One-Handed Wonder from Lewmar

"Gear Up" from our October 16, 2006, /SW eNewsletter/

Lewmar OneTouch

During a break in the action during this year's Boat of the Year contest in Annapolis, Md., the BOTY judges and I paid our annual visit to Annapolis Performance Sailing to check out the latest in high-tech gear. Forty-five blissful minutes later, we walked out the door of APS clutching Lewmar's latest, the OneTouch winch handle. For the next three days, we used the OneTouch on every BOTY boat with a winch, and quickly realized what a winner it is. At this point in your sailing career (if you sail on boats with winches), you've likely become used to thumbing the lock-release mechanism on winch handles. In fact, you probably don't even realize you're doing it anymore. That will change once you use the OneTouch; in fact, it'll be hard to go back to any other handle. The key concept of the OneTouch is the release button, which covers most of the handle's horizontal arm. To insert the handle into the winch, you simply squeeze the trigger. To remove the handle, squeeze again. It's a simple, one-handed operation, easy to do even in the heat of a tacking duel. Two spring-loaded pins driven by the trigger either lock or unlock the handle as needed. We used a pre-production demo, as did the crew on the Volvo 70 Ericsson, and it worked great. The OneTouch is available in three versions: Single Grip, Power Grip, and Double Grip, and fits any manufacturer's winch. Prices start at $103 for the Single; $107 for the Power Grip; $145 for the Double Grip. www.lewmar.com