Anchoring is a crucial part of boating, and the retrieval or deployment of anchors can be a significant challenge for cruisers. One common problem that cruisers face is the anchor arriving at the bow roller upside down or back to front. This can cause extra snatch loads that can compromise the integrity and lifespan of the windlass and its shaft. While some windlass makers recommend using a swivel to solve this problem, we have seen no evidence that a swivel solves any significant issues related to the retrieval or deploying of anchors, except in special circumstances.
Cheaper swivels are prone to fail for several reasons related to poor engineering or poor manufacturing. Therefore, if you must use a swivel for any unknown reason, we recommend using a galvanized, cup/open swivel that is two sizes larger than the chain. We also suggest choosing an eye-and-eye cup swivel so that you can attach a secure, quality shackle to each end. However, we strongly advise against attaching any low-priced, no-name stainless steel swivels directly to the shank of an anchor, even if they’re oversized. Sideloading greatly reduces the safety factor, and unless your swivel or shackle can match 100 percent of the chain’s ultimate tensile strength at any angle of pull, it is not worth the risk.
There is a simple, foolproof solution that ensures your anchor comes back the right way up.
Boomerang is a must-have accessory for cruisers. With the Boomerang, you won't need to use a swivel or manually realign your anchor.
For some anchor designs, Viking, for example, there is no need for Boomerang, due to its design, you'll never need to use a Boomerang or swivel. The anchor will always align itself in the right direction to the bow roller upon retrieval.
When using a Viking anchor, due to its design, you will never need to use a boomerang or swivel, the anchor will always align itself in the right direction to the bow roller upon retrieval.