The Guts Behind the Gear

Harken has been supplying gear to America’s Cup competitors since the early 1970s, and been providing the winch and hardware packages for both challenger and defender since the 1995 match. “As you would expect, the Cup match in Valencia was very interesting,” says Harken’s Global Manager, Mark Wiss. Harken supplied the batten car systems for all three masts BMW Oracle developed for their soft
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
thurs_eblast2_instory

Harken has been supplying gear to America’s Cup competitors since the early 1970s, and been providing the winch and hardware packages for both challenger and defender since the 1995 match. “As you would expect, the Cup match in Valencia was very interesting,” says Harken’s Global Manager, Mark Wiss. Harken supplied the batten car systems for all three masts BMW Oracle developed for their soft mainsails. When the third mast fell down in San Diego, the wing that the team had been building in Anacortes, Washington had just arrived there. With the third rig out of action, the crew installed the wing, the team went sailing with it and they never went back.

“Actually the soft rig batten cars turned out to be a great example of the trickle up theory,” says Wiss. “The tracks for the batten car systems on the first two Oracle masts were attached with screws but we glued the third one; it was first tried by the Telefonica crews in the last Volvo Ocean Race. Gluing the tracks saved a lot of weight by eliminating the screws and of course there are a lot fewer holes in the mast. This technique will soon have a much wider audience.”

But Harken, as usual, was asked to come up with plenty of special items. The block controlling the canting wing on USA, for example, had a sheave diameter of about one foot and a working load of around 30 tons!

Finally, both boats used Harken’s 1135 carbon winches fitted with special load pins that can electronically sense when the load on the winch approaches a specified number. When the number is reached, an alarm goes off and the winch automatically stops turning. “Here again,” says Wiss, “I’m sure this feature is something that is going to be embraced by a much larger group of users.”

Related

anchor

Know how: Ground Tackle

Your ground tackle is like a relationship—the more you care for it, the longer it will last. So, how do you enhance the relationship? First up, think of the accommodations—a damp, salt-rich, often warm environment, just the kind of thing to encourage corrosion. What can be done? ...read more

DSC_7522

Boat Review: Beneteau Oceanis 46.1

The Beneteau sailboat line has long represented a kind of continuum, both in terms of the many models the company is offering at any given moment and over time. This does not, however, in any way diminish the quality of its individual boats. Just the opposite. Case in point: the ...read more

shutterstock_1016585167

Cruising: Memories Made by People You Meet

Steve greeted my boyfriend, Phillip, and me as soon as we tied Plaintiff’s Rest, our 1985 Niagara 35, up to his dock on one of the Berry Islands in the Bahamas. He was tall, cheerful and clad in a hodge-podge of clothes one might wear to paint a house: oversized, grungy and old. ...read more

_98A7540

Cruising: Dogs Afloat

We dog owners understand the general expectations of ourselves in public places, like picking up after Fido and keeping him on a leash. There are, however, certain places where additional unspoken rules or expectations may apply—as in harbors or marinas. If you sail with your ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Log the glass  A week ago I set out after breakfast on a 50-mile passage. The day’s forecast via the internet was for 14-18 knots. It never happened, and I spent the entire trip adjusting my genoa ...read more

African-Batik-Green-hires

Gear: The Wonderbag

A Wondrous Bag Cruising sailors are always on the lookout for energy-efficient ways to prepare food, so this new take on the slow-cooker principle should prove popular. The Wonderbag is an insulated jacket that keeps food hot (or cold) for many hours and, according to the ...read more