I have been using Barton fittings for more than 20 years. In particular, in 1988 when I commissioned my J24, I fitted a large number of the Barton deck fittings. The Jib and Genoa tracks complete with Genoa cars with a plunger stop, for example, are still going strong, showing no sign of wear or tear. Winning the European Championships in 1995 and the UK Nationals seven times since then.
I have also been campaigning an XOD, again using many Barton fittings and more recently the recirculating traveller with a full length track right across the stern deck. The low profile, short length traveller combined with the modular components made it reasonably easy with the Barton Engineers to design an excellent system for my boat. All helping me win the Class Championships eight times.
Well done Barton Marine and thank you for the really good value of your marine equipment.
In terms of durability, smooth operation, and value for money, Barton blocks are hard to beat. Sailing round Britain in my left Cape Cutter in 2008, I needed to be absolutely certain that my running rigging and sheets could controlled easily and accurately by a variety of crew many of whom had little experience before they started. I can honestly say that throughout the 86 day,1720 nautical mile voyage in fairly unpleasant weather at times, the Barton Blocks were superb. On one occasion, off the island of Lundy in the Bristol Channel, I had to hoist a crew member up the mast. Using a an improvised "bosun's chair" from cordage which was carefully secured to the main halyard, I was absolutely confident that, with the halyard passing through the Barton block system, I could successfully hoist my (none too light!) crew member aloft. In the event, all went smoothly, job done and crew member safely back on deck....... thank you Mr. Barton!
With a need to sheet in the Genoa more accurately for racing purposes, the Barton mini-tracks with cars provided a great solution. Easy to fit and straightforward to use, their impact on the Genoa set was immediate with much improved windward performance. So much so, that we won the Discovery Trophy for the Modern Gaffers Class in the 2009 Round the Island Race. Equally, the Barton tandem (?) mainsheet blocks provided smooth operation for controlling the large mainsail in all weathers. Also, the Barton mini turning blocks secured to the aft mooring cleats allowed the powerful genneker to be easily and accurately controlled by the sheet man.
Team Musical Express have been racing Sonata successfully for over 12 years and have always relied on Barton fittings to help us achieve our results which include: -
Medway Sonata Series
1st Overall 2001-2011
1st Overall 2000, 2003, 2010, 2011
Medway Cruiser autumn series
1st Overall 2005, 2008, 2009
1999 4th Overall
2001 6th Overall
2005 5th Overall
Last season we fitted a Barton two-car mainsheet (windward sheeting system), which requires no adjustment from tack to tack. Irrespective of whether the cars are above or below the centreline, the traveller is simple, economical and very effective even under the heaviest of loads.
This year we have updated our main and Genoa clutches which has improved sail tensioning dramatically with considerable holding power. We have also fitted a Barton Boomstrut, which was quick and simple to install. The Boomstrut has not only stopped the problem of the boom dropping when lowering the main, but is also of considerable benefit when reefing. More importantly the Boomstrut has greatly improved the shape of the mainsail in light conditions by opening the leach and has allowed us to depower more quickly to prevent broaching on tight, gusty spinnaker reaches.
Thank you Barton for giving us the performance we require at an affordable price.
Mike Harrison (skipper and co-owner Musical Express)
Robert started Oban Sea School in 1992 with a 9m GRP yacht and started self construction of his present yacht 'Aquila' in 1999. She is a Bruce Roberts 345 10.5m steel sloop, and the layout was designed specifically for the sailing tuition business, she was launched in 2005.
Roberts sailing area, in his opinion, is the best in the world. Mostly the tuition weeks are around the Oban waters to places like Jura, Iona, Staffa, the small isles and S. Skye. The 12 day cruises extend to St Kilda, Outer Hebrides and Orkney.
He comments 'Most of the deck gear I fitted to Aquila is Barton with the exception of winches and a few clutches. She carries a Size 2 re-circulating ball bearing mainsheet system, Size 2 re-circulating towable Genoa car system, 32mm Genoa cars for the jib on 32mm T Track and the sheets are lead aft through stacked foot blocks with cams. The K Cams I fitted to the deck and on the mainsheet have lasted longer than I had anticipated, I have only replaced two cams in 7 years.'
'I am very happy with the performance of the Barton Equipment, it puts up with a lot of use and mileage and never lets me down.'
Take a look at the Oban Sea School website for full details on courses and instruction dates www.obanseaschool.co.uk
Pip Hare, sponsored by Barton, recently completed the epic Mini Transat from France to Brazil and was confirmed as the first female sailor to finish the race in the 45 boat Series fleet
'This was one of the hardest races I have ever competed in; it was thirty days of tough and at times extreme sailing on a tiny boat with a massive sail area. Exhausting to me and testing to the boat and all the equipment onboard.
In the middle of the night, in thirty knots of wind, screaming down a wave you need to be sure that your gear is up to it, the failure of one block or jammer could lead to catastrophe. The Barton blocks and jammers I used onboard stood up to the toughest of conditions and allowed me to sail fast with confidence.
My favourite piece of kit was definitely a small snatch block which was at all times in arms reach in the cockpit, used daily for peeling spinnakers and changing headsails; invaluable.' Pip explained.