Chandlery January 15, 2003 Issue

JHRG Supreme Protector Gear

About a year ago (how times flies) a PS reader named Dan Nathan e-mailed to offer some ideas about chafe guards, and we fell into conversation about his company's products. He sent us some interesting demo units. 

The anchor-sentinal bag. Note drain holes.

Nathan is the vice president of a small company that is primarily engaged in making body armor out of UHMW-PE. (That's for "ultra high molecular weight polyethylene." It's better-known by names like Spectra, Dyneema, etc.)

The 12-year-old company, called JHRG (for the four individuals who own it), is in Spring Hope, North Carolina. There are from a dozen to 80 employees, depending on the status of government contracts. (It recently finished making 14,000 flak jackets for the U.S. military.)

The company also makes nets (they call them "cargo restraint curtains") for positioning cargo in commercial airplanes; hovercraft skirts; and the fanciest aprons you've ever seen - for use in the slaughterhouse business. (To meet safety regulations, butchers used to wear segmented metal aprons whose construction resembled medieval armor. The meatcutters hated them. The lightweight UHMW-PE aprons suit them fine.

Nathan's products are made of cloth woven from UHMW-PE, and stitched together with UHMW thread developed by JHRG. The cloth is called "Supreme Protector." With a breaking strength of 1,000 lbs, per linear inch, the stuff is pretty nearly indestructible, at least by mere force. To make the material impenetrable, especially to water, Nathan's company has patents for coatings of EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) and PE (polyethylene).

As is well-known to those dependent on government contracts (or on the hovercraft skirt market), if you want to even out the peaks and valleys, you need to diversify. Four of Nathan's efforts in this direction will be of interest to his fellow sailors:1. A fabric anchor-sentinel bag. Filled with chain, divers' lead weights, grapefruit-sized rocks, or anything else heavy, it can be slid down an anchor rode to reduce catenary and achieve a better rode angle to the bottom. 2. A chafe guard to slip over docking lines, fastened lengthwise by hook-and-loop strips. 3. A spiral version of the chafe guard, to protect an anchor rode or mooring line. It's made with ties at both ends. 4. A lightweight, rot and mildew resistant fabric bucket.

The four items, now at the go-to-market stage, are ready for submission to those whom Nathan considers the best testers in the world - Practical Sailor readers.

The anchor sentinel bag and fabric bucket are priced at $29.95. The sleeved docking line chafeguard, available in 18" and 24" versions (don't try to cut it to fit; can't be done) is $14.95. The anchor rode version, which is 24" long, is $19.95. Everything is postage paid. If you want a bulletproof vest, they cost from $500 to $1,500 - in large lots only.

 

Contact-JHRG, 800/849-4997www.hsarmor.com.

 

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