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Allen Brothers

Allen Keyball Harness

by Ben Harden, Allen 18 Jun 2018 08:30 BST
Allen Keyball Harness system © Allen Sailing

The dangers of trapezing have never been more apparent than in the last few years and as boats get more powerful and hardware becomes stronger shouldn't there be a natural progression to try something new when it comes to trapezing?

For many years the Allen development team was keen to design a trapeze system that improves the safety of the sport and reduces the risk of entrapment by the traditional hook-on trapeze harness. Designer Julian Bethwaite had also been thinking along the same lines and had produced a prototype of the Keyball trapeze system. In conjunction with Bethwaite Design, Allen has developed the concept into a sleek and innovative product, eliminating the hook altogether and creating a safe intuitive solution that really works. The Keyball design was originally entered into the prestigious METS trade show DAME awards in 2014, receiving a special mention in the "Life Saving and Safety Equipment" category.

The Allen Keyball system removes the traditional hook from the trapeze harness and replaces it with a moulded plastic socket. The Keyball socket has no sharp edges or protruding parts making it much less likely to damage equipment or get snagged on something.

The handle part of the Keyball design is manufactured in 3 parts to enable the ball to be flexible, which helps with articulation. It features a solid aluminium guide with an integral rope-friendly thimble for attachment to the trapeze lines via a height adjustable rope system and a solid aluminium ball for smooth and secure location.

Recently Allen has started working alongside Banks Sails to produce a straight off the shelf trapeze harness that is available in two different styles.

The Skiff Pro harness is a totally new design. It has been developed alongside top sailors to offer the ultimate racing performance. There is no waist adjustment and therefore it is clean of rope and webbing straps. This harness is ideal for the modern high-performance dinghy crew and is exceptionally light and comfortable.

Using sail making techniques, Banks developed the Radial Harness, one of the most comfortable harnesses on the market. The load from the Keyball is spread by radial patches completely eliminating creasing around the back.

Team Allen sailor and Cadet World Champion Jamie Harris has recently transitioned into the 420. Jamie has been trying his hand at crewing in the 420 so it made sense for him to trial the Keyball system. When asked about his experience with the Allen Keyball System Jamie said "The hand shaped design was really comfortable and gave me a strong grip and acted almost like a second handle to hang and pump from which was really useful." He then went on to say "I was also really impressed with the ease of use; I soon forgot I had a different system on as it was so easy to adjust too."

When asking Jamie about the Keyball socket design he said "I found myself not getting stuck in objects in the boat with my harness on. The harness was less damaging to lean over the boat with when adjusting controls."

Allen are now selling the complete Banks Harness with Allen Keyball system direct from their ecommerce website allensail.com if you require a different style of harness you can also go straight to Banks Sails and choose one of their existing designs to be used with the Keyball.

Keyball handles are also available direct from Allen at allensail.com

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