on deck

As a longtime supporter of Sailing Anarchy, we wanted to reach out to the readership directly to let our core customers in on the latest happenings here at Raptor Deck. The brand has grown exponentially since our debut, but we have never lost sight of those early days walking the docks from Charleston to Lake Geneva with little foam chips on our business cards. We are the same guys, and we have the same goal, which is to take care of our sailors with non-skid solutions they love.

Our team of CAD technicians, CNC operators, and office staff have deep roots in racing boats. If you call us to talk about a custom project, you’re going to find a voice on the other end that understands traveler hash marks, backstay numbers, and labels for floor buttons. Not only can we talk the talk, but we can make your parts based on your feedback. Our staff personally own a Melges 30, a Wasp, a Moth, an RS Aero, a Tasar an I-14, a couple of Lasers, a Sabot, a Minto, an El’toro, an Opti a Cal 33, two Europe Dinghies, kites, foils, wings, and windsurfers.

When it comes to sailing and grip, we know what we are talking about, and we want to take care of you.

Facility Upgrades
Despite Covid bearing down on the world, the mothership got a huge upgrade a year ago. The Raptor facility is at the same address but has grown three-fold in square footage. In addition to offices, the space houses CNC machines, a 3M adhesive applicator, digitizing tables, and specialty tools. Your Raptor Deck kits are spec’d and machined right here in Seattle. If you need a replacement part, we can usually turn it around in a couple of days. Every pattern that has crossed our desks lives in the Raptor cloud, and every panel is numbered for clarity. With a daily UPS pickup, parts and kits get zipped around the world to our customers.

Making Contact
A lot of our business comes through our website. We have just started to upload boats into our new web store. It has a slick new interface that allows users to select kit colors and styles and be presented with a graphic that follows. Give it a whirl with the Melges 24, and let us know what boats we should post up online.

Kits are built to order, which keeps the 3M adhesive fresh, but understand that the boats currently listed in the web store are just the tip of the iceberg. We have thousands of patterns in our archive. Just reach out anytime and I can guarantee you will get answers, ideas, and solutions for your boat, whether it’s an A-class cat, a ClubSwan 50, a J/111, or something unique. There is a good chance we already have a base pattern in the library after growing the database for the last decade. If not, you can always snag a patterning kit from us to get started on a custom kit.

Fresh Colors
We have some great new colors in the pipeline. As we have grown year over year since our debut at the Melges 24 Worlds in 2011, we have kept our color set very tight and focused. We deal with large chemical companies and are extremely particular about quality. This has forced us to keep colors limited. With growth comes opportunity, and we are really excited to drop a few more colors into the mix this coming summer. If you are looking for inspiration on patterns and designs, a deep dive into the Facebook galleries can be a good space for ideas.

New Products
Lastly, on the material side, we are officially announcing a collaboration with Harken. We are very pleased to be stocking rolls of Harken Marine Grip in gray, white, and black. Harken Marine Grip is thin and non-abrasive. It was originally formulated by a surfer to mimic the sticking properties of surf wax. Working from our existing boat files, and form new patterns, we are CNC cutting non-skid parts out of this rubberized option.

While it is not cushioned like Raptor Deck, the friction coefficient is truly exceptional, and it can handle a great deal of abrasion. With boats going 30…40… and 50kts, staying onboard has become extra serious business. Maybe for you, it’s a custom foot push part, whereas for a professional team at the highest level, it’s the entire foredeck of a foiler. We are here to cut it, kit it, and make refreshing your non-skid a snap!

Photo thanks to Waterline Media.