REVIEW: Twist anchor swivelling connector
This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)
I’ve had the chance to test the Osculati Twist connector (01.738.02) for over 2 months.
It immediately struck me for its strength and studiness, and it’s even more so when considering it weighs 1.5 kg.
Installation is simple using the same system of the smaller and more common “swivelling connector”, the anchor end connector: an Allen screw whose head is hidden into the slot once tightened flush.
Once the anchor is hauled, the Twist connector is expected to make it turn favorably for the final stretch so it takes a correct position on the bow roller: well, this happens at all times, smoothly and effectively.
The comparison with the “swivelling connector” – which, let me say, doesn’t serve the purpose but only creates the correct connection during swinging to prevent the chain and anchor from twisting – goes without saying : I almost always had to use the boat hook, retrieve the safety line, turn the anchor by hand and haul it in bodily to finally place it on the roller.
Having the anchor turned in the right way is priceless and safe since it’s crucial in case of bad weather and urgent hauling needs, maybe in view of a new anchoring (bad holding ground, tripping, etc.). Anyone who’s had the mischance to redo an anchoring with over 30 knots, maybe at night and with boats all around, knows exactly what I mean! The Twist connector lets the anchor pay out correctly onto the sea bottom and ready to hold: the standard anchors used for pleasure boating hold because of their geometry and not the weight therefore their holding power can be compromised in case the anchor rests crooked or, even worse, upside down.
Unlike the single connector – used for direct connection of the chain to the anchor – the Twist connector needs a shackle to link it to the chain. This is maybe its only disadvantage, if you can define it as such.
An additional shackle in the anchoring line is another element to be kept under control. And since the weakest link is the first to break, a very bad quality shackle might jeopardize a very reliable Twist connector, chain and anchor.
Choosing the shackle also has to be paid great attention: first of all I recommend the Allen flush pin type since in rollers like mine – but it is generally true – a traditional shackle might cause dangerous tangles due to the nearby jib furler drum or simply scratch the Twist itself with the sticking parts in this area (bolts, etc.).
Finally: when buying a Twist + shackle + anchor system, keep into account its lenght as compared with the space available between the roller and the windlass, in particular when the anchor has a straight shank as in the Bügel used for testing. The curve of the Twist connector actually allows for an easier placement of this type of anchor on its support.
The Twist connector effectively does what it’s been designed for. With anchors having a more “complex” shank compared to that of the Bügel mentioned in the article, the system as a whole is perfect.
The only advice I wish to give the manufacturer of the Twist connector is to try and eliminate the additional shackle.
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