Blocks Questions?

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by tcwings20, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. tcwings20

    tcwings20 Member

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    I recently got a new to me Laser and I am looking to upgrade the main mainsheet block. I was wondering what everyone's opinions are on the orbit 55 ratchet block. And I have trouble letting the main out and I need to push it out most times so I would like to get new boom blocks. I heard somewhere that you can clean the blocks but mine are pretty old I think so I would like to get new ones. I am in the US so I was looking at Intensity's blocks they're cheap so I was wondering if anyone has any objections to them. Thanks for the help!
     
  2. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    The Intensity blocks aren't class legal, so yes the ILCA objects to them.
     
  3. tcwings20

    tcwings20 Member

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  4. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Would a brand "Laser" sail made by Elstrom or Haarstick be legal? Holt Allen used to be the supplier of the legal blocks, a new supplier now supplies them, but Allen Bros is a new company with access to the old molds, that doesn't mean that new blocks produced from the old molds are class legal, yet the old blocks will remain class legal indefinitely. Whilst off the top of my head I can't remember, but you'll probably find the old blocks are stamped with the Laser Trade mark, whilst these new ones definitely won't be. It's a similar situation with the new vang fitting from Harken, whilst they even come off the same production line, without that Laser Trade mark, they aren't legal, even though it's an identical product.
     
  5. tcwings20

    tcwings20 Member

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    So Allen Bros is the new manufacturer and the those are the old models (replicas? basically)
     
  6. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

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    Correct
     
  7. 203

    203 Very Senior Member

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  8. tcwings20

    tcwings20 Member

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    So are they illegal or not?

    What I would also like to is what would everyone upgrade first out of . . .
    the mainsheet (no idea what it is now I think its just line)
    the boom blocks
    and the mainsheet block (I would like to hear what everyone thinks about the Orbit 55 ratchet).

    Help with this would be great thanks!
     
  9. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    If they are not sold by a Laser dealer, then they are not legal.
     
  10. jeffers

    jeffers Active Member

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    Just to qualify that statement a little. It may be true in the US but few other countries have a dealer network as extensive as the US.

    In the UK you can buy official Laser branded parts either from Laser Performance directly, any number of chandlers and some even direct from the manufacturer (or importer). Dealers do exist but most people go to LP directly for boats and major parts such as sails, spars and foils.
     
  11. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Wow, obviously I did not know that. Thanks for the clarification, Jeffers. Hmm, wouldn't the chandlers be considered official dealers? We have a lot of places that sell sails and boats, and one of the lines happens to be Laser Performance items.
     
  12. 203

    203 Very Senior Member

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    For what it's worth, USA isn't so overpopulated with dealers either. There's one in North Carolina, in Oriental, 5 hours one way from here.

    Obviously I am going to be buying whatever from West Marine (there's one of those only 1.5 hours away) or thru mail order. I have to trust that the advertisement is correct. Allen says their block is "adopted by the Laser Class"... How in the world is someone who must rely on distant chandlers supposed to know that this block might be questioned in their setup? After all, Allen Brothers is not a rogue outfit.
     
  13. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    On the Ronstan 55 block - I have been using it since it was first introduced, and have tried many of the others as well, none of the modern ones seem to have the same holding power. It's been discussed a bunch here, if you search you'll find them, here are a couple to read.. http://sailingforums.com/threads/mainsheet-block.17533/#post-88981 and http://sailingforums.com/threads/which-mainsheet-block-orbit-carbo.5581/ If you decide on the Ronstan, I would suggest the standard post/shackle as opposed to the dyneema strop.

    On what to upgrade/change first, it depends on any issues you are having now. Address those first..

    On the Allen blocks legality.. Re-read Alan D's reply, as an official class measurer, you can rest assured if he was inspecting your boat, they wouldn't be allowed. Since you are talking about upgrades, why not jst get the new class approved Harkens' for the boom anyway ?
     
  14. Eric_R

    Eric_R D10 Secretary

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    I just checked on 2 old set of traveler blocks and there is no trademark on them, only that they were made by Holt Allen. They did come in bags that were officially from Vanguard so indicate they were official parts.

    I would assume anything that was legal previously would be grandfathered in like the old sails you mention. I'd love to see either one of those sails. The only old sail I usually see are the mark 5 radial sails.
     
  15. tcwings20

    tcwings20 Member

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    I emailed Allen Bros to see what they say on the blocks legality.
    Two people on the 2nd forum said their blocks failed I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem recently because those posts were from 08 and there were later post saying that Ronstan had already started to fix the problems so have they succeeded by now? Thanks.
     
  16. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    Ronstan fixed the problem in the first year, the blocks have been reliable now for a few years..
     
  17. tcwings20

    tcwings20 Member

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    Thank you.
    I'm on somewhat of a strict budget I've got about 100 dollars to spend and I would really like to put a new main block on my boat because mine is still the same old basic block. But I would also like to upgrade my mainsheet and boom blocks to reduce the friction so I do not have to push the boom out each time I go downwind. I figured with the Allen Bros blocks I would have less friction than I have now simply because they're new and my current ones are old. My boat is an '86 so obviously I don't have a new vang, outhaul or cunningham but I don't have the money to upgrade those yet I will later but I would like to get the simple "cheaper" stuff done first.
     
  18. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    The good and bad about the original blocks (including the "new" Allen Bros blocks) is while not free spinning, they don't get significantly worse as the hours add up on their use. So, replacing them with like blocks most likely will not contribute to helping get the main out.. Better to not spend the money on those and save up until you can get the Harkens IMHO. Any of the autoratchets are going to make a big difference in helping the mainsheet run when easing out to go downwind, so that is the first thing I would change in your case.

    Do you know the dia of your mainsheet (and type ?), as the thicker (8mm / 5/16") mainsheets do not run as easily as the 7mm/ 1/4" sheets.
     
  19. tcwings20

    tcwings20 Member

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    Well then I think my money might go to the block and the new mainsheet. Right now I have no idea what diameter or type my main is.
     
  20. tcwings20

    tcwings20 Member

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    I emailed Allen Brothers to see what they said and they said the blocks are class legal.


    "Hi

    Yes the A.178, A.278 and A.378 are class legal we supply them to Laser for use on their boats.



    Kind Regards



    Steve Hall
    Sales and Marketing


    Allen Brothers
    Hallmark Industrial Estate"

    I also looked at West Marine for the Orbit block and they sell the Dyneema link block for $20 less than the swivel head. (43-63)
    http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wc...toreNum=50045&subdeptNum=50057&classNum=50070
    Would it make sense to buy the Dyneema because its so much cheaper? Why does West Marine offer that one so much cheaper APS sells them both for 63.





     

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