The company developed a mechanism with which anyone can lift a heavy outboard motor up and down onto a sailing boat trestle without straining, whilst at the same time being able to watch shipping traffic in front of the bow. Various solutions were tested but were too expensive, did not turn correctly or were much too loud. The company then wanted to build an electrically operated vertical lift.
The company opted for wheels (iglide® J plain bearings), that rotate as soon as they are exposed to the torque pressure from the offset motor, in order to prevent friction between the wheel and the aluminum rails. By using iglide® J, the wheel assemblies were able to rotate freely without making a noise. "Install bearings from igus®. The result was spectacular ... anyone for sailing?" said the company owner.
The mast on a yacht must be lowered and dismantled at the end of every sailing trip. Large boats have devices in which the sail is rolled up in the inside of the mast, which means the sailor can also unroll just as many sails as necessary for the current weather conditions. This procedure is very expensive, however, and can cost more than the yacht itself.
Whilst from a design point of view it is similar to high-end systems, due to the bearing device for the internal ring tubes, the system developed by the company is considerably more cost-effective. A rotating pipe was placed in two plastic annulae, but any resistance (dirt, dust etc.) would convert the force that pulls out the sail and make the pipe bend inwards towards the slot further up the mast. The more force that was applied to solve this canting, the more it would cant. The only solution was lots of lubrication. The company made the holes bigger and inserted two iglide® bearings, which sat loose in the annulae. Now the whole pressure applied when pulling out the sail is applied to the rotation of the pipe and it is no longer able to cant.
"The system works perfectly, even with an added bonus," said the owner. "As far as we can tell, no maintenance is ever required. Our IMF main sail unrolling system [with iglide® bearings] is the main reason why buyers prefer our product to that of our competitors."