Apparently Randy Boeselms, the president of Quickline, has been hammered by PS readers calling him about the recall of his Ultra Flip Swivels. We ran an announcement of the recall in our November issue along with a photo of a very similar swivel imported by Quickline that is NOT being recalled.
Here, Ill try to set the record straight with photos of the recalled swivel and non-recalled swivel. We are also printing a correction with the correct photo in the January issue of Practical Sailor.
Heres the Quickline product recall press release along with the correct photos of the recalled item. The release is an edited version of one that went out earlier, which added somewhat to the confusion.
Quality Marine Importer Recalls UFS8 Swivel Designed For Use With 1/4- and 5/16-inch Anchor Chains
Quickline, a world-class importer of quality marine gear and accessory products, announced today a total recall of Boyut Marine-manufactured UFS8 Ultra Flip Swivels designed for use with 1/4-inch and 5/16-inch anchor chains.
Produced between June 2009 and October 2010, the UFS8 is easy to identify. All recalled units have a molded eagle on the side of the swivel. Non-recalled units, produced prior to June 2009 and after October 2010 have a smooth body and finish. All other Ultra Flip Swivels, the UFS6, UFS10, UFS13 and larger sizes are not affected by the recall.
Simply put, the UFS8 swivels do not meet Quicklines high quality standards and strength requirements, said Randy Boelsems, president, Quickline USA. Thus, we are replacing every unit that we have sold to our customers, as their satisfaction and safety are paramount.
Customers who own the recalled version UFS8 Ultra Flip Swivel should stop use immediately and contact Quickline to arrange a replacement unit. Once received, defective swivels should be returned to Quickline using the packaging and Federal Express label provided with the replacement unit.
For more information or to request a replacement swivel, please contact Quickline at 714-843-6964.
Boeselms also questioned our reluctance to quickline no recall endorse stainless steel swivels in the anchor rode sequence. Our January issue goes into a bit more detail in this, and weve discussed it before in the magazine and this blog, but in short:
We stand by our recommendation that cruising sailors do not rely on stainless steel swivels in their ground tackle sequence. Replicating the various anchoring conditions and loads that a cruising sailor will encounter is very difficult, and as far as we know, there exist no good scientific studies to refute or support this opinion. However, the collective experience of our technical advisers and contributors has been a reliable guide on such matters in the past. In this case, we are again relying on their experience for guidance.
Part of our reluctant to endorse stainless-steel in the anchor rode is because of inconsistencies in the materials and manufacturing processes. What was not mentioned in the Quickline press release – but Boeselm readily volunteered – was the fact that the recalled swivels were cast, when the original swivel were machined. the new replacement swivels will again be machined, not cast. As anyone familiar with our anchor reports can tell you, PS is not a huge fan of cast metals, particularly aluminum and steel alloys.
Our reasons are similar to the one Boeselms uses to explain whey they are going back to machined swivels: The cast technique did not provide us for sufficient quality control as the original machined process. Even though we did extensive load testing on the cast pieces before production began.
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 dont 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 muds anaerobic conditions can render the stainless properties useless. For further details of our recommendation, readers can see the January issue of Practical Sailor magazine.
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.