Jeanneau and Harken bring hands-free to long distance cruising

For all those who have ever wished for a little help at the helm, Harken and Jeanneau have worked together over the past three years to now launch 'assisted sail trim' for long distance and shorthanded cruising.

This collaboration has produced a system to make sailing easier for families, cruisers, shorthanded crews, solo sailors and those with limited mobility.

The system, consisting of three OEM packages, is designed to enhance a relaxing day out on the water by offering sensor-guided, push button sail control.

Base system is the Auto Tacking package that adjusts the headsail for the new tack while you steer through the manoeuvre. Sensors detect wind speed and apparent wind for safety.

Auto Trim is the perfect complement to Auto Tacking for easy cruising. Set the initial trim, press the button to engage Auto Trim, and then let the system handle sheeting. The system monitors apparent wind for perfect trim while you relax at the helm. An integrated heel control detects gusts and limits heel to your desired setting for maximum passenger comfort.

The Sail Management package, which will debut in coming seasons, can hoist and douse the main or genoa. Load sensors detect jams and allow the halyard to be eased for safe operation. All functions, as well as push-button control over each winch, are operated from a cockpit display.

Harken's Rewind winches or Captive Reel winches allow the system to both trim and ease without manual intervention.

All packages feature full redundancy and manual backup in the event of power loss.

Jeanneau will debut the Auto Tacking and Auto Trim packages on its 2015 Sun Odyssey range under the name Assisted Sail Trim (AST).

The AST will be exclusive to Jeanneau Sun Odyssey during the 2016 season.

“It’s been a challenge to keep this project secret through years of development and on-the-water testing, but this finely-tuned system was definitely worth the wait,” says Davide Burrini, International OEM Sales Manager. “By centralizing controls, integrating wind and equipment sensors, and allowing skippers to control all sheeting from the helm, this project has the potential to revolutionise cruising and shorthanded sailing.”

Erik Stromberg, Sailboat Product Director Jeanneau said, “This project has been a very unique collaboration. It has at times been difficult to tell where our Harken partners ended and we at Jeanneau began. The result is quite an elegant system with room to grow its capabilities built right in.

“Our AST will give Jeanneau owners more of the relaxation they love about sailing, with less of the sail handling and adjustments that can sometimes intrude.”

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