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.

Darrell Nicholson, editor of Practical Sailor, grew up boating on Miami’s Biscayne Bay on everything from prams to Morgan ketches. Two years out of Emory University, after a brief stint as a sportswriter, he set out from Miami aboard a 60-year-old wooden William Atkin ketch named Tosca. For 10 years, he and writer-photographer Theresa Gibbons explored the Caribbean, crossed the Pacific, and cruised Southeast Asia aboard Tosca, working along the way as journalists and documenting their adventures for various travel and sailing publications, including Cruising World, Sail, Sailing, Cruising Helmsman, and Sailing World. Upon his return to land life, Darrell became the associate editor, then senior editor at Cruising World magazine, where he worked for five years. 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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