Pro-Trim Traveler System by Harken

"Gear Up" from our December 12, 2006 /SW eNewsletter/


A new mainsheet traveler system from Harken just may render every boat without one obsolete and inefficient. Through the use of gears and a shaft, rather than cascades of lines and blocks, Harken Pro-Trim travelers multiply a mainsail trimmer's power, and eliminate extra line and equipment clutter above and belowdecks.The designer, Lou Varney of Diverse Yachts/Tropical Engineering, in England, wanted an easier way to trim mainsails. "In my career as a professional sailor, [I've seen] so many boats that have traveler systems without enough purchase for adjustment under load," says Varney. "The idea of the Harken Pro-Trim was to build a compact, belowdecks system with enough power so the trimmer can enjoy fingertip control and limitless mechanical advantage simply by pulling on a line."Harken custom engineer and HPT project leader Ethan Brown helped get Varney's system ready for prime time. "Lou came to us with a small footprint, low-friction traveler prototype and asked us to develop and increase the power so it could work on a TP52 or similar boat," says Brown. "We increased efficiency, eliminated line snarl-ups caused by twisted or capsized block systems, and placed the mechanics belowdecks. The result is a compact, modular traveler system that is extremely efficient and easy to handle." One of the neat features of the HPT is the fact that there's no extra line to get tangled in the cockpit, as both the loaded and unloaded sections of the traveler line are constantly under tension.HPT-which received an Honorable Mention at this year's Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam-was successfully tested aboard a 46-foot raceboat in England last season. As a result, the HPI is now being installed on several new builds, but it can also be retrofitted on older boats.