After receiving notice of a failed shackle block in its larger boom brake (model number 750) in April, Dutchman Sail Hardware (www.mvbinfo.com) recalled the product and is designing a stronger shackle. PS reviewed the Dutchman and other boom brakes in the Jan. 1, 1994 issue.
According to Dutchman designer Martin van Breems, the failure can happen only when the shackle is inserted in a side-to-side orientation, not the front-to-back orientation where the shackle passes through the side plates.
Dutchman will replace the shackle of affected boom brakes with the new, stronger shackle. For brakes less than five years old, the company will pay UPS shipping costs both ways. These brakes use fixed sheaves that are hardcoat anodized with a brown color. Brakes over five years old, which have silver-anodized sheaves, will need to be shipped with freight prepaid. If you think you have a recalled boom brake (model 750), contact Dutchman for a return authorization: 203/838-0375.
If the brake must be used in the meantime, and the shackle is presently in the side-to-side orientation, re-insert the shackle in the front-to-back orientation and add an extra shackle, or simply lash the brake to the boom eye with enough passes to provide a safe working load of 16,000 pounds.