OCC Forums

ROCNA anchor

https://forum.oceancruisingclub.org/Topic1142.aspx

By jgbailey - 6 Oct 2013

My Rocna anchor is fantastic, but it always seems to come up into the stem head roller the wrong way round. This looks like the effect of the water flow over it causing it to turn over. Does anybody else recognize this problem?
By simoncurrin - 7 Oct 2013

Yes we have the same problem with our Manson.
By Knightstar - 13 Oct 2013

I have the same problem with a delta, I always have to go forward to turn it. Hope you find a solution
By jgbailey - 17 Oct 2013

The good news. :)
I have just fitted what is called an "ultra swivel" which I can confirm turns the anchor over and appears to be a much stronger all round design and construction than the conventional swivels. So this should cope better with the sideways strains. Most swivels are tested in a straight line pull, which is useful, but does not reflect the sideways pull / strain put onto them at times.

The bad news, is that the "ultra swivel" costs a staggering £260. Golden Arrow Marine are the sole UK importers and are based in Shamrock Quay, Southampton.
By simoncurrin - 17 Oct 2013

Looks good but I wonder what others in the OCC make of it as I know some have had various mishaps with stainless swivels?
By DariaBlackwell - 18 Oct 2013

Here is an article we wrote about swivels. We cover the Ultra and the issues with swivels in the article.

http://features.coastalboating.net/Editorials/swivels/index.html

We do not use a swivel. I just talked to Alex about it, and he said that ours used to do that. So with an all chain rode and no swivel, Alex re-shackled it the opposite way around on the chain link and it solved the problem for us.
By David.Tyler - 20 Oct 2013

I think it 's simply a question of how the chain is lying on the stemhead roller. My Rocna will come up the wrong way round, and have to do a quick flip as it comes over the roller, but only if there are twists in the chain. I suggest that with the anchor stowed, you look at the chain, and check that it is absolutely untwisted between the anchor and the gypsy. Then the chances are much better of the anchor (any anchor) presenting itself to the roller the right way round, after you 've set it and recovered it. I don 't think a swivel would help.
By the Admiral - 24 Oct 2013

Have any of you come across a device called an anchor straightener? Seamark Nunn sell them in two sizes and in s/s or galvanised. I have not used one but have been looking at them for a while and think that it may provide a solution.

However, I am not keen on the restricted articulation that some of the swivels and other devices seem to afford and for that reason I am happy to stick with our large shackle.

Peter
By DariaBlackwell - 28 Oct 2013

Hi Peter,
It 's still a swivel and it appears that it has parts that cannot be inspected.

http://www.seamarknunn.com/acatalog/anchor-straightener-stainless-steel-swivel-6-8mm-2240.html#.Um6gMvm-1cY

There is a discussion about it on the ybw forum. http://www.ybw.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-320799.html
By the Admiral - 28 Oct 2013

Hi Daria
I read the YBW forum comments with interest and I think that I am going to invest in a short length of floating line! I am a big fan of simple!! I might be tempted to have a solid bent bar made but this would have to be attached with shackles as I do not feel comfortable with any device connected to the anchor that does not articulate. I can just imagine the problems when the wind shifts or the tide turns.

BTW our Delta is fantastic but it 's performance is greatly helped by lots of 10mm chain. The only time it did not set well was when we managed to get a plastic bottle on the tip and it would not dig in. Other than that, excellent results every time.

I still can 't believe you put your name to a book called The Happy Hooker!

Peter
By peterpaternotte - 19 Nov 2014

Hi Daria,this comment is relatively late but I just came across the Forum topic. Being an early Rocna adept (following decades with CQR 's) I did some 'swivel research ' and ended up with the Wasi-Ball, very much like the Ultraswivel. It served us well for many years. You do not mention it but is has been around for 5-6 years now. Price indeed stiff, like the Ultra. Maybe something for the next printing of HH?
By jgbailey - 20 Nov 2014

I purchased the ultra swivel last year for my Rocna and can confirm the combination works very well. We were away for a few months this season and anchored more times than for a many a year.

I never felt that confident with the CQR. Lessons learned for me; good easy to use equipment might cost a bit more in the initial stage, but saves a lot of ongoing costs in marina and moorings.

Anybody want to buy a CQR?
By DariaBlackwell - 20 Nov 2014

After all these years of refusing to use swivels and collecting photos of bent and broken swivels, we have now been convinced that the Ultra swivel is indeed a much improved and well engineered device. We had the opportunity to "play" with a demo set up at a boat show where Ultra was exhibiting. We spent a good deal of time inspecting it and watching it work in slow motion and talking to people who understand the engineering aspects.

The Ultra Flip Swivel has a unique design that works with any anchor to rotate it BEFORE it comes up over the bow roller if it is coming up in the worn orientation. It allows the ball to rotate freely, you can inspect all the parts (except one which I 'll discuss in a moment), and all the parts can dry out. That 's very important. http://www.ultramarine-anchors.com/en/homepage/default/10/swivel-detail

The only potential problem area that we can see is eventual wear in a Teflon o-ring that 's between the ball and the body of the swivel. As stated in their promotional literature "Our internal TEFLON O-Ring stops metal friction occurring when under load providing low resistance and smooth operation." The o-ring is intended to prevent the metal to metal friction that would occur as the ball rotates. We could not see this o-ring so we could not inspect it. The Ultra swivel has a 3 year warranty. I 'd say that may be the life of the o-ring. Just something to keep in mind. Otherwise we were very impressed with the design and engineering of the Ultra Swivel. It carries Turkish Lloyd certification.

We have not had the opportunity to test the WASI Power Ball but it does seem to offer excellent construction and a breaking load higher than that of the corresponding chain. It is approved by the German Lloyd which may have insurance implications. http://www.wasi.de/en/news/press-releases-and-news-from-wasi/news-details/haerteste-anforderungen-edelstahl-verbindungselemente-im-maritimen-einsatz.html

The best possible set-up if you feel you need a swivel and you have a standard bullet type swivel is to insert a few links of chain between the swivel and the anchor to ensure that lateral forces cannot be applied across the axis of rotation.

If you don 't know you need a swivel, you probably don 't need one. If you relate to the picture below, then a swivel may change your anchoring experience dramatically. While we were at the Ultra stand, many petite women stopped in front of a poster with this picture and said out loud, "We need that honey!"

[attachment=172]UltraSwivel.jpg[/attachment]
By DariaBlackwell - 20 Nov 2014

[quote="peterpaternotte" post=1651]Hi Daria,this comment is relatively late but I just came across the Forum topic. Being an early Rocna adept (following decades with CQR 's) I did some 'swivel research ' and ended up with the Wasi-Ball, very much like the Ultraswivel. It served us well for many years. You do not mention it but is has been around for 5-6 years now. Price indeed stiff, like the Ultra. Maybe something for the next printing of HH?[/quote]

Yes, thanks Peter, we are planning a new edition of Happy Hooking, and we will be updating many sections including swivels. Thanks for the info on the WASI Ball.
By DariaBlackwell - 26 Oct 2015

We have just had the opportunity to test the new Vulcan anchor from Rocna. It was designed without a roll bar to fit bow rollers of power vessels. It has a significantly larger surface area than the Rocna or even the Ultra. It performed exceedingly well as described in an article we wrote about our experience.

http://cruising.coastalboating.net/Seamanship/Anchoring/Vulcan/index.html
By Dick - 30 Sep 2016

Hi All,
A word of warning:
There is accumulated evidence that Rocna anchors have trouble re-setting in a significant wind shift. The evidence is most dramatically displayed on the excellent videos cited elsewhere in this stream (specifically: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WL9JL9AK6ss), but there is numerous anecdotal evidence as well. This whole package of concern is best brought together on the web site Attainable Adventures Cruising (https://www.morganscloud.com/), an extremely valuable web site for those that wander widely on sailboats. It costs a modest amount, but is worth every penny.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
By mina - 30 Sep 2016

Occasionally my Rocna comes up back to front. If it happens twice in succession I turn the chain in the gipsy through 180 degrees and end of problem for a while.
By Alex_Blackwell - 30 Sep 2016

Mina
Instead of turning your chain in the gypsy(capstan), you might consider unshackling and turning the shackle. That way you do not bring a twist down below-decks that can bite you at some point in the future.
Though we are not proponents of swivels, we have been testing and using the Ultra flip swivel now for over a year. it forces the anchor to twist into the correct orientation as it passes over the bow roller.
I can give you a link to a discussion on swivels if interested.
By mina - 30 Sep 2016

Re the warning about Rocnas losing grip and dragging on wind shifts, all I can say is that after years of suffering from having to re-lay 1:4 times and many dragging incidents with my CQR, I have deployed my Rocna 100s of times over 7 years in every type of floor and conditions including many wild anchorages in the Beagle Channel where you get 50+knot williwaws screaming in at 90 degrees from previous wind angle. I have to re-lay only about 1 in 50 times now and , touch wood - crossed fingers, my Rocna has NEVER dragged. Granted it is a tad overweight at 40 kg for a 48 ft boat, but my Rocna has been a life-changer for us.
Tim Barker
Mina2.com
By mina - 30 Sep 2016

Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated, but like you I am not a fan of swivels and I 've been using the occasional but very quick 90 degree twist for many years, happily without being bitten yet!
By Dick - 30 Sep 2016

Hi all,
There are some comments pertinent to Rocna 's and new generation anchors as well in the Anchors and Anchoring section. See particularly Simon 's report.
Dick
By Dick - 30 Sep 2016

Hi Tim,
I am glad you have had such a good experience with your Rocna and I am not surprised you find a huge improvement over your CQR, as you clearly give homage to. BTW, I do not believe your anchor to be overweight, perhaps it is even underweight depending on your tonnage. My Spade anchor is 35kg for a 40 foot/16 ton boat which I think is about right for those who occasionally anchor in marginal conditions where gale level winds might visit un-announced.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
By Dick - 30 Sep 2016

Hi John, Good to hear from you. I have never had an anchor that always came up facing the correct way to get it onto the roller easily. They all needed occasional tweaking. Were you correct in reporting that it “always” comes up backward? That would surprise me and be curious.
My best to you and to the SYH crew,
Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
By Dick - 30 Sep 2016

Hi all,
Please go to the swivel area of this list serve where for a fuller discussion, but for here, I will say that I know of no significant problem that a swivel solves and have been anchoring for 30+ years without one. The thought of introducing such a problematic element to a ground tackle system designed to keep you and your boat safe just to help with the occasional backward anchor seems quite misguided. I do know they have proved a weak link to a number of vessels and that I am not alone in believing that stainless steel, the material most are made of, has no place in a ground tackle system.
Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
By jgbailey - 1 Oct 2016

Interesting video. I have now been using my Rocna and Ultra swivel for three years. My anchoring has been restricted to the UK which is sand and mud. This combination is the most effective I have ever come across and have never failed to set 1st time. Always reversing slowly. The ultra swivel always presenting the anchor as required to the roller.
SV Avista
By Dick - 2 Oct 2016

Hi John,
I am glad you have had such good luck with your Rocna. It, like many of the new gen anchors, are amazing at initial setting when they are clean.
The following should be read as written from someone who believes a ground tackle system, in its proper design and execution, sometimes (perhaps often) has you and your crew’s life residing in its effectiveness. There are those that say that they rarely spend the night at anchor, usually use it as a lunch hook or for fishing: to them, I would say that it is also there for emergencies, unexpected squalls and engine breakdowns, where a good system proves itself invaluable. Those of us who cruise know how important it is at least a few times each season.
I would want you (or anyone with a swivel) to consider ditching the swivel for the following reasons:
The ground tackle system is to keep your boat and crew safe and nothing in that system should compromise that goal. I believe swivels do so compromise:
1.   Attached as advertised (looking at the Ultra’s web site the installation is straight onto the anchor) introduces the possibility of the anchor getting jammed and side loads prying the jaws apart. (Google anchor swivel failures for examples.) Adding a bit of connecting chain, as Daria suggests, mitigates that issue while introducing even more shackle connections (every connection is a potential vulnerability) and the likelihood that the one favored reason for buying a swivel (clean retrieval onto a roller) would no longer work so effectively.
2.   The Ultra (and most highly advertised and hyped swivels) is made of stainless steel and ss (in my judgment) has no place in a ground tackle system that, by definition, is in and out of salt water. It is potentially too brittle and prone to crevice corrosion and there are alternatives, all better, to ss shackles, anchors, chain etc. that one sees wherever there are boats.
3.   With the possible exception of anchoring for long periods where the boat circles its anchor repeatedly CW or CCW (and I have lived this scenario a couple of times without a swivel), a swivel does not contribute to the effectiveness of one’s ground tackle. Chain twist is always relieved by an adequate snubber.
4.   The advertised strength exceeding chain does not specify whether proof coil or high tensile. Among cruisers, HT is becoming more common. I would be in its strength if the anchor end was held rigid and the pull at right angles.
5.   An anchor that comes up backward is annoying and can entail a bit of fussing, but introducing a vulnerability into one’s ground tackle system in order not to be occasionally annoyed is (again my opinion) in no way justified.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
By starke - 28 Feb 2017

I also had trouble with Rocna resetting after a tide current change, and find it hard in initial set unless speed is very slow, usually under 1.5 knots. I sold my Rocna and am very happy with a new Spade anchor.
By Dick - 28 Feb 2017

Hi,
I am sorry you had trouble with your Rocna, but there are emerging reports about trouble re-setting. I am glad your difficulties do not sound like they led to damage. The other issue, needing to set at a very slow speed, is not one I have heard with respect to Rocnas too often, rather the opposite.
In any case, having been a Spade user for 6-8 yrs now, I suspect you will be happy with this choice.
On another note, the reports of Rocna’s difficulties re-setting (as have the videos) have existed for awhile, but seem not to have risen to the level of more public discussion nor has Rocna commented (to my knowledge). My more cynical side wonders whether we are seeing the journalists/magazines being loath to say anything bad about an advertiser. It seems to me worth exploring more publicly before there occurs damage to boat and/or crew.
Safe anchoring, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
By neilm - 18 Mar 2017

There are only two weights of anchor
1) those that people laugh at as being overweight
2) those that drag

We have a 100 lb, say 45kg, Manson Supreme on our 47 footer, and feel it is right.
By neilm - 18 Mar 2017

Our 100 lb Manson Supreme often comes up facing the wrong way.
We turn it by motoring gently astern with the anchor dangling in the water
Much easier than muscle work
By Dick - 18 Mar 2017

Hi NeilM,
Yes, keep putting anchors on the bow till the “experts” on the marina docks and at the yacht club bar chuckle. Then you know you have nailed it. Weight in the anchor is weight more powerful in boat safety than weight put anywhere else. I have a 35kg Spade for my 40 foot boat. That said, anyone who says they have never dragged anchor has likely not anchored much.
Motoring astern in the way you describe has the added benefit of helping to clean the new generation anchors who often come up encumbered with embedded sea bottom.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
By Geir Ove Bø - 2 Aug 2020

we had a 20kg rockna on our 8.4 ton cat.  and it did work fine but stronger winds. we did drag a few times,  so we went up to 33kg (biggest that will fit on our setup.
And on our trip to carib and back 16/17,  we only draged once, it was on deeper w, and buttum was very hard,  so mostly we did not get it to digg in.
Rockna has been good to us.. we sleep well with it digged in, and pulltested,  2 motors 2000rpm,  and even more if we know there will be havey winds/waves.
we also haVE A SPADE 15KG, TO USE ON THE BACK, if we go for a shorter stopp with the bows to the rocks, (norwergian style)
By Dick - 3 Aug 2020

Geir Ove Bø - 8/2/2020
we had a 20kg rockna on our 8.4 ton cat.  and it did work fine but stronger winds. we did drag a few times,  so we went up to 33kg (biggest that will fit on our setup.
And on our trip to carib and back 16/17,  we only draged once, it was on deeper w, and buttum was very hard,  so mostly we did not get it to digg in.
Rockna has been good to us.. we sleep well with it digged in, and pulltested,  2 motors 2000rpm,  and even more if we know there will be havey winds/waves.
we also haVE A SPADE 15KG, TO USE ON THE BACK, if we go for a shorter stopp with the bows to the rocks, (norwergian style)

Hi Geir,
Thanks for the field report: always the best kind of information.
More weight in the anchor certainly, to my mind, is the best use of weight to promote good sleep habits. That said, I am surprised your 20kg Rocna dragged after setting. Is it possible that it was a scope issue? Especially if on a catamaran where the use of rope rather than chain is more common.
Or was there a wind shift or current change that might have contributed? I believe it to be fairly well established that Rocnas, on occasion, fail to re-set after being dislodged.
I can only imagine that a 33 kg Rocna has nailed you to the bottom (barring the above-mentioned wind shifts). I have the same weight anchor (SPADE) on my almost twice the weight cutter and most people consider that over-kill. But I sleep very well.
That said some of the Carib and Bahamas anchorages are like trying to anchor on a concrete landing pad: impossible to get the anchor in.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
By Geir Ove Bø - 3 Aug 2020

We where 2 cats on that 20 kg anchor,  so more like 15 tons,  when we dragged,  and we do use chain al the way. there where high seaweed and a hard botum under. and when i did dig in the anchor i did not know i was going to have one more cat hanging on me. :)  the 33 kg is a good nigth sleep,  and we have 75m , 10mm chain also. and sometimes it takes some force to get it back out again,  but thats ok.

By Dick - 3 Aug 2020

Geir Ove Bø - 8/3/2020
We where 2 cats on that 20 kg anchor,  so more like 15 tons,  when we dragged,  and we do use chain al the way. there where high seaweed and a hard botum under. and when i did dig in the anchor i did not know i was going to have one more cat hanging on me. :)  the 33 kg is a good nigth sleep,  and we have 75m , 10mm chain also. and sometimes it takes some force to get it back out again,  but thats ok.


Hi Geir,
Between the added weight of the extra boat and the high seaweed/hard bottom you describe, your Rocna dragging makes more sense.
One of the reasons I like the Spade anchor, which you are likely aware from your Spade stern anchor, is the large cache of lead concentrated in the tip. This, I believe, allows it to penetrate weed and grass more effectively than many other designs.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
By Geir Ove Bø - 4 Aug 2020

Yes.  Spade is a good anchor. along with Rockna, Manson ++.