Harken Kardeşler

The Story of Harken

The real fuel behind a company's success is its people.

Peter and Olaf brothers managed to turn the garage office they built on this basic principle in Wisconsin, USA, 50 years ago into a global company with world-famous distributorships. Harken blocks, trolleys, deck equipment, winches, and hydraulics have been used in prestigious events such as the America’s Cup, Ocean Race, worldwide Superyacht events, the Olympics, and many more.




While Peter designed his sailing system for E-Scow boats in his spare time from studying and his part-time job, one night, a plastic ball fell off the table. Peter was surprised at how high the plastic ball bounced when it hit the ground, realized that the less mass the speed would increase, and he replaced the balls of the blocks in his boat with plastic ones. Using his sail as a test, Peter found that it opened and closed faster and smoother than others when sailing.


Harken Kardeşler


Harken-İlk ReklamlarWhen a molding company called “Accurate Products” saw Peter and Olaf, who were trying to create something with a limited budget like themselves, they offered to help them set up a workshop and produce blocks for “Accurate Products”. They sold the first series to 1968 Olympic gold medalists Lowell North and Buddy Friedrichs. Afterwards, the reels were featured in a yachting magazine with the following words: “ These diabolical devices are called Harken ball bearings. It will take many years for yacht designers to design yachts that can reach the speed of these blocks.”


After growth in 1971 and the gasoline crisis in 1973, they began to produce rudders, keels, canoes and model boats.


After purchasing the Italian crane company Barbarossa, Harken aluminium cranes began to be preferred, especially with the work of chief engineer Luciano Bonassi.


Distributors were established in Sweden in 1998, and in New Zealand and Australia in 2006. Following the 2008 crisis, Harken Safety & Rescue was established, and the blocks began to be utilized in various industrial sectors such as rope access and rescue, wind energy, architectural applications, stage, and theater.


After Olaf Theodore Harken passed away in 2019, his older brother Peter continues to uphold the Harken name. The company continues to operate in many fields that use rope systems such as marine, search and rescue and architecture.