New mainsheet blocks?

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by SFBayLaser, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. GeoffS

    GeoffS Member

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    I've wanted an alternative to those over-priced, cheap-assed, POS Holt blocks for years,

    I also used a pair of Harken blocks for awhile when one of my traveler blocks crapped out. I forget which ones I used (they just came out of my tool box), but I connected them together with some thin Spectra so the distance between the traveler and boom was the same as the Holts. They worked great, and I only replaced them when I got a new Holt block on "fire sale" discount at a local dealer.

    I'm not so concerned that the replacements be cheaper than the Holts (they can't be that much more - it's just two blocks after all). I agree 100% that there can be no gross performance improvement (ex. boom-height advantage).

    If we're going to the trouble of spec'ing new blocks, I'd also like to see boom-blocks that can be replaced without removing the eye-straps attached to the boom. That's one of the most PITA maintenance tasks on the Laser. It's way too much effort to replace one of the blocks on the boom - it shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes with simple hand-tools.

    Cheers,

    Geoff S.
     
  2. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Changing my mind here>

    I think if we are going to change blocks we ought to absolutely choose blocks that DO IMPROVE the performance of the boat.

    One of the problems with a Laser is the blocks are too tall and the boom cannot be pulled low enough .

    The result is we use too much vang and bend our booms. Allowing new blocks will cause all the serious racers to switch to the new blocks. Those who do not care about the minor improvement will still be hapy sailing with the old blocks.
    If everybody who races must spend some money, We may as well improve the boat while we are at it. and save money in the long term too...by saving our booms.

    Among other excuses for making the blocks lower?
    1. Smaller sailors will be more able to compete without using as absurd amounts of vang and ruining their booms.
    2. Fewer booms bent means fewer total dollars spent by the sailors.
    3. The mainsheet will be a better control line if it can be used to pull the boom through a wider range of motion.
    4. Fat dudes will be caused to lose weight and be more healthy as climbing under the boom will require a thinner body.

    So...I believe the restriction on "same size as the old blocks" is counterproductive and not good for the long term survival of the Laser sailing game.

    It certainly seems like we could gain something by telling prospective Laser sailors:>>>

    "We are constantly improving the entire boat while considering the impact on those who own older Lasers.
    In 2008 we changed to modern smaller boom blocks which are more durable and allow the boat to be controlled without using as much tension on the boom vang.
    This improvement not only helps owners of newer boats but it is especially important for those who find and sail the first 100,000 Lasers which were not supplied with specially reinforced booms."


    Let's make the boiom blocks as low aspect as possible.

    IN fact... While we are revisiting the rigging....Perhaps we should consider a "baleless" boom block and a new rigging system where the dead end of the mainsheet can be tied around the boom.
     
  3. halibut

    halibut New Member

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    That's very interesting. I just looked at my new traveler blocks and they are labeled with the HA part number...no Laser logo, etc. What's to keep everyone from ordering and using the identical, cheaper HA parts, and saving $$?

    Mike S
     
  4. Ross B

    Ross B Guest


    Thats the key, I'm freakin tired of drilling out rivets, and possibly having to replace my whole boom because I messed it up. In all honesty, the blocks should just be tied on




    sounds reasonable to me
     
  5. GeoffS

    GeoffS Member

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  6. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    My comments about improving the functionality and lessening the stress on the boom were absolutely serious.
    After seriously considering the possibilities and what I believe would be the real impact to the game and to the amount of sailor's money which would be spent...

    The very best course of action is:
    Make a change in the blocks that will best serve the game of Lasering over the next 20 years.

    Either have a custom block made with an agreement from the manufacturer that the "known market which is the Laser" will make that block priced less than an off the shelf item.

    Or

    Write a class rule that says: The distance from the lower side of the traveler line to the boom shall be no less than "X" millimeters and open the block choice to the user.
     
  7. GeoffS

    GeoffS Member

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    Either way - it's still a good idea! ;)
    Better would be to spec. the minimum distance from the deck to the bottom of the boom when sheeted in fully. It's easier to measure and really the distance you want to control.

    Minor quibble: Your suggestion would allow someone (potentially) to sheet tighter by making the diameter of the traveler-block smaller (i.e. reducing the distance between the lower side of the traveler line and the deck).

    Cheers,

    Geoff S.
     
  8. GeoffS

    GeoffS Member

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    Just curious - in a "unintended consequences" sense, does anyone want to hazard a guess about the effect of allowing a lower boom (and thus higher traveler load) on the traveler fairleads?
     
  9. Ross B

    Ross B Guest


    there ya go!!

    and those Sprenger blocks that LooserLu was talking about look comparable to Schaefer in the US, which is way bottom of the berrel, way below Harken and Ronstan, dont mean to rain on your parade LooserLu, you know I love ya! And thanks for all the help with Kiel!
     
  10. GeoffS

    GeoffS Member

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    OK, here's a specific (aka "straw man") suggestion using Harken blocks and West Marine prices just "for example".

    1. Eliminate the requirement that the boom outhaul fairlead is a "turning point" in the outhaul system. Tie a Harken 16mm AirBlock (p/n 404 - $11) tight to fairlead for the outhaul line.
    2. Remove under-boom eye-strap and attach a 40mm Ti-Lite block (p/n 2651 - 25) tight against the boom with the lacing running around the boom and through the outhaul fairlead.
    3. Use the aforementioned 40/29 mm combo block to bridge the traveler and mainsheet (p/n 2649 - $30).
    For a total list-price outlay of $66 you have a complete "off the shelf" modern boom-end mainsheet system. As a bonus, you get a freer-running outhaul.

    If the distance between the boom and deck is too small (for some TBD spec.), tie the boom-block more loosely until you're legal.

    Dimensions on the forward boom-block are less important (since it doesn't contribute to any critical dimension that I know of), so I'd suggest opening it up to any block (much like the spec. for the ratchet-block is written). I'd probably use a 40mm Carbo block with a shackle (p/n 2636 - $25) hung from the existing eye-strap. For a bit more work (or with a new boom), you could flip the eye-strap to the top of the boom and use a Ti-Lite if you wanted. An advantage of that would be a much lower, and purely shear, load on the eye-strap, so rivets would be fine option. If you believe the "bigger diameter blocks have less resistance" would be helpful, you could use a 57mm Carbo block there.

    Cheers,

    Geoff S.
     
  11. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    sounds good to me

    but I do beleive that you are already allowed to do #1, or at least tie a block to it, in some fashion, which I've never found necessary, but what ever
     
  12. GeoffS

    GeoffS Member

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    Yeah, but you're just easy... :rolleyes:

    Nope. :(

     
  13. Ross B

    Ross B Guest



    reason why I never did it, always thought it rather unnecessary
     
  14. SFBayLaser

    SFBayLaser Member

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    I don't disagree with this and agree its a pain in the rear... however, one advantage of the blocks being rather permanently attached to the boom is that its harder for them to get "borrowed" from your boom when you are not around.
     
  15. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    which is why you be a smart person, and take care of your gear and be responsible
     
  16. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    Or just a clevis pin (or a screw type clevis pin). I agree with the comments about the boom ones being replaceable without replacing the boom eye. Very important.

    Ian
     
  17. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Why is replacement such a factor? I thought the blocks were gonna last!!

    Further...The rivets work loose in about a year no matter what. Once you change the strap's fasteners to #10 machine screws and nylon insert lock nuts, future block replacement ( which won't be needed any because the new blocks are gonna last) requires no drilling.

    Low aspect blocks...get the load off the vang.

    if the traveler eyes still bust loose...redesign those so there is only one fat fastener and it is bolted through the gunwale.
     
  18. Deimos

    Deimos Member

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    But they wont do me any good on my boom until I actually get them on. Much easier for me to get them on without having to drill out rivets, etc.

     
  19. sailchris

    sailchris Member

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    My boat has its original European boom...and after 18 years my boom eyes are still totally solid...my boom blocks are starting to look pretty ratty though.
     
  20. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Damn junky blocks. Look bad in only 18 years?? How disgusting!!
    Hurry world council. Hurry Harken!! Get some new blocks designed and approved before those 18 year old blocks fail!!!


    and if you are swapping out the old blocks for the new durable set??? How do you get them off without taking out at least one rivet??
    Don't suggest sawing them in half as we might need spares in sometime more than 18 years.

    Meanwhile. Here are some fun blocks>>>

    [​IMG]
     

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