JEFA Modular Steering ‘Cassette’

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It has been a long time since the majority of sailing yachts of any size were conned using only a rudder, its stock and a tiller. Over time steering systems have also grown tremendously in complexity, with many of today’s boats having not only twin helms, but also two rudders and their associated connections, including autopilot drives. Because many of the components require substantial mountings and careful alignment, a number of suppliers are now production boatbuilders by supplying kits that include most of the necessary parts in one package. However, Jefa has taken this approach a step further with its cassette concept, in which it offers all the necessary components, including wheels, pedestals, linkages, autopilot drives and rudders with their stocks and bearings, already assembled onto a base and ready to be bonded to the deck molding, ideally while the latter is still curing, thereby avoiding secondary bonds. The process begins with the builder submitting its desired configuration to Jefa, which then undertakes the engineering and returns a proposal to the builder. Not surprisingly, the approach yields dramatic reductions in installation times similar to those gains when using saildrives for propulsion. (The image below shows the cassettes for the Bavaria 46 Cruiser and the 51 Cruiser.) Although Jefa says it can provide a cassette for a one-off boat, spreading out the development costs over multiple boats is obviously the best way to go. $NA. Jefa, jefa.com

Back to 2018 Pittman Innovation Awards

February 2018

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