2002 Sailing World Gift Guide, Part II

November 18, 2002
Courtesy Forespar

Performance Upgrades

Forespar Spinnaker Poles

Forespar, which won a design award for their small-boat composite spinnaker pole ends in 1996, has refined the concept for race boats up to 60 feet. The Ultra Grand Prix Series of big-boat pole ends have a stainless-steel-lined throat and a spring-loaded trigger piston system with roller for positive lock and release.


The TowChek

The TowChek is an ingenious system that uses an exterior camera mounted on the rear of a tow vehicle combined with an internal LCD display screen. The TowChek system allows a driver to monitor the hitch’s alignment to the trailer tongue without leaving the driver’s seat.

Ronstan’s Sealoc Calibrated Turnbuckles


Ronstan now makes Sealoc calibrated turnbuckles for rod rigging. Sealocs are available for rod sizes 4 to 12 and calibration increments are laser etched on the rounded throat. The swage terminals are made from high-grade 316 stainless steel and their threads are rolled, not cut, for greater strength.
Prices range from $82 to $98.

Titanium Trigger Shackles

For racing sailors who want the ultimate in lightweight, high strength snapshackles, Wichard now offers a line of titanium trigger-release shackles. They’re forged from TA6V medical grade titanium, and the largest shackle in the lineup, 5.5 inches, has a breaking load of 13,200 pounds and weighs only 7 ounces.
$300, 401-683-5055



“Conception,” a rope with excellent strength and grip characteristics, is made from Dyneema SK75 and spun polypropylene. Conception is available in 3/16″, 1/4″, and 5/16″ diameters. The rope is soft to the touch, repels water, and is less expensive than double-braided line.
Prices range from $.45 to $1.28 a foot,



Powercleats are designed for rope between 1/8″ and 7/16″ in diameter that’s being used for mainsheets, vangs, and twings. Spinlock claims that the Powercleats are easier to release under load and less harmful to rope than cam cleats. Now with single, double, swivel, vertical pivot, and cage models available, it should be easy to find a Powercleat for most any task now being performed by a cam cleat.

Holt Allen’s Dynamic Bearing System

Holt Allen’s 20 mm to 40 mm bearing blocks are now equipped with the Dynamic Bearing System, the company’s all-stainless-steel bearing system. Holt’s suggested uses for the blocks include mainsheet systems, spinnaker launch and retrieval systems, and tack blocks on asymmetric spinnaker poles.

Holt Allen’s Lightning Stick

For tiller boats, Holt has refined their one-piece carbon fiber Lightning Stick, a telescopic tiller extension that uses a twist-and-lock mechanism. The telescopic Lightning Stick comes in two sizes, the smaller one extends from 31.4″ to 51.1″, and the bigger one from 43.3″ to 47.2″; they weigh in at 5.9 and 8.1 ounces, respectively.

Forespar Aluminum Tiller Extensions

Forespar improved their OceanRacer aluminum tiller extensions. Skippers who prefer a double grip handle with a trigger mechanism over twist-and-lock extensions can now get infinite adjustment in a trigger lock–no more pin stops. And the OceanRacer can extend from 31″ to 41″.

Carbo Ratchamatic

The Harken team added a new product to its popular Carbo line of blocks, the Carbo Ratchamatic. This load-sensing ratchet block rolls freely in both directions under low loads, and automatically engages the ratchet as the load increases. The unique aspect of this block is that the ratchet load engagement is adjustable with an Allen wrench.
$64 to $225

Tack Snap Shakles

Wichard has developed a line of tack snap shackles designed to be sewn directly to the tack of a sail, distributing load, reducing weight, and simplifying sail changes. Manufactured of high-quality 316L stainless steel–commonly used in kitchens and jewelry because of its resistance to salt–these shackles are meant to be durable and strong.

Carleston Spars’ J/24 Boom

Charleston Spars has created a J/24 boom to meet the class minimum aft tip weight. The updated boom with lightweight hardware will fit your existing mast, but its overall weight is reduced by 15 percent from the original boom. Charleston also has J/24 masts in stock for immediate shipping.
Masts $3,040
standard boom ($592)
racing boom ($970)


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