Rigging & Sail Controls
For racing sailors, the latest in rig hardware is all about weight savings and performance, while for cruisers it’s also about reliability and ease of use
Ronstan’s Quick-Lock Winch
Lock n’ Load Winch Handle
Ronstan’s Quick-Lock winch handles have a proprietary “auto quick-locking mechanism” that allows you to immediately place the drive head of the handle into a winch socket without first rotating a knob or pushing a button. The handle’s stainless steel locking lever automatically holds the handle in place—no more wasting time lining up buttons in the middle of a tack or gybe. The handles are available in 8in or 10in lengths with either a conventional single grip or two-handed Palm grip for maximum grinding power. From $94.
Ronstan USA, ronstan.us
Jurgan Tool-Free clevis
Tool-Free Clevis Pins
The Jurgan Tool-Free clevis is just that: a clevis pin with a proprietary mechanism that allows it to be secured without the need to thread or bend a cotter pin. Instead, a single sturdy pin holds the clevis in place, while a rotating cap secures the pin with the help of a spring-loaded plunger. The exact mechanism takes more time to describe than we have space for here, but it works very well. Robustly manufactured of stainless steel in a wide range of sizes, this is a piece of equipment that has to be seen to be truly appreciated. From $35.
Crealock Development, crealock.com
New England Ropes’ STS-WR2
New England Ropes’ STS-WR2 line is made of Dyneema SK-75 high-modulus polyethylene (HMPE) fiber to deliver top-level performance. It is extremely lightweight and high strength, making it an excellent replacement for lifelines and select standing rigging applications. In fact, STS-WR2 is not only lighter and more flexible than more traditional wire, it has a longer service life as well. Available in either white or gray, the 1/8in line has a rated tensile strength of 817lb while the 3/16in line has a tensile strength of 1,815lb. From $0.99/foot.
New England Ropes, neropes.com
Seldén Double Fairlead
A common problem with continuous-line furlers is, well, all that line. Managing a short loop up on the foredeck isn’t so bad, but cruisers who prefer to tend furlers from the cockpit inevitably end up with a lot of spaghetti running the length of the boat. Enter the Seldén Double Fairlead, which functions much like the fairleads long used with conventional furling lines. The genius of the Seldén system is a spring-loaded “push and twist” bale, which can be easily opened or closed for reeving or removing the line underway. $68.
Seldén Mast, seldenmast.com
ProFurl Spinex Furler
Top-down spinnaker furlers are all the rage these days, particularly among cruisers looking for ways to handle downwind sails without doing too much work. Like the spinnaker socks that came before them, early iterations of top-down furlers have suffered a few bugs—including overwraps, binding sails and reverse furls—that can turn an otherwise user-friendly piece of gear into a pain in the backside. Enter ProFurl with its new Spinex furler. By interposing a long series of splined roller-ball bearings between the furler’s torque rope and the sail that wants to wrap around it, the Spinex makes spinnaker furling even easier and more trouble-free. A series of fixed bearing locks separate the roller-balls into discrete sections, so they won’t bind, while an easy-to-assemble torque-rope terminal makes it possible for owners to fit the kit themselves. A friction-free solid block fixed to the tack swivel also makes it possible to adjust the tack line while sailing. All in all, the furler represents an impressive step forward in a rapidly developing field. From $2,299.
T-25 Line Organizer
Keeping Your String Together
Organizing lines is essential on a fast-flying raceboat, as tangled spaghetti can easily cost you pickle dishes. However, mounting organizing hardware can be a challenge, particularly on smaller boats. Spinlock’s solution to this problem is the fully modular T-25 line organizer, a clever micro-sized system that is built out of fiber-reinforced plastic and stainless steel, and is configured so that its constituent parts can be clipped together lengthwise, providing up to six independent, plain-bearing sheaves. The lightweight T-25 also bends longitudinally to accommodate cambered surfaces. Additional bolt-on fairleads allow you to impose yet more order on your running rigging, while extra sheaves can be added later on, should your line-handling needs ever change. From $24.95.
“Air” and “Wing” Pedestals
Let the trickle down begin! As today’s America’s Cup boats and other grand prix racers continue to sail ever faster, windage aloft and on deck has become an increasingly important part of the speed equation. Enter Harken’s “Air” and “Wing” pedestals, which reportedly reduce the drag generated by fore-and-aft and athwartships pedestals between 30 to 65 percent. Sculpted from carbon fiber (of course!) the pedestals feature aerodynamic cross-sections that are as slippery as they are sexy. If only Harken could find a way to make them easier to turn when grinding in a big load! Price N/A.
Harken Inc., harken.com
Robship’s Hook & Moor
Hooked on Moorings
Robship’s Hook & Moor uses a rotating, bearing-driven “hook” to reliably thread a line with a loop on the end through a ring or cleat with a simple pull or push. It would be impossible to describe exactly how the system operates in the space of this short review. But it does, indeed, work. Because it takes a bit of practice to figure out, you won’t want to just hand the Hook & Moor off to a non-sailing guest. But for singlehanders, it could be just the thing for ensuring safe, predictable landings. Newbies can also use the Hook & Moor like a conventional boathook. $157.