Pontos from Saint Malo in France have introduced a new standard to the world of winches.
The inspiration for this complete re-think was a shoulder injury which gave some uncomfortable moments when tacking in the narrow rock-strewn straits of Bréhat. The boat’s conventional two speed winch proved to be physically too difficult for one crew member, and the rocks became too close for comfort. The crew member was Darryl Spurling, who became a co-founder of Pontos with Michel Chenon.
Darryl and Michel realised that, although the winch is one of the key pieces of equipment on any yacht, it has barely changed over many years. They decided to completely rethink the winch, starting by an in-depth analysis of customer requirements. More power with less effort for some, more speed and efficiency for others. In both cases the quest for performance and security was paramount.
Starting from first principles, the result of three years of work by the R&D team is the most significant advance in winch design in more than a generation, bringing a formidable combination of performance and security. Many aspects of tried and tested technology have been retained – but with significant enhancements through innovative design
Very early on Pontos made the choice to focus its resources on building a well equipped, highly qualified applied R & D centre.Together with external research laboratories and in collaboration with professional ocean racers Pontos, has worked to produce reliable high performance winches.
The quality of component parts which are outsourced to European specialists are strictly controlled by the Quality control department in Pontos workshops in Saint Malo.
The manufacture of Pontos winches is performed in collaboration with Tekno an Italian high precision mechanical company. This partnership brings together the brilliantly simple innovative ideas of Pontos and more than 30 years’ experience in building high quality winches. In effect it was Tekno who manufactured under contract the famous Barbarossa winches.
Strong believers in letting people do what they are good at, Pontos has reinforced their team with the expert support of Peter Meyer. Peter’s extensive knowledge earned over the last 25 years covers all areas of the sail boat market and make him a very important member of the team.
With more innovations in the pipeline, Pontos is set to bring further revolutions to the sailing world. Watch this space….