(Multiple) America’s Cup-winning sparmaker and composites pioneer Eric Hall has been at it again… with his perennial mantra: simplicity
For most product designers simplicity is the ultimate goal. The obvious benefits include lighter weight, lower prices and simpler servicing. Alphalock Systems had just those goals in mind in the design of their new automatic halyard locks. ‘The best-engineered products are always the simplest products,’ says Alphalock president and designer Eric Hall.
Hall explains that, to date, locks requiring no tripline have necessarily had systems of multiple torsionally acting springs, latches and ball detents. ‘Although they work fine as intended,’ he explains, ‘their springs eventually wear, the ball detents, which must be tuned for proper locking flipper operation, tend to rust if left idle for a time and their relatively complex disassembly and assembly, especially when reinserting the custom springs, have made servicing them a bit of a chore.’
‘Alphalocks, on the other hand,’ says Hall, ‘have basically only two moving parts, the counter-rotating locking flippers. When servicing them all you need to do is unbolt the clamshell housings and take out the flippers. To reassemble insert the two self-aligning flippers and refasten the clamshells.’