Heated discussion in the sailing world over whether some of the 'new generation' Rocna Anchors were defective has been countered by an ambit assurance by the new owners of the company. The new owners, Canada Metal Pacifics (CMP), have pledged to replace any 'defective' ground tackle ever produced anywhere in the world.
Rocna is one of a number of 'new generation' anchors which have revolutionised the anchor production industry and given many a cruising sailor a new ability to sleep well at anchor.
In August this year West Marine issued 'product specification notices' to customers who had purchased Rocna anchors since 2010 and posted the notice on its website. West Marine is one of world’s largest distributors of the Rocna, sold in 34 different countries.
The new company, which purchased Rocna last month, say they are hoping to rebuild Rocna's reputation which had become tarnished over build quality.
The West Marine notification stated that certain Rocna anchors were made with a 'weaker grade of steel compared to that published on the Rocna website' and directed customers to Rocna for information regarding the materials and construction of the Rocna anchor. Under its 'No Hassles Guarantee,' West Marine offers a full refund to owners who are not satisfied with their purchase.
West Marine’s offer came after several months of heated online debate over the strength of the shafts of Rocna anchors made in China. Rocna CEO Steve Bambury said that based on recent tests, Rocna could find no cause for a recall. 'The [anchor] chain is going to fall apart long before the anchor ever does,' he said.
However he admitted that a 'small portion' of anchors manufactured in China during the first quarter of 2010 were made 'using a shank steel with a reduced specification.'
As part of their makeover of the brand, CMP have said that they will ‘find and replace any defective product.' They are also taking over the production process quality responsibility - they have a factory in Ningbo, China as well as Vancouver, Canada and will fight to ‘restore confidence in the classification process.'
The problem with Rocna is one repeated with many marine brands. Once sales reach a certain level worldwide, the temptation to move production facilities to China to cut costs and stay competitive is sometimes overwhelming. The issue in China, and the secret of success, seems to be in supervision and quality control.