Thanks to Jan Valk, the flagpole no longer breaks off

klikbare masthouder

Jan’s invention is a hit: never again a broken flag when you sail under a low bridge with your sailing.

Ho Jan Valk (55) is not exactly sure how often it happens. What is certain is that if a flag breaks off on the aft deck of a sloop near a low bridge, the damage is considerable. In the meantime, water sports enthusiasts have started a run on his unique invention of a clickable mast holder. read more

Jan Valk talks about his unique invention: the clickable mast holder on TV program Bussiness Class. He works for a large water sports company and saw a lot of damage to boats in the past sailing season. read more

,,Last fall, after another night of thinking about a co-flying flag holder, I said to my wife: I now know for sure that I have a solution for it”, says Jan Valk from Rotterdam, involved with AVR Watersport of Arjan van Rijn at the Coenecoop business park. in Waddinxveen.

,,I immediately got out of bed and immediately put on paper what I had come up with in order not to lose the idea anymore. Because there had to be something to be done about it, if you forget to take out a flag that is protruding too high. ”

The flag then breaks off under the bridge and rips open the aft deck, causing serious damage to the longboat. Costs: easily between 950 and 3500 euros

Heads down

The picture is familiar, think of a sunny day on the water. Nice sailing in a longboat or tender and the heads should go down in time for a low bridge. But no one thinks of quickly removing the flag from the holder. Significant damage to the aft deck is the direct result.

“While having fun on board and drinking a nice glass of wine, the skipper, with his warning for low bridges, of which we have a lot in our country, sometimes also wants to forget the flag on the aft deck. Another person on the water is then told to pay attention to this, without thinking about their own flag. I experienced that myself when sailing on the Rotte, ”explains Jan Valk.

,,The flag then breaks off under the bridge and rips open the aft deck, causing serious damage to the sloop. Costs: easily between 950 and 3500 euros. The more expensive the boat, the higher the damage. Nobody is happy with the repair, because the longboat has to go inside. Your beautiful sailing day has literally fallen into the water. ”

National flag

Each longboat has a mast holder, although flying a national flag is not mandatory in our country, as in Belgium and Germany. According to etiquette rules, he must flap straight or leaning backwards on the stern of the ship, especially on the starboard side (right) instead of the port side (left).

Jan Valk: ,, When thinking about replacing the fixed mast holders of cheap Asian manufacture, I thought of a spring and other possible solutions. Step by step I started to develop my idea and I visited a number of companies to help me in a technical sense with what I had in mind. ”

The mast holder itself is made of stainless steel and has a ball spring for a firm click


Eventually he ended up at Heemskerk Fijnmechanica, where parts are also made for engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce. With a 3D printer it became visible what the spring-back mast holder would look like. When it turned out to work excellently, it was immediately applied for and granted a patent in The Hague.

“The mast holder itself is made of stainless steel and has a ball spring for a firm click,” explains Jan Valk. “The flat top is made of high-quality aluminum that has undergone a special treatment so that it is resistant to the influences of fresh, brackish and salt water and forms a beautiful whole with the mast holder.

The demand for the Dutch invention, which is mounted on the afterdeck of sloops and tenders for 250 euros everywhere in the country without call-out charges and wages, is now so great after an item in Harry Mens’ TV program ‘Business Class’. website of the product has also been translated into English, German, French and Italian in order to also roll out the mast holder in Europe. AVR Watersport in Waddinxveen is one of the sales points.