Development of new mast tapering process

Finished tapered mast section

We are pleased to announce we have been working on some big projects for the marine industry over the past 12 months, one of which is production of 11-meter tapered masts.

The project to create a new tapered mast for the Dragon fleet came about after sailors and boat builders had started to notice the bend characteristics differed between each mast produced. Meaning, if you broke a mast and replaced it with a new one all the tuning and set up and measurements would no longer be valid. This also affected the continuity within the fleet, as each boat would require their own settings to get the most from their specific mast section.

Mast tapers are needed to get the best shape and performance from a sail. The basic technique to create a tapered mast requires the manufacturer to remove a “v” section from the mast, once removed the section needs to be closed – usually done with an internal mandrel, hammer, or clamp. Once closed it is held together with a weld. Straight forward it would seem, but it proves very difficult to achieve a consistent result. Each process has a possibility for small variation which will result in slightly different bend characteristics.

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Sail Slides & Slugs – How to choose correctly.

Yacht mast with sail and sail slides

Sail slides and slugs may not be the most exciting piece of equipment found on a sailboat. However, they are a very useful bit of kit and can make your life on board a vessel much easier. Sail slugs and slides are most commonly found on the luff or foot of a sail, yet they are also a popular choice for catamaran trampoline attachment points.

Why use a sail slide or slug?

So, you may be wondering why you would even bother with a sail slide or slug, especially when your mainsail has a perfectly good bolt rope. Well, there are a few reasons. Firstly, the slides and slugs offer a reduction of friction over a sail boltrope, this is because there is less material being inserted inside the mast track. This reduction in friction can make hoisting and lowering a sail much easier. Secondly, with a track stop installed the sail slides cannot exit the mast meaning it is possible to lower a sail single-handed and not have the sail fly away in the wind, it will also fold itself over the boom as it’s lowered. 

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Choosing the correct Cam Cleat.

Cam Cleats are available in different materials, sizes and have a wide range of accessories to suit many different applications, so it can be daunting to know which type or accessory is needed to suit specific cleating needs. Here you will find all the information required to make the right choice – all from the designers of the original aluminium cam cleat!

First, a bit of history behind the Allen Cam Cleat – The Allen Brothers, Tony and Glenn, were the inventors of the original aluminium cam cleat. They developed the idea whilst building a Hornet “JACK-O-LEAN” number 205. The brothers had started off using Tufnell cam cleats but decided they were not good enough. The Tufnell cam cleat gripped well when they were new but would make releasing the rope difficult. Once they had worn-in, just a few sailing sessions later, they would slip and be useless.

After many months of researching, designing and prototyping Tony Allen had built a machine in which he could pressure die-cast what is now known as the A..76 – Aluminium Ball Bearing Cam Cleat – although the first design did not include ball bearings. Tony and Glenn then went onto sell their version of the cam cleat for 5 shillings each.

Today Allen has two main styles of cam cleats available; Aluminium Ball Bearing or Allenite Plain Bearing. Allen cam cleats are suitable for any rope up to 10 mm diameter and have a maximum working load of 150kg. This makes them suitable for both small dinghies and yachts.

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New Racing Rules of Sailing Poster

The marketing team at Allen has been working closely with Henk Plaatje for many years to develop the racing rules of sailing poster. Once each edition is ready, Allen kindly makes it available to the public to hang in sailing clubs around the World. This year is no different, the poster can easily be downloaded via the Allen website or a hardcopy can be ordered directly to your sailing club.  (more…)

Which Block Do I Need?

Choosing the correct piece of hardware when making a system upgrade or replacing a broken piece of kit can sometimes be more difficult than first thought. So, we have put together this article to try and help you make an informed decision on which block to choose.

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Dynamic Blocks

High Load Blocks

Tii Blocks

Plain Bearing Blocks

Wire Blocks

The most common reason for an aftermarket block replacement is usually down to breakages and, in most cases, sailors tend to stick to what they know and simply replace a broken piece of kit with a like for like swap. This method is usually the easiest option but, in most cases, isn’t the correct one.

Choosing a like for like replacement when the existing piece of hardware has already broken will usually lead to another major failure, in the same way, this means the piece of equipment your choosing isn’t designed for the job it performs. So, what factors should you consider when choosing a new replacement?

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