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Harken SnubbAir Winch

It began as a response to a J/70 deck layout challenge. Where it goes from here is anyone's guess.

First designed to solve a deck layout challenge unique to the winch it replaces. But the product has so many potential applications it defies classification as a winch.

The SnubbAir can replace winches. But in other applications, it could act more like a really large ratcheting foot or cheek block or even a ratcheting line diverter in the pit. The SunbbAir provides lots of line-holding power even without a winch handle. That muscle could become very popular on an A Scow or a powered-up sport boat where the spinnakers can be more than a handful. Even better, you can just flip the sheet around the SnubbAir twice or use a winch handle with the optional adapter.” said Greg Hartmeier, lead engineer on the project.

“The Classic Harken plain-top B&A winch has proven to be a great product on boats all over. But take one walk down the dock at a J/70 event and you see the whole array of creative ways crews try to pad or cover them up. We started to think that changing out the B&A in that application could improve crew performance, and reduce the amount of bruising the trimmers endure,” said Jim Andersen, Harken’s US Sales Manager. “Give credit to J/Boats. They wanted to keep the winches and maintain the ability for mixed and different sized crews to continue to sail the boat at a high level. They recognized that some form of load holding assistance was necessary. That leads us to SnubbAir.”

SnubbAir comes with four integral threaded studs placed to match the bolt pattern of the B&A winch on the J/70 deck. Early experiments indicate that start to finish, swapping out the two winches for SnubbAirs takes less than 10 minutes. All washers and Nylok nuts required for mounting are included.

The SnubbAir can be ordered with an optional winch handle adapter that lets crews use any conventional winch handle. It weighs less than half of the B&A plain top winch and is 30% lower to the deck. It features two races of Delrin ball bearings like a block, which assure it operates with very little friction.

“We named it the SnubbAir because it is a modern spin on an old-school snubbing winch,” Hartlmeier said. “And its low profile, wide drum diameter and large hole in the center make it look a little like our Grand Prix Air winches.”

As is called for in J/70 Class rules, SnubbAir will debut with the next series boats produced by J/Boats. As such, they are now class legal for retrofit and are available from Harken dealers immediately.


Part No. Description Drum 0 Base 0 Height Weight Fastener Circle Fasteners Maximun holding load
in mm in mm in mm oz g in mm mm lb kg
1300 Snubbair 3.12 79.2 4.48 113.8 2.71 68.8 17.3 489 3.57 90.7 4xM6 1000 454

Winch Handle Adapter

Part No. Weight
Description oz g Use with
1301 Winch Handle Adapter 18 51 1300

Press Release by Harken.

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