BEST OF 2015 – Sailboat or robot? Harken and Jeanneau come up with a self-control system for winches


Auto Tacking, Auto Trim, Sail Management. All centralized and controllable from a single panel: three different modules that can be installed separately allow you to manage the headsail in tacking, automatically adjust the sails by setting a built-in control of the boat’s heel, and hoist to lower the sails. A true revolution in production boat manufacturing: theAssisted Sail Trim (AST) developed by Harken is a 2015 Jeanneau esculsive offering that allows one person to electrically control all the winches on board, without moving from the helm and managing everything from a screen. The system is based on the initial adjustment of the sails, relative to the heading with which they are to be sailed. All sailing data (wind, speed, heading) are recorded by the AST, which then can automatically adjust the sails by “guiding” the on-board winches through an intuitive display. Whether the heading is changed or the wind direction changes, the system is able to self-adjust the sails.
Screenshot 2015-10-23 at 12:51:21 p.m.
The basic Auto Tacking module manages the headsail while tacking while the helmsman makes the boat change tack. A sensor system detects apparent wind speed to activate the system in complete safety.
Screenshot 2015-10-23 at 12:18:44 p.m.

The Auto Trim module is the perfect complement to the Auto Tacking module allowing for a true easy cruising experience. Simply adjust the sails initially, operate the Auto Trim switch, and let the system take care of the subsequent adjustments. The system monitors the apparent wind direction and adjusts the sails accordingly while you relax at the helm. A built-in boat heel control detects any gusts and limits the heel itself to the maximum value you set for greater comfort on board. If the boat heels too much then, the system automatically lets go of the sails.
Screenshot 2015-10-23 at 12:56:56 p.m.

The Sail Management module, to be introduced soon, allows sails to be hoisted and lowered. Load sensors detect any blockages during maneuvering, allowing halyards to be let go to solve the problem.

All functions and maneuvers are controlled through a central console. Harken Rewind™ or Captive Reel winches allow the system to let go and caulk without manual intervention; for safety reasons, a special backup system is provided in any case in the event of problems with the power supply. Jeanneau offers Auto Tacking and Auto Trim modules on the new 50-foot Sun Odyssey 519 under the name Assisted Sail Trim (AST). Jeanneau inaugurates the AST – Auto Tacking et Auto Trim – automatic tacking and sail trim system on its Sun Odyssey range.

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