Sailing Hardware and Rigging Innovation at METs 2019

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.


Image credits: METs Trade

It’s been a busy week at METS, the biggest, and undoubtedly best trade marine show in the world. Our mission here has been to catch up with our existing manufacturers and suppliers and find their interesting developments and to connect with new manufacturers so we can bring more cool products to Upffront customers.


Here is a quick round up of news from the show: 




Starting with Award winners, Karver were double category winners in the Dame awards Deck equipment, sails and rigging category with their new Compact winch and a carbon winch handle. Everyone was left a little confused on what was different about a lightweight, locking winch handle. But, there is no doubting the innovation involved in their unique new winches launched at the beginning of the year.




Getting a Special Mention by the Dame panel, Bamar presented their new manual in-boom furling unit. A beautiful piece of stainless steel engineering, the furler is located at the goose neck, mounted on the inboard end of a mandrel and is equipped with a mechanical lock to prevent wear on the furling line when reefed.


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Eric Hall, founder of Hall Spars, gave us a presentation of his new Alpha Locks. Eric has brought all his years of experience into a range of internal and external titanium halyard locks. The beauty of these locks is in their simplicity with just 2 moving parts (the only two parts) inside the lightweight housing. They are easy to use, reliable and low maintenance – we look forward to getting our hands on these for a future blog.


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Spinlock presented their sleek and modern brand new XTX Clutch to the world at METS 2019. Based on the principle of the Cousin Constrictor with a Technora cover braid gripping down on the loaded line, the Spinlock XTX uses a large spring to stretch the braided sock over the line. This means the take up of the load is immediate, if a little noisy, whereas the longer Constrictor sock takes 5-10mm of loaded line movement while the sock stretches out to take the full load. Available from January 2020 in three sizes 8, 10 and 12mm with rates loads of 800kg, 1000kg and 1200kg respectively.



A brand new brand for us, Ocean Yacht Systems (OYS) from the UK were showing their completely re-vamped N-Series rod rigging range. OYS have dominated at the superyacht end of the market for many years but they are now bringing all of their experience and knowledge to provide high quality stainless fittings, rod rigging and hydraulic cylinders to a broader market. We will be working with them over the coming months and look forward to bringing you their latest products.


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Long time soft solution suppliers, Morf Block and Ino-Rope were at the show. Both companies are constantly developing and refining their products. 3-4 years ago when they first came out the industry did not really accept them as a “proper block”, but there is absolutely no doubt now that they have assured themselves a key place in the future of performance block technology.




Finally, and in the last couple of hours at the show, we got a preview of an exciting new product called Smart Tune. At Upffront we are passionate about performance improvement and one of the challenges in our industry is knowing what your actual rig loads are.

Smart tune is hoping to fix many of the issues associated with traditional load pins. A factory calibrated turnbuckle with Bluetooth connectivity, Smart Tune can throw up rig load data to your B&G instruments. Designed to be a direct swap out from your existing turnbuckles, in 4 standard thread sizes, the system can be set up in under an hour.

We will be investigating this one further and bring you more information as we get it.


Well that wraps up another excellent METS with plenty of innovative sailing hardware and rigging products to get excited about.

We will be working hard to bring them online in the current months:

What were your favourite new brands and products unveiled at METS this year? Let us know in the comments!


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