Which Mainsheet Block?? Orbit? Carbo?

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by viktor188924, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. sk8ingsailor

    sk8ingsailor Member

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    I love my ronstan block. Alot better and cooler than harken.
     
  2. bel120343

    bel120343 New Member

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    i had a fredericksen, witch is now ronstan, and it was already broken after a year, now i bought myself a harken carbo ratchmatic, and very pleased with it, you can also adjust the holding power. didn't wont to buy a ronstan cause of my very bad expirience with the frederiksen.
     
  3. viktor188924

    viktor188924 New Member

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    So if you bought the fredericksen before it became ronstan, why are you uncertain of using ronstan products.
     
  4. bel120343

    bel120343 New Member

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    because they still look the same here in europe, and i see at my blocks from the powerpack, that a harken block doesnt wear as fast. Also, got my harken carbo almost at the price of the ronstan, so i chose to try the harken, half a year later, very pleased about it.
     
  5. bjmoose

    bjmoose Member

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    I rang up APS this morning, they now have the RF56101 in stock and the RF2455 stand up boot in stock.

    I'm going to try it out with some 8mm Marstom and hopefully give my hands a break.
     
  6. fracisco

    fracisco New Member

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    I had a 40mm Ronstan smart ratchet for a long time. The downside is that it is really a small block and I ended up going back to smaller Harken hexaratchet because it is a little bigger in diameter. Also, I found like a lot of the early autoratchet blocks, that the function was not consistent in operation.

    55mm sounds like a better size than the 40mm block.
     
  7. viktor188924

    viktor188924 New Member

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    Yeah. I think most people use a mainsheet block around the 55mm size. Anyone else used the Orbit block yet??
     
  8. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    Yea I'm curious too, starting to think about buying it lol
     
  9. viktor188924

    viktor188924 New Member

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    Yesss well it's like quicksand and I'm pretty deep.
     
  10. bjmoose

    bjmoose Member

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    OK, I bought the Orbit 55 and tried it out last night.

    I like the rubber stand-up boot they sell for it. Much nicer and less likely to cause line hang-ups than the old style shackle and spring stand-up system.

    I used it with a new 5/16" martrom polypro single braid mainsheet, which because it's thicker is also easier to hold. The Ronstan Orbit 55 has got a LOT of bite on that sheet. It's really great; that's the kind of relief my hands were looking for. It's consistently windy at Shoreline for our Wednesday nights and my ability to hold the sheet for the entire night was holding me back. I had been using a rooster 7mm with an aging Harken ratchet block (not "carbo") and when I replaced it I noticed that the knurls on the Harken had worn away over time, providing even less bite than when it was new.

    The flip side, is the 5/16" sheet has a little more friction all through the mainsheet system. So at the windward mark as the evening wore on and it was blowing less than 10, I needed to physically push the boom out to the fully out position. I can easily imagine wanting to use the 7mm sheet for nights it's blowing less than 10, and the 8mm (5/16") line for nights when it's blowing more than 10.

    The biggest shortcoming in the Orbit I found was the switch to toggle the ratchet on and off. It worked great for me in my garage, but on the water, when I only had time to reach in, do a quick-flick, and back out, I often found I hadn't actually successfully changed the setting. I suspect it's going to take an extra second and a deliberate placing of the switch in it's new position.
     
  11. viktor188924

    viktor188924 New Member

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    Two questions: I don't think I'm going to switch mainsheets anytime soon. The orbit would do just as well on a 7mm right? And describe what kind of effort it takes to do the switch from (auto/manual) and (manual on/off). Do you think it just takes practice??
     
  12. bjmoose

    bjmoose Member

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    It seems to me the block will have more bite on the thicker sheet, because the thicker sheet has more surface in contact with the friction points on the block. But I didn't get out the weights and fish scales and perform a controlled experiment to measure. And the thicker sheet is easier to hold onto simply because it IS thicker.

    In any case, it'll certainly work fine with 7mm. My recommendation would be to try the block on your existing sheet; then if you decide need even more grip, get a new mainsheet. At only 50cents a foot, a Marstrom mainsheet's only about 25 bucks.

    My hands are fatigued by a lifetime of computer typing (I'm a computer programmer) and I sail in a windy area. So I need all the help I can get. If this didn't work out, I was going to need to install some mainsheet cleats.

    The jury is still out on the ratchet switch. Look at the pix posted earlier in the thread, it's that little red lever. I expect I'll get it worked out, or I'll just punt and expect to have to push the boom out to force the main thru the ratcheting block. I can post a follow up next week after I've played with it more.
     
  13. viktor188924

    viktor188924 New Member

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    Yes it was a dumb question... I have mainsheet cleats on my boat, but I don't like them because in heavy winds there's always the need to sheet a lot. Thanks thats great keep me posted!
     
  14. bjmoose

    bjmoose Member

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    I went out this afternoon again for a bit. I tried flipping the lever and found that it very much resists being positively disengaged with a "one handed" operation. A few times I thought I'd got it and it turned out I didn't.

    Flipping that thing is not going to become part of my mark rounding routine -- takes too much attention.

    I'd say you're going to set it at the dock, and maybe change the setting between races as the wind either comes up or dies down. But you won't be changing it on every leg of the course.

    Even with that, I'm happy with it -- the grippiness suits my needs. If I need to sometimes "pull out" a little mainsheet, I'm OK with that.
     
  15. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    I've found it helps if there is no pressure on the block if you've having trouble flipping the switch
     
  16. madyottie

    madyottie Apprentice

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    In addition to what Ross says above, sometimes pulling a tiny bit of sheet in while you flick the switch helps. Might work on the Ronstan, certainly works with my RWO.
     
  17. vtgent49

    vtgent49 Member

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    BJ, have you tried it in the auto-ratchet mode? That's what I use, and it's hard for me to imagine a reason why not to? I have gotten used to it with Harken auto's.

    Al
     
  18. bjmoose

    bjmoose Member

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    I didn't think this block HAD an auto-ratchet mode. I thought it was ratchet-on or ratchet-off. This might well explain why I was having trouble. Obviously, I need to read the directions again.

    PS: your rudder blade is all boxed up, I just have to drop it off at UPS.
     
  19. viktor188924

    viktor188924 New Member

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    ROFLOL yeah its got auto and manual! Let us know how that auto works out for yah
     
  20. vtgent49

    vtgent49 Member

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    The directions are a bit confusing. (you could just read my long boring post above, lol). The Auto setting involves sliding both red buttons to lock in the ratchet on-off lever in place. It's twice as hard to do on the water, so forget that idea.

    After you try that, you may want to go back to the 7mm rooster, to reduce the fricton on the blocks, etc. I actually use a 1/4 Yale light, because it floats. I have just ordered another non-absorbing sheet, in anticipation of wear, basically so I don't care if it wears, as I want the friction to save the grip tendons, etc.

    Al

    p.s. glad you got the new rudder figured out.
     

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