(*)Thomas Nygaard Nov 23, 2019, 4:51 pm
I can offer some first hand experience with bent shanks vs. the Ultra swivel: This summer in Greece I had a catastrophic failure and loss of a 33kg ss R…. V…. anchor, its shank simply broke in two pieces by side loads from being caught in rocks. And guess what, it was attached to an Ultra swivel that survived without any signs of failure or bending! As can be seen on my pictures below, a slight dent could be seen in the bolt that went through the shank. This I have now replaced just to be sure.
I think this is great testament to the quality of the Ultra swivel and eventually led me to put trust in and to purchase an Ultra anchor as a replacement for the broken V…..
Anyway, it is easy to agree to many of the concerns of swivels in general that many commenters in here put forth, but I think it is appropriate to ask if any of this is relevant as long as the pieces are properly sized. The same probably goes for the discussion about shackle arrangements. But the unique self-righting feature of the Ultra swivel in my opinion represents a huge improvement over a pure shackle solution. For my yacht ( sy-cheetah.no ) it was also a bare necessity to use something slim as my bow roller channel is too narrow to accept a properly sized bow shackle, and a D-shackle alone just too easily jams. A rather un-mentioned but nice feature of the Ultra swivel is its very slim pointy design, offering the least possible resistance for the shank to dig itself deep into the sand while the anchor is being set. Compare this with the Mantus swivel which has a very large diameter, actually comparable to an "anchor rescue" device I tried for a while https://www.anchorrescue.com/how-it-works but with very deteriorating effect on anchor setting performance, it often prevented the shaft and thus entire anchor to dig in properly.
As to the hole in the Ultra shank being round rather than oblong, this is exactly how it should be since the anchor and swivel have been designed to work together! The R…. V…. I lost had an oblong hole which I had to fill with epoxy putty to make it round for the swivel to work properly! It should also be pointed out that the two pieces of the fork over the shank are connected with a solid arch, adding to its strength and reducing the chances that the fork is opened by side loads. Note also that the pin that goes through the chain is also ovale, this is not unique to the Mantus swivel.
Bottom line, I think the Ultra anchor is far from “motor boat jewellery”! Yes, it’s pretty and expensive, but together with the swivel it represents a great piece of engineering, and it is now adopted by premium sailing yacht brands such as Swan, Oyster and Hallberg-Rassy (and indeed on premium motor boats such as Fleming).
But too bad this post has not attracted more real user reviews on the holding capabilities of the anchor itself. I personally have only been able to use the Ultra anchor for four weeks in the Cyclades, with good results including riding out a Force 7-8 meltemi for five days in a row, but it would be interesting to hear more long-term users experience.
(*) Taken from another platform with the permission of Thomas Nygaard.