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Our Culture

Where we live

From the minute people walk into Harken, they know it's a different place. One Harken Way is the address of our 17,500 m² (175,000 ft²) lean manufacturing facility headquarters in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Located on 26 acres, the building's first floor holds the manufacturing, assembly, shipping, and warehousing operations; the second level is for engineering, customer service and marketing offices. Outside, a large holding pond surrounded on three sides by plenty of rich grass and marshland is a haven for deer, geese, cranes, egrets, ducks, and muskrats. Watch out for Wildlife signs are posted along our road and a 15 mph speed limit is mandatory. Visitors are welcomed by a smiling receptionist and sometimes a friendly dog or two. Dogs at work have been a tradition at Harken since the company's founding and they take their jobs as official greeters and stress relievers very seriously. Of course, for canines as well as for humans, best behavior is always required. There is no word on how many innovations were conceived by someone with 4 legs.

A second equally modern lean manufacturing plant is located in Limido Comasco, in Northern Italy. There, Harken winches from our Grand Prix grinding pedestals to our full range of underdeck, captive line, reel winches and our new CLR mooring winches are produced. Our highest load capacity product testing capability operates in this factory. With sophisticated machinery, the innovative ideas of our engineers, and enhanced workflow models operating, we find outstanding possibilities for profitable growth. Supporting the US and Italian manufacturing facilities are sales and service offices in Australia, France, New Zealand, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

How we roll

As Harken employees, we expect a lot from ourselves. We take enormous pride in designing and building the best rope handling hardware in the world. We make block, winch and hydraulic systems for racing and cruising sailboats of all types and sizes. Industrial applications for our hardware include the commercial marine, architectural, and rope rescue industries. Our commitment to customers doesn't end with the sale - it begins! We back our products with the most attentive technical and customer support possible. Help is only a phone call or email away, whether you're cruising the Pacific, working all night in an America's Cup campaign or inspecting a wind turbine. 

What is it like to work here? It's assumed we're more than competent. We're paid to be curious, make suggestions, and are responsible for outstanding execution. It's well understood that we're regularly asked to do things we've never done before. The Harken brothers built our company culture to give us the latitude to take chances. We are supported even in spectacular failure. While that's never the aim, it is one of the most unique aspects of our culture.

At Harken, we run a faith-based business. We put our trust in a multi-part statement we call our Weather Mark. These are not just nice words. We rely on it to navigate the company--really. Here are all the Weather Mark elements:

  • Keep the well-being of your people first.
  • Make the best products at a fair price.
  • Service your customers beyond their expectations.
  • Never lose the basic judgment you've been taught: your sense of right from wrong.

We're not your normal 9-to-5er's

There's no such thing as a 'typical' day here. Our employee-run Wellness Committee sees to that! Company events like outdoor cookouts, walking challenges, ping pong tournaments, hockey on the pond, and baseball outings are great ways to get to know each other. Our workout room is always busy with yoga classes and massage to keep us healthy and limber. One of our most popular company events is Sail Day. Every September, the entire Harken gang migrates to the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center for a day of fun and sailing (our most experienced sailors are in charge and competition has been known to break out). It's a great way for us to learn by doing and to see the beautiful stuff we design and build in action!  Other company perks? Beyond the usual medical, dental, and 401K, tuition reimbursement and flex hours are a couple of big ones!

Although we have grown and diversified, we work hard to make sure the values first established by Peter and Olaf Harken of working hard, delivering excellence, and having fun every day never change.