Reckmann is well known for its sailfurling technology and engineering – the bomb-proof headsail furlers that made its reputation and similarly highspec mainsail reefing systems, seen on many of the world’s finest yachts.
What’s less well known is that Reckmann has equally impressive record in rigging hydraulics, with a versatile range of solutions that can boost almost any boat’s performance while offering the extreme reliability that Reckmann has always assured. All components are CNC-milled from high-grade materials and all systems can be custom-made in larger than standard sizes, or in exotic materials. An example of this is the Wally 148 Saudade’s carbon/titanium tack ram.
A testament to the versatility of Reckmann hydraulics is the wide range of yachts that use them, from Extreme 40s, RC44s and Soto 40s to superyachts such as Nilaya, Saudade and the 50m cruiser All About U. The key to this versatility is the wide range of models and variants – most notably in Reckmann’s HCP manual pump and valve units – which allows users to select precisely the right setup for the specific requirements on board.
Reckmann’s HCP pump panels have a number of unique selling points. For example, they can handle an operating pressure of up to 440 bar – far higher than the industry standard of 350 bar – and provide an unbeatably high performance density. The two-stage pumps with high and low pressure settings also offer a unique advantage, effectively giving the crew two hydraulic ‘gears’ to work with: one offering high speed and the other extreme power. A switching valve allows one HCP pump panel unit to control four hydraulic cylinders.
This year’s big news from Reckmann is the launch of two new product lines. One of these is a highly versatile series of hydraulic tensioning rams designed for optimum weight per performance. These HCL II cylinders have many uses on board – for forestays, sternposts, outhauls, travellers and more. When deployed with a Reckmann HCL pump panel or hydraulic power pack, they enable fast and super-precise control of rigging adjustments to maximise performance. A back panel gas charge allows very agile handling and the series includes long-stroke cylinders with up to 800mm of travel.
Another new product line from Reckmann is the HIA II range of hydraulic backstay tensioning rams, which have their own integrated pump and also a pressure gauge, enabling users to monitor and precisely control their rig tension. Like the HCP and HCL series these backstay adjusters can operate at 440 bar, delivering a huge pull force, and all valves and pipes are tucked away inside the casing, which reduces the risk of stray lines getting snagged. Like the HCP panel units, the HIA II tensioners feature two-stage pumps that automatically switch from high-speed to high-power operation as rig tension increases, delivering more power to your elbow just when it’s needed. And all that power comes with an extremely high safety factor for even the smallest cylinders in the range, ensuring stability as well as strength and reducing their susceptibility to vibration.
A good example of Reckmann’s unique combination of high performance, precise control and extreme reliability is the 44 Cup racing circuit, where some teams have been using the same rigging hydraulics – with no problems, just regular servicing – for 14 years.
‘The RC44 is one of the most technical one-design classes at the moment and relying on quality components to squeeze the last bit of performance is crucial,’ says Michele Ivaldi, the tactician aboard Aleph Racing. ‘One of the great aspects of the 44 class is the involvement that each of the crew has and how we can change the setup to cover the range of conditions. These boats sail better than any other in light air; with the help of a hydraulic headstay we can move the rake around to soften or tighten the rig tension which gives our mains more range,’ adds Cameron Appleton, tactician for Team Aqua.
Reckmann hydraulics provide the extensive scope for rig adjustment that is a large part of these boats’ unique and enduring appeal.
Back at Reckmann HQ the innovation continues. ‘We have just reworked the entire ram and integral range,’ says Reckmann’s Björn Möser ‘And we now offer position reading as an upgrade for all cylinders.’