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Introducing J/70 Harken SnubbAIR

by J/Boats 5 Jan 2019 06:00 PST
Introducing J/70 Harken SnubbAIR! © Harken

Yes, the rumors you hear are true. The new Harken SnubbAIR for the J/70 has become class legal worldwide and you may order it today from Harken dealers in the USA or Europe.

At first glance, the new J/70 Harken SnubbAIR looks like a smaller, more efficient and comfortable version of the winch it replaces. That's true. Plus, SnubbAIR weighs less than half of the Harken B8A plain top it is designed to replace and is 30% lower to the deck.

If you elect to install the available insert, you can crank it with any winch handle. There's just one thing: It's not technically a winch.

SnubbAIR is designed to function like an aggressive ratcheting deck-mounted block. Its wide drum provides lots of line-holding power- much like the monster "air drums" you see on Maxi 100s. And, mechanical advantage can come from the winch handle. But, SnubbAIR trades the height and the weight of a traditional winch gearing for two races of Delrin® ball bearings, which assure that it operates with very little friction, and ratchet mechanics for sheet control. Like a block, it requires no maintenance beyond washing its bearings with soap and water.

"Give credit to J/Boats. They wanted to keep the winches to maintain the ability for mixed and different sized crews to continue to sail the boat at a high level. They recognized that some form of load holding assistance was necessary. They requested we look into alternatives. Ultimately that brought us to SnubbAIR," commented Harken's Jim Anderson.

SnubbAIR comes complete with four integral pre-mounted threaded studs to match the bolt pattern of the B8A winch on the J/70 deck. An installation test proved that, start-to-finish, swapping out both winches for SnubbAIR takes less than 10 minutes. All washers and Nylok® nuts required for mounting are included.

Watch Harken's J/70 SnubbAIR install video

"We sailed with a test batch of SnubbAIR late last summer. Our initial reaction was, great!" said Ed Furry, President of SAIL22 and an active J/70 class participant as an owner and supplier to the class. "Getting over the SnubbAIR in a tack is much easier. It's significantly lower. And then you notice the nice, rounded lip on top. It's going to make a big difference to the cockpit crews."

See Ed's J/70 SnubbAIR video review

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