Category Archive: PRODUCTS

Pick the Right Steel for Your Project

Do you have a project you’re putting off?

Are you working on a task fixing up a safety gate on your barn or the latches on your boat and you’re not sure what product to go with? Are you looking to upgrade your marine hardware?

We offer our snap hooks, bolt snapstrigger snapspulleys and hooks in a variety of materials and finishes and steel is one of the most popular. It can be confusing to differentiate between steel, stainless steel, and nickel plated steel. Here is some basic information to consider when selecting the right steel product for your job!

Are you looking for strength and not worried about corrosion or aesthetic? Steel may be a good option. Modern production of steel began in the late 19th century and was an important part of the Industrial Revolution. Steel was widely used in construction of buildings and railroads due to its strength, cost, and light weight. Today, we see steel being used across a wide range of industries, especially hardware. We offer snap hooks, bolt snaps and hooks manufactured using a durable forged steel. Steel is an alloy consisting of iron and carbon. It has a high tensile strength making it a strong and inexpensive option. However, when exposed to the elements, steel is susceptible to corrosion.

Stainless steel is one of the most common and popular products on the market today. Stainless steel is an alloy made from iron, chromium, and nickel. It’s corrosion resistance combined with it’s aesthetically pleasing look make it a popular choice amongst customers. Our stainless steel snap hooks and trigger snaps are manufactured with a 316 grade stainless with superior corrosion resistance. These snap hooks and trigger snaps can stand up to fresh or salt water exposure without worry of corrosion, making them a great choice for any marine or outdoor application. While stainless steel may be slightly more expensive up front, you will save a lot on the back end as stainless steel pieces are made to last.

The benefits of stainless steel are obvious, but nickel plated steel has many of the same benefits at a lower cost. Nickel plated steel is just that…a steel that has a thin layer of a oxidation resistant nickel applied. The nickel does not decompose, but rather forms a layer of nickel oxide, which prevent further corrosion from occurring. There are several benefits of using nickel plated steel: corrosion resistance, heat resistance, increased strength, resistance to wear and aesthetic. Like stainless steel, nickel plated steel is also a great option for marine and outdoor applications.

Below is a chart for highlighting the pros and cons of these steel products…

Steel Stainless Steel Nickel Plated Steel
Composition Alloy of Iron and Carbon Alloy of Iron, Chromium and Nickel High Air Flow
Pros: -Strong
Durable
-Inexpensive
-Corrosion resistant
-Fire/Heat resistant
-Aesthetically pleasing
-Long term value
-Extreme corrosion resistance
-Wear resistant
-Less expensive than Stainless Steel
Cons: -Susceptible to corrosion -Higher up-front cost -Inadequate plating can lead to corrosion
Application/Industry: Agricultural, Equine, Dog Leash & Collar, Sports Equipment Marine, Outdoor, Agricultural, Awnings, Dairy, Hardware, Sports Equipment Marine, Outdoor, Hardware, Sports Equipment

Rigging Hardware 101: How to Choose the Best Type for Your Project

Wire ropes, straps, hooks, and other rigging hardware can be used in conjunction with cranes or other lifting equipment to move loads that are too heavy to lift manually. A wide range of industries and applications use rigging every day to facilitate the movement of cargo and materials. Rigging may be largely taken for granted, but proper selection can make the difference between a safe, successful move and one that causes property damage or injury.

Strict safety guidelines must be followed to avoid accidents. There are several steps users should take to make sure everything is used correctly. These include:

  • Familiarizing all users and stakeholders with information contained within equipment user manuals.
  • Proper training on all rigging and lifting equipment for all operators.
  • Conducting regular preventative maintenance on all rigging and lifting equipment.
  • Adhering to all safety and operational standards set forth by OSHA and other regulating bodies.

Rigging Hardware 101 Infographic

 

The Different Types of Rigging Hardware

Rigging selection can be a complex process, with many different forms of hardware made specifically for certain weights, situations, and environments. Common forms of rigging hardware include:

Hooks

Used to lift heavy objects and eliminate slippage of materials, rigging hooks come in various forms, each one better suited for different weights and material types. The most common styles include:

  • Hoist hooks
  • Lifting hooks
  • Rigging hooks
  • Sling hooks

Eye Bolts

Eye bolts typically serve as an anchor point for cables or wires and are chosen depending on the angle of the load. Eye bolt types include:

  • Shoulder eye bolts
  • Straight eye bolts
  • Screw eye bolts
  • U-bolts
  • Lag eye screws

Steel Nuts

Steel nuts work in concert with eye bolts on many rigging applications. Most steel nuts are made from type 316 stainless steel. Nut types include:

  • Hex nuts
  • Ball ends
  • Dome nuts
  • Wing nuts
  • Lifting eye nuts

Wire Ropes

Wire ropes are used in rigging, mooring, and lifting operations. They are typically made with stainless steel and come in multiple sizes and strengths. Wire ropes can be used in conjunction with clips, thimbles, and sleeves.

Pulleys & Blocks

Blocks are a requirement for lifting very heavy loads. They do so by lessening the force needed to move weightier objects. The most common type of block is the snatch block, but swivel blocks and square blocks are also viable options for specific applications. Blocks are easy to deploy, available in multiple sizes, and can accommodate up to 30 tons in weight. Pulleys, available in single and double varieties, tend to be combined with rigging ropes in order to hook onto objects securely. Pulley selection is dependent on rope, frame, and sheave size.

Choosing the Best Hardware for Rigging and Lifting

With so many options, it’s important to differentiate between each piece of equipment and figure out what is best for each unique lifting situation. The correct choice of rigging hardware depends on many variables, such as the different weather conditions they must withstand, the materials they are interacting with, and the industry that is using them.

Rigging is a versatile discipline. Divers use rigging hardware such as bolt snaps and D-rings to attach valuable items to fins, masks, regulators, ventilators, and tanks. Snap hooks, anchor chains, and trailer safety chains do a similar job as sailboat rigging hardware. Different harnesses may be used as saddle rigging hardware for horses, depending on the work load (breast collar harnesses for light work, breast strap harnesses for more strenuous activity). Rigging hardware is also useful for other recreational activities. Links, snaps, eye bolts, and D-rings are all useful ways to stay safe while rock climbing or water skiing.

Rigging hardware is an invaluable source of safety in many industrial, commercial, and recreational applications. Henssgen Hardware offers a wide range of solutions for your rigging needs. If you have any questions or want to request a quote, please contact us here.

 

Marine Hardware | Materials Guide: Stainless Steel, Brass, and More

Marine hardware allows commercial, industrial, and recreational operators to customize their vessels, increase safety, and improve efficiency. There is a variety of boat rigging hardware that enhances the performance of a diverse range of watercraft.

Buying rigging made from corrosion-resistant materials ensures marine hardware holds up in harsh environments. Knowing what to look for helps watercraft owners find the right marine hardware for their specific needs.

Hardware Types for Marine Applications

Marine hardware fulfills many purposes on watercraft. Common rigging equipment includes:

brass_thumb2

  • Snap hooks are a versatile tool used to secure anchor chains, organize gear, tie down tarps, or customize pulley systems. Prepared boaters should always keep a supply of marine snap hooks on their vessels.
  • Boaters use rope cleats to secure ropes and knots. Rope cleats allow kayakers to customize their rig for comfort and stability.
  • Double-end hooks allow operators to create strong rope networks to support sails, secure fishing lines, and fasten diving gear.
  • Rings are another multifaceted tool that helps boaters secure loads and lines. Kayakers and rowers use them to keep equipment close while on the water.
  • Fixed, open, and swivel-eye snaps are flexible components for sailboats, fishing canoes, and pontoons.

Boat rigging hardware is an integral part of marine activities. Hardware made with the wrong materials sustains damage from sea salt, wind, and water. Environmental stress weakens the hardware and endangers lives and property.

bay-blue-boat-296242-510x409

Material Selection for Marine Applications

Corrosion-resistant metals protect vital marine hardware from degrading in aquatic conditions. Optimal materials for marine environments may include:

  • Durable brass alloys work well for underwater applications. Brass prevents submerged components from wearing away in salty or high-pressure waters.
  • Steel is a cost-effective solution for milder marine conditions. This material withstands sun and wind damage. Steel alloys may not be the best fit for those who frequent saltwater environments.
  • Stainless steel is attractive and highly resistant to rust. It’s also less prone to pitting and corrosion from salt water.
  • Die-cast zinc withstands high temperatures, making it ideal for protecting motorized equipment. Marine hardware made from zinc offers a wide variety of cosmetic finishes that complement exterior components.

Natural elements are the biggest threat to vessel safety. Choose corrosion-resistant materials to prevent weakened and compromised components.

Marine Rigging Solutions from Henssgen Hardware

Henssgen Hardware supplies commercial boaters and water sports enthusiasts alike with high-quality, corrosion-resistant marine hardware. Our selection of clips, snaps, and rings come in a variety of metals, finishes, and sizes to match your specifications at wholesale prices.

Browse our online catalog to find the perfect piece for your project or contact us directly for a quote.

Snaps: A Comprehensive Guide

Snaps—also known as snap hooks or spring hooks—are hooks with a spring snap in their ends to prevent the accidental unhooking of a rope, cord, or other target line. Snaps are a common but essential component in a huge range of industrial applications, from dog leashes to theatrical lighting.

The Different Types of Snaps

With multiple snap types available, it may not be immediately clear which type is correct for a given application. This page will explore the different types of snaps and their applications.

. Snap Hooks

snap hook

The traditional snap hook is perhaps the most common type. Snap hooks are equipped with a durable spring that allows for strong, quick attachment to a rope, cable, chain, or other line.

In its most basic form, a snap hook is a roughly question-mark shaped metal hook with a hollow section into which the spring-loaded closing bar is fitted. There will also be a small appendage that catches the snap hook and opens it when pressed with the thumb. Upon release of the knob, the gate snaps close by the spring’s action.

Snap hooks can come from a wide variety of source materials, such as brass, stainless steel, and die-cast zinc. They also can provide different functions, such as:

  • Panic snapsThis snap type allows the attached rope or cable to be released almost instantly. Some panic snaps are specifically designed for horses and come with a ring that instantly releases anything attached to the snap.
  • Fixed-eye snapsThese snaps have bases that are fixed in place. They are often used in the marine industry as boating attachments.
  • All-purpose snapsThese snaps let the operator change lures/rigs quickly without the need to retie a line.
  • Swivel-eye snapsSwivel-eye snaps have an adjustable base that allows the spring to turn along its vertical axis.

Snap Hook vs Carabiner

A carabiner is a metal loop with a spring-loaded entryway that will quickly open in order to detach a safety rig’s parts, such as the cable or line. The only way to open a carabiner is to manually push the gate away from the loop. This is one key difference between a carabiner and a more traditional snap hook—the snap hook can only release the cord or rope it holds if the spring gate is pushed towards the loop, instead of away from it.

Snaps vary in the amount of weight for which they are designed, and the amount of force they can successfully withstand without breakage. Snap hooks and carabiners should both have a kN (kilo-Newton) rating engraved on their spine. This is a rating for the force of gravity that the snap can successfully absorb.

. Heavy-Duty Snaps

heavy duty snap

For certain applications, the use of heavy-duty snaps is imperative. These snaps are constructed for strength and durability, and are subject to rigorous American National Standards Institute (ANSI) guidelines.

For instance, ANSI requires that fall-protection hardware have at least a 16 kN rating for the gate, and a 22.5 kN rating for the tensile load. In other words, the snap’s spring gate should be able to withstand kN forces of 3,600 pounds, and the snap itself must handle forces of 5,000 pounds. 

. Trigger Snaps

trigger snap

What are trigger snaps? Trigger snaps are considered a specialized type of snap hook. The distinguishing feature of a trigger snap is the addition of a small lever onto the spring gate apparatus. The snap’s user can easily press the lever, which then causes the spring gate to retract inwards and release the attached line. In practice, this means that a snap operator can easily attach or detach from a line with one hand.

Moreover, the trigger snap is designed so that it will not open accidentally. Trigger snaps are used for handbags and purses, camera and binocular straps, and other fashion or accessory applications.

. Bolt Snaps

bolt snap

Bolt snaps are like trigger snaps in the sense that they can be easily operated with one hand. The main difference between the two snap types is the unlocking mechanism. Whereas a trigger snap utilizes a lever; a bolt snap employs a button that causes the spring gate to release when pressed.

Bolt snaps tend to be less secure than trigger snaps since accidental pressure on the release button could cause an unintended detachment from the line or strap.

Applications: What are Snaps Used For?

Snaps can be used in a comprehensive array of industries and applications. Examples of common applications include:

  • Sports equipment. Snap hooks can keep volleyball and tennis nets level and tight. Facility managers for baseball fields may use them to hold up the netting behind home plate. Snap hooks may also be used to secure rifle slings, bird straps, or water skis. The sports applications for snap hooks are almost limitless.
  • Dog leashes. Dog leash snap hooks come in a wide variety and at different cost and quality levels. Factors to consider in choosing a snap hook type for dog leashes include: snap material, swivel-eye vs. fixed, eye shape, and eye diameter.
  • Awnings. Whether an awning is retractable or stationary, stainless steel snap hooks and other snap types typically provide stable and adjustable support.
  • Marine hardware. Sailors can employ snap hooks to attach to anchor chains, trailer safety chains, to secure equipment, or to secure vessels to docks.

But while snap hooks are usually thought of as heavy-duty hardware and associated with tough, durable products, the truth is that snap hooks have a softer side. There are many creative ways that snap hooks can be put to use.

Snap Hardware Materials

There are five types of material commonly used to produce snaps. Each material has its own unique properties and advantages.

  • Die cast zincZinc casting alloys tend to be stronger than reinforced, molded polymers. Zinc has self-lubricating abilities, and its stability makes it highly compatible for mechanical parts that move, such as gears. Zinc is also non-toxic and reusable.
  • Stainless steelStainless steel is exceptionally resistant to corrosion, making it a good fit for outdoor applications. In fact, high-grade stainless-steel alloys are even compatible for high acidity, high pressure, and high temperature conditions. Stainless steel is extremely durable and its lifespan typically offsets any increased upfront costs. 
  • Brass. Manufacturers often use brass for highly decorative applications that don’t involve a lot of moving parts or constant friction. Furthermore, brass is highly non-flammable, making it perfect for products that will be used around flammable or explosive gases.
  • Malleable iron. This material is often used for small castings or castings that have cross-sections of 0.25” or less. Malleable iron is very tough, highly ductile, and extremely heat resistant. It is utilized in electrical and pipe fittings, hand tools, and farm equipment, among other products.
  • Steel. Steel is a strong metal and can be formed according to rigorous standards of safety and quality.

Getting the Right Snap for Your Project at Henssgen Hardware

While they may be small components, snaps are essential to many applications across diverse industries. It’s important that you match the right snap to your project to ensure its ultimate success.

At Henssgen Hardware, we offer a wide range of snap products and are happy to help each customer find the perfect match for his or her particular application. If you’d like to learn more about our product line, reach out to us today or browse our online catalog. We work hard to ensure that our snaps are strong, durable, and will meet your specific needs.

 

What is a Trigger Snap?

Education is important to us here at Henssgen Hardware, and in this article we want to shine some light on the trusty Trigger Snap. Read on to learn just exactly what a trigger snap is, what makes it unique, and what a trigger snap is used for.

You are likely more familiar with the bolt snap, which is popularly seen at the end of a dog leash. It has a button that pushes down to release the leash from the collar. You may also know the all purpose snap that looks like a carabiner and is often used for keychains.

A trigger snap is different from a bolt snap or an all purpose snap because it has a little lever, or trigger, which opens the snap. The trigger makes it easy to open and close the snap with just one hand.

It also has overlapping pieces which make for a more secure hold, rather than a bolt snap. It is very hard for anything to slip through a trigger snap. The built-in trigger mechanism will not release accidentally – only when purposeful force is applied to it, which sets it apart from a bolt snap.

Because a trigger snap also offers a more reliable holding closure, it makes more sense for certain uses.

It is often used in the fashion industry for handbags, purses, suspenders, luggage and briefcases. It is often used for camera straps, binocular straps, and other fashion or utility applications in need of good solid snaps that won’t open accidentally. Crafters love the trigger snap for key fobs, lanyards and keychains.

You can attach a strap to one end, either a fabric one that’s sewn in as in the case of a purse or handbag, a leather one for a briefcase or bag, or a webbed one in the case of a leash.

More industrial uses include awning fabrication, the marine industry for ropes and knotting, pet leash and pet collar manufacturers, horse leads, harnesses and tack changes.

Our trigger snaps all have full swivel eyes which prevent tangles and come in a variety of shapes, for different uses.

Some of them have flat eyes for use in a strap, and others come with rounded eyes for use with rope and knotting.

We offer trigger snaps in brass and die cast zinc in many different diameters for any need you may have.

Browse our trigger snap selection now!

Henssgen Hardware has a complete line of the highest quality snap hooks, clips and other rigging hardware. We carry hardware in all types of metals and galvanized steel for all types of jobs, from hauling heavy loads to quick-release panic snaps.

Visit our website today and check our online catalog.

What Does WLL Mean and Why is it Important?

It can be confusing to decrypt all of these acronyms like SWL, NWL, WLL and MBS. But Henssgen Hardware is here for you, to educate you on terms like Working Load Limits and everything you need to know about our products.

Safe Working Load, SWL, (or Normal Working Load, NWL) is an outdated term that was used to indicate the amount of weight that a lifting device could safely carry without fear of breaking. It is a calculation of the Minimum Breaking Strength, or MBS.

The more up-to-date phrase for the term SWL is Working Load Limit, or WLL.

The specific definition for the Working Load Limit (WLL) is: The maximum mass or force which a product is authorized to support in general service when the pull is applied in-line, unless noted otherwise, with respect to the centerline of the product.

The manufacturer designates the right or approximate WLL value for each lifting device or use, and considers many factors including the applied load, the length of each rope or line, and many other factors.

It is critically important to heed this number, which is set forth by the manufacturer, when lifting with any device, including a line, rope or crane. The number is calculated by dividing the Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) by a safety factor that is assigned to that type and use of equipment, generally ranging from four to six unless a failure of the equipment could pose a risk to life. In the event that the failure of the equipment could pose a risk to life, the safety factor is ten.

For example, if a hook has a Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) of 1,000 pounds and a safety factor of five, then the Working Load Limit (WLL) would be 200 pounds.

The history to the change in terminology

There were legal implications to the term Safe Working Load, so USA standards phased this term out more than twenty years ago, followed by European and ISO standards just a few years afterward. This change took place because of the legal significance placed on the word ‘safe’.

The Americans and Europeans then developed a more appropriate term and definition for the maximum load capacity of a particular lifting device, agreeing to use the term Working Load Limit (WLL) for equipment such as hooks, slings and shackles.

 

In the cases of cranes, hoists and winches, the term Safe Working Load (SWL) was replaced by Manufacturer’s Rated Capacity (MRC), which is the maximum gross load which may be applied to the crane or hoist or lifting attachment while in a particular working configuration and under a particular condition of used.

Synonyms

SWL — Safe Working Load

NWL — Normal Working Load

WLL — Working Load Limit (Current term used)

Other Acronyms

MBS — Minimum Breaking Strength

MRC — Manufacturers Rated Capacity

Henssgen Hardware is committed to providing top quality products as well as all of the information you need in order to ensure the utmost in safety. Please contact us with any safety questions you may have and we’ll be happy to discuss your needs and which products are the best fit for you.

Some Facts About “Eventing,” AKA the ‘Triathalon’ of the Equestrian World

Horse trials, otherwise known as “Eventing,” are often called the equestrian “triathalon.” The sport, which originated in cavalries in Europe as a way of gauging riding mastery, is a hugely popular sport and events can be found around the country and across the globe, in places like Germany, England, and Dubai – to name a few.

The competition consists of three days of events: dressage, cross-country (otherwise known as endurance) and show jumping. The rider with the lowest number of combined penalty points in all three events wins the ribbon.

The average person does not typically think of “eventing” when they talk about equine sport in NY. Most people automatically think of thoroughbred racing in Belmont, Aqueduct, Saratoga, the Finger Lakes and other racetracks. These people would be surprised to learn how many event locations and “triathalon” training centers dot the map of the Empire State.

Millbrook, NY’s “Milbrook Horse Trials,” for example, are recognized by the United States Event Association. Even closer to the update region, equine training centers like Winterwood Farm in the town of Milton, and Larkin Hill Farm in North Chatham, have been around for years and attract serious riders and their talented and stunning mounts for training and preparation for competition.

In eventing, horses are coaxed, pampered and patiently brought along as they gain mastery of difficult and beautiful movements. Their manes and tails are coifed and groomed into elaborate braids. Riders are required to wear elegant attire, consisting of cutaway coats, ruffled shirts, tight white, black or navy jodphurs and highly polished riding boots.

The horses chosen to train and compete for this sport are usually thoroughbreds or exotic breeds from Spain, Portugal and other countries. At Winterwood Farm, for example, regal Spanish Normans, known across Europe as the warhorses of the ages, are treated like royalty as they progress through jumps and other graceful movements.

While both horses and riders are trained and groomed to perfection, just as in any equine sport, the right equine hardware is critical to the safety of riders, trainers, horses and spectators. That is where Henssgen can help. Our company has been servicing the equine industry for nearly 40 years and we carry a complete line of snap hooks, quick links, panic snaps and other hardware.

In 2013, Rachel Shaw Novak purchased the business from her parents and went on to obtain a Women’s Business Enterprise/Woman Owned Small Business certificate.

We invite you to visit our website and check out our catalog for a complete listing of products we offer.

Henssgen Hardware for Gym Equipment… Who Knew!

When Kathy Porcell, owner of Elevation Pilates in Glens Falls had to replace the hardware on her Pilates equipment, she thought her only option was to go back to the Pilates equipment manufacturer for the double-ended and single-ended clips and snap hooks she uses each day in her fitness classes.

“I waited four weeks for the manufacturer to get the stainless steel clips in stock. And then I had to drive all the way to Queens for them!” After waiting for so long to get them, she knew it would probably take at least another week to have them shipped from downstate. Not to mention the additional cost of shipment. You see, the Pilates machine manufacturer outsources their clips, hooks and other hardware from wholesale suppliers. Chances are, they don’t keep a lot of clips, snaps or hooks in their stock. More likely, they don’t stock them at all.

Hardware used at Elevation Pilates

Kathy had no idea that there was a wholesale and retail distributor of stainless steel hardware just minutes away from her own fitness studio in Glens Falls, NY. She could have saved herself at least a month of waiting, not to mention the additional time and expense of traveling to Queens.

Kathy won’t make that same mistake again. When it’s time to perform routine performance and maintenance checks on her specialized equipment, she’ll know exactly where to go to replace the all-important snaps and clips that make her Pilates equipment so versatile, allowing clients to work out each muscle group in the body.

It’s not just Pilates equipment that requires clips, snaps and quick release snaps. Think about the last time you were at the gym and you were changing the cables on the standing leg and arm apparatus. Or the seated rowing machine, the lat pulldown machine and the standing cable row.

Hardware used at Elevation Pilates

If you have a personal trainer, he or she relies on the quick release clips and snaps that enable a swift change of equipment – say, changing out the wide grip bar to a smaller grip handle or bar.

By quickly changing the cable grips on a machine from the handle grips to another bar or handle, fitness buffs will work out an entirely different set of muscles, or work out the same muscles in a different way. And, by having the ability to make these changes quickly and efficiently, it allows the person training to maintain a higher level of intensity during the workout.

Nearly every machine in the gym uses hardware that Henssgen Hardware carries in a whole range of sizes and in different materials, from stainless to bronze to nickel plated to aluminum.

But don’t take my word for it. If you’re the owner or manager of a gym or fitness studio, it’s fast and easy to set up an account online at Henssgen Hardware. While you’re there, browse their catalog to learn more about their products and pricing.

Hardware used at Elevation Pilates

Snap Hooks Keep Us in Line!

It may come as a surprise, but there’s a small, yet mighty important little piece of hardware that’s instrumental in keeping us all in line, making us look good, and working hard alongside us in our businesses, on our farms or at the kennel. The crazy thing is, you can find it in our catalog in a variety of metals, finishes and sizes. What are we talking about?

Snap hooks, of course.

We took these photos on a family trip to Disney! It was a pleasant surprise to see how many different uses there were for snap hooks in the theme park.

This seemingly insignificant and innocuous piece of hardware is not only versatile – as it turns out, it is an integral component of many industries, from banking to boating; entertainment to equestrian; even from farming to fashion. The list is endless.

And we mean that literally. Whether you’re at the bank, the movie theater, waiting in line to climb on a ride at Disney World – even the red carpet in Hollywood or Cannes.

Have you ever shown up for a fancy event, and the attendant quickly unhooks the rope to allow an impatient VIP to move to the front of the line? Those velvet ropes that keep us in an orderly line are attached to their metal bases by snap hooks and you can find them whether you’re waiting to see the newest action movie or do some star-gazing at a celebrity event in Hollywood.

Think about the last time you waited in line with your eager kids to climb on a ride at Disney World. Those snap hooks kept the kids right where they needed to be and safe from wandering off the line into who knows what!

A snap hook is easy to release with just the flick of the wrist and thumb. It comes in a variety of metals and finishes, so it can go from a utilitarian stainless to a polished brass. The snap hook is just like that woman you know who looks just as great in jeans and a tee shirt as she does in a little black dress! Versatile, flexible and adaptable.

And snap hooks can be either fixed or swivel – so important when you’re in a tough space with your horse, for example, and need to unhook him quickly from his harness. Snap hooks can also be spotted on runways or in designer boutiques, adorning the softest suede handbag you’ve ever seen, or keeping that cool leather and gold trimmed belt resting just right on your waist.

So, before you think that snap hooks are just a small, insignificant piece of hardware – think again. Snap hooks can keep us in line, make our livestock and pets safe and secure, add flair to our fashion, and so much more.

Henssgen Hardware, located in Glens Falls NY, has been supplying snap hooks and other rigging hardware for 39 years. Visit their website and their online catalog for more information.

Before It’s ‘Anchors Aweigh’, Get Your Boat Ready for Summer Now

It looks like Spring has finally sprung in the Northeast. Crocuses and daffodils are beginning to submerge from their long subterranean slumber and soon gardens will be showing off their warm weather colors.

Before you can say “April showers bring May flowers,” it will be time to get the boat ready for the water. Before you go ahead and launch your sailboat or power boat for a season of swimming, sunning and snorkeling, it’s a smart idea to make a pre-launch checklist and follow it carefully. Don’t have a list? Here’s a basic one that will cover most of the important components of your boat.

Electrical system

  • Check your batteries.
  • Clean the terminals and connections.
  • Wear safety glasses and gloves to protect against marine battery acids.
  • Check your boat’s running lights.

Safety equipment

  • Do an inventory and inspection of your life vests and flotation devices.
  • Check your fire extinguisher and get it re-charged if necessary.
  • Make sure you have at least one, if not two working flashlights and place them in readily accessible compartments on your boat.
  • Check your anchor. If it’s a motorized anchor, make sure the system is fully functional and the lines are in good condition and not frayed.
  • Check all your buoys.
  • Inspect ropes, lines and rigging.
  • Replace any frayed lines.

Equipment and hardware

  • Open and close your seacocks to be sure they’re working properly and no water has seeped in and frozen over the winter.
  • Make sure the hoses are double-clamped. If the clamps look rusty, replace them.
  • Replace broken, rusty or damaged hardware on your tarps and awnings.
  • Check any pulleys, boat hooks, and quick links to make sure they’re working and free of rust or corrosion.
  • Inspect all rope cleats to make sure they are properly secured. Replace any loose screws and bent or damaged cleats.

Swab the deck…and underneath too

  • Thoroughly wash the exterior of your boat before putting it into the water.
  • Check all crevices, including the propeller and other hard-to-get-at areas for any possible algae, mold or organisms. Most lakes, like Lake George, Lake Champlain, and other smaller lakes, will not allow you to launch your boat if they discover any suspicious algae or organisms on the hull of your boat.

Paperwork

  • Check your boat registration to make sure it is current.
  • If you trailer your boat, check that registration as well and check the wiring so other vehicles will see your brake lights and turn signals.
  • Make sure you have the proper launch stickers for whatever body of water you’ll be putting your boat in during the summer. If they’re expired, you can usually buy a new one right online.

A few hours of inspection, inventory and maintenance and repairs can save a whole lot of headache and frustration in the middle of the lake or stuck on the launch. Getting your boat ready now ensures that you and your family will have a safe, secure and fun season on the water.

Henssgen Hardware, located in Glens Falls NY, has been supplying rigging, boat hooks, snap hooks, pulleys, rope and other rigging hardware for the marine industry for 39 years. Visit their website and their online catalog for more information.