smarttune update

In August we installed a smarttune to measure forestay tension (story here). The initial impressions were great; installation was super simple and having the tension on the mast display made communication much easier.

But after sailing Rolex Middle Sea Race and also the Coastal Race in Malta (that hade a very shifty upwind leg) we also had some data to work with. Above are forestay tension (in kg) as a function of TWS (in knots). So in 12 knots of wind, 1400 kg is a good starting point with the J2 jib.

This is just the first iteration, and we need more data before this becomes a cheat-sheet in the cockpit. But it felt great to be able to convert our experience, and prior references on the backstay, to hard numbers.  Also, communication worked very well, and it felt we could be more proactive with backstay tension when we hade the numbers in view rather than behind us…

Me and Martin Gadman from Happy Yachting met with Sam Cray from Cyclops Marine at METS in Amsterdam. It’s always fun to meet entrepreneurs and people from small technical companies, and this was no exception. They are still iterating on the optimal design, figuring out production, and trying to keep up with demand. Often stressful, but always fun and the best stage to be involved in any company.

The three standard models (7/16″, 1/2″ and 5/8″) now have a slightly more rounded design, to prevent spinnaker sheets to get caught. It’s also possible to measure the distance between the threaded stubs, which will make it easier to replicate the original settings when mounting.

I was happy with the first version, but this is even better. 

There’s also a new app to set up and communicate with the smarttune. 

Cyclops Marine can do custom sizes of the smarttune, as well as custom solutions. Some of the projects they are working on now are 

• Smart tension link: measures and records clew load wirelessly on superyacht headsails to prevent sail damage and provide direct load feedback for safety on captive winches (based on innovative Cyclops fail-safe tension link).
• Smart furler: directly measures furler luff load (sail and cable)
• Smart headstay ram: directly measures forestay load without the inherent inaccuracies of a loadpin.


Here’s the new Smartlink. Ineos Team UK took delivery of 9 of these last month, with plenty of riggers wanting one to have in their pocket too. This is a concept that they originally produced for Bella Mente for their Mainsheet ring. Available in 2t, 5t, and 10t load ratings.

A really innovative team.