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Video: Getting A Harken Ratchet Block To Work Just Right

andyatos

Well-Known Member
There's been a ton of threads on blocks, cam cleats, combos, etc, on this forum. Great info.

After pouring over all of them, I went with another sailor's recommendation and got a "Harken 57 mm Carbo Ratchet Block w/Cam". Over the last week, I was able to sail with it quite a lot... during which time I had to keep on tweaking it because at first I experienced the same problems that others have pointed out.

But then I discovered the single most significant factor that affects how well it works... and went from not really liking the block to loving it.

Here's a short video of what I discovered. When I get back to California and buy a used Sunfish, I'll be putting another one of these blocks on the boat.

Cheers,

- Andy
 

oldpaint

Active Member
Nice Video. I see that by moving the boom block forward you make a swivel base unnecessary. Do newer race booms have the blocks in the traditional location, good for no ratchet block sailing, or in the location you suggest?
 

andyatos

Well-Known Member
Do newer race booms have the blocks in the traditional location, good for no ratchet block sailing, or in the location you suggest?
I'm afraid you are asking the wrong person. I have very limited experience with boom layouts, ancient or contemporary. :eek:

- Andy
 

Weston

Active Member
... I discovered the single most significant factor that affects how well it works... and went from not really liking the block to loving it.
Here's a short video of what I discovered. When I get back to California and buy a used Sunfish, I'll be putting another one of these blocks on the boat.
Great video, showing visually the difference between the factory forward boom block position vs. your new position. Obviously, you posted this 6 years ago. I'm curious as to your thoughts today. Did you make this a permanent change on your sunfish? Also, I'm wondering if that change is permitted for officially sanctioned racing? I am thinking of trying this out. So, may keep a 'race legal set of booms handy if that is the case.
 

andyatos

Well-Known Member
Did you make this a permanent change on your sunfish?
Yes, I did. And I put a second ratchet block with cam on another Sunfish I now have in California.

I'm wondering if that change is permitted for officially sanctioned racing?
I would say no. The people on this forum who race could likely give you a defendant answer though.

I am thinking of trying this out. So, may keep a 'race legal set of booms handy if that is the case.
Or what you could do is just tie an extra sheave to the boom when you are not racing and then take it off when you are racing. I gave Phil (Norcalsail) a spare Harken 57 mm Carbo Ratchet Block w/Cam to try on his Sunfish and he now sails with it.

At six minutes 20 seconds in this video you can see where Phil has passed the main sheet through the standard, stock sheave... and where he has the second sheave tied to the boom where the main sheet passes through that also. When he is fully sheeted in, the main sheet runs through that forward sheave and straight down towards the deck through the block.

And if you wanted to make sure that the cam cleat didn't grab your main sheet by accident when you're racing, you could just adjust the block and cam cleat combo so the cam cleat is pointing way down towards the cockpit. Then put it back to a higher position when you're not racing. That is if this block and cam cleat combo is allowed for racing.

- Andy
 
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LaLi

Well-Known Member
Class rule 3.5.3 reads, "The location of the boom blocks may be changed." https://www.sunfishclass.org/documents/SUN2015CR171214-18151.pdf

The current "factory" location of the forward boom block seems to be nearly straight up from the cockpit forward edge (depending somewhat on the gooseneck position):

SunfishWorlds2019a (130).jpg

Makes no sense why that has been any farther aft than that.

(Original picture: Google Photos)

_
 
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norcalsail

Well-Known Member
The integrated cleat can be adjusted and I point it all the way down to keep any unwanted cleating action from occurring. I'm pretty vigilant about keeping an eye on it and really like the options it provides. Also, I didn't really want to drill into my deck to add cleats. That was a great day in the video Andy put together....
 
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