Thursday, December 18, 2008

First Look: Spinlock ZR Jammer


One of the US Spinlock reps stopped by the shop the other day and brought a demo model of the new Spinlock ZR Jammer. It's not the final product but it looks like it's pretty close. Basically this is a fairly high load (upwards of 1500 kg or 3300lbs) relatively inexpensive jammer made of reinforced plastic and designed for 10-14mm lines.

You use the switch on the right of the above photo to change from locked mode (down position) to ready to release mode (up position). The ZR is a true jammer - meaning that unlike with a clutch in order to release it you have to load the line up on a winch and tension it before the jaws will open. This makes it great for furled sail halyards or applications where an open/close style clutch is impractical due to space constraints.

The above photo shows the parts of the jammer taken apart. That's all there is - the body, the jammers, the open/close mechanism & one allen head screw to attach them together. The body is a solid & substantial feeling piece. It is the angle of the body that forces the jammers together as they slide forward (left to right in the photo). It's all pretty straight forward - very easy to use and maintain.

All in all this is a pretty well thought out product. The rep said they were working on tweaking the locking up/down switch (it was a little sticky on this demo model). It feels solid and the design is very simple - which to me means it's less likely for a part of it to break. It's supposed to be out sometime in March - it's hard to say if they will meet that deadline but expect to see this out sometime this spring. One application I think this is well suited for is for boats like a C&C 115 that have problems with halyards slipping in the clutch that don't want to spend the money on something like an XX that's heavier and more expensive than the new ZR.

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