Replace mainsheet cam cleat with hexaratchet?


Glad you have found the picture useful on both forums. Maybe this shot will be larger and clearer.


Here is a view most people don’t get to see very often. Photo 1 is the bottom side of the ratchet block using 1” diameter SS Fender washers and has held up well in winds 20+ mph. Photo 2 is the same set up with a 1/8” x 1-1/2” x 4” aluminum plate added to spread the load over a wider area. I will probably bed the plate in an epoxy/filler bed for better load transfer (similar to the rudder backer plate).



Many thanks SuperCub,
Thank you for the views from below the lip. I could not find one and was contemplating photographing my own. I also took your advice for the aluminum backer plate. The epoxy idea sounds to be a better transfer of the loads too. For now, friction between the plate and the under deck are working for this season.

Your photos and descriptions of repairs and upgrades are very valuable to both forums. Thank you.:)
Thread starter #23
I am sooooo glad I removed my AMF-Alcort cam cleat and replaced it with a Harkin 2625 57mm Carbo Ratchmatic :) Last Saturday the winds got stronger after each race and by the 4th race I was really really really pleased with the ratchet block versus the cam cleat.
However I have a problem. My sister gets to use my boat for recreation sailing and she, like me, has 30 years experience with a cam cleat for holding the main sheets. When she sails now she is usually out with one of her dogs and probably a canned beverage and uses a cleat to hold the sheet most of the time. So in order to help her I need to make some provisions for her to cleat in I have three ideas and ask for your comments (pro or con) and any other recommendations.
One thought I have is to remove the eyestrap and ratchet block and install the cam cleat for her. Then make the switch back for me.
Another is to add something like a Harken 205 swivel block with cam cleat to the ratchet block. She would then have a cam cleat to use while I hopefully could pass the sheet through the cam cleat support arm thus avoiding the cam cleat.
And the thrid choice is to add two clam cleats.
Fourth choice: deck mounted cam cleats near the ratchet.

Fifth choice (and cheap!): sister puts a loop knot into mainsheet in approximate location of choice for appropriate trim. A quick jerk on it pulls the loop out for adjustment. I do this all the time as I don't have cleats!


I have seen a boat set up like this photo off of the Sunfish Sailor Forum photo files. If I remember right they had trouble getting the base removed from the hull so the cams and bracket were left. I thought of this photo as you decribed your options for a solution to share with your sister.
(one additional option, speaking as a little brother to my sister is.......... costly yes for your sister that is, would be for her to buy her own boat......LOL:rolleyes:

Gail's sisters trick is the cheapest. If you must put cleats in, I would go with the clam cleat on the front corners of the cockpit. And don't for get the wedges under the cleats to keep the mainsheet aligned with the ratchet. A simple pull and lift will release the mainsheet.
If you go with side cam or clam cleats they need to be spaced as far apart as possible for them to be through bolted into the cockpit lip.
AND angled blocks or riser blocks will be neccessary as the angle of the sheet from the ratchet to the cleat will be severe enough to allow the sheet to pull free and be very hard to clamp.
Been there, done it, learned the lesson the hard way.
What size eyestrap did you use to fit into the existing holes of the swiveling camcleat. I have the same on my boat and want to replace it with the harken carbo ratchomatic. Also, where did you get the aluminum backing plate and plastic?




Janina, the photo I used as an example is not my rig. I borrowed that photo from the Sunfish Sailor forum files. My rigging is the same as post #19, the photo, which again is not my rig. I completely removed the whole swivel base and just have the stand up spring and eyestrap on top of an 1/8" rectangle of ABS. I do have the aluminum bar stock below the deck lip too. I bought my scraps from a recycling yard here in Kalamazoo, Mich. Home Depot and other big box stores carry 1/4" aluminum bar, but you will have to buy just a little more than you need. As for the ABS plastic piece it is purely cosmetic. It covers the halo, circle, left from the old swivel base for me. A piece of vinyl, flat stock from some siding, trim, tupperware lid,etc. would work too. Good luck.
I knew you removed the swivel base. I was just wondering what size eyestrap you got that allowed you to use the existing holes in the deck from the swivel base. I just placed the order and I got the Harken H281 Micro eyestrap. I also ordered the medium standup boot from APS and the carbo ratchamatic. I'm looking forward to switching to the ratchet block after sailing under heavy wind on Friday with the stupid cam cleat and no block. I thought my arms were going to fall off from holding the sheet and the sheet accidentally cleated itself several times and almost tossed me in. :)


Sorry Janina:(, I did mention that in my earlier post, I should read what I have written. I did use the H281 eyestrap (I measured my holes and compared hole to hole spacing among the eyestraps available. I also used the 071 spring and not the boot. Is the boot a cover for the spring or is there a spring with the boot or within the rubber of the boot or does the rigidity of the rubber act as a spring? I think this was the best upgrade to my boat yet. I agree with your frustration of getting dunked in the drink to many times with cleats.;)

Happy Sailing (now)~~~~~~~~~~/)~~~~~~~~~:)
I've used the spring before when I had a laser. It works ok but as others have said, sometimes the mainsheet gets stuck on it. MY understanding is that the rubber boot acts like a spring. We'll see when I get it :)
I'm hoping that the eyestrap will work for mine because frankly I was just too lazy to go out and remove the swivel cam to measure the holes and then I have to put it back on so I can still sail until the new clock comes. So I'm hoping that they are pretty standard. If not, should be easy to get a different eyestrap somewhere local...


Janina, if the eyestrap is just a hair short or long on your existing holes, you can "wow" or enlarge your hole with the same diameter drill bit as the hole. Use a set of top and bottom stainless steel washers, fender or standard to cover the gap as well as the cosmetic fix too. If you have to make a big adjustment, epoxy your current hole closed and redrill a new one where needed. The aluminum bar below the deck will transfer and spread the loads to additional areas of the fiberglass and not entirely at the holes.