Sailing News

Helly Hansen Sails into Chicago


Chicago’s First Helly Hansen store opened in Lincoln Park November 24.
Helly Hansen, the Norwegian-based active apparel and footwear brand, opened its first Chicago retail store at Clybourn Galleria in Lincoln Park, just off Kennedy Expressway on the way to the waterfront. The 2,800-square-foot shop will feature the complete line of Helly Hansen outerwear, base layers, fleece, down jackets, footwear and accessories for water, mountain, and trail sports activities.

Helly Hansen, Norway’s premier apparel export, was founded in 1877 by Helly Juell Hansen, a Norwegian fisherman and sea captain who invented oiled canvas waterproof fabrics to keep his crew warm and dry while working on the frigid North Sea. Today, 129 years later, Helly Hansen is the world’s most experienced and authentic performance apparel brand for all seasons.

“Helly Hansen knows cold, wet weather better than anyone,” said George McGowan, owner and operator of the Chicago store. “We work very hard to be part of the community when we open a store. Helly Hansen has a strong reputation with experienced outdoor enthusiasts who know Helly for its history and quality, and we are seeing a very positive response from urban shoppers who are drawn to our progressive Scandinavian design and colors. We are committed to be an expert resource of high quality gear for Chicago’s dynamic watersport and wintersport communities.”

The Clybourn store will feature Helly Hansen’s premium ski and snowboard jackets and pants, boating and paddling apparel, water sports and trail footwear, HH Warm base layers with LIFA technology, softshell jackets for light and fast adventures and street wear to accommodate an active lifestyle.

In February, for the first time, Helly Hansen participated directly at Strictly Sail Chicago, carrying boat shoes, foul weather gear, base layers and accessories. Helly Hansen intends to carry a full line of sailing gear at all of its midwest locations.

For more information on Helly Hansen’s products, visit, contact the new store at 773-248-6250, or visit 1841 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614. Helly Hansen Great Lakes has two other locations:

Helly Hansen Minneapolis - Ridgedale Mall, and Helly Hansen St. Paul - Grand Avenue. Helly Hansen Great Lakes sells online at

Sailboat Manufacturers Gain in Big Boats
Small-boat Market Declines in 2006

Overall domestic sailboat production declined in 2006, although the big-boat markets saw gains, according to an annual study released today during Strictly Sail Miami.

Production declined 7 percent, to its lowest level since it peaked in 2000, according to Rick Walter of Market Research Associates. However, the numbers do not necessarily reflect a downward spiral, said Walter, since it was a year of high oil prices, the uncertainty of the Iraq War and a sluggish real estate market.

“The real estate market fizzled and nerves frazzled,” said Walter.

The results of the study were presented by The Sailing Company during a State of the Industry breakfast. The Newport, R.I.-based company publishes Sailing World, Cruising World and Power Cruising.

Production in the small-boat market fell. Sales of boats smaller than 11 feet tumbled 28 percent, while boats 12 to 19 feet made modest gains of 3 percent. Small boats make up more than three-quarters of the total market, Walter said.

Production of boats over 36 feet increased, with most of those gains in the 41- to 45-foot category. That can be attributed to the introduction of new models and higher exports, according to Walter.

The sailboat market out-performed the powerboat market which declined in most sectors in 2006.

The Great Lakes Cruising Club’s (GLCC) 2007 Rendezvous
The Great Lakes Cruising Club’s (GLCC) 2007 Rendezvous will be held at the western end of Lake Superior. The event is scheduled from July 15 through 18 at the 430-slip Barker’s Island Marina, Wisconsin, in the twin ports of Duluth and Superior.

The annual Rendezvous is the GLCC’s premier event. A fleet of up to 100 boats is expected to participate, most of them making the long voyage from the lower lakes. Other members will arrive by car, and some will be bringing their trailerable boats along. “Whatever way they come, it’ll be an adventure,” said Rear Commodore Duane Flynn.
The Rendezvous Committee, under the leadership of Flynn and Retired Rear Commodore Monnie Goldfine, is planning an extensive program. It will include sightseeing, educational seminars, demonstrations, sports events, social functions and business meetings.

It was the resounding success of the 2001 Rendezvous that was the major reason for the event’s return to Superior-Duluth. “As hosts, we found it so rewarding to hear the comments and responses illustrating the thrill, enjoyment and surprise of those, who took the time to come here in 2001,” Flynn said.

A considerable number of the club’s members have indicated that they will take the time to cruise the North and East Shore of Lake Superior after the event. They will — either individually or as groups — visit many of the small harbor towns and wilderness anchorages along the way.

The GLCC was founded in 1934, so cruisers could better share information about their destinations on the Great Lakes and their tributaries. That still remains the primary function of the club, which today has well over 1,500 members in the U.S. and Canada. Its expansive collection of harbor reports is widely regarded as the authoritative cruising guide to the Great Lakes.

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Boaters Urged To Resolve To Be Safer In 2007
Coast Guard Auxiliary offers four easy-to-follow tips for a safer year on the water
It’s barely two weeks into the new year; many New Year’s resolutions have already been cast aside like used wrapping paper, leaving those making the broken resolution discouraged and disheartened, and wondering if they’ll ever make a pledge they can stick to.

Well, hope is on the way. The Coast Guard Auxiliary is offering boaters and water enthusiasts four easy-to follow tips for those who want to resolve to be safer boaters this year:

Always wear your life jacket: Statistics show time and time again that many boating fatalities could have been avoided, simply by wearing a life jacket. Wearing a life jacket while boating is like wearing a seat belt when driving or riding in a vehicle. Simply put, life jackets save lives! Resolve to wear one anytime you are on or near the water.
Be prepared — take a safe boating course: Most drivers were required to take some sort of driver’s education course before getting their drivers license. Statistics show that 80 percent of those involved in boating fatalities never took a boating safety course. Knowledge is power, and that knowledge may help you be “SEMPER PARATUS” (the Coast Guard’s motto, which means “always ready”) and may in fact, save your life! Resolve to make this year the year you improve your boating safety knowledge and skills.

Get a free Vessel Safety Check: Boats that are properly equipped, in good operating condition, and are safe from hazards are less likely to be involved in a accidents and fatalities. Know before you go — request a a free Vessel Safety Check by visiting, and clicking on “I WANT A VSC.” Resolve to make sure your boat is a safe boat.

Avoid alcohol while on or near the water: Approximately 40 percent of all boating fatalities involve the use of alcohol. If you are drunk and get into an accident on the water, but are fortunate enough to survive, you will likely suffer financial and social consequences, such as large fines (similar to driving under the influence), and the loss of automobile driving privileges. But alcohol doesn’t just impact the operator; passengers who have been imbibing are 10 times more likely to fall overboard and drown. Simply put, water and alcohol don’t mix! Resolve to be a sober boater.

By following these four, easy-to-follow tips on how to stay safe on or around the water, the Coast Guard Auxiliary hope that you and your loved ones will enjoy 2007, and be around to make more New Years resolutions come next January.

Lost Passenger Ship, North American Located in Atlantic
The Great Lakes passenger ship S.S. North American which sank in September of 1967 while on a voyage from Erie Pennsylvania to Newport News, Virginia has been found. A research team, this past July aboard Quest Marine’s R/V Quest located the ship close to the edge of the continental shelf approximately 140 miles off the New England coast in 250 feet of water.

Considered the Queen of the Great Lakes, the S.S. North American was built in Ecorse Michigan, and launched January 16th 1913. Constructed for the Chicago, Duluth and Georgian Bay Transit Company, she was the first ship built anywhere exclusively for cruising. Her career on the Great Lakes spanned 51 years from 1913 to 1964.
In 1967 the ship was sold to the Seafarers International Union for further use as a training ship. The 280 ft., 2317 gross ton ship was being towed by the tug Michael McAllister to a shipyard for conversion to a training ship when it sank suddenly on the night of September 13th, 1967. Swells from the approaching Hurricane Doria proved too much for the aging ship and contributed to her loss. No one was injured in the sinking and the tug reached port safely.

Quest Marine’s research team led by Captain Eric Takakjian conducted three days of survey diving operations at the wreck site over the period 15-17 July 2006. Three dive teams of two divers each accomplished photographic and physical measurement documentation of the wreck. The divers included Takakjian, Patrick Rooney, Steven Gatto, Tom Packer, Heather Knowles and David Caldwell. Due to the depth all dive teams breathed custom blended helium based gas mixtures. Decompression was accomplished with the use of multiple oxygen-enriched gases.

Harken Equips 11 of 12 America’s Syndicates

For the 2007 edition of the America’s Cup in Valencia, Spain, Harken is supplying the 2003 Defender and 10 of 11 Challengers including the 1995, 2000 Cup winner and 2006 AAC Champion Emirates Team New Zealand with full winch and hardware systems. These packages include custom made blocks, mainsheet systems, genoa systems and full winch system packages.

Harken engineers began preparing for the upcoming Cup immediately following the successful 2002/03 event held in New Zealand. For the last several years, they have devoted significant time and energy meeting syndicate demands for increasingly lighter weight and stronger sail control systems.

“Harken engineers researched new materials, acquired state-of-the art design tools and software, and developed in-house testing facilities, allowing us to cycle test blocks at full Safe Working Loads, test bearing efficiency, determine how different line effects sheave diameters, and the longevity of bearings ,” said company president Peter Harken. These upgrades have resulted in new cutting-edge gear, the ability to optimize hardware that needed updating, and redesign gear we wanted to improve.”

Harken Valencia
Harken Valencia is up and running. The On-Site Regatta Compound offers a full line of spare components and assembled products for sale, warranty and repair.

The Compound houses a machine shop for product maintenance during the Cup with Tech Team personnel on-site 24/7. Two engineers will be available for the duration of the event.

During the America’s, Cup years of wear and tear on our gear is compressed into six months. We analyze bearings, coatings, mechanisms, materials, gear ratios, and systems layouts as well as how easy the gear is to service and maintain. The results transmit directly into new hardware and winch designs for your boat.

Deck Hardware
For the 2007 Cup, Harken engineers used soft-attachment rope LOUPS™ to handle full block loads, decreasing weight by 20%. Blocks are designed for easy maintenance.

Genoa Systems
The “XY” genoa systems feature Harken-designed and built custom hydraulic cylinders to move lead positions under load. Traveler car legs can be straight or bent to allow trimmers to move the sheave carrier all the way outboard or inboard and still meet the requirements of the V5 rules.

PCRX Mainsheet Traveler
This new Pivoting Track system allows AC boats using different foot length mainsails or booms to align the car to the load for greatly increased traveler efficiency. The track bonds to the boat using a series of bobbins carbon-taped to the traveler bulkhead. Eliminating fasteners and integrating the traveler into the deck saved considerable weight. A titanium rod used as the hinge pin save more weight. The track easily removes for service. The PCRX Traveler was nominated by the jury at the 2005 DAME competition held at the METS trade show.

Winch Systems
Winch engineers kept the basic winch designs the same, but concentrated on weight reduction. FEA (Finite Element Analysis) on the winch bases, housing and drums determined where material could be removed. New software allowed us to fine tune our winches and test different gear materials and treatments.
• The 1111 primaries come with carbon drums and titanium gears
• The AC version of the 990 winch is almost 3 kg lighter than the 2003 AC winch.
• A three-speed AC version with a 1:1 first gear ratio was added to the 65.3 STAC using carbon drum and titanium gears.

Pedestals & Disconnect Systems
• Pedestals feature stiff, lightweight carbon handles with smaller diameter, aerodynamic grips.
• The pedestal tube is stiffer and lighter weight.
• The disconnect system comes with carbon brackets, carbon levers, a longer clutch coupler and radial spring to help fast connections.

Gear Boxes
The gear boxes were completely redesigned.
• Boxes feature solid aluminum housings with larger bevel gears.
• Weights were optimized to keep boxes stiff for 8-man input and to prevent bevel gear wear.
• Disconnect brackets and levers are carbon
• Boxes can be lubricated with oil (or grease) to minimize service and increase bevel longevity.

Harken, Inc. is a leading manufacturer and distributor of innovative sailboat hardware and accessories. Headquartered in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, Harken manufactures in USA and Italy. Their network includes offices in Rhode Island, California, Florida, France, Italy, Japan, Slovenia, Sweden, Australia and the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

All contents are copyright (c) 2007 by Northern Breezes, Inc. All information contained within is deemed reliable but carries no guarantees. Reproduction of any part or whole of this publication in any form by mechanical or electronic means, including information retrieval is prohibited except by consent of the publisher.