Alternative Cheek Block Replacement

Thread starter #1
I've read that the cheek blocks for the centerboard are hard to find, so perhaps this post will be useful to this forum.

On my '86 C14.2, one of the cheek blocks was shot (I think the mfr was Seaway). The sheave was cracked.

I've seen other older C14.2's with the same problem for all the sheaves for the centerboard rigging. It would seem that these blocks take a lot of load and stress, especially if the boat is stored with rigging pulling the centerboard up. I now try to remember to release the centerboard after putting boat on trailer.

At Sailing Supply in San Diego (Canon St. in Shelter Island area), I was able to find cheek blocks made by Harken. Out of sheer luck, the mounting hole centers had the same spacing. But, the holes and screws were a smaller diameter.

A salesman at Sailing Supply suggested I drill out the holes in the block.

I didn't want to do that. It looked like this would significantly weaken the part.

So, they suggested another plan which seems to have worked well: (1) drill out the old mounting holes so that there is clean, freshly cut fibreglass inside of the holes, (2) fill the holes with a filler designed for fibreglass repair, (3) after the filler dries, drill new holes for the smaller screws that come with the Harken blocks, (4) install the new blocks.

The one thing I might've done differently is put a little marine grade silicon sealer under the blocks before mounting them since the surface there wasn't perfectly flat. This would prevent any "junk" from getting trapped in there, but I can't say if it would be necessary.

I'm happy with the result. The Harken blocks are made of a very tough, black, UV-resistant plastic and have ball bearings instead of simple bushings.
Center board cheek blocks

My cheek blocks are shot just like yours were. Could you tell me how those cheek blocks are attached to the boat? Are they through bolted or do they go on some other way? If they are through bolted, it seems like you need to some get into the boat underneath the cockpit bench.

Any info would be helpful, thanks.
Bill What model Cheek Block did you use

Bill in your write up on replacing the Seaway Cheek Block could you please indicate the model number of the harken product you used. I have not been able to find a harken block with matching hole spacing.