Fingertip Sheeting on Gigayachts a Reality

7/31/2015

With Harken's Ultra High-Load Captive Winches

Harken-Captive-70T.jpgPewaukee, WI - Today Harken announces the completion of a massive R&D effort to nearly triple the load potential of its Captive Reel winch line. Originally offered for loads between 1.5 and 25 metric tons, Harken has just finished bench testing 70-ton (154,324 lb) hydraulic and electric prototypes designed for an upcoming new breed of "gigayachts" over 80 meters. The inclusion of the electric version is an unprecedented capability above the 20-ton range that can reduce noise, improve efficiency, and recharge the battery while easing.

"The capacity of these electric and hydraulic winches is incredible," says Corinne Rich, Custom Sales Manager. "New vessels will dwarf the already enormous loads seen on megayachts, so we wanted to be ready to lead the industry in the 40- to 70-ton range. Constant trimming in and out a few inches to play every gust while beating up a race course is normal on a dinghy or an AC boat. Now it's imaginable with a 70-ton load on the sheet."

"We invested in our largest test bench yet for this project," says Andrea Merello, Technical and Vice Managing Director of Harken Italy. "The 20-meter bench has a 100-ton load capacity for simulating a variety of blue water sailing conditions and long-term loading. Having a dedicated bench is crucial for custom projects because each component needs to be tested as part of the complete system when you're dealing with such extreme loads."

The design also features an innovative twin-screw inner transmission for faster trimming speeds, a smaller overall winch size, and reduced component wear-a vast improvement over current market offerings. Harken engineers also made major improvements in the tensioning system with a system that minimizes sheet wear by evenly gripping over a large surface area. The team plans further development of turnkey systems and cooperation with leading rope manufacturers.

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