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Wichard products warranty

Are Wichard products covered by a warranty?

Yes, Wichard products have a compliance warranty valid for 5 years from the date of purchase.

What is the Wichard Warranty?

All Wichard products are warranted to be free of defects in materials or workmanship for five (5) years from the date of purchase by the original end-user. Excluded from this warranty are:

  • Any product which has been improperly fitted.
  • Any product which has been improperly used or used in any application for which it was not intended.
  • Any product which has been improperly maintained.
  • Any product modified without a written approval from Wichard.
  • Any damage being a consequence from alteration, from ultraviolet light exposure or from the normal wear of products.

The useful life of any products is determined by its utilisation and an appropriate factor of safety. It must be distinctly assessed in each application. Thus no guarantee can be provided for product life, dynamic capacities or any other factor due to the variability in usage. Wichard’s liability is limited to the repair or replacement of the defective goods exclusive of any other repair. Responsibility and costs of handling, transportation and any custom duties and tariffs linked to the warranty claim are in any case borne by Wichard.

Are spare parts available for Wichard shackles?

Spare parts are not available for Wichard shackles. Using a new pin on a used shackle body may degrade working and breaking loads at the expense of the product's safety factor and its environment.

Can snap hook springs be lost?

Since the 1990s, Wichard snap hooks springs have been fixed to the body. It is impossible to lose the spring on a Wichard product produced after 1995.

Are Wichard stay adjusters repairable?

Wichard stay adjuster mechanisms are "captive” mounted  Repair requires destruction of the adjuster mechanism to replace it. Only Wichard can analyse and repair stay adjusters.  Contact our Technical and Service Department.

Are Wichard stay adjusters covered by traceability?

 Wichard rigging adjusters are covered by traceability. A letter and a number represent the month and year of manufacture respectively.

General questions about Wichard products

How can I buy a Wichard product?

Wichard does not sell retail. You can purchase Wichard products through the Wichard dealer network. See the “Dealers” page.

Where can I buy a Wichard product?

In France, Wichard products are available in most chandler’s stores and general sports networks. You can also find Wichard products in some speciality shops (do-it-yourself, etc.).
For export, Wichard products are available in more than 40 countries. See the “Dealer” map.

What is the difference between working load, breaking load and operating limit?

Working Load (WL) indicates the value of static load at which the product will still function without excessive friction or wear or permanent deformation of components.
Breaking Load (BL) indicates the value of static load for which a major failure of one or some structural components or the complete destruction of the product can be expected when new. Plastic components may split, rivets may give way, shackles or any other connection parts break and other metallic components may fracture.
The functional limit indicates the static load beyond which the product stops operating normally.

What does CMU/WLL mean?

CMU means “Charge Maximale d’Utilisation” (WLL in English for Working Load Limit), it is only used for industrial applications. It is the breaking load divided by 5.

Which load should be considered for water sports?

For water sport applications (non-industrial), the load to be considered is the working load (CT); the CMU/WLL is only used for industrial applications such as lifting etc.

Why do some products have a load marked on the body of the product?

On most Wichard shackles and carbine hooks, the WLL (Working Load Limit) is indicated on the body of the products; this WLL is the load at which the products should be used in industrial applications only.

What tests are performed on Wichard products?

Throughout the manufacture of its products, Wichard performs a number of tests, including:

  • Destructive testing on a tensile test bench for each batch to verify the compliance of the working and breaking loads with those indicated in our documentation
  • Depending on the type of product, Wichard may perform other types of test such as fall tests for PPE (harness tethers) and dimensional checks

How are Wichard products tested mechanically?

Each batch of Wichard product is tested on a tensile test bench to check the working and breaking loads.

Can Wichard products break suddenly?

Thanks to the forge manufacturing process Wichard forged products do not break suddenly. Unlike other methods of manufacture (e.g. casting), the forge aligns the grain of the material and prevents the entry of impurities. Consequently forged material retains all its intrinsic mechanical characteristics.

What is the service life of a Wichard product?

The useful life of any product is determined by some factors (fatigue, type of load, exposure to ultraviolet light, corrosion and stress corrosion) and must be assessed in each application. Thus no guarantee can be provided for product life, dynamic capacities or any other factor due to the variability in usage. In some jurisdictions government regulations require the replacement of rigging components within certain periods of time, usually after three or five years. You must ascertain whether any such regulations affect you and take appropriate steps if you are affected.

How should I choose its fastening?

Proper sizing of the fastening is important. We strongly recommend to choosing a fastening with a working load equal to or greater than the breaking load of the cable / wire.

Questions on the maintenance of stainless steel products

How should I maintain a Wichard product?

All chandlery, your blocks and all your equipment should be inspected regularly for deformation, wear, cracks or corrosion. Even if products are little used or loaded, exposure to ultraviolet light, wave action, and wet and saline atmospheres affects the quality and strength of the equipment. If, after inspection, you have a doubt about the integrity of one or more pieces of equipment, it is your responsibility to replace it/them to ensure your safety. Generally speaking, we strongly recommend rinsing with fresh water after every sail / use.

For stainless steel chandlery products, it is advisable to use the Wichinox passivator  to combat the risk of oxidation.

For textile products such as lifelines, we recommend wintering them after every season and checking for cuts in the straps.

How should I use Wichinox?

Wichinox is a chemical for preventing and removing corrosion on stainless steel parts. Its use requires special precautions:

  • We strongly recommend using personal protection equipment.
  • Apply generously with a brush or paint brush, and wait 5 to 15 minutes depending on the degree of corrosion of the part.
  •  Rinse with fresh water and wipe with a soft cloth.

What is corrosion?

Metal corrosion is a phenomenon that has existed since men learned how to work metals that were not found pure in the natural environment. Corrosion is the phenomenon by which metals and metal alloys are subjected by their environment, regardless of its nature, to attack causing them to return to their original form of mineral ores.(source: gouv.fr).

Stainless steels are protected by a “passive film” formed by chromium (chromium oxide). This very thin film (a few nanometres), is compact and adheres to the surface of the metal. This film reforms spontaneously if it is damaged.

How do we combat corrosion?

During manufacture of stainless steel parts:

  • Systematic decontamination of the parts: Exterior cleaning during brightening (use of a passivator)

During use:

  • Avoid using tools that are already rusty
  • Never choose a stainless steel product of unknown origin
  • Rinse the boat and the fittings with fresh water
  • Do not use HS stainless steel for applications requiring prolonged submersion (such as moorings) but prefer 316L stainless steel
  • Clean your stainless steel fittings with Wichinox passivator (ref. 9605)

Questions about stainless steel

Which stainless steels are used by Wichard?

Wichard uses different grades of stainless steel to manufacture its products:

  • 316L: from the family of austenitic stainless steels - they are non-magnetic
  • 17.4 ph (called HR): from the family of martensitic stainless steels – they are magnetic
  • Duplex : from the family of austeno-ferritic stainless steels
  • Titanium

What are the differences between the stainless steel grades used by Wichard?

Each stainless steel has its own characteristics and advantages:

  • 316 stainless steel provides medium mechanical strength and very good corrosion resistance
  • 17.4 PH (HR) stainless steel has higher mechanical strength than 316L stainless steel but poorer corrosion resistance (not recommended for submerged applications)
  • Duplex has both very good mechanical strength and very good corrosion resistance
  • Titanium offers excellent corrosion resistance and good mechanical strength as well as extreme lightness.  Because of its price it is used either for very specific applications (ocean racing and industrial) or for Wichard medical implants

Note that it is the presence of chrome that enables stainless steel to resist corrosion. The higher the chrome content, the better the corrosion resistance.

How can we differentiate an HR stainless steel from a 316L stainless steel?

To differentiate a 17.4 PH (HR) stainless steel from a 316L stainless steel, it suffices to move a magnet close to it. If it reacts it is a 17.4PH (HR) stainless steel

Can 17.4 PH (HR) stainless steel products can be used under water?

Due to their high carbon content, it is definitely not recommended to use 17.4 PH (HR) stainless steel products in submerged conditions (e.g. moorings). For mooring, Wichard supplies 316L stainless steel mooring swivel shackles.

Questions about harness tethers

Why are there different colours on the snap hooks fitted to Wichard harness tethers?

On harness tethers with 3 snap hooks, the snap hooks used have different colours to differentiate which one should be attached to the harness.

For Proline tethers, the snap hook with the yellow lever must be attached to the harness.

For harness tethers with a blue webbing, it is the snap hook with the blue lever that must be attached to the harness.

How do I attach myself with a 3-snap hook harness tether?

Harness tethers with 3 snap hooks enable you to remain attached to the boat constantly. To move about, simply attach the 3rd snap hook in front of the snap hook already attached, and then detach the latter and so on.

Is it possible to change the webbing on a harness tether?

Yes, on Proline harness tethers, the  webbing can be changed if it is damaged. Refer to the instructions for the replacement procedure.

It is not possible to change the webbing on Wichard blue harness tethers.

What is the purpose of the overload indicator on a harness tether?

The overload indicator fitted on some harness tethers (Proline and Proline’R and refs 7007 and 7008) serves to check that the swebbing is in good condition. In the event of a major shock or falling into the sea, the overload indicator triggers and becomes visible showing that the webbing must be changed (Proline and Proline’R ranges) or the tether replaced (refs 7007 and 7008).

Should a harness tether be scrapped after a falling into the sea?

We strongly recommend replacing the harness tether after a fall into the sea or a major shock. On some tethers, an overload indicator becomes visible if the tether or webbing needs to be changed (Proline and Proline’R ranges and refs 7007, 7008 ).

What are the points to be inspected on a harness tether?

Prior to use

Carry out a visual inspection of the webbing and the seams. Look out for any cuts, tears, wear or damage caused by use, heat, chemical products, and so on. Check that the snap hook is not cracked, bent or corroded, and functions correctly. To do this, open the gate and check that it closes and locks automatically when you let it go.
For Proline and Proline'R models, the locking indicator must be entirely visible. The snap hook must never be used without the safety catch. If you are in any doubt about the condition of your snap hook, please contact Wichard.

During use

This product must be inspected regularly. Ensure that all the pieces of equipment are properly connected and are in good working order. Discard any product that shows signs of a weakness that may reduce its strength or impede its use. Destroy discarded products to prevent their future use. Always check that the gate locks correctly, that no foreign bodies prevent the automatic locking feature from working. Always close and lock the gate before using the snap hook. The strength of the snap hook will be reduced if, by accident, the gate opens. Nothing must be allowed to impinge upon the snap hook; Any external pressure or constraint will reduce its strength. Check that there are no sharp edges in the vicinity of the webbings.

Refer to the product notices for details.

What maintenance is needed on harness tethers?

We recommend storing harness tethers in a ventilated area. They can be cleaned with soap and water and then dried. They must never be in contact with chemicals.

Refer to each product’s instructions for further details.

Questions about lifelines

What are the points to be checked on Lyf’Safe lifelines?

We strongly recommend inspecting the product every six months. Nevertheless, this frequency must be adapted according to the type of use, as well as its intensity. Frequently check the webbings (particularly at the ends) and the loop seams. Watch out for the appearance of cuts, wear and tear, and damage linked with use of the product, heat exposure, use of chemicals, etc.

IN ALL CASES: Lyf’Safe must not be reused after damage or tearing, even partial. If you have any doubts whatsoever, have Lyf’Safe inspected by a qualified professional.

What maintenance is needed on Lyf’Safe lifelines?

Maintenance: to increase Lyf’Safe’s service life, we advise rinsing the webbing, the adjuster, and the casing with clean water after every use. In the event of prolonged wintering, it is also advisable to dismantle a Lyf’Safe.

Storage: Lyf’Safe must be stored in a dry and ventilated area, shielded from light, extreme temperatures, and corrosive or aggressive materials.

Refer to each product’s instructions for further details.

Can I obtain photoluminescent casings as spare parts?

Yes, the photoluminescent housings of Lyf’Safe life lines are available as spare parts under part #  7060

What fastenings should I use to fix my Lyf’Safe lifelines?

Fastenings for the ends of Lyf’Safe must meet standard NF EN ISO 15085, or: “...be capable of resisting a horizontal force of 20,000 N applied in the direction of a straight line connecting them, and up to an angle of 30° with respect to this straight line.” On the majority of small crafts, the fastenings are installed by the manufacturer and have different shapes: U-bolts or pad eyes, cleats, pulpits, or even a notch on the toe rail . If this type of fastening is absent, Wichard recommends installing its pad eyes (ref. 6604). To guarantee the integrity of Lyf’Safe, the fastening points must not have abrasive or sharp edges, and must have a minimum of Ø6 in contact with the webbing. If need be, the use of Wichard shackles, ref. 1204, 1244, 1224, or models equivalent in load, can provide an appropriate solution for your deck plan configuration. It is up to each owner to check the reliability of the fastening points with their manufacturer or a professional.

Refer to each product’s instructions for further details.

Where and how do I install my lifelines on board?

The Lyf’Safe installation should follow the cleanest path between the front and rear fastenings. In addition, it must allow the user to move about without unhooking/hooking on (as much as possible). To avoid falls into the sea, it is advisable to centre the route of the lifeline as much as possible. We also recommend installing a lifeline in the bottom of the cockpit. The Lyf’Safe lifeline does not necessarily need to be taut between its fittings.

Refer to each product’s instructions for further details.

Questions about knives

What maintenance do Wichard knives need?

To extend their service life, we recommend rinsing Wichard knives with clean water after each use and drying them by leaving each blade and accessory open to allow the water to drain off. Do not put your Wichard knife in a dishwasher.
After several rinses, oil the mechanisms with 3-in-1 oil.

How do we unlock Wichard knife blades?

Once the blade is opened and locked, to unlock the blade, simply press the metal piece on the handle and close the blade.

When closing the blade, we recommend holding the blade slightly to prevent damage to the cutting edge when closing

How do we unlock Wichard Bosco (bos’n) knife blades?

To unlock the old Wichard Bosco knife, the spike and the shackle key must be opened half way to be able to close the blade (see photo)

Can I sharpen the blades of a Wichard knife?

Wichard knives with smooth blades can easily be sharpened with a market sharpener or sharpening stone.

For models with serrated blades, we recommend using a special sharpener to avoid damaging the serration teeth, and proceeding tooth by tooth.

Questions about the Wichard boom brake

Is the Gyb’Easy boom brake available with other rope lengths?

As standard, the Gyb’Easy boom brake is supplied with a specific Gyb’Flex rope with a length of 16 m. The same rope can be ordered with a length of 25 m (part #  7149).

Can I use a rope other than the Gyb’Flex rope provided with the Gyb’Easy boom brake?

No, best operation of the Gyb’Easy boom brake is ensured by using the specially developed Gyb’Flex rope.  The Gyb’Flex is available as a spare part in lengths of 16 m (ref. 7148) and 25 m (ref .7149).

Why are there multiple openings on the boom brake?

The boom brake has several openings to adjust the braking force to wind conditions. The more openings the rope passes through, the greater the braking effect.

What spare parts are available for the Gyb’Easy boom brake?

It is possible to order the special Gyb’Flex rope in lengths of 16 m (part# 7148) or 25 m (part # 7149).

Questions about blocks

How should I choose a block?

To select a block correctly, the following must be considered:

  • The diameter of the rope running through the block
  • The type of application: plain bearing blocks for static operations, ball bearing blocks for dynamic operation, and roller bearing blocks for heavily loaded dynamic operations.
  •  The type of attachment: shackle, fork, cheek block or reefing point

What is the purpose of the universal head on Wichard blocks?

The universal head on Wichard plain and ball bearing blocks is used to adjust the direction of the shackle.

Why do the shackles used on the blocks have a different loads?

On the body of the shackle, this is the WLL (working load limit used for industrial applications) that is shown. For water sport applications, the load to be considered is the working load (WL); the working load of the shackle is always equal to or greater than the working load of the block.

Why does a block with a cam cleat have a lower load?

On a block with a cam cleat, the load shown is the holding load of the rope in the cam cleat.

When to use an MXEvo (friction) and/or a block?

The MXEVO block is to be used for static operations with high loads (e.g. mast foot blocks).  Wichard plain bearing blocks are for use on static operations with moderate loads.

How do I size a block?

To size a block properly, both the working load of the rope used and the rope diameter must be considered.

Can I use the same block for a cable or a rope?

It is definitely not recommended to use a standard block to run a stainless steel wire. Specific blocks with aluminium sheaves exist at Wichard for stainless steel wires.

Roller bearing blocks

There is a multitude of types of attachment for roller bearing blocks: universal fork, swivel fork, snap hook or strap.

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