Here’s a case of grand-prix trickle-down you can benefit from: Lewmar’s new Grand Prix Carbon Fiber 99 winch was specifically designed for the Open 60 and Volvo 70 classes, but it can also handle the loads generated by other large, powerful yachts. The unit’s drum diameter is just under 9 inches; the winch offers a power ratio of 101:1 and has a wide bearing track to accept lines and sheets from any angle. The three-speed winch is available with a cleat top and dual-direction ratchet-sheave base or as a self-tailer. Gears are selected with a thin-diameter rope loop situated on top of the winch—you simply pull it up for first gear. Best yet, thanks to its carbon-fiber construction, the 99 winch won’t slow you down. $21,460. Lewmar USA, 203-458-6200, www.lemar.com
Ask Sail: Are Self-trackers Worth It?
Q: I’m seeing more and more self-tacking jibs out on the water (and in the pages of SAIL) these days. I can’t help thinking these boats are all hopelessly underpowered, especially off the wind, when compared to boats with even slightly overlapping headsails. But I could be ...read more