or the equivalent. This steel is of a lesser grade than quenched and tempered Bisplate 80, the shank steel used in the original Rocna anchor designed by Peter Smith. According to Rocna, Q620 is consistent with the company’s current claims regarding strength and holding power and exceeds RINA standards. Mitchell has said that CMP will repeat the RINA certification testing process.
Andersen winches are now available in the U.S. from Ronstan USA. After acquiring Andersen in 2010, Ronstan began U.S. distribution last month. Ronstan will now be handling all warranty and repair issues related to Andersen winches, and the company will be the source for replacement parts and service kits as well. (Distribution will remain unchanged in Canada, where longtime Andersen and Ronstan distributor, Rekord Marine, will continue to distribute Andersen products.)
Navisafe’s Navilight 360, Practical Sailor’s Recommended portable LED rail light (May 2011 issue) was recently certified by the U.S. Coast Guard as a navigation light, having a visibility of 2 nautical miles or better. Testers liked the Navilight 360’s brightness, ease of use, and its versatility, since its magnetic back allowed it be mounted in numerous places and its buoyancy and waterproof features made it a good MOB marker. Its new USCG certification makes it an even more versatile product as it can be used as a portable stern light.
The other portable light in that review, the Simply Brilliant RailLight Mini, is not USCG certified as a nav light.
In the April 2011 issue, we reviewed and recommended a new man-overboard alarm system from Mobilarm, the MOBilert Crewsafe Essentials package, which was the successor to the discontinued MOBilert 7200 (PS, May 2008). Now, just a few months later, Mobilarm has discontinued the Crewsafe Essentials as well.
Although the Crewsafe Essentials and the 7200 are no longer being produced, the maker will continue to support both systems through July 2013, according to Mobilarm.
Mobilarm’s newest MOB alarm offering is the Crewsafe V100, which we introduced in the April 2011 report and will be long-term testing for an upcoming review. It seems the popularity of the V100—a portable beacon that is equipped with a GPS receiver and transmits a DSC alert—was partly the cause of the company’s discontinuing the Crewsafe package.
“Demand for the wireless network has dwindled in favor of our Crewsafe V100 VHF DSC man-overboard beacon,” explained Mobilarm Communications Manager Lorraine Coghill. “This demonstrates to us that the Crewsafe V100’s alert to the parent vessel and GPS tracking of an MOB casualty are most important to customers.”