The Complementary Hardware section features products from LOUPS™ to ball bearing cam cleats and deck organizers—all designed to keep everything in place and functioning well, whether you’re a cruiser or a racer. Color-coded Flairleads and cam caps make identifying lines reflex-quick. You’ll find the products you need to complete your systems here.

Complementary Hardware Q&A



How do I maintain my 150 Cam-Matic® so it works like new?
Cam cleats are easy to maintain, usually cleaning is all they need. Apply a little liquid dish soap to the cleat and work around. Flush clean with water. If that does not improve the cleat's operation you can replace many of the parts or rebuild it.

Can my 150 & 365 cam cleats be rebuilt or repaired? What parts do I need? 
Balls, springs, caps, base and ball spacers can all be replaced. These parts can be purchased at many Harken Dealers or in the Spare Parts section of our website. For those items not available please call Harken Customer Service at (262) 691-3320.

CamBall Bearing Part #Spring Part #Caps, base & ball spacers
150HSB241  (order 66)HSB56  (order 2)HSB86
150150BALLS  (order 1)  
365HSB241  (order 46)HSB56  (order 2)Call Harken


Can any pole be used with the Harken spinnaker car? 
Any pole can be used with a Harken spinnaker car as long as the end fittings are correct. The Harken car will accommodate piston ends (ring car) and three toggle style fittings. The three toggle cars will work with Harken, Forespar, and Sparcraft fittings.

Can a whisker pole be stowed hanging off the car with the pole parallel to the mast?
No. The geometry is wrong. If the pole hangs down, it will act as a large lever arm and pry the fittings off the car. However, Forespar makes a special pole end designed for stowing the pole off the mast so it will not damage the car. The Forespar end is compatible with the appropriate Harken spinnaker car.

What size pole will fit with the Harken pole ends?
Harken pole ends require a metric pole. The sizes range from 50 mm to 100 mm diameters.

Backstay Tensioner

Does Harken have any type of mechanical backstay tensioner?
Yes. We offer two styles of mechanical backstay tensioners. The size will depend on the clevis pin diameter. One has folding handles that can be used to turn the tensioning device, while the other uses a winch handle for tensioning.

Springs & Boots

Should I use a stand-up spring or boot?
Harken boot & springBoth stand-up springs and boots are used to keep blocks from hitting the deck. Stand-up springs are stronger and stiffer than boots, but boots can be used in a number of situations. For example: If the line might foul in a stand-up spring's rings, you can substitute a boot.

What is the simplest way to install a stand-up spring or PVC stand-up boot?
Take two zip ties and loop them through each side of the spring (or PVC boot). Pull the zip ties taut until the spring (boot) compresses. Now you can easily attach the block to the eyestrap, padeye, etc. After you attach the block, cut the zip ties and the spring will pop back into place.

Boot Installation Tip: Instead of wrestling the block onto a stiff piece of PVC, soften the boot with a hair dryer (don't burn it), or soak it in warm water. This makes the boot much more pliable and easier to manipulate. When the boot cools, its shape returns to normal.

Soft Attachments

Why would I want to use a loop instead of a shackle?
Harken LoupsSoft attachments are one of the many new technologies being used on today's hot race boats. From globe-circling powerhouses, to local course racers, one thing ALL race boats have in common is that everything is always about weight, or about the attempt to reduce weight in any way possible. But as in most things in sailing, there is really nothing new, just a better way of doing things, and loops are no exception.

A LOUP™ is simply a piece of high-tech Dyneema® line spliced in to itself making....well....a loop. A 12 mm LOUP has a breaking load of 6,454 kg (14,200 lb). Strong enough to lift a Farr 40, with each crew member holding a can of beer.

The real loop advantage is in the weight savings. Loops are used to replace heavy shackles and padeye block attachments. For example, a 65 g loop translates into a weight savings of 204.5 g when replacing a shackle and padeye. So if a boat uses 10 blocks, that adds up to 2.04 kg (4.5 lbs) less weight on the boat. This may not sound like a lot to you or me, but to a racer who has spent a small fortune on a fast boat, shedding 2.04 kg (4.5 lbs)—in addition to other weight savings—is key to winning.

Loops can be attached in a variety of ways. They can hang vertically, with a choker, by adding a dogbone, or by using the basket method. With a little imagination, the versatile loop can go a long way toward lightening your boat.

This high-tech solution really is nothing new to sailing. Back in the days of wooden schooners, sailors did not really care about saving weight. What they were actually concerned about was saving money. Their hardware attachments didn't have a catchy little name like LOUPS™, but were made of wire or rope and called grommets! Making grommets was painfully hard and extremely time consuming because each one was made by hand. 

Grommets were a common way to attach hardware, but the convenience of modern metal fittings like shackles and padeyes made grommets obsolete. Eventually, eliminating the weight of these fittings became one of the many ways to save weight and loops were invented. As are many things in sailing technology, most new ideas are just loops of old ideas that have gone by the wayside.


Are all shackles of equal size the same?
ShackleAt first glance most shackles of equal size look the same, but they definitely are NOT! A standard 8 mm forged "D" shackle has a breaking load of 2757 kg (6,080 lb) while a High Resistance 8 mm shackle has a breaking load of 4,652 kg (10,260 lb). The number (for example an 8) on the side of both shackles denotes the diameter of the screw pin—8 mm. If the shackle is High Resistance, it will also have HR stamped into the side. If you are replacing a shackle for a highly-loaded block, make sure that in addition to the pin diameter, the shackle has HR stamped into it.

If you are unsure if the shackle is HR or not, in most cases the prices will reflect the difference. 

In most cases a standard shackle will work just fine for you, but if the block is highly loaded, make sure the shackle matches the breaking load of the block.

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