FAKES: Swedish company Hammar says there are some dangerous counterfeit copies of its Hydrostatic Release Unit, the Hammar H20. The company says to an untrained eye the copy is almost identical to the original product, with Hammar’s logo and address on the labels.
But Hammar says the fakes differ in one very important aspect from the original genuine part – they don’t work.
Hammar says it has tested several of the copies and not a single one of them worked properly according to SOLAS specifications – the fake H20 will definitely not release a liferaft or an EPIRB, says the company. ‘We see this as a very serious situation,’ said Hammar.
Owners can check quickly on whether their products have the correct genuine Hammar part. ‘If you check on the underside of the Hammar H20 (picture 1) you should be able to find five fabrication marks on all units produced since April 2006. The company says units produced before that date have only two fabrication marks.
The fabrication mark on the upper side of the unit must always point directly towards the rope (picture 2).
Hammar says the serial number and production date can always be verified by contacting CM Hammar at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hammar 20 Hydrostatic Release kits are sold by West Marine here:West Marine
West Marine does a wonderful job of selling quality merchandise and backing it up. To be on the safe side you should check your Hammar 20 unit no matter where you purchased it from. It is not practical for any retailer to closely check each one of the products that they sell for authenticity. The onus is on you to keep your crew safe.
This may affect you and not just the folks in Sweden. Check the unit on your boat before you do anything else the next time you get onboard.
Be careful out there!
David Tomen CPYB