Saturday, February 4, 2012

Flaked Sail Inside Boom with Switch Track Batt Cars

There is a mainsail on that boom even though you would think it was a bare boom until you see the head at the front end. It is not a furling boom, the main sail is simply flaked, with the help of lazy jacks. Typically you would see a lot of sail sitting on top of the boom plus a stack of battcars at the luff.
The combination of Halls gull wing composite boom and Harkens Switch T track which reduces the height of the mainsail cars, makes for a very clean look on the Shipman 65.
The Switch T Track looks like a railway switching system. The battcars alternate fall down the portside then the starboard side helping the sail flake itself and lower stack height.

 In the picture of the forward end of the boom you can see the Switch T Track just above the mainsail cover. You can see lazy jacks pulled forward in the picture above. Lazy jacks work well with Antals low friction rings

 And here's a closeup from Harken of their switch T Track system

 Switch T Track system for reducing stack height on large yachts. Battcars make mainsail handling much easier especially with full-length battens.
When a full length battened main coupled with Battcars is lowered the sail flakes on alternate sides of the boom. This makes for a very neatly flakes mainsail. The problem however is the combined height of all the cars stacked one on top of the other.
With the switch t track system cars are alternately pushed to one side of the boom or the other to lower the stack height.
Additional Resources
  Harken battcar switch track brochure 

Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't have got that roller  furling boom after  all. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

New Handheld VHF with GPS

Finally a handheld VHF with DSC and GPS. And as an added bonus a MOB function as well. There's only one more feature I think these units should have. An AIS MOB alert. Clearly an added safety feature and perhaps essential, bearing in mind that some countries do not have DSC. New Zealand is one such country without DSC, but AIS is starting to take hold. Of course, all these electronics are getting smaller and smaller and adding extra features will happen as the years go by.
Panbo had some news recently of a fixed VHF with GPS. You can read that here.
Here's what Icom had to say......... 
Icom has launched their next generation of marine VHF models at the 2012 London Boatshow. Both the IC-M91D GPS Marine VHF/DSC Handheld and IC-M423 Compact Fixed Mount VHF/DSC models share a new common user interface and noise cancelling technology that are unequalled in VHF models today. Both models set a benchmark for all future Marine VHF radios.
The IC-M91D is Icom’s first marine handheld VHF with integrated DSC/GPS giving you the facility to send and receive DSC calls.
The integrated GPS provides another important benefit. The waypoint/compass function allows the boat owner to steer their way to waypoints within a route. A Man Over Board (MOB) function allows you to record time and position of the MOB just in case the worst ever happened. These features, dependant on the size of your vessel, could provide a central or back up navigation tool.
Obviously conditions at sea can vary considerably. But in the worst weather conditions trying to listen to someone calling can be quite difficult. The IC-M91D solves this problem twofold. Firstly, featuring a loud 700mW internal speaker that will give extra clarity to those calls you receive. Secondly it utilises Active Noise Cancelling Technology that uses a digital processor to reduce background noise by up to 90% making sure your call is clearly heard.
Like its predecessors, the IC-M91D features Float’n Flash. What this means is if the radio falls into the water, it will float on its back with the LCD, backlit keypad and distress button flashing, thus making the radio easier to retrieve.
The IC-M91D features a new generation MMI (Man Machine Interface) making the radio really easy to control. Icom’s new common Marine User Interface, is the shape of things to come with all Icom DSC marine radios in the future providing simple operation for the user. A directional keypad provides simple, intuitive operation. The high definition dot matrix display allows all information to be clearly displayed.
Like all Icom marine models the IC-M91D comes with useful standard features onboard like Dual Watch /Tri-Watch. The Aquaquake draining function emits a vibrating tone and clears water away from the speaker grill. Like the rest of Icom’s range, this radio is ATIS Programmable.
Although the radio is jam packed with features, it has excellent ergonomics ensuring it fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. The radio is waterproof to IPX-7 and meets military specification of durability….this is a radio that will not let you down.
The IC-M91D will be available from Icom stockists at the start of the season with a target selling price of sub £349.95.
(Looks like the initial release is UK only. )

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hose Clamp Safety Clip

You know the pain!
If you work on boats, cars, trucks or anywhere else hose clamps are in use, professional or do-it-yourselfer, at one time or another you will end up being injured by the tail end of a hose clamp. You know, the end sticking out 2—3 inches past the screw that catches your cloths or scrapes down the back of your hand or arm. We all have the scars.
Now there is a real solution to the problems created by over-sized hose clamps. The Clamp Clip™ is patented, made of stainless steel, and is designed to hold down the free end of a hose clamp.
The Clamp Clip™ is easy to install. On hose clamps already in use, simply loosen the hose clamp, snap on a Clamp Clip™, slide it over the free end of the hose clamp and re-tighten.
Now slide over to their website here, to read the rest, or order some.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Holmatro’s new ‘Furl Finder’ Automatically Adjusts Furling Booms

This new push button auto-adjust system for hydraulic boomvangs offers maximum ease and control when furling your mainsail. Press the furling button, and the vang automatically moves to the proper boom-furling angle, eliminating the guesswork normally associated with this task.
This is one of the latest innovations of Holmatro Marine Equipment to make sailing easier. By simply pushing a button, a sensor monitoring the position of the boom activates a compact hydraulic system that moves the boom up or down to a predetermined furling angle. When the boom is in the proper furling position the crew is alerted by a green LED. Mainsail in-boom furling may then proceed. When sailing, the system acts as a normal push button system to move the vang up or down as desired.
Standard position indicating vangs have a digital numeric display. While sailing, most vang adjustment is made by observing sail shape, not by watching a numerical display. With a numerical display, a value has to be known and remembered. The display may not be readily visible or may be hard to read.
With Holmatro’s new Furl Finder you simply press a button to automatically position the boom for furling.

The development of in-boom furling systems such as the Forespar LeisureFurl and Reef-Rite, has been a real boon to cruisers who want the convenience of a roller furling main combined with the performance you get from a fully battened, high roach sail. But in-boom furling requires a sure hand and exactly the right angle to the boom (89.5 degrees) to allow the sail to roll evenly around the mandrel inside the boom-no easy task. Enter Holmatro’s simple and elegant solution. The new hydraulic vang has its own small hydraulic pump and a simple push button control panel that can be mounted in the cockpit near the helm. The vang can be eased or tightened with the push of a button for better sail trim. But, when you want to reef or furl the mainsail, all you have to do is press the “furl” button and the vang automatically sets the boom at exactly the right angle. Voila. No guesswork, no ugly sail jams and no fuss. Now, the in-boom furling sail will do its job exactly the way the designers meant it to. For more information, go to

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Anchor Saver

There must be nothing worse than getting an anchor - your best anchor - stuck under an obstruction, particularly if you are in a deep, remote anchorage. No matter how many supplementary anchors you carry the loss of an anchor is inconvenient and expensive. You can eliminate this worry with an ingenious Anchor Saver.

Anchor saver diagram copy -  .. .  
Once Anchor Saver is installed, when your anchor is stuck, you drive forward with the engine until you are above the anchor.

Then correct pressure applied directly above the anchor causes the product’s release pin to break, which shifts the attachment point from the anchor’s shank eye to the crown, enabling you to pull the anchor in a different direction.

It’s designed to work with your existing anchor and includes a custom-engineered shackle, a stainless steel cable, a release bar and a calibrated release bolt.

According to the manufacturer, Anchor Saver does not diminish the effectiveness of your anchor set.

For more information about just how the anchor saver works, go to the

In the meantime, watch these two videos - one a diagramatic representation, the other an underwater video, to see the effectiveness of the Anchor Saver:

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tank Fluid Measurement by Gobius

See more video here:

Finally a product that requires no holes to be drilled into a tank for level monitoring. This is sure to be on my "to get list" .Gobius web site link is here. More info, and purchase can be found here at AB Marine. Read on........

Gobius measures from the outside - Nothing on the inside!

Gobius is available for waste holding tanks ... water, diesel & gasoline tanks ... industrial fluid tanks ... in stainless steel, steel, plastic, fibre-glass and aluminum
Using a totally new patented technical solution we have developed level indicators for all tanks. Gobius has been developed to meet the demand from those boat owners who want more information, those who not only want to know when the tank is full, but aso when empty.

Gobius measures from the outside

* Very quick to install and easy to use
* Coloured lamps show the current fluid level
* You avoid the struggle with taking the tank apart
* No extra drilling of hole
* No need for extra service
* Extremely low electricity consumption, less than 40 mA

* Good for everybody: boat owners and environment

With Gobius you will gain

* Knowledge of when the tank is empty so that you do not have to empty it
* Knowledge of when the tank is full and needs to be emptied
* Increased comfort and safety on board
* Everyone knows whether to use the toilet or not
* You can use the toilet when in the harbour

The Gobius technology is patented
The sensors that are placed onto the tank wall consist of a shaker and an accelerator. When the shaker creates a vibration in the tankwall, the accelerator measures the size of the vibration and passes the data on to the control unit. The control unit then starts
to calculate in order to give an exact estimate of whether the fluid
level has passed the sensor or not.

Gobius is easy to install
On the sensors there are strips of tape that are provided to attach the sensors directly onto the surface of your tank. The panel may, for example, be placed in the washroom.
The control unit is connected to the boat battery. All necessary cables and plugs needed to connect the sensors and panel with the control unit are included.

Very easy to calibrate
No tanks look the same. There are always differences in e.g. size, construction, thickness and age. In order to compensate for these differences you have to calibrate the tank before you start to use your Gobius. However, the calibration only takes a few seconds, all you need to do is to press a button while the tank is empty.

Gobius measures perfect even if there are covers (like uric salts) on the inside of the tank wall.

Extremely low electricity consumption, less than 40 mA
Gobius is constructed to minimise electricity consumption and is extremely efficient. Gobius sends power to its sensors in impulses instead of a continuous supply, thus saving your craft’s battery, 12 Volts.

BallslideT Batten Systems Without Separate Track

What is different about this slide is that it will work on a bolt rope extrusion. Most ball bearing slides require a track added to the back of the mast. This batten end slide can be used by racing boats that have a bolt rope extrusion. The ball bearings should make the slide freer to move under load. Would work for full length top batten.

Ronstan International, Inc.'s Description
Performance - Free-running performance while raising and lowering the mainsail is provided by cars that run on twin races of recirculating ball bearings specifically designed and oriented for compression loads. Minimum distance from mast to mainsail luff enhances mainsail efficiency, and when used with Ronstan batten receptacles the luff is always on the centre line. Compatibility - The complete range of car profiles and adapters provides the right Ballslide™ solution for the most widely available mast profiles and luff groove shapes. Selection tables and luff groove gauges simplify specification.
Flexible Solutions - Individual cars can be used in conjunction with a bolt rope on “soft luff” sails which have only a top full-length batten, or simply as low friction sail slides on larger yachts.
Faster, Easier and Safer - Sailing professionals around the world choose Ronstan Batten Systems for superior and innovative features combined with race-proven performance and reliability.
  • With 5 track sizes available in the standard product range, there is a system with the right specifications for each boat and sail plan.
  • The range includes all elements for a complete system, including headboard plates and batten receptacles.
  • Easy track installation using patented slug connectors.
  • Minimum distance from mast to mainsail luff enhances mainsail efficiency.
  • Batten receptacle links and accessories are available to suit other commonly available batten receptacles.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Selden Reversible Winch

Overall Winner of the DAME Award 2010 is the Seldén Reversible Winch of Seldén Mast AB. The Jury felt that this winch would have the largest impact on the leisure marine industry and would appear on many sailing boats in the future.

The key to why this particular reversible winch won such an award from 132 entered products from 19 countries is in its innovative safety. By backing the line off the winch instead of easing it by hand, there is greater safety for the operator. 
There are several models featuring the new technology, the R30, R40, R46, R52, and this patented new feature gives a new dimension to the concept of winches.

So how does it work?
The winches are of self tailing type with two gears forward. You start winching clock wise on the fast gear, shift down to low gear by rotating the winch handle anti clock wise. So far, exactly as usual.

The ingenious feature with the new Seldén winches is that you can let the rope out by reversing the winch drum. The purpose made winch handle has a knob which is pushed down with your thumb to prepare the winch for reverse drive.

The winch handle is then rotated clock wise and the rope is eased out. The rope remains in the self tailing jaws all the time which means it’s a one hand operation to trim the sheet, the halyard or the windward guy.

For the cruising sailor, and especially if you have less experienced people on board, the one handed operation means safety – no hands are even close to the drum when easing out the rope.

In rough conditions you can hold on with your free hand. Single handed sailors can steer and trim at the same time