Upffront.com Blog

Pontos Winches get ‘Karverized’ - Part 2

We are constantly reporting on the latest innovations in the marine industry which offer weight savings whilst, at the same time, increasing safety factors. The result: lighter, faster, safer and more exciting sailing.


In a previous blog post Upffront broke the news that Karver Systems had acquired Brittany based Pontos and their range of innovative winches.

Now operating under the name ‘Pontos by Karver’ – and with exciting modifications in the pipeline for Spring 2019 – it’s time to consider… what makes the ground-breaking Pontos design so unique?

‘Pontos have achieved a technical revolution inside the deck hardware market’, Karver claim. The evidence is clear: Pontos winches possess powerful patent protected technology that utilises epicyclic gear trains and automatic load detection within two key ranges, ‘Trimmer’ and ‘Grinder’.


Available in sizes 40, 46 and 52, both the Trimmer and Grinder range boast 4 automatic gear speeds – double the amount of most self-tailing winches on the market.

 Pontos Winch
The increased number of gears is of huge benefit to the crew, allowing users of the Grinder range – which will be renamed the Karver Ultra Speed – to sheet in 6 times faster, whilst users of the Trimmer range - soon to be renamed the Karver Ultra Power - enjoy triple the power.


Revolutionising sailing, the Grinder range enables a solo sailor to tack at a faster speed than a two-man crew with a two-speed winch, whilst the Trimmer’s extra gears take the strain out of a heavily loaded sheet.


The 4 gears flaunted by the Pontos by Karver range enable effortless manoeuvrability enviable of an electric winch, increasing the ease of sailing solo or with limited crew, and proving popular with racers and cruisers alike.


Using the data on the Upffront website to compare the Pontos 40 4-Speed S/T Grinder with the Harken 40 2-Speed S/T Radial AL Winch, the first gear ratio of the Harken winch is 2.13, whilst the first gear ratio of the Pontos winch is 0.4. This data shows that for the Pontos winch, cranking the winch handle 0.4 revolutions will, in turn, give 1 full revolution of the drum. In comparison, the Harken winch would require the winch handle to be turned 2.13 times to achieve the same result. Therefore, the Pontos winch could be used to facilitate a quicker and easier sheet-in.


In this example, the Pontos winch would increase sheet-in speed by 5.3 times. This is especially beneficial for short-hand sailing, and perhaps counterbalances the fact that the Pontos winch is 1.1KG heavier than its Harken competitor.

Pontos Grinder 40 - Copy

Comparing the Pontos 40 4-Speed S/T Trimmer with the same Harken model - although they are a similar size - the Trimmer exhibits a geared down advantage that allows it to reach a power ratio of 110, in comparison to the Harken’s 40, showcasing power 2.75 times greater than the Harken 40. Impressive!


Looking ahead, the Karver team are working hard to improve the product, with small incremental improvements expected on specification in 2019.


However, if you can’t wait until 2019 to get your hands on a “Karverised” model, the last few original design Pontos winches are available on our website now at a discounted price. Each winch benefits from a 5-year warranty, and Karver intends to maintain stock of spares for service and maintenance of all existing Pontos customers worldwide.


Interested? Click here to purchase.
Or if you want to know more about selecting the right winch for your boat, download our free guide by following link below:


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