Innovation at Sykes
Sykes are committed to a path of innovation for the future. We spend every day striving to improve so as to translate every ounce of your effort into output; removing wastage and increasing speed. Having been innovating for 50 years, we have an impressive list of world firsts in everything from hull design to permanent seat ties and even drink bottle holders.
Below is a sample of the innovations we have introduced since 1966.
MOULDS: SUMMARY OF INNOVATIONS
Apart from our current designs, we have had 3 major impacts on global boat designs, they are commonplace now, but were cutting edge at the time of their introduction:
- We were the first to work out that lightweights needed their own boat shape
- We were the first to develop "low-drag hulls" which were then adopted in Europe
- Narrow, rounded hulls, for a "least wetted area" were developed at Sykes too. Perfect for elite shells, these too are now standard
Sykes employs a team of dedicated engineers, CAD designers, Finite Element Analysis experts and some of Australia’s finest carbon fibre production staff. Combined with a production floor with skills in carbon, Kevlar and composite materials, a dedicated metalshop with skills in steel and aluminium, we can produce prototypes and advance designs faster than ever before, leading the way in innovations.
PRODUCTION: CNC PASTE EXTRUSION MACHINE
As Part of the Revolutionary CNC installation in 2013/2014, We are delighted to announce that we have added a Paste Extrusion Machine to our production capabilities, so that we can continue to offer steamlined and dynamic boats that are precision perfect.
ATHLETE PERFORMANCE AND TRAINING: GoPro Camera Mount
Introducing the Sykes Australian designed camera mount suited to fit GoPro cameras. The camera mount measures 73cm in length which ensures the full stroke is filmed. Additionally the camera mount comes with a counter weight used to balance the boat which attaches to the rigger on the opposite side of the boat. The camera mount attaches easily to the rigger.
PRODUCTION: NEW CNC INSTALLATION
In October 2013 our new CNC machine was installed which allows designs created using a specialised design program, to go straight from the computer to full size models and cut to an exacting standard. In other words, this machine can cut plugs to make moulds for our new boat designs with considerable accuracy.
Whilst this method is not new to Sykes, it will mean the entire process is now done in house, giving shorter lead times and more innovation. This highly versatile equipment also ensures that we can assist with projects in other industries including defence, automotive, construction, medical, solar technology and transport.
The video below shows the amazing installation of the new machine!
ATHLETE PERFORMANCE: SPECTRA STEERING
Our spectra steering system has replaced stainless steel wire and has had great results in the market. It features a much lighter weight mechanism without any corrosion issues arising from use in salt water. Now the cox, or steerer, has no excuses.
MOULDS: THE XOURIS RANGE
The Xouris range of boats represents a leap forward in technology that applies across all the boat ranges. Named after George Xouris who managed to win national titles in every event, the technological leap means that the thickness of the boat now varies. As you can see in the images below the thicker section at the top provides greater strength where it is required. Not only is it stronger, it also means that less material is used elsewhere saving weight where we can! Just like George this design evolution is a winner in any category.
To understand what sort of impact this has had on various boats the two photos below show a boat without Xouris and a boat now with Xouris construction.
RIGGERS: NEW BACKARM DEVELOPMENT
The new sliding adjustable type back arms have a dual locking system. The 6mm bolt locks the backarm in place via an internal nut. The large ribbed plastic locknut is then tightened against the end of the backarm tube. This gives secondary support and ensures the force is well supported. The adjustment range is 70mm which easily allows for span changes on the rigger.
EASE OF USE: SECTION JOINS
There is nothing like the pain of having to put a boat together after a long day at a regatta. To solve this problem we added locator pins to make reconnecting your sections a breeze!
RIGGERS: PIN MEASUREMENTS
We know it doesn't seem that important but the new stickers on our riggers mean less messing around with tape-measures saving valuable time! Being able to work from factory calibrated measurements everyday of the week means your setups will never be off!
SEATS & SLIDES: CURRENT SLIDE DESIGN
These days it seems that a slide is a standard feature of any boat. Amazingly years ago it wasn't until we created the now universal design of a slide. The single piece construction and features to hold seats down were revolutionary at the time!
There are plenty more innovations we create every day and our friendly sales team are always happy to discuss these further with you.