Fishing Outdoors NZ News Article 2024

Fishing Outdoors NZ News Article 2024

May 20, 2024

Boating, Fishing and Outdoors NZ News Article 2024


How Snap-D Shackles Started

Selling up and jumping straight into the deep end to launch your own product might sound like a dream to some, but that’s exactly what one young Kiwi bloke did when he came up with his own version of an improved towing shackle.

Charlie Brown, a mechanic by trade who owned his own earthworks business, decided to bite the bullet and launch the Snap-D shackle – a half turn, spring loaded D shackle. Charlie says the idea for the new shackle came to him about five years ago when he was sitting in a tractor for hay season in South Australia. With a lot of time to ponder, he thought, ‘there had to be a better way’.

“The fundamental idea was that conventional D shackles are slow, the pin falls out and gets lost. They also over tighten. The Snap-D shackle design fixes all of this,” he explains.

Made from 304 stainless steel, it can be used for a variety of applications – anything you use a conventional D shackle for, Snap-D can do it, Charlie says.

“From horse floats to fishing boats, the weekend camper to a motocross trailer – any trailer application.

“The whole idea is so simple you’d think, why doesn’t this already exist? So I got home and made one in my shed, and then it sat in the drawer for about five years.”

Launching the shackle took a lot of guts on Charlie’s part, but he decided to back himself and the product.

“I went all in, sold the house, the machinery, all that. It was really scary, it was such a big move but I really believed in the product.”

Come 2019, Charlie flew to China to find a manufacturer, got it patented, and had the packaging and CAD drawings all done properly here in New Zealand.

“Grant from Udy Engineering in Hamilton really came through on this. His CAD drawings and 3D printing were what took this concept and idea from being a product in my head and a handmade version from the shed at home into a real-life production item,” he says.

Charlie has had about 60’000 + of the shackles made so far and has further orders being produced currently.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to is really keen on it and have asked me to send them some product”.

He adds that the patenting process was initially quite daunting, but he enjoyed learning a whole new skill.

“It was like doing an apprenticeship. Having to learn how to do a patent, all the ins and outs, making sure you were talking to the right people. But I got some really useful advice, a lot of help with how to go about the whole process.”

The Snap-D shackle is currently stocked in a variety of stores across the country, Mitre10 Mega, Bunnings Warehouse, Smart Marine, Burnsco, Marine Deals, All Motorcycle shops, Dive Zone, Dutchys, Get Wet in Te Rapa, Bite Time Bait in Whatawhata, Northend Ag Centre in Hopuhopu, and Prescott Motors, the list continues.

Now it is in the big stores here in New Zealand, which has been an amazing accomplishment. Like Mitre 10 and Bunnings, so everyone has access to it, and then I’ll be looking to get into Australia, the US, Canada. Go international.

Charlie says he’s got another idea in the works, with CAD drawings and 3D printing underway.

“Can’t quite let you guys know what that is just yet, but watch this space.”