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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.

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:
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 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 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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