PXR Cam Cleats by Spinlock

Take the frustration out of "ease-hike-trim" with these easy-release cleats. "Gear Up" from our December 4, 2007, /SW eNewsletter/

GUPXR368
Www.spinlock.co.uk

Whoever came up with the "ease-hike-trim" mantra must not have raced with an old-fashioned cam cleat on their mainsheet. If they had, the mantra would go more like, "try to ease, wrestle against the line until the cleat releases, let out way more sheet than intended, bring it all back in, resume steering, wave to the boat that just passed you, repeat."I've always had trouble releasing the mainsheet on windy days, and had nearly resigned myself to the futility of "easy-hike-trim." That was before I discovered Spinlock's PXR cam cleats, which the company calls, "the easiest cleats to release." Could there be hope for this frustrated trimmer?Spinlock representative Tim Robinson says yes. "To open up a traditional cam cleat, you have to pull the cam back a bit, which can be almost impossible to do when the line's under a heavy load," Robinson explains. "With a PXR, the load that's on the line doesn't transfer to the release mechanism, so it's easy to release the cleat no matter what."The PXRs--which resemble mini, high-tech pasta extruders--combine the versatility of cam cleats with the easy release of jammers. To release a PXR, pull up on the line (which pulls up on the housing, disengaging the spring-loaded cam). To engage, pull down on the line. A three-stage release adjustment controls the amount of pressure needed to disengage the cleat. Spinlock makes PXRs to accommodate line diameters of 3/32 to 3/8 inches and loads of up to 440 pounds. The use of aluminum cams and high-density plastic makes the latest PXRs far more durable than earlier designs. With swiveling models, pivoting models, and models that fit the holes left behind by your old cam cleats, there's a PXR to suit your needs. Typical applications include halyards, travelers, and mainsheets, but Robinson recommends using PXRs most anywhere you'd use traditional cam cleats with eye straps. He uses them on Etchells jib sheets to allow the off sheet to run freely from tack to tack; with a PXR, the force of the line moving through the cleat won't cause it to engage unintentionally. Robinson has also seen a movement of Etchells skippers converting to PXR mainsheet setups. "A lot of skippers swear by their PXRs," says Robinson. "All it takes is one instance where they can't get the mainsheet undone in a key situation, and they're believers." $42.50 - $75, www.spinlock.co.uk