Product Updates: May 2012


Seldn Recall

Spar and sailing hardware manufacturer Seldn Mast ( recently recalled its model number 517-914 forestay fitting due to reports that a few onboard cruising boats had suffered cracks in the welding. Unfortunately, the crack develops along the weld on the rear side of the fitting (inside the mast), where it is not easily spotted.

The suspect production batches were manufactured from 2004 to 2008. According to Seldn, only masts exposed to forestay loads exceeding a critical limit are at risk. The companys recall notice lists the 10 boat makes that could have suspect forestay fittings installed. These include some models of Najad, Hunter, Van de Stadt, Hallberg Rassy, and Etap boats. See the website for the full list.

If your boat make/model is on the list, check to see whether the forestay fitting is stamped with the number 517-914. (This number can be seen without removing the fitting.) If it is, contact Seldn via its online form or by calling 843/760-6278. The company will send a replacement fitting and will cover professional labor expenses incurred to install it.

For more on this recall or specific instructions for getting a replacement fitting, visit

Dutchman Recall

After receiving notice of a failed shackle block in its larger boom brake (model number 750) in April, Dutchman Sail Hardware ( recalled the product and is designing a stronger shackle.PSreviewed 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.

Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on marine products for serious sailors for more than 45 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising or any form of compensation from manufacturers whose products we test. Testing is carried out by a team of experts from a wide range of fields including marine electronics, marine safety, marine surveying, sailboat rigging, sailmaking, engineering, ocean sailing, sailboat racing, and sailboat construction and design. This diversity of expertise allows us to carry out in-depth, objective evaluation of virtually every product available to serious sailors. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser with more than three decades of experience as a marine writer, photographer, boat captain, and product tester. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.


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